How to Include Pictures in a Partial RSS Feed Using Wordpress and Feedburner


Partial RSS Feed with PicturesThe point of this post is to provide a step-by-step guide to creating a partial RSS feed WITH pictures using both WordPress and Feedburner.  Now at this point, you may be wanting to get into the age-old debate of which version to serve your readers: a full or partial RSS feed?  I will briefly give my opinion on this issue, but then quickly move on to the real topic at hand.

I have been blogging for a few years now and for the greater amount of that time have served my readers with a full RSS feed.  Unfortunately, I found that the traffic to my actual blog started to diminish rather substantially.  I wanted to provide my readers with content that was easily accessible to them, but I work very hard on the "experience" that is my blog.  Only interacting with my blog from a feed is like watching a football game on TV.  It's nice, but definitely not as exciting as being there in person.  Thus, I've decided to pull my readers in from their armchairs and onto the sidelines.  {Okay, enough football metaphors...geesh, I shouldn't write a post after watching hours of Monday Night Football with my husband}.

As we all know from the remarkable rise of Pinterest, pictures are where it's at.  They're eye-catching and supposedly "speak a thousand words", so why wouldn't we want them in our partial feed alluring our readers into visiting our blog post and reading more?  Well of course, we do, but unfortunately if you have a Feedburner feed and a WordPress blog, you'll know that this is impossible...until now.

There are a few settings you'll need to tweak both inside WordPress and Feedburner, as well as to download the awesome plugin which makes the whole thing happen:  RSS Image Feed.  After following these simple steps, your partial feed should benefit from a much higher click-through rate!  :party:

And heeeerrreeee we go:

Inside WordPress:

  • In the Settings menu, click on the Reading option to bring up your blog's reading settings.  Make sure that you have chosen the number of posts you want to display in your feed (I use 20) and have the feed selected to show a summary, instead of the full text version.

Wordpress Reading Settings

  • Install and activate the RSS Image Feed plugin and choose the width of the pictures you want to include in your partial feed through the plugin's settings interface.  The default is 200 px wide, which is what I chose to keep.
  • If you'd like to see my own partial feed for a look at what your feed will resemble after this tutorial, please visit

Inside Feedburner:

  • Now visit Feedburner for your particular partial feed and click on the Optimize tab at the top of the screen.  Along the left side of the page, you will see various options for you to configure.  These can be set any way you'd like, but you MUST MAKE SURE that you do not have the Summary Burner activated.  (Summary Burner is the last option on the menu under the Optimize tab).  If this option is active in your feed, the plugin won't work.

That should do it, but you will need to test your feed to make sure that the changes were effective.  Every WordPress blog contains a variety of unique plugins and specialized settings which could conflict with the RSS Image Feed plugin.  In order to test your feed, ping it using Feedburner's own ping page.  You might also have to Resync the Feed from within Feedburner.  Of course, make sure that your browser isn't caching your feed's results either.

For the guaranteed way to check these changes, publish a post, wait 30-minutes and then revisit your feed.  Feedburner will definitely show your up-to-date feed by then and you'll know whether this tutorial was successful.

If you have any questions, please shoot me a comment and I'll do my best to answer quickly.  Good luck!  :luck:

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I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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22 Responses to How to Include Pictures in a Partial RSS Feed Using WordPress and Feedburner

  1. Pingback: Friday Featured Posts About Blogging & Social Media - Simply Stacie

  2. Jenn Says:


    The only reason I kept a full feed was because it would include thumbnails on my Facebook page when Networked Blogs auto-published to my wall. Hopefully this will allow the same benefit with only a partial feed. Thanks!

      Melissa Says:


      Hi Jenn,

      You’ll love this setup then! I use Network Blogs and it posts to my FB page too and since I switched my feed to partial with pics, everything works great!

    owlsheadbiz Says:


    Hi, Melissa – Thanks do much for this post, it really was perfect timing (I had posted this very question on twitter when someone retweeted this!). Anyhow, the question I have now is – how do you get a link at the end of the feed that says “read more” (or something like it). Now, it just has bracketed … and some of our email readers don’t know what to click on to get to the post. Any suggestions?

      Melissa Says:


      I’m so glad you found this post useful! In order to get the “Read More” or whatever custom message you’d like in your RSS Feed, I’m using the following plugin: TentBlogger’s RSS Footer Plugin. This allows you to insert a custom message, include advertisement code or whatever you’d like at the bottom of your feed. If you’d like to see what it looks like in action and how I have my footer field set up, check out my feed here:

      Have a great day!

    Rita Spratlen Says:


    If I ever get to this point on my blog this is very useful. There is a lot more to a blog than I ever thought of. Thanks for the wonderful tips. I am sure I will someday have to revisit all of this. Rita

    Toni Says:


    Hi! I was so happy to find this tutorial. I write a blog, want to convert to partial feed including a photo and yours is the only tutorial I found on how to do so and so simply presented, thank you!
    I have followed all the steps in preparation for a post going out on Monday. I ran into an issue when I recently converted to WordPress in that my first subscription post to go out after the transfer had several posts included in the link not just my most current only. My web person realized it was set to publish several and changed it to one. If the setting ‘Syndication Feeds the Most Recent’ is changed to 20, will 20 posts be included on the email subscription when a new post is published?

    I greatly appreciate your help and have your post bookmarked to share with others making this change.

      Melissa Says:


      Hi Toni,

      Thanks so much for your comment…I’m so happy that you found this tutorial helpful. I’m not quite sure why many posts went out with your first subscription email, but sometimes the first one can be a little screwy. The second one will tell the tale as to how they will appear for sure. As for the 20 posts, that is how many will be displayed in your feed, but shouldn’t affect your email newsletter at all. The email one is automatically set to display only new posts that were added since the last newsletter went out and will only send when new posts are added.

      I hope this answered your question, but if not, please let me know and I will do my best to help. Have a great weekend!

        Toni Says:


        Thanks so much Melissa! We were unsure what happened either. The designer changed the setting you have to 20 for this purpose to 1 and after that only one post was published in email but maybe it was due to the first subscription after moving being odd vs the setting. I’m going to flip the switch on this and will know Monday how it all works! This really was incredibly helpful. I Googled for days about this and there is no other tutorial addressing all of this including how to set the customized ‘read more’ message. So excited to have found you!

          Melissa Says:


          I’m so happy to hear that! Well, if you have any issues later down the road, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help! :)

    Toni Says:


    Hi Melissa. Wanted to ‘report back’. For me what published using these guide lines (in email subscriptions) is 20 links at the top of the page, a photo, partial post, my customized message I put in the RSS plug in but also an extra message telling readers they’d finished the post and should leave a comment! Are you surprised about the links? I know I can change those by reducing the ’20’ for syndicated feed to 1 which is what we did in my first experience. I need to find the weird message now telling readers they are ‘done’ which must be in the plug in. Thanks for any thoughts (feel free to delete this message and email me too; I could not find an email for you).

    Toni Says:


    OOps! Spoke too soon! It actually published an abreviated version of 20 posts in the email subscription (was looking on my phone before). Working with my web person to debug but sharing in case others read this. I did read on that the selection setting of syndicated posts is only for RSS but it doesn’t seem to be true in my case.

      Melissa Says:


      Hi Toni,

      Hmmm, that does sound quite strange…is it possible that you have a custom WordPress blog and have had modifications to the functions.php file? You mentioned a web person in the past, is it possible that there’s been some modifications to the basic WordPress code?

    Toni Says:


    Hi Melissa. I just checked with her and she confirmed she has altered the functions.php code but nothing to do with the feeds. She is unclear about why multiple posts are issuing too unless the syndication amount number is set to 1. We both looked at it this morning and altered things to hopefully make it work but our changes are back to a setting of 1 so multiple posts won’t be available on RSS feed. Would love to figure it out to allow more there but I’m more concerned about NOT having email subscribers be baraged by 20 with every publication!

      Melissa Says:


      Hi Toni,

      You’re definitely right…nothing will make your email subscribers more weary than seeing 20 posts each day, especially if they already saw them yesterday. My only advice would be to try and compare the basic WordPress code with your new modified code to see if possibly the RSS feed errors can be found. If not, perhaps the plugin is causing the problem with your particular code. Personally, I don’t use the plugin any longer, for I have hard-coded the changes into my blog’s coding, so I don’t know if it’s possible for the plugin to now be causing issues.

    Jim Says:


    Thanks for the great post. I was trying to do this for about an hour, you gave me a 5 minute (heck 1 minute) that worked great.

    I also like your website design and concept!

    Thanks again,


    Lia Says:


    Thanks for this article! I really liked hearing your own perspective too… the football reference was perfect.

    Amy Says:


    This is SO helpful Melissa. I had lost all hope over this and am grateful I found this post. Thank you very much for sharing!

    Rebekah Schrepfer Says:


    Just what I needed! I have been trying to figure this out for a while, and your instructions were very clear. Thank you!

    Elise Says:


    Thank you so very much for this! I actually found your blog solely because of this post. So glad you wrote it, and thanks for being thorough with your description of how to get it to work right.

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