Read Where You Write In WordPress With The Orbital Feed Reader Plugin

When Google Reader was shut down on July 2nd, 2013, those who use RSS searched far and wide for suitable replacements. I’ve settled on using Feedly for my needs. However, there is a plugin available that adds an RSS reader to WordPress so you can create blog posts as you read RSS feeds from within the same interface. It’s called Orbital Feed Reader and is available on the WordPress plugin directory.

My Feeds Within Orbital Feed Reader
My Feeds Within Orbital Feed Reader

By default, Orbital is subscribed to a few different feeds to get you started. The design of the interface is a far cry from what I’m use to with Feedly. Because of the way content from feeds are displayed, it’s hard to determine when posts begin and end. The way the content is displayed makes it hard to decipher, especially if the content contains a lot of images.

If you can get past those setbacks, the feed reader performs as advertised. At the end of each article is a Blog This button. Clicking the button opens up the Press This bookmarklet enabling you to quickly post content to your site. Any text that is highlighted within the article before the button is selected will automatically be shown in the content area of the Press This bookmarklet. Being able to read feeds and quickly publish articles to a blog is a nice convenience.

You can add feeds either by importing an OPML file or by using a site’s RSS feed URL.

How To Add Feeds In Orbital
How To Add Feeds In Orbital

I’m Sticking With Feedly

Although I don’t use my feed reader as much as I used to, I prefer Feedly over Orbital because of the synching options between the web and mobile versions of the service. Feedly also displays content in a way that makes it easier to read compared to Orbital. Last but not least, I have the Press This bookmarklet installed in FireFox so I can blog stories from anywhere on the web.

With that said, the plugin’s purpose is to enable users to read RSS feeds and easily create blog content from within the same interface. It’s the plugin’s shining feature and it does so without any problems.

3 Comments


  1. To be honest, this looks quite horrendous! I have been using Fever, a self hosted premium solution from feedafever.com, works awesome and you can even add it to your desktop.

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    1. Hi Piet! I agree that this version isn’t very good looking. That was version 0.1.6 – still very early stages. Better to get this out there and get feedback (even harsh feedback) than work in the dark.

      Good news is I’ve been hard at work after Jeff let me know the look was really bad. I’ll be releasing 0.1.8 which looks much cleaner and nicer. It also works on my phone! I’ll be trying to improve the mobile experience in 0.1.9 or 0.2.0.

      I’ll send you a note when I’m doing a release – I’d love any constructive feedback. The app is open source and I’m always looking for advice or help.

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  2. It has some Idiosyncrasies but is particularly useful for taking notes from feeds if you want to maintained a self contained system rather than use external services, paid or otherwise.

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