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FeedWordPress currently provides four ways to update feeds: you can set up FeedWordPress to do this automatically using a built-in scheduler triggered by page views. You can set up a cron job to handle updates according to a fixed schedule, independently of regular page views. You can update feeds manually from within the FeedWordPress administrative interface. Or, if you happen to be using feeds that you yourself produce, or happen to be unusually persuasive, you could get your source feeds set up to use RPC update pings to notify FeedWordPress when to check in for new posts.
For most practical purposes, you will usually want to ensure that FeedWordPress checks in for updates according to a schedule without your personal intervention. This means using either the built-in automatic updates, or an external cron job.
Automatic updates (without cron)
The built-in automatic updates procedure are very simple to use. They work best for FeedWordPress installations that only have to deal with a few syndicated feeds, or that get average or low traffic, or that you are running in an environment where you do not have the ability to create cron jobs. (The procedure works entirely from within WordPress, without you having to access any external tools on your web server.) By contrast, cron jobs are less simple, but if you have a lot of syndicated feeds to deal with, or if you have especially high traffic to deal with, automatic updates from within WordPress may slow down your page load times or create other performance problems, and handling updates through a cron job may be preferable.
To use automatic updates, log in to your WordPress administrative interface and go to Syndication –> Feeds & Updates. In the Update Scheduling box, find the drop-down selector for the update method; set it to one of the two
Automatically update… settings. You can choose between running the update process before the page loads, or after the page loads. (Updating before the page loads is usually best if you only have one or two feeds that you are syndicating. Updating after the page loads is best if you have several feeds to update.)
Scheduled updates using a cron job
For a break-down on how to use cron jobs, see How do I set up a cron job to check my feeds for updates?
Sometimes there are feeds that you would like to check, but only when you tell FeedWordPress to check them, rather than being checked automatically on a regular schedule. (Or, sometimes you may want to force FeedWordPress to check on a feed right now, rather than waiting for the next update scheduled by the cron job or automatic scheduler.) You can tell FeedWordPress to check for updates using the main Syndication page in the FeedWordPress administrative interface, using one of two methods: using the Update button, or using the Syndicated sources list together with the Update Checked button.
The Update button performs a simple check-in procedure: it will look at the list of syndicated feeds in order to see whether there are any feeds which have been marked as ready to be polled for updates. If it finds any that are ready, it will poll them for updates, and syndicate any new posts or updates that appear on the feeds. (Feeds usually get marked as ready to be polled about 60 minutes or so after the last time they were polled.)
The Update Checked button allows you to force FeedWordPress to check for updates on any particular feed right now, rather than waiting for the next scheduled check-in. To force FeedWordPress to check for updates on one or more feeds, find the feed or feeds you want to check in the Syndicated sources list. Tick the checkbox next to each feed that you want to check for updates. Then, once you’ve got them all, mash the Update Checked button at the top of the list. FeedWordPress will go down the list and check for updates on each feed that you checked.