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Chris AndrewsFlag for United States of America

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Add rss cache expiration to wp rss widget plugin

I want to use an rss display widget plugin called Alan's BBC Technology News widget: 

I'll be changing the bbc feed url to another feed, instructions for doing that are included with the plugin, that's not an issue.

However, the feed I do what to use is frequently updated.

Is there a way to add code into this plugin that would make the widget's cache expire after 10 minutes?

I did find a similar plugin that does have a setting for a time in which the cache expires. That plugin is here: 

However, I prefer to use Alan's plugin, as except for the cache, it does just want I need (hardcode the url in). I want the cache expiration time hardcoded in as well.

The php code for the plugin I want to use is attached - can you change it to have the rss widget cache to expire after 10 minutes?


Avatar of Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur
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I always worry about the quality of a piece of code when the author spells Technology like this: Technolgy :-(

But that aside, there is nothing in this code that will cache the RSS feed.  It appears that the feed is acquired near line 50 via a function call to fetch_feed().  Unless that function has a cacheing mechanism, my assumption would be that the feed is acquired anew each time the page is built.

Plugin Name: rss Technolgy News Widget
Plugin URI:
Description: This plugin will show the latest 5 technolgy news stories from BBC technolgy rss feed. It's a very simple RSS reader widget. You can modify the plugin to suit your own purposes.
Version: 0.1
Author: Alan Son
Author URI:

/*  Copyright 2011 Alan Son (email :

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA

 class rssfeedWidget extends WP_Widget
	function rssfeedWidget()
		$widget_options = array(
			'classname'		=>	'rss-feed-widget',
			'description'	=>	'Show the last 3 stories from rss ');
		parent::WP_Widget('rss_feed_widget','rssfeedWidget', $widget_options);
	function widget($args, $instance)
		extract( $args, EXTR_SKIP );
		$title = ( $instance['title'] ) ? $instance['title'] : 'Technolgy News';
		<?php echo $before_widget; ?>
		<?php echo $before_title . $title . $after_title ?>

<?php // Get RSS Feed(s)
include_once(ABSPATH . WPINC . '/feed.php');

// Get a SimplePie feed object from the specified feed source.
$rss = fetch_feed('');
if (!is_wp_error( $rss ) ) : // Checks that the object is created correctly 
    // Figure out how many total items there are, but limit it to 5. 
    $maxitems = $rss->get_item_quantity(5); 

    // Build an array of all the items, starting with element 0 (first element).
    $rss_items = $rss->get_items(0, $maxitems); 

    <?php if ($maxitems == 0) echo '<li>No items.</li>';
    // Loop through each feed item and display each item as a hyperlink.
    foreach ( $rss_items as $item ) : ?>
        <a href='<?php echo $item->get_permalink(); ?>'
        title='<?php echo 'Posted '.$item->get_date('j F Y | g:i a'); ?>'>
        <?php echo $item->get_title(); ?></a>
    <?php endforeach; ?>


function rss_feed_init()

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Avatar of Chris Andrews


Technolgy - yeh, I know ;)

ah, ok, I looked up fetch_feed(), apparently it caches it for 12 hours! 

It says I can modify the cache time with this filter: 

but I'm not sure if they mean I would have to alter the wordpress source files to do that (which I would prefer not to do) or if that filter can be added to the plugin code somehow...

Avatar of Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur
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Would I need to put the number of seconds in that first () or did you set 2 hours in some other manner?
no, that breaks it :)
Oh, I think I see, you set  it to 1 second. I think it's working :)  Will keep testing -
Yes, I set it to one second, which would be about the same as not cacheing at all.
Working perfectly - thank you so much, that was a critical piece of the puzzle I was trying to put together for my site :)

Thanks for the points, and thanks for using EE! ~Ray