Aggregator

Aggregator allows your site to consume feeds from other sites and display that information on your site.  This functionality is part of Drupal core.

Now the time for the disclaimer.  We, here at learnthebluedrop, have never used it. We have never seen anyone use it.

Aggregator
I can count on my hand the number of times, that I have used, seen, or known someone that has used the Aggregator module, ZERO.

The first step is to activate the module.  Navigate to admin > modules and the very very very first selection is Aggregator.  Check the box, scroll down, and click save configuration.

Drupal Aggregator Module Install
Active the module in the standard way.

To configure your aggregator, visit admin > config (admin/config) and look in the Web Services Group.  There is a link to Feed aggregator. Click it with a passion.

Drupal web services aggregator Feed aggregator
Your screen might look different based on the modules that you have enabled.

Ensure, that you have the List tab selected on the Feed aggregator.  This is where we will add our feeds.

Drupal aggregator allows you to group your feeds into categories, so create a new category by clicking add category.

Drupal feed aggregator
The red arrow shows the add category button.

On the add category screen, enter in a required title and an optional description.  Click save when you are done.

Drupal feed aggregator
In this example, we will siphon feeds from Drupal.org

With a category created, we will need to consume the feed.  You can click the list tab to return to the Feed page or visit admin/config/services/aggregator.

Now click the add feed button to create a new imported feed.

Drupal aggregator add feed
Add the feed via click the link.

The add feed page requires the following to create a new feed.

  • Title - What are you going to call the feed?
  • URL - This is the source of the feed.
  • Update interval - How often do you want your Drupal site to go out there and check for new feeds?
  • News items in block - How many feeds do you want to show (0 to 20)?
  • Categorize news items - Did you want this feed to assigned to a category?
Drupal Feed aggregator new feed
This example will be pulling general news from Drupal.org. Check the quick hints to the right for more information on Drupal.org's feeds.

When you have your information in, click Save and you will be greeted with a green confirmation box.

Drupal feed aggreagtor example
Your feed has been added.

You can now return to the feed list tab (admin/config/services/aggregator) and you will see your new aggregator feed.

Drupal Feed aggregator category.
You can see your feed and the category.

Now to display your feed via a block.  Navigate to the blocks page at admin/structure/blocks and under the disabled section, you will see your feed listed.  You will also see your aggregator category listed.

Drupal aggregator  blocks
Your aggregator feed blocks.

Activate your block, configure your block, and place it where you want it.  If you need help administering a block, check out our administering a block page.

With your block configured, you might experience a problem like we did.  Our feed did not show up.  After a bit of investigation we discovered our rookie mistake and another overlooked topic.

The rookie mistake was permissions.  We forgot to set permissions.  Navigate to permissions at admin/people/permissions and click the appropriate roles that you want to have permission to see the feed.

Drupal aggregator permissions
We forgot to set the permissions.

The second snafu was back on the feed aggregator page.  We forgot to click the update items link.  We had created a feed but it was still an empty virgin feed.  We needed to populate it.  We could have waited an hour when Drupal would have automatically retrieved and populate it. Instead of waiting, we can click the update items link, and this will force your site to populate the aggregator.

Drupal aggregator update
The red arrow points to the update items link for the impatient.

The aggregator feed created in this example is show below.  If you do use the aggregator, please contact us.  We would like to see a real life powerful example.