How to Add a Weather Radar to Your Site
By Geoff Whiting
Weather radar gives your website a custom, professional feel for your local area by going beyond the standard widget that displays only the temperature. Adding a radar requires you sign up for a weather service, and these packages usually have monthly costs. After you add the XML feed from the service to your website, the radar automatically updates so you can work on other areas of your site.
Creating Your Radar
Navigate to the Web page of the weather service you want to use, such as Zoom Radar, Weather Underground, The Weather Channel or AccuWeather.
Select the radar service or service plan that you want and purchase the plan.
Use the radar’s customization features to select your city and other data you want your weather radar to track. Some services, such as Zoom Radar, have a sales representative create a map for you after you fill out a form and your payment is processed.
Use the “Generate” button to create your custom radar feed in the XML format. An XML file is essentially a pipe that carries the information you want to display from the source to your own website.
Adding Your Radar
Navigate to your site and open your list of available plugins.
Select a display plugin that supports XML files. The plugin serves as the faucet that turns your XML pipe into something useful. XML-capable plugins differ for each website. For example, WordPress plugins that you could use include SimplePie, XML-Line and WP All Import 3.0.
Open the plugin and select your XML file.
Select the elements you want to include in the setup menu. For radar, you’ll want to include all elements so that weather warnings appear on your radar map.
Adjust your template and design with colors, tags, fields and your own content. If prompted, select any desired elements such as legends or location information.
Press the “Save” or “Publish” button. Your plugin notifies you if it is generating code for you to add to your site or if it is adding the radar directly. Add the code to your desired site location if prompted to do so by the plugin. The radar is now added and updates automatically.
- Radar services can be expensive, but some weather company websites offer free apps that display current temperature or a basic forecast.
- Only add plugins from known and trusted weather services to your website. Plugins can contain malicious code that can harm you or your visitors.
Geoff Whiting is a writer and copy editor who has specialized in business technology, consumer electronics and research reports since 2007. He has written for national magazines like "American Shipper" and "BIC Magazine," has written daily news articles for FierceMarkets, and has crafted research reports for Rider Research, Intel and Spotify.