How to fix errors in the WordPress RSS Feed

When I talk about RSS Feed it may sound like Chinese to you, but for years it has been a widely used method to subscribe to the contents of blogs and websites.

RSS feeds in the past

Services such as Google Reader (closed) and Feedly, contributed to the use of RSS feeds as an alternative method of reading the contents of your favorite sites from a centralized location, without having to visit each website.

So, all you had to do was add the feed address of a site created with WordPress to view its content in a clean environment, organized by custom folders, and without distractions.

RSS feeds in the present and future

But, although for a while it seemed that RSS feeds no longer had a present, let alone a future, they suddenly came back to life, stronger than ever.

And the “culprits” of this renaissance have been none other than social publishing automation services and newsletter delivery systems, and there are no services more popular today than these.

Newsletters services like MailerLite or Mailchimp, or automation services like IFTTT or dlvr.it use the RSS feed to send the new web publications to the subscribers by email or to the followers of your favorite social networks, respectively.

What these services do is collect from the XML source of your RSS feed the new contents and send them to your subscribers and/or followers, automatically.

By the way, in case you didn’t know, every WordPress site has an RSS feed, and you can see it by going to the address mydomain.com/feed/

Most common errors with the WordPress RSS feed

Given the undoubted usefulness of RSS feeds today, there are times when you simply cannot use them because they have errors, and the newsletter or automation service will detect those errors in the RSS feed and you will not be able to use them for these fantastic utilities.

The most common errors are:

  • XML Parsing Error
  • Errors with XML encoding and/or formatting
  • Does not exist (or seems not to exist)

And the possible solutions are the following…

Solutions to errors with WordPress RSS feeds

Starting at the end, if for some reason the service you want to use your WordPress RSS feed doesn’t recognize it, it may not recognize the redirection to mydomain.com/feed/ or it may be miscreated for some reason.

Because, yes, /feed/ is a redirection, in fact your WordPress RSS feeds have another address, but you can access them with any of these addresses:

  • feed-atom-comments.php
  • feed-atom.php
  • feed-rdf.php
  • feed-rss.php
  • feed-rss2-comments.php
  • feed-rss2.php
  • feed.php
  • And, of course, /feed/

So, if the default URL doesn’t work, you can use those other addresses, for example: mydomain.com/feed-rss2.php.

If the error is coding, I would first encourage you to test your RSS feed in the W3C Feed Validator. This will show you all the possible errors in your RSS feed.

You can find errors of all kinds, including XML Parsing, but how do I fix them?

Well, there are several ways:

Edit your RSS feed

This is something that we will discard from now on, since the RSS feed is something dynamic, which we must manage in a different way.

Try to correct it automatically with a plugin

A solution that works in many cases, especially for XML Parsing errors, is to install Fix My Feed RSS Repair plugin and, from the plugin’s settings page, apply the automatic correction.

Just click on the “Fix Feed” button and fix lots of typical problems.

Disable plugins

Yes, even a plugin can destroy your RSS feed, many of them. So one possible solution is to disable all plugins and test your RSS feed.

If it does, activate them one by one and test again until you detect which plugin is causing the problem, and alert the developer to find a solution and/or switch to another plugin that offers the same functionality.

Change theme

Although it may seem radical, a lot happens, and there are issues in which the developer has not taken the least care to ensure that it has the correct headers so that RSS feeds are generated correctly, or it may even happen that it has none or that some of them are missing.

The test is simple, switch to a default WordPress theme and see if the RSS feed works now, if it does you know, the same as with plugins, warn the developer or change the theme.

Change permalinks

Do you remember the permalinks?

Well, it turns out that there are situations, usually due to the themes, in which using the simple permanent links (mydomain.com/?p=1234)cause the RSS feed not to work.

The check in this case is to switch to nice links (e.g.: mydomain.com/name-entry/)and try to see if your RSS feed already works.

And nothing more, it’s your turn, if you have any questions or want to give us another possible solution to problems with RSS feeds I encourage you to leave a comment and we’ll talk about it.

Read this post in Spanish: Cómo corregir errores del RSS Feed de WordPress

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