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WordPress Tutorials

How to Fix WordPress RSS Feed Errors

Are you having RSS feed errors in your WordPress site? RSS feeds is used to subscribe to your blog using apps like feedspot, feedly etc.

RSS feeds are in XML markup language and a small mistake in RSS feeds can make it unreadable and the reader will not see the new content in their feeds.

Mostly apps rely on getting updated content from your WordPress RSS feed. In this tutorial, I will show you how to quickly fix RSS feed errors in WordPress and what are the main causes of those errors and how we can avoid them in future.

Most Common WordPress RSS Feed Errors

Mostly WordPress RSS feed errors occured due to poor formatting.

WordPress RSS feeds output is in XML that is a strict markup language. One missing line can break your RSS feed.

RSS feed message error looks like this

XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity
Location: http://example.com/feed
Line Number 2, Column 1:

Your RSS feed error message depends on what browser you are using.

You can also have this error message while visiting your feed in a browser.

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/example.com/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/functions.php:433) in /home/username/example.com/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 1228

If you are using FeedBurner, then your errors may look entirely different.

Let’s see what causes these RSS feed errors and how can we fix those RSS feed errors.

Fixing RSS Feed Errors in WordPress Manually

As we have already discussed that the main reason of RSS feeds to show error is bad formatting. This is caused by a blank space when the PHP tag is closed in theme’s functions.php file or a plugin file.

If you have added a code snippet in your theme or child theme’s functions.php file then you also need to edit your functions file.

If you see any closing PHP tag at the end of your functions file, then you have to make sure that you give no extra space or any line breaks.

The best practice is to remove the PHP tag at the end of the file as it is not required and also doing this would definitely fix your RSS feed error.

If you are using any plugin that creates a new RSS feed or modify your website’s RSS feed then you have to disable that plugin.

If you are not sure then you can disable all the WordPress plugins temporary.

RSS feed errors disable plugins

Next step is to check your RSS feed for any error. If the error resolves then this indicates one of your installed plugin in your website is having issues

You can activate all the installed plugins and check your RSS feed after activating plugin one by one. In this way you will find out which plugin is actually causing the error.

Once you have found out the plugin that causes an error then you can contact the plugin owner for any updates or any alternative plugin for the same work.

Temporarily Switch to a Default Theme

Poor coded WordPress theme function is also one of the reasons that can affect your WordPress RSS feed. If you want to see that your theme is affecting your WordPress RSS feed then you have to switch your site to default WordPress theme temporarily.

For this you have to go to Appearance -> Themes page and if you already have a default theme installed then activate it.

Activate WordPress default theme

Default themes are Twenty Nineteen, twenty Seventeen and more. If you don’t have default theme installed on your website, then you can install and activate it.

Add New Default Theme

After installing and switching to default theme, check your website for feed errors. You can test it with a feed validator tool.

If the error resolves, then this shows that your WordPress theme is the issue. You can find a new theme or contact the previous theme author.

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