Have you encountered RSS feed errors on your WordPress site? RSS feeds enable users to subscribe to your blog using news readers like The Old Reader or Feedbin.
Because RSS feeds are published in XML markup, a single misplaced comma can ruin a feed, making it unreadable for users.
WordPress RSS feeds are also an important source of content for some other apps. For example, if you use IFTTT to promote your posts on social networks, then that won’t work too.
Throughout this article, you will learn how to fix RSS feed errors in WordPress. In addition, we will discuss what caused these errors and how they may be prevented in the future.
Knowing how RSS works first will help you to better understand RSS errors. It is especially important for you to know that your RSS feed is created in XML, a markup language that facilitates data sharing.
The structure of the XML document must be extremely precise to function appropriately. Even something as simple as misplaced line breaks can ruin it. The most common WordPress RSS feed errors can be attributed to this problem.
A badly coded RSS plugin is another possible cause. Errors can indeed be caused by compatibility issues between plugins.
Finally, themes are less common but still notable culprits when it comes to WordPress RSS feed errors. There may be a layout issue that is preventing your RSS feed from generating properly, or a feature provided by your theme may conflict with your feed.
Your code is generally the cause of RSS feed errors in WordPress. Hopefully, you don’t need any prior experience with XML to fix the issue.
Here is what the RSS error message will look like:
XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity Location: http://mywebsite.com/feed Line Number 3, Column 1:
RSS feed error messages may vary depending on your browser.
Your RSS feeds showing errors most likely come from poor formatting, like an apparent blank space after the closing PHP tag in a plugin or in the functions.php file related to your theme.
There should not be any extra space or line breaks following a PHP closing tag in your functions file.
Ideally, closing PHP tags are not necessary at the end of a file. Therefore, you should remove this tag from your code entirely.
The functions.php file can be accessed in two ways.
Use a FTP client like FileZilla to connect to your server if you’re comfortable with FTP. Locate functions.php in wp-content > themes > your-active-theme. Then, open the file and check there is no extra space or line breaks at the end of the file, or remove the tag.
If you prefer, you can also log on to your site and go to Appearance > Theme Editor and edit functions.php from there. Scroll to the bottom and remove the php tag.
Most of the time, this will fix the problem. However, continue reading if the error persists.
If the RSS feed error remains, you should disable any WordPress plugins that change your site’s RSS feed. The most well-known RSS feed plugins for WordPress are Feedzy, RSSImport, Category Specific RSS, WP RSS Aggregator.
If you don’t know which plugin is accountable, feel free to temporarily turn off all WordPress plugins.
If the error does not appear on your RSS feed, then it means one of the plugins installed on your website was the culprit.
You can now activate each plugin individually, and check your RSS feed after each activation. This will help you figure out which plugin is causing the problem.
When you have identify the plugin causing the RSS feed error, deactivate it and contact their support or look for an alternative.
If the RSS feed errors remains, keep reading!
The next place you should check is your WordPress theme. There is a chance that one of the features might clash with your native RSS feed, or perhaps it’s a layout issue that prevents it from working correctly.
Moreover, when modifying your RSS feed by using a plugin, your theme may become incompatible. Installing the standard WordPress theme (Twenty Twenty-One) is the easiest way to find out.
To switch your theme, go to Appearance > Themes, and then click on Activate.
After that, go back to your site and check if your RSS feed is working properly.
If the feed is now being displayed correctly, then you know the problem is your theme. Two options are available to you at this point. The first thing you can do is replace it another theme that works with your RSS feed.
The second method is to contact your theme’s developer or support team to find out if they can troubleshoot this issue.
You may also be interested about my article on How to Fix HTTP Error When Uploading Image in WordPress.