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How to Fix WordPress RSS Feed Errors

The WP Umbrella Team

WordPress RSS feed not working?

Your WordPress RSS feed can be a critical part of your site. It enables users to keep up with your latest posts without constantly checking your website.

However, like anything in the world of technology, things can go wrong. If you’ve noticed your RSS feed in WordPress is acting up, you’ve come to the right place.

RSS Feed Errors

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.


  • WordPress RSS feed errors are usually caused by poorly formatted code, malfunctioning plugins, or incompatible themes. There are various methods to troubleshoot these issues, and online tools are available to assist you.

Understanding the Importance of RSS Feeds in WordPress

RSS feeds not only allow users to subscribe to your content via newsreaders like The Old Reader or Feedbin, but they’re also a valuable source of organic traffic.

Applications like IFTTT rely on your WordPress RSS feed URL to promote posts on social media platforms automatically. So, a malfunctioning feed is definitely something you want to fix ASAP.

Knowing how RSS works first will help you to better understand RSS errors. RSS feeds are 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.

This error can also come from a poorly coded RSS plugin, or 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.

Data-Backed Insight

According to a study by W3Techs, WordPress powers 41% of all websites. Given this, a staggering number of people depend on WordPress RSS feeds for both content distribution and consumption.

WordPress RSS Feed Errors Examples

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.

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How to Troubleshoot RSS Feed Errors

Step 1: Review Your Code

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 of your theme.

Closing PHP tags at the end of a file is not mandatory. 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.

theme editor wordpress

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.

Step 2: Turn Off RSS Feed Plugin

The most well-known RSS feed plugins for WordPress include Feedzy, RSSImport, Category Specific RSS, and WP RSS Aggregator. Deactivate them one by one to identify the offender.

plugins deactivation wordpress

If the error stop to appear on your RSS feed, then it means one of the plugins installed on your website was the culprit.

Once you find it, reach out to their support team or look for an alternative.

If the WordPress RSS feed errors remain, keep reading!

Step 3: Temporarily Switch Back To WordPress Default Theme

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.

theme selection wordpress

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.

Tools to Make Your Life Easier

Use online tools like the W3C Feed Validator to check if your WordPress RSS Feed URL is correctly structured. This simple step can save you a lot of headache.

Frequently asked questions about backup plugins

How do I enable RSS feeds in WordPress?

Go to the Appearance section of your WordPress admin area and click Widgets. When you are in the RSS widget, click on Add. To edit the RSS widget, click Edit in the Current Widgets section on the right. Choose what item details to display (optional) and type the RSS feed URL.

How do I refresh my WordPress RSS feed?

You can do this by going to your Dashboard and clicking Settings. Navigate to Reading. Change the number in the box next to “Syndication feeds show the most recent”. Put 2 instead of 5 or whatever you want.

How do I know if my RSS feed is working?

Go to https://validator.w3.org/feed/ and enter the link in the “Address” field and click “Check” to see if the feed URL is valid or not.

Where is my RSS feed in WordPress?

Typically, your website’s RSS feed URL is located in the /feed/ folder. You will find your feed at www.website.com/feed if your site is www.website.com