The role of RSS feeds on your website is to help your users subscribe to your blog through news reader apps. RSS feeds are published through the XML markup language. Even a small mistake in the feed can make the entire feed unreadable. As a result of this, your website users will not be able to view the content they subscribed to in their news feeds.
Other apps also depend upon your RSS feeds for getting the content updates of your website. For instance, if you utilize IFTTT for social sharing of your posts, then it would stop working as well.
This article provides information about easily fixing the WordPress RSS feed errors along with their causes. Read on…
The Most Common WordPress RSS Feed Errors:
The most frequently occurring and common RSS feed errors are caused due to poor formatting. The RSS feed outputs are implemented through XML in WordPress and XML is a markup language. If there is a missing line, a line break or an extra tab, the RSS feed can break completely.
You will come across the following RSS feed error:
XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity
Line Number 2, Column 1:
Your RSS feed error message might vary in accordance with the browser that you are using. You can also view this error message when you view your feed in the 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 make use of ‘FeedBurner’, then you will get different error messages.
Now let’s have a look at the causes of RSS feed errors and solutions for fixing them:
Like mentioned earlier, poor formatting is the most common cause of RSS feed errors. Poor formatting that includes a blank space after a PHP closing tag in a plugin or due to the formatting in your theme’s function.php file.
If you have currently added some code snippet to your theme or to the child theme’s functions.php file, then you must check and modify your functions file again.
In case there is a closing PHP tag present at the end of your functions file, you must check that there should be no extra space or a line break after that.
Ideally, there is no need to have a closing PHP tag at the end of your functions file. It is recommended to remove the closing php tag completely.
This will fix the issue in most of the cases; however after doing this if you still encounter RSS feed errors then read further…
Disable The Plugins Related To RSS Feeds
If you have installed any WordPress plugin that automatically modifies the RSS feed of your website or if it creates a new RSS feed, then you must disable this plugin.
If you are not sure about which plugin is causing the RSS feed error, then you can temporarily disable all the WordPress plugins.
Your next step is to analyze your RSS feed for the error. If the error is not shown anymore, then the cause of the error was one of the plugins that you are using.
Now that the error has disappeared, you can activate all your plugins again. However, make sure that you activate the plugins one by one and simultaneously keep checking on your RSS feeds after activating every plugin. In this way you will be able to determine the exact plugin that was causing the RSS feed error.
Once you find out the respective plugin, you can get in touch with the plugin’s support team for an update or you can use an alternative plugin that does not cause any RSS feed error.
Switch To A Default Theme Temporarily
If any WordPress theme function is poorly coded, it can have an effect on the RSS feeds of your website. In order to check if the problem is caused due to your WordPress theme, you must switch to the default WordPress theme.
For this you need to go to Appearance > Themes and activate the default theme.
The default themes comprise of Twenty Nineteen, Twenty Seventeen, Twenty Sixteen and so on. In case you don’t have a default theme on your website, then you will have to click on the ‘Add New’ button in order to install it and activate it.
Once you switch to the default theme, check your WordPress RSS feed for any error. You can check your feed in a browser window or you can test it through a feed validation tool.
If the error is not shown, then it means that it was caused due to your WordPress theme. You can contact the creator of the theme for support or you can opt for a new theme for your website.