Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

How to Fix WordPress RSS Feed Errors (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Are you having trouble with RSS feed errors on your WordPress site?

RSS feeds allow users to subscribe to your blog using apps like Feedly. But, because RSS feeds use the XML markup language, even a small mistake can make the feed unreadable. This means users won’t see your new content in their news feeds.

In this guide, we will help you quickly resolve RSS feed errors in WordPress. We will also discuss what causes these errors and how to prevent them in the future.

Fixing WordPress RSS feed errors

Most Common WordPress RSS Feed Errors

Most common WordPress RSS feed errors are caused by poor formatting.

WordPress outputs RSS feeds in a strict XML markup language. A missing line break or an extra tab can break the RSS feed on your WordPress blog.

The RSS error message will look something like this:

XML Parsing Error: XML or text declaration not at start of entity
Line Number 2, Column 1:

Depending on which browser you are using, your RSS feed error message may vary.

You can also see this error message when visiting your feed in a browser:

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/username/ in /home/username/ on line 1228

If you use FeedBurner or other apps like IFTTT for social sharing automation, the error messages might look different. These errors not only affect your feed but can also disrupt services relying on your WordPress RSS feed for content updates to subscribers.

Having said that, let’s look at what causes these RSS feed errors and how to troubleshoot them. You can use these quick links to skip to a specific step:

Method 1: Use a Feed Validator Tool

Even the smallest formatting error can disrupt your RSS feed. Luckily, there are free online tools that can help you identify these errors, like the W3C Feed Validator.

The first step is to grab your RSS feed URL. In most cases, your WordPress RSS feed URL follows this format: Replace with your actual website address.

Then, visit the W3C Feed Validation tool using the link above. Here, simply paste your RSS feed URL into the designated field and click ‘Check.’

W3C Feed Validation Service

The validator will analyze your feed and display any errors or warnings. Don’t worry if you see some warnings, but errors need to be addressed. The tool provides descriptions of the errors, which can help you pinpoint the issue.

If you are using a WordPress plugin that modifies your website’s RSS feed or creates a new one, then you need to disable that plugin.

If you are unsure, then you can temporarily disable all WordPress plugins.

Simply head to Plugins » Installed Plugins in your WordPress admin dashboard. Then, check the box in the top left corner of the plugins list and choose ‘Deactivate’ from the ‘Bulk actions’ dropdown.

Finally, you will need to click on ‘Apply’.

Deactivate all plugins

Next, check your RSS feed for the error. If the error disappears, then one of the plugins installed on your WordPress website was the culprit.

You can now reactivate your installed plugins one by one and check your RSS feed after activating each plugin. This way, you can find out exactly which plugin is causing the issue.

Once you have located the plugin, you can contact the plugin’s support team for an update or find an alternative plugin that does the same thing.

Check out our top picks for the best WordPress RSS feed plugins to find a suitable alternative.

Method 3: Temporarily Switch to a Default Theme

Occasionally, a poorly coded WordPress theme function can also affect your WordPress RSS feed. To see if the problem is caused by your WordPress theme, you need to temporarily switch to a default WordPress theme.

Simply go to the Appearance » Themes page, and if you already have a default theme installed, then activate it.

Default themes include Twenty Twenty-Three, Twenty Twenty-Two, and so on.

Activating a default WordPress theme

If you don’t have one installed on your website, then add a new one to your WordPress. See our guide on how to install a WordPress theme for step-by-step instructions.

After switching to the default theme, check your WordPress feed for errors. You can visit your feed in a browser window or test it with a feed validator tool.

If the error disappears, then this means your WordPress theme was causing the issue. You can contact the theme author for support or find a new WordPress theme for your website.

Method 4: Fix Your functions.php File

To manually fix RSS feed errors in WordPress, you’ll often need to address poor formatting. This formatting issue is frequently triggered by an extra space after the closing PHP tag in your plugin or theme’s functions.php file.

If you recently added a code snippet to your theme or child theme‘s functions.php file, then you need to open and edit that file.

One thing you need to make sure is that there is no PHP closing tag at the end of the file, as it’s not required.

If there is a closing PHP tag at the end of your functions file, then you need to either remove the tag or make sure that there is no blank space or line breaks after it, like below. Note how there are no lines or spaces after the ?>.

// Your PHP code here


For more information, you can check out our guide on how to fix syntax errors in WordPress.

Method 5: Create a Custom RSS Feed With WPCode

While you can certainly add custom code snippets to your functions.php file to modify your RSS feed, as we discussed earlier, this approach can introduce formatting errors or conflicts if not done carefully.

For a safer and more user-friendly way to create a custom RSS feed, we recommend using the WPCode plugin.

WPCode provides a dedicated interface for adding custom code snippets. This eliminates the need to modify your theme files directly, reducing the chance of breaking your website if a mistake is made in the code.

Plus, your custom RSS feed code will remain separate from the theme files, so it will always remain even after theme updates.

WPCode also has a built-in error-handling feature. If a code snippet you add encounters an error, WPCode can automatically disable it to prevent website malfunctions.

WPCode error warning

For more information, you can check out our guide on how to create a custom RSS feed.

Did you know your permalink settings can also affect your RSS feed? Permalinks are the permanent URLs for your WordPress posts and pages. If your permalink settings aren’t configured correctly, your RSS feed might not display content properly.

One way to fix the issue with permalinks is to regenerate them. You can read our guide on how to regenerate permalinks in WordPress for step-by-step guidance.

We hope this article helped you fix WordPress RSS feed errors on your site. You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to fix the most common WordPress errors and our expert picks for the best social media plugins for WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

28 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on the error but if our methods from the article did not work you could certainly try this :)


  2. Sahariar says

    When i update feedburner rss link, and save website feed link its shows me this error. and for that reason my RSS campaign in Mailchimp was no working properly. “Received HTTP error: “Forbidden” while fetching source feed. “

  3. Babatunde says

    Whenever a user clicks on the RSS feed icon on my website, it displays the XML source code.
    Is this safe for my website?
    If not, how can I solve this issue?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That is fine, the RSS feed by default is set up for sites that crawl your site rather than users to directly visit unless they’re adding it to their preferred RSS tool


  4. Aylin says

    Hi there! My feed only shows my very 2 posts which I deleted later and not use at all. Now I have too many pages on my website but feed is not updated and subscribers do not receive updates. What can I do? Thanks fot he help.

  5. Caroline says

    Thank you! I tried the feed validator tool and got this message: “Feeds should not be served with the “text/html” media type”.

    I clicked on the link but there are no instructions on what to do in WordPress. I also tried the RSS Fix but doesn’t help either! Do you know what I can do about this? Many thanks!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      There are a few possible reasons, you may want to start by disabling your plugins to see if this error is caused by a specific plugin


  6. Wendela Kilmer says

    After migrating to a new theme (Soledad) my “automatic RSS campaign” sent out by MailerLite shows my readers the latest published post in full PLUS three snippets of the same post with a link. No idea where to look to fix this to get rid of the three additional snippets.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For a starting point, you may want to check your MailerLite to ensure it is still set up properly. Your RSS may have looked like it updated when you updated themes.


      • Wendela Kilmer says

        Yes, I checked with MailerLite immediately. They said it is all set up properly with my feed. The feed did not change. I’ve deactivated all my plugins, and nothing made a difference. I put in a support ticket with the PenciDesign about my new theme and they said they do nothing with RSS. I’ve checked my WordPress settings, and all is fine. It is a mystery, and I have no idea where to go from here.

  7. E C Nielsen says

    Most of the 9 RSS feeds I’m subscribed to haven’t been working for some time, I get an error message that seems to be linked to Microsoft :( I tried this morning to see if I could fix the problem, only to have WordPress say I don’t have an account, even though I’ve successfully subscribed to these blogs for years! I don’t get it. I just want my feeds to work again. Help??

  8. Sylver says

    i got this error when i try to import what should i do

    Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function set_magic_quotes_runtime()

  9. Anthony T. says

    Thanks for the tip. For me my RSS Feed for my podcast was throwing the following error: XML parsing error: :1:1: not well-formed (invalid token)

    It ended up being a missed PHP close tag at the end of my functions.php file on the new theme I had installed. It actually may have been attributed to the favicon.ico refusing to be applied when trying to save the settings.

  10. imrane says

    I tried thoses solutions but not worked with me.
    RSS page shows all the text and images of all the posts withous css.

  11. László Várkondi says


    If curl_init or other curl functions disabled on server, it can be also a reason of RSS error in WordPress.

  12. Munna Hossain says

    Great sharing. I have already fix RSS feed errors using this plugin. This is really an excellent plugin. Thanks for your article and many many thanks for your help.

  13. Michael Manago says

    My RSS problems is none of the above. You can view it from my Entries RSS and Comments RSS found in my Meta Tags widget at my right side bar.

    What could be wrong with them?

  14. Wally says

    The problem I have is conflict Mailchimp and 3W cache, mailchimp will not send newsletter out unless I temporary deactivate the 3W. I not able to find someone to help yet. I contacted both no response from both. and sound it has to do with RSS because when I want to create campaign the stage where it ask I get error.
    Thank you

  15. Joseph says

    Nice tips for RSS feed error. I got from Google to fix this error. Thank you for helping me now.

    Have a nice day. I will check back for more tips. God bless you.

  16. John says

    Thanks for the help..
    Still I see 404 not found on links like :”/feeds​/1175639818555185176​/comments​/default”

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.