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

Are you seeing RSS feed errors on your WordPress site?

RSS feeds help users subscribe to your blog using news reader apps like Feedly. However, since RSS feeds are published in the XML markup language, a tiny mistake in the feed can make it unreadable, and users will not be able to see new content in their news feeds.

Other apps also rely on getting content updates from your WordPress RSS feed. For example, if you use IFTTT to automate social sharing of your new posts, then that will stop working as well.

In this article, we will show you how to easily fix RSS feed errors in WordPress. We will also talk about what causes those errors and how to avoid 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 XML, which is a strict 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 are using FeedBurner, then your errors may look different.

Having said that, let’s look at what causes these RSS feed errors and how to fix them.

Manually Fixing RSS Feed Errors in WordPress

Poor formatting is the most likely reason your RSS feeds show errors. This poor formatting can be caused by a blank space after the closing PHP tag in a plugin or your 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 edit your functions file.

If there is a closing PHP tag at the end of your functions file, then you need to make sure that there is no extra space or line breaks after it.

Ideally, the closing PHP tag is not required at the end of the file. This is why it is best to remove the closing PHP tag altogether.

We also recommend using WPCode for inserting code snippets in the future. This plugin enables you to insert code snippets into your website without editing your functions.php file. Plus, its smart code validation will help prevent common code errors that could break your site.

For more details, please see our guide on how to easily add custom code in WordPress.

This should fix the problem in most cases. However, if it does not fix your RSS feed error, then continue reading.

Disable RSS Feed Related Plugins

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 WordPress 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 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.

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.

Activate default WordPress theme

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

If you don’t have one installed on your website, then you can click on the ‘Add New’ button to install and activate it. See our guide on how to install a WordPress theme for step-by-step instructions.

Install and activate a default WordPress theme

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.

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 increase your website traffic 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.

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Reader Interactions

25 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. 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. “

  2. 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?

    • 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


  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    • 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


  5. 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.

    • 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.


      • 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.

  6. 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??

  7. 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()

  8. 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.

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

  10. Hi,

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

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