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[resolved] RSS Feeds Don't Work (25 posts)

  1. mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Help, please! My RSS feeds aren't working right.

    Background on my skill level:
    I have a new, as yet unpublicised blog created with WordPress. (Wow! Thanks to all you who maintain and create this wonderful software!) I am not a programmer of html or anything else. However, I have used MS Frontpage for many years to create and maintain my non-blog, non-WordPress website and have, once in a while, poked in the html view in Frontpage to put in Google AdSense ads or make other monkey-with-a-Swiss-Army-knife type tweaks.

    The current situation:
    To create pages in my new blog (new webhost, new URL), I used WordPress Dashboard as an ordinary user [non-programmer], working with "Visual" tab, not the "Code" tab. I then uploaded and installed from the WordPress approved theme library "Positive Feeling 1.2 by Roy Tanck." Beautiful theme! (Thanks, Roy!)

    Using Internet Explorer 6.0, when I click on the pre-programmed "RSS" link or the "Comments RSS" link, I get the message "The page cannot be displayed...currently unavailable." Here are the respective URLs of these links:
    RSS link: feed:http://www.bestfreetraining.net/?feed=rss2
    Comments RSS: feed:http://www.bestfreetraining.net/?feed=comments-rss2

    The WordPress Feed Validation Service, when applied to either of these feeds reports: "Congratulations! This is a valid RSS feed."

    Using Firefox 2.0.0.9, when I click on these feed links, they allow me to establish a proper feed link -- at least to My Yahoo page. However, after I set them up on My Yahoo, the links display, but do not appear to be actively working -- they don't update when I change something at my blog.

    What's a non-programmer to do?? I'm afraid to publicise the site until this is resolved.
    Thanks.
    Mike Greer

  2. ucla74
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Try feedburner.com. If it tells you that your feed is valid, then I'm guessing it's just an update delay. I use Google Reader and it can be hours between a post and having it appear in the reader.

  3. mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Could you clarify? What do you mean by "try feedburner.com?" (Newbie needs steps, please.)
    Thanks for your reply.

  4. moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    feed:http://www.bestfreetraining.net/?feed=rss2

    Delete the word feed: from the beginning!

    And it will update only if you add new posts. I added your feed (with the correction above) to MyYahoo and it displays 3 posts... 1 written a day ago and 2 written 2 days ago.

  5. mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thanks, Moshu, for being there! Now then, FYI: I added a test post just a few hours ago. Shouldn't it have displayed? (I'll forget about this for now... back to your suggestion.)

    In the meantime, you said: "Delete the word feed: from the beginning!"

    OK. This blind man is finding his way around the elephant! Here's what I did:
    1. I went to the blog's home page with IE Explorer.
    2. I clicked on "view source"
    3. I scrolled around and found this: "<h2>Meta</h2>"
    4. I looked beneath that and found what I believe to be the offending entries, each beginning: "

  6. <a href="feed:http://www.bestfre..."

    Cool! You directed me to the problem! Now, how can I edit this page? In particular,
    1. What is the name of this page? (so I can find it on my server)
    2. How can I edit/save it? (i.e., using what editing application -- is Notepad okay?)
    3. Are these "deeper" type files available to me for editing from WordPad's Administrator Dashboard? If so, were in the Dashboard should I go to find this capability?

    Moshu, I know I write long-winded stuff. (I am a writer, after all!) And I really appreciate your help. But I think I am really close to resolving this and leaving you alone! So, begging your patience one more time...

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    a. Re updating.
    Is the update services there in your blog?
    (Options > Writing... below)

    b. Editing.
    The best way to do it: edit on your computer and upload the files via FTP to the server. Notepad is very OK :)

    What is displayed on your blog is always defined by the template files in your theme (active theme).
    This particular link in your sidebar should be in... sidebar.php - at least in most normal themes it should be there.

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    re: a. Re updating.
    In Dashboard, in the grey box at the bottom, under "Update Services...WordPress automatically notifies..." is listed: "http://rpc.pingomatic.com/"
    That's all.

    re: b. editing
    I searched my Host server and found a whole bunch of "sidebar.php" -- I suppose this is because I downloaded and installed some 13 or so themes to test. Anyway, all my "sidebar.php" files are either here:
    Public_html/wp-content/themes/[theme name]/sidebar.php
    or... here:
    Public_html/wp-admin/sidebar.php
    Which one should be edited?

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Again. You do NOT edit anything online - aka on your server.

    I assume you have all those themes on your computer... since you said you have downloaded and installed XX themes.

    Now forget the server and go and find the theme on your own computer.
    The one that is in use now and you want to edit. And edit its own sidebar. Nothing else.

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hmmm... I only have zip files on my computer.

    I followed what I believed to be the instructions for adding themes, which told me to download a zip file for each theme to my computer, then upload each of these and unpack them on my server. All editing and setup of the blog has been online, using the installed WordPress (Dashboard) on my server. I have no WordPress-related application on my computer. My computer has only zip files, one for each theme.

    Could I use FTP to download a copy of the appropriate file from my server to my computer, then edit it using notepad, then upload it back to the appropriate directory?

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Could I use FTP to download a copy of the appropriate file from my server to my computer, then edit it using notepad, then upload it back to the appropriate directory?

    BINGO!

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    THANKS! I'll try this. (FYI: I was afraid to edit anything in a particular theme's directory, because I thought that the theme somehow used all its files to generate the site ... and there was some sort of "user" directory that my modifications to the theme were kept. Anyway, I'll let you know how it works.)

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Crap! Uploaded the edited file to:
    public_html/wp-content/themes/positive-feeling-10
    and it still doesn't work.

    One new line now reads:

    <li><a href="<?php">" title="<?php _e('Syndicate this site using RSS'); ?>"><?php _e('RSS'); ?></a></li>
    Other new line now reads:

    <li><a href="<?php">" title="<?php _e('The latest comments to all posts in RSS'); ?>"><?php _e('Comments RSS'); ?></a></li>

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    You may want to try again posting that code! Put backtick around it `
    (they are usually on the left tp, where ~ [tilde] is)

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Where should I put the ` mark? In the meantime, I've tried all kinds of combinations, with weird results. I need to run some errands, then I'll try again later this evening. (Sure am glad I haven't "gone public" with this site yet!)
    Thanks.

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I have tried all sorts of combinations of deleting stuff, adding stuff, and everything else a non-programmer might try in a monkey-like fashion.

    The bottom line: I have restored the original sidebar.php from the theme. The RSS feed buttons work fine with Firefox (and always have) but do NOT work right with Internet Explorer (at least on my machine... IE6). Could anyone else try using IE and let me know? The buttons are in http://www.bestfreetraining.net , right column, front page.

    I'm out of ideas. I give up for now.

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Paste you sidebar.php to http://wordpress.pastebin.ca
    and post back the URL

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I pasted it. The URL is:

    http://wordpress.pastebin.ca/795414

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    http://wordpress.pastebin.ca/795441
    and that's the corrected version

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Thank you for your continued effort, Moshu.
    I went to the pastebin's corrected code (bottom window), copied it to a blank Notepad file, saved it in ANSI form, uploaded it to the proper directory, refreshed the main page of the blog site. Using IE, when I press the RSS button, the following opens in a separate IE Window:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    - <!-- generator="wordpress/2.3.1"
    -->
    - <rss version="2.0" xmlns:content="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:wfw="http://wellformedweb.org/CommentAPI/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/">
    - <channel>
    ...[etc., etc., ...]

    A similar thing happens when I press the Comments RSS button.

    However, Firefox (good old Firefox) behaves properly and goes to a formatted Window with icons, etc. saying, "Subscribe to this feed using...[etc.]"

    Does your Internet Explorer by any chance display the same thing when you press these buttons? Or do you get a formatted box allowing a feedreader to be chosen?

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I don't understand this obesession with what YOU see in different browsers. Feeds are NOT for human eyes, they are for machines/software that can read it.

    Your feeds are completely valid:
    http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestfreetraining.net%2F%3Ffeed%3Drss2

    So, what is the issue???

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    When I have visited other blogs and clicked on "RSS" icons, [no matter which browser I am using (IE6 or Firefox)], the result I see is a box with choices to direct the feed to a feed reader. So I simply thought that users of IE who clicked on my "RSS" icons and got a page of code in their faces would be confused. (I know my wife and other blogging newbies have been confused by this display.) However, the Firefox browser delivers a completely understandable box, nicely formatted, and set of choices to the newbie user. I was simply trying to get my blog's RSS icons to behave like such icons behave in other blogs when displayed by IE... since IE is by far the most widely used.

    However, if you say everything is okay and my blog is ready for prime time, then I'll trust your judgment, since I'm new to this whole thing.

    Finally, I would very much like to thank you for enduring what must have been very frustrating newbie ignorance on my part and for editing my code. And I'd like to properly credit your help. So please email me any real name, contact info, or however you'd like to be publicly identified to: greers_pm@yahoo.com

    Many, many thanks.
    Mike G.

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    Hmmm...
    I think I begin to understand what are you talking about. Not sure but let me give it a try.

    By default WP produces the feeds - which is, as I said, a code to be read by machines, not human eyes.
    On the other hand, a blogger can direct their feeds to an aggregator/feed service - most likely that's what you saw on other blogs.

    Please, visit this dev blog of mine:
    http://www.transycan.net/blogtest/
    and click on the orange button in the right sidebar. Is that what you would like to see?
    - That's feed through Feedburner services.
    Next, scroll down to the Meta section of the sidebar and click on RSS link: it will give you the raw code view.

    Are we talking about the same things?

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    re: "the orange button in the right sidebar. Is that what you would like to see?"

    YES...YES... indeed, YES!

    re: "the Meta section of the sidebar and click on RSS link: it will give you the raw code view."

    YIKES! this item behaves EXACTLY like mine does... and it is under "Meta" -- ergo, mine is behaving as any knowledgable person would expect it to behave, right?

    It seems I've been asking a pig to sing. Hmmm... can you recommend how I might get one of these orange buttons properly and surgically inserted into my sidebar, above the "Meta?" If there are step-by-step instructions somewhere, then I'll go fetch them.

  • moshu
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    It is relatively straightforward...
    1. Go to feedburner.com
    2. Sign up
    3. follow the instructions
    4. it will give you the code to insert into your sidebar
    5. edit your sidebar.php and put in the code; upload the file

  • mikegreer
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    IT'S DONE! And IT WORKS in both browsers exactly as hoped it would.

    FYI: Feedburner suggests WordPress users should download and activate their suggested plugin (Feedburner Feedsmith) This is easy to do, and it works fine. Then you go to the part where you try to Optimize your feed and activate the chicklet (Feedburner icon) on your site. The code they generate is fine... works well. However, Feedburner's instructions for placing this code in your blog using WordPress Dashboard did not work properly.

    Feedburner recommended: [In WordPress Dashboard] Go to Presentation, Sidebar, Widgets, drag text box from "Available Widgets," edit text [paste code], then save. This had no effect on my sidebar.

    Here's what worked (finally!): [In WordPress Dashboard] Go to Presentation, Theme Editor, and make sure you will be editing the right theme. Then select the theme element you want to edit -- in my case, Sidebar. Now drop you Feedburner code in the Sidebar code box and click Update File. I had to experimment with the placement of the code by viewing the finished page, then rediting [dropping it in different locations].

    OK. So now all is well. I wanted to document the above for anyone reading the archives who might be as ignorant of all this stuff as I am.

    Again, THANK YOU, MOSHU for your patience and support. If you ever need any help copyediting something, please let me know [greers_pm@yahoo.com]. In the meantime, I have listed your Playing with WordPress home page among my links in a category all its own: "Blog Builders and Maintainers." If you want this changed, let me know.

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