This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Feed Key


Feed Key adds a 32bit (or 40bit) key for each of your users, creating a unique feed url for every registered on user the site. This allows you to restrict you feeds to registered users only.

Feed Key is a side project of another of my plugins Members Only. It has some expanded option on how the Feed Keys are generated. You don’t need to use both plugins.



  1. Added the ability for Administrators to remove a User’s Feed Key as well as reset it.
  2. Fixed a problem where Feed Keys weren’t working properly due to a typo from converting it from Members Only.


  1. Initial release.


The settings for Feed Key are very straight forward. You can choose how the Feed Keys on your site are generated with controls over the character set of the input key, the length of the input key, what to use as the salt when hashing the input key and what algorithm(s) you what to hash the input key with.

You can also choose whether user of your site can reset their own Feed Keys from their user profiles or you can leave this to Admins.

Feed Keys

What are Feed Keys?

Feed Keys, are unique 32bit (or 40bit) keys that are added to your blog’s URL in order to give every registered user a custom feed URL.
A Feed Key looks something like this: 206914af21373cc4792a057b067d2448

This is then appended to the feed url for your user in their User Profile, like the examples below, either without permalinks…

…or with permalinks

When a user visits a feed on your site, Members Only checks to see if there is a Feed Key in the query section of the feed URL and checks whether it is stored in the @wp_usermeta@ table of your WordPress database. If it finds the Feed Key in the database it allows access to the feed, otherwise it presents the user an error. An error will also be give if no Feed Key is found in the feed URL. Errors are presented to the user in form of RSS feeds that are generated by Feed Key.

How and When are Feed Keys Generated?

By default, a Feed Key is generated by creating a 32bit random alpha-numeric-case-insensitive string that is then hashed (using md5) against the user’s username, insuring that no two users can ever have the same.

You can choose to use sha1, rather than md5, to hash your Feed Keys and you will have a 40bit rather than a 32bit key. If your using both sha1 and md5, the key length of the Feed Key is governed by the algorithm used last. You also have control over the character set used to generate the input key, as well as the length. The input key is hashed against either the user’s username or email to create the Feed Key.

Feed Keys are generated for the first time when the user logs in to your blog. If they don’t have a Feed Key, one generated for them and stored in the wp_usermeta table in your database, otherwise they will use the one that is already stored in the database. An admin can also manually generate a Feed Key for a user by visiting there user profile and choosing the option.

If you allow it, users can also reset their Feed Keys from their user profiles or you can leave this to Admins.

Known Issues

No known issues at this time.

If you find any bugs or want to request some additional features for future releases, please log them the projects tracker page


  • Options for Feed Key
  • Displaying Feed Keys in a user's profile
  • Admin option for generating a user's Feed Key


This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.

  1. Download the PHP File
  2. Upload feed-key.php file into your wp-content/plugins/ directory
  3. In your WordPress Administration Area, go to the Plugins page and click Activate for Feed Key

Once you have Feed Key installed and activated your feeds will only be accessable when using a valid Feed Key.

Contributors & Developers

“Feed Key” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “Feed Key” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.