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What causes RSS feeds to break?

  • The RSS feed (website.com/feed) broke on two of my sites. Not sure what broke it; upgrade to 3.5.1? Move to dedicated IP? Removing white space at the end of wp-config.php seems to have fixed it.

    What causes RSS feeds to break?

    There are a lot of posts about broken RSS feeds with vague solutions, like this one or just do a search on ‘broken feed’. The given solution is usually to uninstall all plugins. Some posters report back that they found a plugin that broke the feed.

    There are also a few plugins that claim to fix broken RSS feeds, like this one and this one.

    But I can’t find an explanation anywhere why feeds break. Is it that fragile? What can I do to prevent it?

    Could the code be updated somewhere to make it less fussy? Does it have to ‘fatal error’?

    It’s a bit weird that a line of whitespace in wp-config.php – or in plugins or functions.php as others have reported – can crash the feed. Is there no way to filter for that?

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