Support » Installing WordPress » What is “feed:http: etc.” and why is it broken?

  • Resolved martonic


    I just installed WordPress and at the bottom of the page there are two links “Entries (RSS)” and “Comments (RSS)” that map to URLS starting with “feed:http:” and when you click them you get “The Page Cannot Be Displayed”. So:

    Why does a new install include broken links?
    What in the world is “feed:http: etc.”?
    How do I fix this?

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Feed is a protocol for RSS feed readers. It’s similar to http:// for web browsers. If you have installed a feed reader that supports the feed: protocol, it would open up and read from the RSS feed. Since you got an error page, you most likely don’t have one installed.

    What “feed reader” should I install? Will this ensure that visitors to the site, who click on these links, won’t get an error message?

    I still don’t understand this. What would a visitor to the site expect to see when they click these links? Can I either meet that expectation, or remove the links – and if so, how?

    Jeez! There is a link below the posts that says “RSS feed for this thread” and when I click that, I also get “This Page Cannot Be Displayed”. Does that mean that the “feed reader” must be installed on the end-users computer? If so, I really want to remove those links so that visitors don’t think our site is broken. Any suggestions? I looked at “sidebar.php” and “admin-footer.php” but the word “feed” is not included! So what to do?

    if you want to remove them go into footer.php in your template directory and remove the link… as far as the ones after each post… I would think you would need to go into the function call and edit that…

    But are you sure you want to do this? What if you have a visitor that wants an rss feed for your page???

    Moderator James Huff


    The problem you are experiencing is due to the new (and not yet assimilated) feed: protocol. This protocol should (technically) launch your favorite news reader and either subscribe to or check the feed for new articles. To remove it, go to footer.php (or sidebar.php) and change this:

    <a href="feed:<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>">Entries (RSS)</a>

    to this:

    <a href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>">Entries (RSS)</a>

    (basically, remove “feed:“)

    Do the same for the comments feed.

    rss (Rich Site Summary )

    Thank you for this information and advice – however, where is footer.php and where is the template directory? I can’t find either one.

    I get a kick out of all the comments by discombobulated posters regarding this nonissue. No one gets all upset because users might get an error when they click on any other link to which the user does not have a program to run – mailto and ftp included. “Page cannot be displayed” is just another reason why people should not be using antiquated IE.

    Displaying the feed as if it were source html without any styling makes the page look “broken” to those who don’t know what a “feed” is anyway. If the user does not have a feedreader, then they should get a “protocol not registered”

    <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″ ?>
    – <!– generator=”wordpress/1.5.2″
    – <rss version=”2.0″ xmlns:content=”this-page-must-be-broken ;-)” xmlns:wfw=”Oh well, I didn’t get an error” xmlns:dc=”So I will move on and remain ignorant for now”>
    – <channel>

    Edit: The footer is is in your theme directory. Macmanx, you sound like a Borg… but it is “not yet fully assimilated” ‘cuz I certainly have been assimilated 😉

    “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”

    Using this information, I was able to remove the links. Since feed: is new, and is unlikely to be used by most of our viewers, I am satisfied with this solution. I may update it in future to use a graphic link with an explanation.

    Thanks everyone, for your kind assistance!

    Moderator James Huff


    Martonic, I’m glad that worked for you.

    Beel, that’s exactly what I thought when I wrote it. ^_-

    I’m sure this has been griped about to no end, but I want to add my voice to those calling for theme authors to do away with the feed: protocol entirely. The bottom line is that it doesn’t work as expected for the vast majority of web users.

    Users of web-based aggregators (which are growing in popularity) have to copy the feed URL to subscribe to it, and having feed: in the URL breaks it. I don’t see why users of desktop aggregators can’t just copy the URL like the rest of us, instead of insisting on a protocol-within-a-protocol.

    Food for thought: Direct links to the iTunes Music Store, which use the http: protocol, but go through that stuff to open up iTunes on the user’s computer. That makes more sense to me than embedding a foreign protocol within a hyperlink.

    @beel: I think the widespread uselessness of mailto: links for webmail users (unless they have Firefox extensions to deal with them) illustrates this point perfectly. It would be easy to just copy the email address to my clipboard, but I always had to delete the mailto: part (though now I use WebMail Compose). We shouldn’t repeat the same mistake for RSS feeds.

    We don’t need more protocols – everything is becoming more browser-based anyway.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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