The other day, I came across a beautiful WordPress theme. I downloaded and installed the theme. After a few days, I suddenly realized that my blog feed was not getting detected by browsers. The major implication of this was that my feed was not getting published on some of the blogging networks I had submitted my blog to.
The above scenario describes a ‘not so common’ problem which mostly goes unnoticed. It’s because your feeds get displayed quite normally on the feeds page (blog.com/feed). The problem lies with the automatic detection of feed by browsers.
Is My Feed Getting Detected?
If you are using Mozilla Firefox, check out for the feed icon at the extreme right of the address bar.
If you can see the icon, all is well. If not, something’s wrong.
(Update: Firefox 4 has done away with the RSS icon. You can get it back using the RSS Icon add-on for Firefox)
You can also use the feed validator. Enter your blog URL (http://www.blog.com) in the address field and click on the ‘check’ button. You will get the result within seconds.
What If My feed Is Not Detected?
If you find that the feed is not getting validated, the most likely cause is that your theme does not contain the relevant piece of code for the feed. WordPress users can use the following solution:
- Go to your theme editor under the ‘Appearance’ menu in the Admin Panel.
- Open the header file (header.php) and locate the following code:
<?php wp_head(); ?>
- Just before (above) it, insert the following code:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?>RSS Feed" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" /><link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo('pingback_url'); ?>" />
Voila! Congratulate yourself. Now the browsers can detect your feed.
Those using Blogger or other blogging platform than WordPress can make a similar modification in the theme or switch over to another theme.