Lee Odden

Have you validated your feed lately?

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy

When is the last time you stopped to think about the health of your feed? Maybe it’s time to head over to the Feed Validator and ensure it’s in peek performance.

While checking a sites feed the other day I ran across a validation error. It seems that Firefox’s built in feed reader couldn’t render the feed. Google Reader got around the issue, but I wasn’t sure about other readers. One way or another, the feed was in need of a fix.

Feed Error

A quick run though the Feed Validator and it spit out the problem; a blank line before the XML declaration.

Feed Error Fix

The nice thing about the Feed Validator tool is that it gives you helpful hits on what to look into. It said:


  • Check your wp-rss2.php and wp-atom.php files for blank lines outside of <? and ?> bracketed sections.
  • Check your wp-config.php file for blank lines outside of <? and ?> bracketed sections.
  • Check your theme’s functions.php file for blank lines outside of <? and ?> bracketed sections.
  • One by one, disable plugins and revalidate until you isolate the one causing the problem.

A few files later, and I fixed my issue. It really was just a blank line inside the functions.php file.

Feed Error Success

So, if you haven’t checked out your feed lately, it may be a good idea to run it though the Feed Validator and see if there are any major issues. It’s better that you find them before your readers do.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. I've gotta a lot of feed problems