XML Feeds category listing. ­ Textpattern CMS

FAQ: XML Feeds

Troubleshooting Feed Issues

The Basics

  • Use the feed validator if you suspect a feed problem. If the feed validator indicates that your feed is invalid, then please post its messages verbatim in your support request. Also, the URL you submit to the feed validator is your feed URL, not your homepage URL—the feed validator does not auto-detect feeds.
  • Post your Diagnostics results.
  • Post a feed URL. If there’s a specific feed which is malfunctioning, post its URL if at all possible. If you’re having problems on an intranet server, can you replicate the problem on a public server? It will help those who are troubleshooting to be able to see what’s really going on.

The feed validator reports I have a missing description element.

Make sure there’s something entered in the “Site slogan” field in your Preferences.

My feeds are empty or don’t contain the right articles.

Check the “Syndicate?” option, found on the “Sections” tab. Sections that have the “Syndicate?” option turned off will not show up in your feeds.

Safari RSS

Safari RSS does not appear to output a single useful error message. If Safari RSS is having problems with your feed, try the feed in another feed reader first, then try the feed validator. Most often, the feed is invalid, but Safari’s error message doesn’t leave any clue as to the nature of the problem with the feed. Also, Safari will automatically change the scheme from ‘http’ to ‘feed’. That’s fine, within Safari, but remember that everywhere else your feed URLs still need to begin with ‘http’.

My browser tries to download the feed when I click the feed’s link.

Depending upon your browser, this is the correct behaviour. More likely than not, your browser is not capable of displaying XML. As the feeds are sent with the correct MIME type, your browser offers to download the file, rather than just displaying the raw content.This is the correct behavior, and your feed should work in a proper feed aggregator.

How can I setup feed autodetection?

If you want feed aggregators and other tools to be able to autodetect your feeds, you’ll need to add tags like the following to the <head> of your main page:

<txp:feed_link format="link" flavor="rss" />
<txp:feed_link format="link" flavor="atom" />

Articles aren't showing up in XML feeds


Some articles aren’t showing up in my Atom/RSS feeds
The XML feeds for certain sections are empty


In order for articles to show up in an XML feed, they must:

  • be in a section that has “Syndicate?” set to Yes
  • have a status of Live (not Sticky)

Check the Syndicate setting for the relevant sections (see txp > presentation > sections), and the Status of the articles you’re expecting to see.

If that doesn’t help, try downloading a copy of the XML feed and viewing it manually. It’s possible that your news aggregator is choosing not to display some items, perhaps because it thinks they have already been read.

Firefox tries to download my RSS feed


When I click on the RSS link, my web browser tries to download it instead of display it.


Textpattern identifies its RSS and Atom feeds as “application/rss+xml” and “application/atom+xml” respectively. This is so that applications can distinguish between the different types of feeds without having to guess [1].

Different browsers handle “application/xml” in different ways. Mozilla and Firefox prompt the user with a file download dialog box.

The important thing to remember is that XML feeds are not web pages. They are not indended for viewing in a web browser.

[1]. The “old-fashioned” method was to identify feeds as “text/xml”. This merely identifies the document as XML, not as a news feed. Nor does it provide any way to distinguish between RSS and Atom, and can lead to character set encoding problems.

Stop feeds updating on comments?


How do I stop XML feeds from registering an update when a comment is posted?


There are two configuration options for this. In preferences > advanced, under the Publish heading:

  • Show comment count in feeds? no/yes

This determines whether or not the comment count is included in the article title in XML feeds (‘My article [4]’).

  • New comment means site updated? no/yes

This controls whether or not to signal a feed update when a comment is posted.