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Verify an RSS Feed

   
1:27 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hey everyone,

I have an RSS feed on my site I made 6 months ago. It is starting to get popular so I wanted to make sure it is working at 100%. Is there anyway to verify my RSS feed to make sure everyone can view it without errors?

Thanks in advance for your help!

3:54 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



First is to check with a validator (validation is much more important with RSS/Atom than HTML):

[feedvalidator.org...]
[validator.w3.org...]

As for compatibility, which version of RSS are you using?

4:25 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I believe I am using RSS 2.0
1:01 am on Sep 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The validator can confirm for you which version you are using (the feedvalidator one above is excellent). RSS 2.0 and RSS 0.91 are the two most widely-supported syndication formats - if you are using one of those two and your feed is valid, then you are very safe in terms of compatibility for a very wide range of user agents.

The biggest issues are ill-formed feeds, charset issues, MIME type issues and server misconfigurations (which often cause the previous two problems). Your feed should be declaring its charset via a HTTP header, and have the MIME type

application/rss+xml
rather than
text/xml
(or worse,
text/plain
).
1:49 pm on Sep 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thanks for your help!

Using the RSS validator you mentioned, I was able to use its suggestions and validate my RSS. It looks good now.

The only thing I am wondering about though is defining the MIME type. I am not doing that on my RSS feed. Should I be? It validated fine.

1:14 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If the validator didn't give a warning about the mime type, then that's a good sign - it usually means that the server is already handling things correctly. Can you load/view the feed in a browser? If you have Firefox, when you visit does it show an XML view or offer a download prompt? If you get an XML view, press Ctrl + I and check what "Type" is listed, as well as the encoding.
2:06 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



No I don't get any prompts.

It could be because the rss page is a php page. I have a php script that updates with the latest news via my database. It puts it in an rss format for others to view.

I have it working fine on my website on the homepage. I have an rss reader script that shows the latest 5 rss feeds from my feed.

Hope that made sense ;)