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Things To Check If Your Feedburner Feed Is Not Updating

Posted on by in Blog

Like the vast majority of bloggers, I use Feedburner to serve the RSS feeds of my blogs. There are many benefits to using the service. It lets you keep count of the subscriber count, allows readers to subscribe via email and you can change the feed URL at a later time without losing any subscribers.

The RSS feed is vital to the success of any blog. Therefore, if your Feedburner account isn’t being updated, your subscribers won’t know that you have added new content. This is a big problem. It’s an even bigger problem if, like me, your Facebook and Twitter accounts are automatically updated via your RSS feed, as it means that your Facebook and Twitter followers will not be informed of new posts either.

This unfortunately happened to me a few days ago. I was on holiday for 9 days in the Caribbean so wasn’t checking WP Mods closely every day. Whilst the internet connection wasn’t great in my hotel, it was good enough to check my website and make sure everything was ok. Posts published on the days there were supposed to but what I didn’t realise was that the WP Mods feed wasn’t being updated from 14 February to 19 February (which is the day I noticed the problem).

I noticed this issue when checking how many retweets some of my latest posts had. The article I had written about robots.txt had around 27 retweets but every single post afterwards had 0. That’s when I realised that the RSS feed hadn’t been updated since 14 February.

How To Fix Feedburner Not Updating

Pingshot is a feature of Feedburner that ensures that RSS readers are informed when your feed has been updated. You can activate this via the publicize section of Feedburner. Most people who use Feedburner activate this right away but if you haven’t it’s worth doing.

Feedburner Pingshot

Pingshot automatically checks your site every 30 minutes. If your feed hasn’t been updated in a few hours it’s worth pinging Feedburner so that it updates your feed.

Ping Feedburner

It’s worth checking that pinging is setup correctly if your feed hasn’t been updated in a few hours though if you have a problem with your RSS feed not updating frequently it could be another issue. A month or so ago I noticed that the WP Mods feed wasn’t updating for hours or even days at a time and then it was updated with several posts at once. This was frustrating as it overwhelmed RSS subscribers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers with too much content at the one time.

I resolved this issue via the great tutorial ‘How to Fix WordPress FeedBurner Feeds Not Updating‘ by WP Beginner. It turned out that W3 Total Cache was caching my feeds, which was why there was always a long delay in the feed being updated.

The solution is very straight forward. All you have to do is visit the page cache section at http://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=w3tc_pgcache and disable the ‘Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments’ section. After doing this, make sure you empty your website cache.

W3 Total Cache Page Cache

I knew that W3 page caching wasn’t stopping the WP Mods RSS feed from updating so I had to look into another solution. The troubleshoot section offers a few suggestions. One of the options it offers is resyncing your feed. This clears the cache that Feedburner holds.

Resync Feedburner

After attempting to resync my feed, Feedburner advised that the problem with my feed was due to the RSS feed file size being more than 512kb.

Feedburner Problem

This was something that I hadnĀ“t known about before. I assumed that there was no file size limit as all images are hosted externally. Feedburner advise that:

Your Original Feed is too doggone big! FeedBurner does not process feeds that are larger than 512K. Remember, your feed is an update on your content — not an archive for it — and you should use your publishing tools’ controls to make sure your feed doesn’t grow like kudzu possessed.

This made it clear that the problem was being caused by my article ‘link’. That was the first article that hadn’t been published to the feed. The article listed over 100 code examples. This large volume of text had obviously pushed the file size of my feed over the 512kb limit.

When I realised that this article had caused the problem, all I had to do was change the number of articles that were shown in my feed from 7 to 5 (as the problematic article was the 7th article in the feed – I could have changed it to 6). You can do this at http://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/options-reading.php.

Reading Settings

If you publish long articles from time to time, it’s worth keeping the number of posts shown in your RSS feed low so that the file size doesn’t cause the feed to stop updating. At the very least, make sure you aware of this issue and check that your feed has been updated correctly after a long post has been published (images shouldn’t be an issue as they are hosted externally). If it hasn’t been updated, reduce the number of posts until the feed displays correctly or perhaps change from full feed to excerpt temporarily.

Overview

RSS feeds are vital for delivering your latest content to your subscribers. Most services that update Facebook and Twitter rely on feeds to update. This means that if your Feedburner feed isn’t being updated; no one will know that you have new content. So it is important to check your feed from time to time to make sure your feed is working ok.

I hope you have found this article for resolving any issues you have had with Feedburner. If you are still having problems with your feed please let me know and I’ll do my best to help you directly or point you in the right direction.

Also, I would like to offer my sincere apologies to all WP Mods RSS, Facebook and Twitter subcribers for any inconvenience caused. I am planning on looking into ways of updating Facebook fan pages and Twitter without relying on RSS feeds so that any problem with Feedburner doesn’t affect the WP Mods Facebook and Twitter accounts. There are plugins are available for this though when I tried them out a year or so ago I found them to be unreliable. Hopefully I can find a good solution. If I do, I’ll make sure I share it with you all.

Good luck,
Kevin

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Comments (13)

Comment by Rajesh says:

I am having a problem with rss feed mail sending to subscriber.
feed burner is not sending any mail to subscriber user.
everyday i update my website.
one question do i need to update my .rss file every day or it will taken care by feed burner.
please help me.
thanks in advance.

Comment by Jean says:

Thanks so much, my feed wasn’t picking up posts since updating my WP version. Followed your tips, activated PingShot and all set now.

Comment by Term Paper writing says:

Thank you for the tips. I just noticed that my feeds had not been updating over the last week, so I searched online for a possible solution, and here I am.
I really appreciate

Comment by krishnaTORQUE says:

Still feedburner not working. I am using WP 3.5.1 and latest version of wp super cache. after install feedburner not working and still it’s not working.
please help me

Comment by Enno says:

Thanks for your help, didn’t found the solution to my problem but could narrow the possibilities.

Comment by JayHJay says:

Hi Kevin! Thanks for your great post. I just wanted to check in with you because I am having problems with my feedburner feed and have tried your suggestions without success. I just thought maybe you would have some additional ideas.

The short version is I woke up this morning and no posts were going through WP as scheduled and my feed won’t update. I managed to force a workaround for the post scheduling through a plug in but no luck on the feed. I have tried pinging, changing the number of posts on my feed, and removing and re-adding my plugins. I can’t not confirm my file size b/c the site that seems to track this is down, but I only have some basic text posts with pictures, nothing large enough that I can imagine size being the problem.

I also tried the feedburner resync function and got an error message similar to the top one in your graphic. But i have no idea what the error supposedly is or how to fix it.

Anyway, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see if you had any suggestions. Thanks so much! Jay

P.S. My husband and I visited Scotland this summer. Such a beautiful country!

Comment by TVDinner says:

[email protected] Muldoon So if we did a promotion yesterday (Saturday) and received 70 new subscribers (via email subscription) it should show today right? Or would that be Monday it would show. In my Feedburner Admin panel the email subscriptions show at 147 but my Subscribers stll shows 67. That has not changed in days. I wish I could figure it out.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

[email protected] believe the stats are shown on your widget are from the day before. Feedburner shows how many people accessed your RSS feed so if you had 100 people on Monday, on Tuesday the banner (widget/stats) will update to show 100 subscribers.

Comment by TVDinner says:

first off – great article and thank you for it! I have a quick question – when does the reader count in the banner on my site (on when looking at my Feedburner stats) go up or adjust. for example I had 60 confirmed people sign up for my feed on 3/3/12. When would I see my number go up on my site? does this happen daily? every few days? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks!

Comment by JoHarris0n says:

@LaFranglaise @alanmcbride @iblognet @olvbrun No problem, have a good weekend :)

Comment by LaFranglaise says:

thank you for the RTs & kind mentions @alanmcbride @iblognet @JoHarris0n @olvbrun – bon weekend all :-)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

@Steveb_77 Glad you found it useful Steve. :)

Comment by Steveb_77 says:

Thanks Kev – I was having issues with Feedburner and this article helped get me fixed up! Steve

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