Tag Archives: feed

Add to Google Button

Ever wanted to have an “Add to Google” button like for your blog or website so that your visitors can easily subscribe to your RSS feed through Google Reader or Google homepage?

It’s actually quite simple. Simply head to Add to Google Button – Information for Publishers and follow the simple wizard: choose the type of content and button style, and provide your feed URL and generate the HTML code. Viola!

I just got mine! Go ahead, try out how it works by adding my feed to your Google Add to Google.

Or get your own: Add to Google Button

WordPress Feed Issue: Blank line before XML declaration

Gosh! Yet another issue in my WordPress!

This is the third time in less than two weeks that I had to troubleshoot my installation of WordPress 2.5.

This time, however, the issue was not with WordPress itself, but this particular theme that I am using – Illacrimo. The feed for this blog was throwing an error:

XML Parsing Error: xml declaration not at start of external entity
Location: http://www.sawantshah.com/feed/
Line Number 2, Column 1:<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
^

I learned about the error when I tried to burn my feed through FeedBurner, which informed me that the feed (RSS XML) was not well-formed:

The URL you entered does not appear to be a valid feed. We encountered the following problem: Error on line 2: The processing instruction target matching “[xX][mM][lL]” is not allowed.

It directed me to Feed Validator to check the feed’s validity, and for sure it was not well formed:

line 1, column 1: Blank line before XML declaration

So what now? Google zindabad! On WordPress Support I found this and this, but I didn’t find any concise and to the point answer there.

I found a concise and workable solution on W3C’s site – check it out.

Why does this error occur?

If an XML declaration (<?xml ... ?>) appears in your feed, it must be the first thing in the feed, before any whitespace.

Unfortunately, with WordPress it seems all too easy for a plugin, a theme, or for your configuration file to contain a blank line. Further compounding this problem, some — but not all — feed readers compensate for this common error, allowing the error to go undetected for quite a while.

What’s the solution?

The solution is to trim/delete any blank lines outside of the <? ... ?> in the PHP code of either the theme files (functions.php) or WordPress files (wp-config.php, wp-rss2.php, wp-atom.php).

I had a blank line between two PHP code sections in the theme’s functions.php file. It was not evident at first, but thankfully, I finally got it to work! Now my feeds are working fine.

So go ahead and subscribe! :D