Troubleshoot an RSS feed

RSS feeds are built using XML, which is short for "eXtensible Markup Language." XML is a fairly standard file type, however, so it's important to note one thing right away: RSS feeds are built using XML, but XML does not equal an RSS feed.

Another way of saying that is that RSS feeds are based on a specific language, and like any language, there are certain rules that must be followed for communication to work. If the design rules for RSS aren't followed, it's possible that an RSS feed might still work—but it's increasingly probable that it won't import successfully. Like any language, we're only understood when we follow the rules.

Error messages

There are a few different RSS feed-related error messages you might encounter inside EveryoneSocial, but these two are the most common:

The field source value can not be validated as a URL

This message means that an invalid RSS feed was added. Or, to say it another way, it means that our RSS reader can't interpret the language on the webpage.

Remember that RSS is built on a specific language and style. EveryoneSocial uses that same "textbook" to read and interpret RSS data. This message doesn't imply there isn't data present or that it's not a webpage, only that it wasn't decipherable as a standard-following RSS feed.

Sorry about that. We ran into a problem rendering this content

This message appears when there's a problem with the individual piece of content that was imported from the RSS feed. It often means the RSS feed is valid, but this post is improperly formatted.

In most cases, you'll see this with a single post that was improperly formed on the RSS feed, causing this rendering error to appear. If you're seeing this for many of the incoming posts (or all of them!), it indicates that while the RSS feed can be "read" as individual items, the items themselves lack some of the structure necessary to convert them into discernable content.

What to do next

Again, it's important to remember that EveryoneSocial follows a specific, globally recognized standard. So, when a feed isn't working properly, the first thing to do is confirm if the feed is readable by that standard.

Testing the feed

  1. Copy your RSS link (you can edit the Group to copy it from the Sources list).
  2. Paste it here:
  3. Click Validate and wait while the validation process completes (usually only a few seconds).
  4. Look for the icon that says, "This is a valid RSS feed." In contrast, if validation fails, you'll receive a message that says, "This feed does not validate."

Understanding the results

The thing of first importance is the "Valid RSS" prompt. Without this, it's possible that your feed will work, but it's highly unlikely. That said, you might see other errors on a valid RSS feed. You might wonder why a feed is marked as valid but still shows errors.

Errors on a valid feed are similar to grammatical errors on a grammar test in school: an error doesn't mean you fail the test, but it does mean that if you add enough of them—or they're serious enough—you're more likely to be misunderstood or even unintelligible.

Improving the feed

If the feed source is from a company outside your own, you can contact them with this page and the link to their feed, but we can't force them to correct their feed formatting. In many cases, they're pleased to improve their feed for better reach.

If your company owns or manages the feed, share this page with your web developers—ask them to address the errors found so the RSS feed works inside EveryoneSocial. The RSS Advisory Board Validator has a handy "help" link beside each warning that explains the rule and why it should be addressed.

Still need help?

We're here to help! Simply reach out to EveryoneSocial Support and share the link to your RSS feed along with a description of the issue you're facing. We can't magically fix a broken feed, but we have some clever tips and troubleshooting tricks up our sleeves to assist you.

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