FeedWind error message causes

There are two primary FeedWind error messages:

There are a number of reasons why FeedWind may not be displaying your feed items. If there is no display there should be a FeedWind error message. There are two most commonly displayed error messages:

1) “Could not parse this feed”

This error is caused when we cannot recognize a feed format. Often this is because the incorrect feed URL has been used. This error also occurs when the XML of the feed does not meet RSS or Atom specifications. To check a feed for validity, there is a handy tool available at the W3C Feed Validation service which can detect incorrect URLs and badly formed feeds.

2) “There was a problem contacting your feed server”

This FeedWind error message occurs when we are unable to retrieve a feed from the source feed server. Reasons this can happen include:

  • Server Timeout – ‘Access denied’ response from the source feed server within our 10 second timeout.
  • Server congestion – Some servers get busy at certain times of the day so will not respond fast enough to meet our timeout. These servers may use load balancing to try and alleviate slow response times which can then fall outside our 10 second poll timeout.
  • FeedWind crawler blocked – Some servers use firewalls and bot-blockers which can prevent us accessing the feed. Bot-blockers can sometimes mistake the FeedWind crawler for a malicious bot and block our IP addresses (52.44.84.218,  52.55.52.175). To get around this the webmaster for the server feeding your widget must unblock these IPs. Usually a simple email request will be enough.
  • 404 Not Found Error – This is where the feed URL cannot be found at the feed server. If we detect a 404 error, we will not poll that server again for another hour.
  • 500 Server Error – This is an unknown server error. There is usually additional info in the error; these vary quite a bit as webmasters can customize the error message and sometimes cause confusion. This type of error can be caused by load balancers, firewalls and other network structures intended for servers to maintain security and good traffic management. Debugging a 500 error is not simple; here is some more information on debugging 500 errors.

Other causes for widget display errors (where there is no FeedWind error message)

A common problem with a widget not appearing is where it is installed on a WordPress site that is hosted by wordpress.com (rather than a WordPress installation you at your own host). These (free-hosted) sites do not allow JavaScript (for security reasons). The FeedWind widget depends on JavaScript so it is not supported by WordPress.com sites. Those with sites with URLs like “http://example.wordpress.com” are affected. This is not the case for most regular sites hosting their own copy of WordPress.

This same problem might be an issue at other (usually freebie site-builder) websites too where JavaScript is not permitted. These sites simply strip out the code and leave a FeedWind link but little other evidence of your efforts! There will be no FeedWind error message in this case, just probably a blank space where your widget should be and maybe our branding link (Powered by FeedWind). To fix the problem, the code on the page must save without being parsed/stripped out or extra code added (such as CDATA tags).


April 18, 2016 4:14 pm