How to fix common RSS validation errors

When you try to add your events into your newsletters automatically, you may encounter MailChimp or other programs saying your “RSS feed” is invalid.  Event Calendar Newsletter uses RSS feeds in order to transmit the details of your events and any errors will cause this to fail.

A plugin or theme is outputting extra whitespace/characters

Your theme or a plugin installed on your site may be incorrectly outputting extra characters when it shouldn’t.  Any extra output will cause the RSS validation to break.

If this is the issue and you check your feed URL from a saved template in an RSS checker like the w3.org RSS validator, you’ll probably see an error near the top of the file.

To fix this, disable all plugins except for Event Calendar Newsletter and your WordPress calendar plugin, and switch to a default theme like Twenty Sixteen.  Try the feed URL again.  If it works, re-enable plugins one by one along with your theme and test each time you re-enable one to see which one is causing the issue then contact the author of that theme or plugin to have them fix it.

Feed output as text/html

If you run your feed URL through the RSS validator and get a message like:

This feed is valid, but interoperability with the widest range of feed readers could be improved by implementing the following recommendations.

  • Feeds should not be served with the “text/html” media type

Your host is telling MailChimp and others that the feed is not of content type “rss+xml” but rather text/html through some kind of cache.

You’ll need to contact your hosting company to see how this can be altered so MailChimp and others can detect it as a valid RSS feed.  Alternatively you can try and use something like FeedBurner to consume the Event Calendar Newsletter feed and output something MailChimp and others will recognize.