Google Feedburner is, without doubt, the best RSS and email newsletter service at the moment. The best comes when it delivers all the features for free. I use if on almost all of my websites for delivering the newsletter and RSS subscriptions. There is a problem associated with Feedburner that sometimes the feeds will stop updating. This Feedburner not updating problem happened to us recently at Technize.net.
We will discuss about the fixes we applied and how we finally resolved the issue.
Feedburner Not Updating the Feeds
The actual problem is quite quiet because it will not generate any error message. The feeds will not update when new articles are published on a WordPress blog. Here is a list of possible fixes that we have applied to solve this problem.
Is the original feed source working fine?
Make sure that the original feed from WordPress is working fine. Since we have redirected the WordPress feeds to Feedburner, it was difficult to test the original feed. There are two ways to test this. Since only the main feed is served by Feedburner, we can safely check the feed of the category or tag of the latest article. If it is working, most probably the main feed will be working. For example, I checked the Microsoft category by typing http://www.technize.net/category/microsofthome/feed.
Another easier solution is to use the Feed validator. Just insert the original feed source of your blog to check if it is valid or not. For example, for technize.net it will be http://www.technize.net/feed/. You should also check the validity of your feedburner feed by using the Feed validator. For us, the Feedburner feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/technizenet.
Pinging the Feedburner service
If your feed isn’t up to date, Google provides us with a ping tool which we can use to ping Feedburner service. The purpose of this pinging is that it will tell the Feedburner service that your feeds have updated so the Feedburner feeds should also get re-compiled and re-built.
To use the ping service, visit Ping FeedBurner page and enter your web address. This will over-ride the default 30 minute pinging interval of the service and the feeds will be updated immediately.
Clear all the caches
If you are using any form of caching on your website, make sure that all the caches are cleared so that everyone is served with a fresh copy of all the pages. If you are using W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress, then you will need to configure it such that it does not cache the feeds. Although the caching of feeds is recommended for improved performance but we need to turn this feature off for troubleshooting.
To turn off this feature, go to Performance –> Page cache –> Uncheck “Cache feeds: site, categories, tags, comments”. Save all settings and clear all caches.
If you are using a CDN service, you should clear the caches of the CDN service in order to make sure you’re serving everything fresh. We are using Google’s PageSpeed service as CDN which can be cleared under “Caching and Errors” menu.
Finally, you should clear the caches of your browser to make sure that you are getting fresh data from the server and are not served with the locally cached data.
If nothing is working and your feeds are still not updating, you can use the Resync option from the FeedBurner service. Google terms it as a nuclear option so this option should be used carefully. To use this option, login to your FeedBurner account and go to Troubleshootize tab. You will find the Resync option at the end of troubleshooting tips.
Resync takes the following actions:
- Clears our cached version and refreshes its content from your Original Feed
- Creates podcast enclosures for items that did not previously have them and contain links to podcast content
- Reports any feed formatting problems encountered during the resync
Update your RSS feeds in the RSS reader
The Resync option should solve the Feedburner not updating problem almost 99% of the time. But you should go with this final step to make sure everything is working perfectly fine. Delete the current feed from your RSS reader and re-subscribe to your own RSS feeds to make sure everything is working as expected.
I hope these steps will fix the issue of Feedburner not updating problem. We had to use all these steps in order to get our feed into working condition. Share your experiences with us in the comments.