How to Disable Your WordPress RSS Feed

How to Disable Your WordPress RSS Feed

WordPress’ robust blogging tools are what most people know it for. People use RSS feeds to subscribe to your fresh content and to feed into third-party reader programs such as Feedly. This allows them to read your new material while on the fly. But, RSS feeds are no longer as popular as they were a decade ago, despite the fact that many people still use them on a regular basis. Social media platforms’ ability to share new content is incomparable to RSS. The necessity to utilize the RSS feed has been almost entirely replaced by social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We all get the RSS feed functionality by default when we install WordPress, but not all of us need it. There are many legitimate reasons why you would wish to disable the RSS feed on your WordPress website. Not everyone utilizes WordPress’s blogging feature, and some organizations may want to deactivate RSS feeds entirely in WordPress. This is one less issue for them to be concerned about.

In this article, we will point out some reasons why you may want to disable the RSS feed and show you how to do it the easiest way. Stay tuned to read more about:

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Reasons for Disabling the RSS Feed

RSS is a form of web feed that allows people to get real-time updates and articles, news, and other types of content from your site. “RSS” stands for RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. It allows subscribers to your email newsletters, RSS feed readers, and other platforms to automatically get fresh information.

Considering that nearly every website has a social media account on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that notifies all of its followers when new content has been published, the point of RSS feeds becomes questionable. Why preserve it if it serves no purpose or offers no advantages?

Plus, although generally RSS feeds can be helpful for your website, WordPress includes several feeds that you may never need. For instance, there are feeds for authors, taxonomies, specific posts and pages, and more.

By turning off these RSS feeds, you can prevent search engines like Google from using up all of their website crawling resources. By doing this, search engine bots will index more significant pages on your site rather than crawl irrelevant feeds for your website.

But, bear in mind that if you do not actively use social media sites, the RSS feed may be quite advantageous to your website. This is also true if your social media profiles do not have a significant number of followers. Whether the RSS feed is valuable to you is primarily determined by the way you design your online presence.

Let’s now look at how to deactivate RSS feeds in WordPress.

How to Disable RSS Feed with a Plugin

Using a free plugin like Disable Feeds is one of the simplest ways to turn off a WordPress RSS feed. Disable Feeds is a reliable plugin, used by more than 20.000 users. This tool blocks all RSS/Atom feeds on your WordPress website by rerouting all requests. Additionally, it can be used to disable the bbPress forum feeds and BuddyPress group feeds.

The installation of Disable Feeds is no different from any other WordPress plugin installation. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to jump to our detailed guide on installing WordPress plugins.

Disable Feeds

To adjust the plugin settings, go to the Reading section in the Dashboard settings. The plugin redirects requests to the corresponding HTML content. This means that, for instance, visitors who access a category RSS feed will be sent to the category archive page. Additionally, you may decide whether or not to deactivate the global post feed and global comment feed or just display a 404 error in their place.

Disable Feeds Plugin

Bear in mind that only the feeds themselves are disabled by the plugin; the sidebar and footer widgets that connect to your RSS feeds must still be disabled in your WordPress theme options.

Disabling RSS Feed with Code

You may also disable RSS feeds in WordPress by adding code to the functions.php file of your site theme. The code approach is for you if you don’t want to add another plugin to your website. It is a good idea to back up your website because you will be modifying files in the backend and some functionalities may be lost. In the event that a mistake is made, you will be able to use the backup to go back to the state that existed before editing the PHP.

If you feel confident editing WordPress files and site content, you can employ this option, but if you have never pasted snippets from the web into WordPress, you may want to consult your developer to assist you. Even a tiny error will cause your website to crash, so we don’t advise altering the functions.php file directly on your website.

Additionally, you can include the following code in a code snippets plugin or a site-specific plugin:

function qode_disable_feed() {
wp_die( __( 'No feed available,please visit our <a href="'. esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ) .'">text</a>!' ) );
add_action('do_feed', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rdf', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rss', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rss2', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_atom', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_rss2_comments', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);
add_action('do_feed_atom_comments', 'qode_disable_feed', 1);

In Conclusion

Turning off the RSS feed is often a smart move because RSS as such is no longer as popular as it used to be and, even more importantly, it can jeopardize user experience and your site’s SEO. There are a few approaches you can take here. If you are not accustomed to coding and accessing the necessary files, we advise using the plugin approach. This process is also quicker and simpler to carry out.

However, the coding approach does the work flawlessly, and if you feel comfortable using it, and don’t want another plugin on your site, it is definitely the better option.

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