Are you looking for a way to turn off the RSS feed on your website? The RSS feed is used to share content among readers and get visitors to subscribe. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and has fallen in popularity over the years. This is largely due to social media platforms that essentially do a better job overall.
Unfortunately, WordPress does not have an easy built-in method to turn the RSS feed off. Luckily, like most things in WordPress, there are plugins you can use to fix the problem. Alternatively, you can also use code to accomplish similar results. Today, I will demonstrate how to turn off the RSS Feed in WordPress using two methods.
One will be an easier to handle plugin method, the other is more code-based. You can choose which one you prefer after reading the article. They will both work fine.
Why Turn Off the RSS Feed?
While the RSS Feed does not hurt your website in any way, it can potentially help your website. With that said, the main way content is shared among visitors now is through social media platforms like Facebook.
Almost every website has a social media account on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that tells all of their visitors they released new content. This eliminates the usefulness of the RSS feed entirely and if there are no benefits or use for the feature, why keep it?
Keep in mind that if for some reason, you are not utilizing social media platforms, the RSS feed can still be very useful for your website. This is also true if your social media accounts do not have a lot of followers. Just having a Facebook page won’t do anything if it gets zero views. How useful the RSS feed is highly dependent on a website’s situation.
How to Turn Off the RSS Feed in WordPress
Today, I will demonstrate how to turn off the RSS Feed in WordPress using two methods. The first and easiest method is to use the Disable Feeds plugin. This plugin works immediately after activation.
The second method is to add code to disable the RSS Feed by sending back an error to visitors. Keep in mind that both of these methods simply turn off the RSS feed, but do not remove it from the website.
Method 1: Using a Plugin
For the plugin method, we are going to use a plugin called “Disable Feeds.”
Step 1: Install and Activate the Plugin
Let’s start off by clicking on Plugins and selecting the Add New option on the left-hand admin panel.
Search for Disable Feeds in the available search box. This will pull up additional plugins that you may find helpful.
Scroll down until you find the Disable Feeds plugin and click on the “Install Now” button and activate the plugin for use.
Note: There are a couple of things to consider here. The plugin we are using is old, but it still works. You may need to go directly to the plugin page to download it and install it like that. If you don’t want to complete this method, then feel free to use method 2 below.
Step 2: Access Settings in WordPress
This plugin works after activation, but you can tweak the settings at any time. On the left-hand admin panel click on Settings and select the Reading option.
At the bottom, you will see the Disable Feeds section. By default, the plugin will redirect visitors towards similar content. This means that if a visitor clicked on a category feed, they will end up on the category page instead.
It has a second option that can create a 404-page error instead. I recommend leaving the default option on.
Step 3: Save Changes You Made
If you decide to change it, remember to click on the “Save Changes” button.
Congratulations, you have successfully turned off your RSS feed in WordPress. Keep in mind that if you are turning this off you should have other ways to share your content with visitors.
Method 2: Coding Approach
If you do not want to add another plugin to your website, then the coding method is for you. Since you will be editing files on the backend of your website, it is a good idea to create a backup of your website. This will ensure that if a mistake is made, you can use the backup to revert to before it happened.
Note: This assumes you are already logged into your cPanel.
Step 1: Find the File Manager Option
Let’s start by logging into the cPanel and clicking on the File Manager option. The File Manager will allow you to access all of the files related to your website.
Step 2: Find the functions.php File
You need to locate your theme’s functions.php file. Click on the public_html directory, then click on the wp-content folder.
Inside this folder, you will find all of the content related to your website. Click on the themes folder and enter the folder of the theme you are currently using. Finally, right-click on the functions.php file and select the Edit option.
Step 3: Edit the File
A pop-up window will show up. This box will warn you to create a backup of your files before editing anything. This will ensure that you can revert your website back to when it was working if something goes wrong. Click on the “Edit” button. A new tab will open containing all of the code from the file.
Simply copy and paste the following code into your functions.php file:
Step 4: Save Your Changes
Once you have inserted the code into the functions.php file, click on the “Save Changes” button to finish.
Congratulations, you have successfully disabled the RSS Feed with code. You can undo this at any time by removing the code.
Make Sure People Know About Your Content
The whole point of the RSS Feed is to try and inform visitors about your new content. However, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have completely eliminated the need to use the RSS Feed.
It is simply obsolete when you compare it to social media platforms’ ability to share new content. These platforms have billions of users that you can potentially reach. Just being able to advertise to any fraction of a percentage will have tremendous results.
Since the RSS Feed is outdated, it is a good idea to turn it off. There are a couple of different ways to do this. I recommend the plugin method if you are at all unfamiliar with coding and accessing the correct files you need. This method is much faster and easier to perform.
That being said, the coding method does work perfectly, and if at some point the plugin above stops working, this is definitely the way to go.
I hope this tutorial was able to show you how easy it really is to turn off the RSS Feed in WordPress. If you have the right tools and steps in place, then the process is much less difficult.
Why do you want to turn off the RSS Feed in WordPress? Do you use social media platforms to share new content?
Author: Ron Helms
I currently work for GreenGeeks as a Support Technician. My primary roles are supporting our VPS and Dedicated server clients, as well as performing site migrations. With experience in the web hosting industry since 2009, there is rarely a question I can’t help answer. In my spare time, I enjoy gaming and working on cars as an automotive enthusiast.