Can You Find Your Feed

RSS Feed IE7Are you running a blog or a site that serves a newsfeed? Got your RSS icon in place? Showing your Feedburner subscriber stats? Do you see the glowing orange feed button in the Internet Explorer 7 toolbar when you visit your own site? No? You may have fallen into the same trap I did over on Sciencebase.com.

This is how to fix it so that little orange icon blinks on and gives your IE7 visitors another simple way to subscribe to your newsfeed with as little trouble as possible.

Go to your site’s template or theme and add the following to the head section, editing it to suit your site obviously.

<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Sciencetext Feed” href=”http://www.sciencetext.com/feed/” />

Test it and if that works okay, then also add this to give visitors the option to subscribe to your comments feed too.

<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Sciencetext Comments Feed” href=”http://www.sciencetext.com/comments/feed/” />

Depending on your blog or site setup, it is possible to use php to call the feed URL instead of hard coding it in this way, you might wish to Google that point if you would prefer to create the tags on the fly.

By, the way this is the RSS autodiscovery meta tags needed by savvy web browsers and news aggregators to find your feed. Once you’ve edited the snippet and added it, your site should advertise its feed to visitors via IE7 and other web browsers alike.

Still not working? Are you using non-standard static pages outside the main WordPress folder as I am on Sciencebase? Then it could be a problem with your php tinkering. To call the WordPress components from outside its usual folder structure requires a little bit of tinkering with php code. To make sure this works perfectly and is compatible with the RSS autodiscovery meta tags (for IE7 at least) you must make sure there are no other pieces of code between the php headers that call the WordPress install and the header call. That way, there is no break in IE7’s view of your page and it will flash that orange icon.

Now that you have fixed things, you should expect to see an increased flurry of feed subscribers from IE7 hits. In fact, I am counting on it.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.