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Slow RSS feed on your blog? Here’s what to do.

A friend was trying to subscribe to my RSS channel recently but his NewsBlur was reporting a timeout nine attempts out of ten.

I tried accessing my /feed/ url locally but got a timeout, too.

What the &%#$&@@#?

After some googling and fiddling I figured what was wrong: size matters!

My RSS settings were: show last 30 entries, show the entire entry.

That was sufficient to clog my RSS channel with tens and tens of megabytes of data. Pictures, mostly. Enough to trigger a time-out.

Solution?

Keep it small!

So:

  • Limit your RSS channel to a reasonable minimum number of entries. Three? Perfect. Ten? Should be fine. Certainly not thirty or a hundred.
  • Show summary only, not the entire article. Some of your readers don’t like leaving their favourite RSS client and they may frown upon this but hey, you want people to come to your website at some point, right?

This should do. You may want to include the featured image in the feed (there’s a plugin for it by the way!) – one image per article shouldn’t give you any headaches.

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