RSS feeds are essential for dynamic sites with regularly updated content. If you run a WordPress blog and add RSS feeds to it, your readers will be able to see your updates easily without visiting your site. However, in some cases you won’t need RSS feeds. For example, when you host a static website, you may want to disable WordPress RSS feeds because there is no much update for the readers to subscribe to. By removing the RSS feeds for your archives, categories or globally, you can save some time managing your website.
This tutorial will show you two simple solutions to disable WordPress RSS feeds. One solution is to use a plugin. And another is to add several lines of code to the functions.php file of your active theme. You can choose either one that you are comfortable with.
Solution 1: Disable WordPress RSS Feeds with a Plugin
Disable Feeds is a simple and easy-to-use plugin developed with the single goal to help users disable the various feeds on WordPress sites, including RSS feeds. It is a suitable choice if you want to make things as easy as possible and don’t feel like editing any file of your theme.
To use Disable Feeds, the only task for you to complete is to install this plugin and activate it. The plugin doesn’t come with many settings. So it starts redirecting all the requests for your RSS feeds to the proper HTML content as soon as it is activated. For example, when users request a category feed, they will be led to the category page.
The default configuration is good to use and seems reasonable for your users. But you can still check the few plugin settings and see whether there is anything better for you. The settings are available on the Reading page under the Settings menu item in WordPress dashboard.
By default, the plugin disables all feeds and redirects all requests to HTML content, which has been explained above. However, it also enables you to present a 404 error to users when they request feeds instead of performing redirections. The choice is free to you.
Besides, if you want to keep the global post feed and comment feed, you can tick the corresponding checkbox to exclude them from the plugin. With such a deed, global feeds are still allowed, but your users won’t be able to access other feeds like archive, category, search and the comments of individual posts.
Note that Disable Feeds only disables WordPress feeds and it doesn’t remove the links to your feeds. As the links are generated by the theme, you need to edit the theme in order to remove the links.
Solution 2: Disable RSS Feeds by Editing Theme
If you don’t like adding functions by installing plugins to your WordPress site, you can try editing your theme files to disable RSS feeds. Below is the code snippet you can add to the functions.php file of your theme. It will disable all the RSS/RDF/Atom feeds on your site.
With this code, when users request feeds, an error page appears asking them to visit your homepage.
But before adding the code to your theme file, you have to pay attention to the following two things.
- Make sure you have created a child theme for the active theme. The code should be added to the child theme.
- Back up your theme, so unexpected issues won’t break your website design.