RSS Feed: “An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.”

WordPress RSS Feed Widget displays the following broad error message if it has problems to init or display a RSS feeds:

An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

This error message can have multiple reasons (search Google). Those reasons are related to the incorporated SimplePie library. One of the main reasons for the display of the error message however is if the ->init() call for the feed object returns false.

The cause of returning false again can have multiple reasons.

One cause I did not find quite documented is the simple fact that the XML, the PCRE or the XMLREADER extension is not loaded (PHP A-Z extension listing). Normally the XML extension should be loaded nowadays, so probably while checking the server configuration it gets overlooked.

A call to phpinfo(INFO_MODULES); will show which extensions are loaded, here is some other rough script for a quick check:


$extensions = array('xml', 'pcre', 'xmlreader');

function extension_info($name) {
	$ret = new StdClass();
	$ret->name = $ret->name_ = $name;
	$ret->loaded = (int) extension_loaded($name);
	$ret->version = null;
	if ($ret->loaded) {
		$refl = new ReflectionExtension($name);
		$ret->name = $refl->getName();
		$ret->version = $refl->getVersion();
	return $ret;

foreach($extensions as $ext) {
	extract((array) extension_info($ext));
	echo 'Name: ', $name, '(', $name_,') <br>', "\n";
	echo 'Version: ', $version, '<br>', "\n";
	echo 'Loaded: ', $loaded, '<br>', "\n";
	echo '<hr>';

// phpinfo(INFO_MODULES);

You can find all SimplePie Requirements in the SimplePie Documentation.

Read On: WordPress Technical Installation Checklist

Image Credits: A quote from the Movie Rebecca (1940) directed by Alfred Hitchcock has been used in the picture.

This entry was posted in PHP Development, Pressed and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to RSS Feed: “An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.”

  1. frixos says:

    I don’t get it. My nasa astronomy of the day picture worked fine until 3 days ago. since then I get the darn message. If it’s not (which is not) and if it’s not WP (is it not?) and I obviously didn’t change anything – hell, the only thing I’m supposed to do is … [edited] Thanks man

  2. Pingback: Chybné zobrazování lokalizace « Fórum podpory WordPressu

  3. Ben says:

    Thank you for this post! It helped me resolve my RSS issue. I was using a new Ubuntu Server (16.04) to host WordPress, and none of the RSS feeds were working. I read through pages of results on Google to find t he solution, but nothing worked. After stumbling across your page, it is now working. The XML extension wasn’t installed.

    sudo apt-get install php-xml
    sudo service apache2 restart

    Again, thanks for the helpful information!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.