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If you have a WordPress blog you can display any RSS feed in your sidebar using the RSS widget. You only need to put in there the RSS feed you want and select the number of post you want to display.

Yesterday I’ve encountered an issue with the RSS widget in the form of this error:

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: Operation timed out after 10000 milliseconds with 3560 bytes received

I’ve searched on Google for the solution for this error, but there’s not much helpful information or solution for this error.

So I had to come up with a creative solution to fix this error.

First I needed to understand what was causing this error. Here is what I found out. Time out means your RSS widget gave up waiting for information from the RSS feed server. If you are getting this error on your blog, there is nothing wrong with your blog. It’s the web server of the feed that is too slow. If the source of the feed does not belong to you, you can’t do anything about it. If the source of the feed belongs to you, then you might need to optimise your website.

The solution I came up with does not require any code hacking on my side but to find a way to have the RSS feed served faster to the RSS widget and I happen to know what can do that. The solution is to use Google Feedburner to serve the RSS feed to the widget instead of using the original RSS feed URL. Feedburner belongs to Google and their servers are fast.

So, I burned a feed for the RSS and use the Feedburner feed in the RSS widget instead of the native feed and the time out issue was resolved.

So if you get this error here is what you need to do:

  1. Check that the url you’ve put in the RSS widget does not have any spelling mistake.
  2. Validate the RSS using a RSS Validator.
  3. Burn a feed at Feedburner for the RSS.
  4. And use the Feedburner RSS URL in your RSS widget instead.

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For more information on how to use Feedburner check out their support page.

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