A few days ago, I realized my RSS feeds weren’t working, and I spent hours trying to figure out why. Worse, they hadn’t been working since May! I wonder how many hundreds of subscribers I might have lost! LOL!
I’m sure any 12 year old would have figured it out in a jiffy, but not me. I wasn’t sure exactly where RSS feeds emanate from, so I had to learn about that. I had upgraded WordPress to the new 3.0 during that time, and I had changed themes. I thought maybe that had something to do with it. I briefly looked at the RSS code in the WordPress files on my host server, GoDaddy. That was mind numbing. I even briefly tried to teach myself how to read/write code, until I got a sharp pain in my hippocampus. Ouch!!
Then there is the whole Feedburner thing. My feeds get filtered through Feedburner, which I love because of the added extras and the analytics, but I thought maybe that was where the problem was. Fortunately for me, they have a tab called “troubleshootize.” I had tried it once and missed my answer the first time around! It wasn’t until I tried it again on a different day that the answer seeped through the molasses of my aging brain. While I was troubleshootinizing on Feedburner, there was a link to a feed validator. It told me what I already knew, that my feed didn’t work. Duh! But what I hadn’t noticed before was that it details the exact line in the code where the problem lies! And it was in the very last line!!! After the </rss>! The last line, a short little line of code, was obviously a little program linking to a website, holasion.com. I developed an instant fever and shaking chills as I realized I was infected with a f*#%$#@g virus!!!
A quick search taught me that many others had been this way before me… back in May! And the advice was to instantly shut the site down until it got fixed, so as to not infect other computers. So right off the bat, I want to say that if I passed on an infection to anyone while my site was not wearing its condom, I sincerely apologize! And I’m writing this post to make amends and maybe help some other poor soul out there who is agonizing like I did.
I also learned that there were several services out there that would gladly fix my problem… for about $150.00 That told me it would probably take someone less than an hour to fix it. So I figured maybe I could do it myself. (Stop laughing!) I poked around for a while to see if someone had published an easy fix, but lucky for me, I didn’t find such a thing. So my next move was to call GoDaddy for their advice. I waited the compulsory 15-20 minutes, several times, until I was sent to the right person. While we were fussing with plugins and such, one of his colleagues had run a virus program on my site, and found the virus in 103 of my site’s files!!! Better yet, they fixed it on the spot! For free! Or should I say, included in the cost of hosting my site on GoDaddy, which is very reasonable. I am so very, very grateful for that! I am now proudly flying a couple of flags to GoDaddy on my sidebar.
Again, deeply sorry if I caused anyone any harm!
A sad story, with a happy ending! 🙂