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Here is my site. According to the WordPress codex, my comments feed should be http://oldmankit.com/comments/feed/. Indeed, every post has that link in its header. However, it's broken. If you click on that link, you'll see that loading it returns a completely blank page.

My first question is, can anyone help me work out why it's broken?

Second, is there a good reason to keep the comments feed? Obviously the posts feed is important for a blog, but a comments feed?

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You comment feed link works fine. – Wyck Jul 7 '13 at 3:40
Your page source is showing the right link though I, even can't get access to your comment feed. Can't understand why? Please make sure, your functions.php consists a code like this: add_theme_support( 'automatic-feed-links' ); – Mayeenul Islam Jul 7 '13 at 6:05
Does any post on your site actually have any comments? It can't show them if it doesn't have anything to show. – Otto Jul 7 '13 at 8:21
I'm embarassed to say that @Otto is right. I had a complete overhaul of the site (after getting hacked) and lost all the comments as I built the database from scratch. I just put one up and yes, now it's working. – oldmankit Jul 8 '13 at 8:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

A "feed" is just another view of the site, really. If there's no matching items, then you'll get a 404 and an empty "view". This view can be expressed as a "no items found" on the front end of the site, while it will be an empty feed if looking at a feed view.

Since you had no comments, the query matched nothing, resulting in a 404 header status and an empty feed (which was a correct feed and viewable if you did a view-source on it).

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The problem was that there were no comments on the whole site. Adding a comment resolved the problem.

(Thanks to @Otto for this answer.)

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That's peculiar behavior... I would expect feed with no items rather than 404. – Rarst Jul 8 '13 at 9:57
It doesn't actually display a 404 page, but I found the problem when using Xenu link sleuth, which detects 404s I think. (I'm not sure.) – oldmankit Jul 9 '13 at 4:31
@Rarst Any main query which results in no results causes a 404 status header to be set. It will still produce a normal empty feed for the content, but the status of the page will be 404. If this was not a feed request, then it would also set is_404 and cause the theme to load the 404.php file. – Otto Jul 9 '13 at 6:09
That's weird, because I actually got front-end 404 when checking out feed link in question back then. Never mind, probably some glitch... – Rarst Jul 9 '13 at 9:27

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