I used to have an old RSS feed setup on one of my sites, but have since removed it - due to the number of users accessing it. For whatever reason the number of hits to the RSS feed has brought down my site - by spiking my CPU usage to well over 100%.

Now my site is un-reachable so I've hone ahead and removed the old RSS feed. Now I'm getting about 20-25 GET requests to the URL every 5 seconds, which now return a 404.

TLDR; Site was taken down by users hitting an RSS feed, RSS feed no longer exists - but users are still hitting the RSS feed, can't access my site due to a 504 Time-Out. Not sure how to best proceed - other than blocking incoming GET requests.


  • 1
    Usually you could prevent this on .htaccess file, but why it is consuming your CPU? is that a WordPress 404 page where WP is loaded? if so then makes sense. You could exit (on init) all requests from there if you don't edit your .htaccess file. Also share with us a sample of the RSS feed URL – Samuel Elh Jun 3 '16 at 20:48
  • I wish I could tell you - been battling this for 2 days now with no clear end in site. I can't seem to locate the cause. Running on Digital Ocean, so not getting any support from them - I'm on my own. The RSS feed is gone, and no longer present on the site so there is nothing to share really. The feed was at www.example.com/?feed=adverts – EHerman Jun 3 '16 at 21:29
  • That's bad. I was talking about something like add_action("init", function() { if( isset( $_GET["feed"] ) && "adverts" == $_GET["feed"] ) { exit; } }); but since your site is gone and the bots are still requesting that RSS, you should block/deny them until you get access back to your site e.g stackoverflow.com/questions/31903448/… – Samuel Elh Jun 3 '16 at 21:59
  • best to do this in .htaccess but until you get that right you could do what @SamuelEth is suggesting - but earlier (temporarily)... open wp-load.php and add if ( (isset($_GET['feed']) && ($_GET['feed'] == 'adverts') ) {exit;} as this will bypass WP load completely... of course it is dirty but it's fast and gives you time to find and implement a working .htaccess rule. – majick Jun 4 '16 at 5:29

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