What’s a xmlrpc.php file? Why is it Showing as a Broken Link?


If you have a WordPress site and run a broken link check you might see that every page on your site has a broken link ending with xmlrpc.php.  What the heck is that file?  Why does it show as a broken link?  No worries.  All is well. Here’s the scoop …

The xmlrpc.php file is used by apps and services to communicate with your WordPress site.   It’s used by a number of plugins, including the very popular JetPack plugin.

If you look more closely at your broken link report you should see that the you’re not really getting a 404 error.  In most cases there’s a 405 error associated with the xmlrpc.php file.  That’s a “method not allowed” error.

Here’s what’s going on, the link checker software runs through all the links on your site.  It comes to the xmlrpc.php file and tries to follow it like it would any other file.  But our friend xmlrpc.php is not like other files.  Because of its functionality it only accepts a certain type of request.  That type of request (a GET request and not a POST request) is not offered by the link checker software.  The link checker error doesn’t get what it expects and it reports the error.  It reports a 405 error because nothing is missing, instead things just didn’t work as expected.

Getting a 405 error for the xmlrpc.php file is fine.  That’s just how it shows up to link checker software.  You can either ignore it or if your link checker software has a place to exclude files you can add the xmlrpc.php file there.

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