Wordpress Plugins – Extensions

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XML Sitemap Feed 3.8.3

Author: RavanH
This plugin dynamically creates an feed that complies with the XML Sitemap protocol. There are no options to be set and the feed becomes instantly available after activation on yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml and on yourblogurl.tld/?feed=sitemap for if you do not use a fancy permalink structure, ready for indexing by search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com and others

Just use that slick installation and auto update feature on your Pugins page

… OR …

follow these simple steps:

Download archive.
Upload the zip file via the Plugins > Add New > Upload page … OR … unpack and upload with your favourite FTP client to the /plugins/ folder.
Activate the plugin on the Plug-ins page.
If you have been using another XML Sitemap plugin before, check your site root and remove any created sitemap.xml file that remained there.

Done! Check your sparkling new XML Sitemap by visiting yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml (adapted to your domain name ofcourse) with a browser or any online XML Sitemap validator. You might also want to check if the sitemap is listed in your yourblogurl.tld/robots.txt file.

WordPress 3+ in Multi Site mode

Same as above but do a Network Activate to make a XML sitemap available for each site on your network.

WordPress MU

The plugin works best from the /mu-plugins/ folder where it runs quietly in the background without bothering any blog owner with new options or the need for special knowledge of XML Sitemap submission. Just upload the complete package content to /mu-plugins/ and move the file xml-sitemap.php from the new /mu-plugins/xml-sitemap-feed/ to /mu-plugins/.

Installed alongside WordPress MU Sitewide Tags Pages, XML Sitemap Feed will not create a sitemap.xml nor change robots.txt for any tag blogs. This is done deliberately because they would be full of links outside the tags blogs own domain and subsequently ignored (or worse: penalised) by Google.

How are the values for priority and changefreq calculated?

The front page has a fixed priority of 100% (1.0). When your site has more posts than pages (you must be using WordPress for a blog), pages have a default priority of 40% (0.4) and posts have a default priority of 80% (0.8). If your site has more pages than posts (you must be using WordPress as CMS), pages have a default priority of 80% (0.8) and posts have a default priority of 40% (0.4).

Page and post priority can vary between 0% (0.0) and 100% (1.0). Page priority depends on the page level (decreasing 10% for each sub-level) and relative number of comments. Post priority depends on relative number of comments and relative last comment age or (when the post has no comments) last post modification age.

The changefreq of the front page is fixed to daily and calculated for pages and post to either daily, weekly, monthly or yearly depending on age and comment activity.

Dynamic pages like category pages, tag pages and archive pages are not listed in the XML Sitemap.

Can I manipulate values for priority and changefreq?

Yes and No. This plugin has no options page so there is no way to manually set the priority of urls in the sitemap. But there is automatic post priority calculation based on post modifaction date and comment activity, that can either make post priority go to 100% (1.0) for posts with many and recent comments or 0% (0) for the oldest posts with no comments.

This feature can be used to your advantage: by re-saving your most important older posts from time to time, keeping the lastmod date fairly recent, you can ensure a priority of at least 80% (0.8) for those URLs. And if you have comments on on those pages, the priority will even go up to 90% (0.9).

If you cannot live with these rules, edit the values $min_priority, $max_priority and $frontpage_priority in xml-sitemap-feed/feed-sitemap.php but be careful to not do an automatic upgrade or it will overwrite your customisation.

Do I need to submit the sitemap to search engines?

No. In normal circumstances, your site will be indexed by the major search engines before you know it. The search engines will be looking for a robots.txt file and (with this plugin activated) find a pointer in it to the XML Sitemap on your blog. The search engines will return on a regular basis to see if your site has updates.
( Read more about Ping-O-Matic under Does this plugin ping search engines (below) to make sure your site is under normal circumstances 😉 )

But if you have a server without rewrite rules, use your blog without fancy URLs (meaning, you have WordPress Permalinks set to the old Default value) or have it installed in a subdirectory, read Do I need to change my robots.txt for more instructions.

Does this plugin ping search engines?

No. While other XML Sitemap plugins provide pinging to some search engines upon each post edit or publication, this plugin does not. There are two reasons for that:

WordPress has a built-in pinging feature. Go in your WP Admin section to Settings > Writing and make sure that the text area under Update services contains at least


Read more on Ping-O-Matic about what excellent service you are actually getting for free with every WordPress blog installation!

For the average website, in my experience, pinging Google or others after each little change does not benefit anything except a theoretical smaller delay in re-indexation of your website. This is only theoretical because if your site is popular and active, major search engines will likely be crawling your site on a very regular basis anyway. And if, on the other hand, your site is not high on the agenda of the major search engines, they will likely give no priority to your pings at all.

You can always take a Google Webmaster Tools account which will tell you many interesting things about your website, sitemap downloads, search terms and your visitors. Try it!

Do I need to change my robots.txt?

That depends. In normal circumstances, if you have no physical robots.txt file in your site root, the new sitemap url will be automatically added to the dynamic robots.txt that is generated by WordPress. But in some cases this might not be the case.

If you use a static robots.txt file in your website root, you will need to open it in a text editor. If there is already a line with Sitemap: http://yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml you can just leave it like it is. But if there is no sitemap referrence there, add it (adapted to your site url) to make search engines find your XML Sitemap.

Or if you have WP installed in a subdirectory, on a server without rewrite_rules or if you do not use fancy URLs in your Permalink structure settings. In these cases, WordPress will need a little help in getting ready for XML Sitemap indexing. Read on in the WordPress section for more.

My WordPress powered blog is installed in a subdirectory. Does that change anything?

That depends on where the index.php and .htaccess of your installation resides. If it is in the root, meaning WP is installed in a subdir but the blog is accessible from your domain root, you do not have to do anything. It should work out of the box. However, if the index.php is (e.g. still with your wp-config.php and all other WP files) in a subdir, meaning your blog is only accessible via that subdir, you need to manage your own robots.txt file in your domain root. It has to be in the root (!) and needs a line starting with Sitemap: followed by the full URL to the sitemap feed provided by XML Sitemap Feed plugin. Like:

Sitemap: http://yourblogurl.tld/subdir/sitemap.xml

If you already have a robots.txt file with another Sitemap referrence like it, you might want to read more about creating an XML Sitemap Index on sitemaps.org to be able to referrence both sitemaps.

Do I need to use a fancy Permalink structure?

No. While I would advise you to use any one of the nicer Permalink structures for better indexing, you might not be able to (or don’t want to) do that. If so, you can still use this plugin:

Check to see if the URL yourblogurl.tld/?feed=sitemap does produce a feed. Now manually upload your own robots.txt file to your website root containing:

Sitemap: http://yourblogurl.tld/?feed=sitemap

User-agent: *
Allow: /

You can also choose to notify major search engines of your new XML sitemap manually. Start with getting a Google Webmaster Tools account and submit your sitemap for the first time from there to enable tracking of sitemap downloads by Google! or head over to XML-Sitemaps.com and enter your sites sitemap URL.

Can I change the sitemap name/URL?

No. If you have fancy URL’s turned ON in WordPress (Permalinks), the sitemap url that you manually submit to Google (if you are impatient) should be yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml but if you have the Permalinks’ Default option set the feed is only available via yourblogurl.tld/?feed=sitemap.

Where can I customize the xml output?

You may edit the XML output in xml-sitemap-feed/feed-sitemap.php but be careful not to break Sitemap protocol compliance. Read more on Sitemaps XML format.

The stylesheet (to make the sitemap human readable) can be edited in xml-sitemap-feed/sitemap.xsl.php.

I see no sitemap.xml file in my site root!

The sitemap is dynamically generated just like a feed. There is no actual file created.

I do see a sitemap.xml file in site root but it does not seem to get updated!

You are most likely looking at a sitemap.xml file that has been created by another XML Sitemap plugin before you started using this plugin. Just remove it and let the plugin dynamically generate it just like a feed. There is no actual file created.

If that’s not the case, you are probably using a caching plugin or your browser does not update to the latest feed output. Please verify.

I get an ERROR when opening the sitemap or robots.txt !

The following errors might be encountered:

404 page instead of my sitemap.xml

Try to refresh the Permalink structure in WordPress. Go to Settings > Permalinks and re-save them. Then reload the XML Sitemap in your browser with a clean browser cache. ( Try Ctrl+R to bypass the browser cache — this works on most but not all browsers. )

404 page instead of both sitemap.xml and robots.txt

There are plugins like Event Calendar (at least v.3.2.beta2) known to mess with rewrite rules, causing problems with WordPress internal feeds and robots.txt generation and thus conflict with the XML Sitemap Feed plugin. Deactivate all plugins and see if you get a basic robots.txt file showing:

User-agent: *

Reactivate your plugins one by one to find out which one is causing the problem. Then report the bug to the plugin developer.

404 page instead of robots.txt while sitemap.xml works fine

There is a know issue with WordPress (at least up to 2.8) not generating a robots.txt when there are no posts with published status. If you use WordPress as a CMS with only pages, this will affect you.

To get around this, you might either at least write one post and give it Private status or alternatively create your own robots.txt file containing:

Sitemap: http://yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml

User-agent: *
Allow: /

and upload it to your web root…

Can I do a Network Activate on WP3.0 MS / Site Wide Activate on WPMU with this plugin ?


Can I run this plugin from /mu-plugins/ on WP3.0 MS / WPMU ?


XML Sitemap Feed 3.8.3


August 6, 2010 - Posted by | download, extension, extensions, free, get, internet, plugin, plugins, Uncategorized, wordpress

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