Arne Brachhold

Google (XML) Sitemap Generator Plugin Help

Filed under: — arne on May 3, 2014

Welcome to the new help page of the Google Sitemap Generator Plugin for WordPress. This help page is valid for the version 4 of the plugin and newer.

General Questions regarding XML Sitemaps

What is a Google Sitemap?

Basically, a Google Sitemap is a file which contains URLs and some additional information for all public pages or documents of your website. Google and other search engines can read this file and add the defined pages to their index.

How can I create Google Sitemap for my WordPress blog?

That is the major function of the Google Sitemap Plugin for WordPress. It is easy to install and will generate a sitemap containing all your WordPress content.

Will Google Sitemaps affect my ranking?

There are no evidences that a Google Sitemap will directly affect your ranking. However, it can help Google to index and crawl your page better which may result in a more complete index of your page.

Questions regarding the installation

How do I install the plugin?

Just install it like any other WordPress plugin. The easiest way is via the “Add plugin” function in WordPress. If that doesn’t work for you, download it to your computer and upload it via FTP to your wp-content/plugins directory. You don’t need to change anything in your webserver configuration, file permissions or upload any other files.

Do I need to change any settings?

The default settings are fine for most blogs. Feel free to change the priorities, change frequencies or what you want to include in your sitemap. If you ever need to reset the settings to their default values, click the button at the end of the settings page.

Settings explained

Update notification

  • Notify Google about updates of your Blog: This will ping Google every time you publish a new post or edit an old one. Google will fetch your sitemap afterwards and probably index your new post soon.
  • Notify Bing about updates of your Blog: This will ping Bing every time you publish a new post or edit an old one. Bing will fetch your sitemap afterwards and probably index your new post soon. Since the Yahoo Search is powered by Bing, your posts should also appear in Yahoo soon.
  • Add sitemap URL to the virtual robots.txt file: If activated, the plugin will add the URL of your sitemap to your robots.txt file. This allows search engines, which don’t support the ping notification like Baidu or Yandex, to find your sitemap. The sitemap is generated by WordPress, so make sure there is no robots.txt file saved in your blog directory!

Advanced options

  • Try to increase the memory limit: This option should actually not be necessary anymore, but if you ever get an out-of-memory error while requesting your sitemap, you can try to increase the limit here.
  • Try to increase the execution time limit: Similar like the memory limit, but his one defined the maximum execution time.
  • Include a XSLT stylesheet: Normally an XML sitemap just looks like a XML document, which is hard to read by humans. The plugin comes with a special stylesheet, which makes it more readable. Just keep the "use default" option checked to use it, or enter the full URL to your own stylesheet if you want to use another one. Please make sure it is on the same domain!
  • Override the base URL of the sitemap: Use this option if you want your sitemap to appear in the root of your domain in case WordPress is installed in a sub-directory. Please refer to this section of the help page for more information.
  • Include sitemap in HTML format: If activated, the plugin will also generate a sitemap in HTML format. This can be useful for bots which don’t understand the XML standard.
  • Allow anonymous statistics: This will send some anonymous statistics to the author of the plugin. It will send the following data: Plugin Version, WordPress Version, PHP Version, language, the number of posts in your blog (in steps by 50) and a unique string to avoid duplicates. Why is this useful? I can optimize the plugin for the most used WordPress / PHP versions and improve the translations for the most common languages. The plugin will NEVER send anything personal, for example your blog url, title, name or email address. There is no way to find out who is using the plugin for what.

Additional pages

  • Here you can specify files or URLs which should be included in the sitemap, but do not belong to your Blog/WordPress. For example, if your domain is and your blog is located on you might want to include your homepage at
    Note: If your blog is in a subdirectory and you want to add pages which are NOT in the blog directory or beneath, you MUST place your sitemap file in the root directory. Please see here how to do that.

Post priority

  • Do not use automatic priority calculation: All posts will have the same priority in your sitemap. It can be defined under "Priorities"
  • Comment Count: Uses the number of comments to calculate the priority of the posts.
  • Comment Average: Uses the number of comments to calculate the priority of the posts. The calculation base is the average number of comments per post.

Sitemap content

  • WordPress standard content: Check the items you want to include in your sitemap.
  • Custom taxonomies: Check all the custom taxonomies you would like to include.
  • Custom post types: Check all the custom post types you would like to include.
  • Include the last modification time: This will add the last modification date to all your entries in the sitemap. Search engines can use this information to revisit the page again if it has changed. It is strongly recommended to keep this option activated.

Exclude items

  • Excluded categories: If you exclude a category here, no posts from this category will appear in your sitemap.
  • Exclude posts: Use this option to exclude specific posts from the sitemap. You need to enter the ID of the post, which you can find under the "Edit Post" screen of WordPress. Separate multiple posts by comma.

Change frequencies / priorities

  • Change frequencies: With this settings you can give search engines a hint, how many times the content of your blog changes. Note that it is up to the search engine how many times older content is rechecked again.
  • Priorities: With this settings you can give search engines a hint, how important the content of your blog is. This value is always in relation to all other content of your blog, so setting everything to highest (=1.0) doesn’t make any sense.

Other features

Move your sitemap to your domain root

If your Blog is located in a sub-directory ( your sitemap will be generated under If you want to move your sitemap to, please enter "" under "Override the base URL of the sitemap" at the plugin settings page and add the following rewrite rule to your .htaccess file under your domain root:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^sitemap(-+([a-zA-Z0-9_-]+))?\.xml(\.gz)?$ /your-blogdir/sitemap$1.xml$2 [L]

Replace "your-blogdir" with the name of the sub-directory of your WordPress installation.

Common problems

Google Webmaster Tools shows 0 indexed pages

Sometimes you might experienced the issue, that Google Webmaster Tools shows some pages of the sitemap as “submitted”, but not as “indexed” or the number of indexed pages is lower than the submitted ones. Please verify the following:

  • That you have verified the right website. As explained in this blog article, Google differentiates between http / https, www / non-www and root / subfolder. So if you run your blog on make sure you add to Google Webmaster Tools and as your sitemap. If you add or you will NOT see indexed pages!
  • That your sitemap does not have any errors. Your sitemap might contain warnings, for example if your website was loading slowly when Google tried to crawl it. This is not an issue with your sitemap
  • If your sitemap contains links to pages which are not available, try to find them in WordPress and check which plugins you have installed. The plugin reads all posts from the post table which are published and don’t have a password. If something appears in your sitemap, it is in your WordPress database.
  • As a last note: The statistic in Google Webmaster Tools are NOT realtime. They are for information purposes only. Use the "site:" operator in Google Search to find out which pages of your blog are really currently indexed. It might take a few hours or sometimes even days until new URLs show up as indexed in Google Webmaster Tools, but actually they are included in the search results already.

Google Webmaster Tools reports "Missing XML tag"

This usually happens if Google reads a sitemap without any content. Check the sitemap and see if there are any URLs inside. If not, please try the following:

  • If the problematic sitemap is sitemap-externals.xml: Did you add any external pages? If so, please check if the URL for each of them is correct. Also make sure there is no empty line in the "Additional pages" section of the plugin settings page. Please also try to save all settings again using the "Update Options" button at the end of the page.
  • If the problematic sitemap is sitemap-archives.xml: If you don’t have any posts (only pages), you can disable the "Include archives" setting under "Sitemap content" to resolve this issue.

Google Webmaster Tools reports "Invalid XML" or my Browser says "error on line XX at column 6: XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document"

Please open your sitemap in your browser and chose "View Source". Is there a blank line or whitespace in front of the XML tag? That’s the problem. Probably your RSS feeds do also not work. The reason for this problem is a new line or a whitespace in another plugin or the functions.php file of your theme. Check that the functions.php file ends with ?> and there is no blank line or whitespace after it. If that doesn’t work, try to disable other plugins one-by-one to find the bad one. As a temporary workaround, you can also try this fix.

Google Webmaster Tools reports "Sitemap is in HTML format"

That happens from time to time and is an issue in Google Webmaster Tools. Try to resubmit your sitemap and wait, normally it goes away after some time.

Google Webmaster Tools reports "404 Not found" for the sitemap

  • Check your permalinks settings of WordPress and click the Save button there.
  • If you are using nginx as a webserver, please add the Rewrite Rules manually. They should be displayed at the Plugins settings page.
  • If you are using W3 Total Cache and activated the "Do not process 404 errors for static objects with WordPress" feature under "Browser Cache", please add the rules stated below to the "404 error exception list":
    Newer versions of W3 Total Cache (> 0.9.4) already include this fix.

My Sitemap does not update

Are you sure about this? With version 4, the plugin uses a new format for the sitemap. Please read this article for details. In your main sitemap (sitemap.xml) there is only one entry per month for your posts. Click the current month or any other sub-sitemap to see the actual posts. There you will probably also find your newest post!

Other topcis

Why does my sitemap look different than before?

Version 4 introduced a new, more flexible and efficient format for your sitemap. Please read this article for details.

My question is not answered here

If you have a problem with the plugin and is not handled here, you can visit the support forums. Please read this topic first before opening a new thread!.

I’ve seen your name on website XYZ and have questions regarding the content.

With a 99.9% chance I am not affiliated with the website you are talking about. The website is probably using one of my WordPress plugins and you have found a note about that. Please try to find out the real website owner and don’t contact me. I also can’t help you finding the right person. Sorry!

Google (XML) Sitemap Generator New Sitemap Format

Filed under: — arne on April 19, 2014

About the new sitemap format

With the release of version 4 of the sitemaps plugin, the type of the generated sitemap changed from a single sitemap file to a sitemap-index file with sub-sitemaps.

The old sitemap format

The old sitemap looked like the following table. It included all the content of your blog in a single file.

URL Priority Changing Last modified 100% Weekly 2011-12-18 21:12 100% Weekly 2011-12-19 21:56 100% Weekly 2011-12-20 12:34 100% Weekly 2011-12-21 15:29 100% Weekly 2011-12-22 16:12 100% Weekly 2011-12-22 17:56

The new sitemap format

The new sitemap format looks like the following table. Instead of including all content in one huge file, the sitemap index-file links to several sub-sitemaps as described in the official Sitemaps Protocol. For each content-type (Posts, Pages, Custom Post Types, Taxonomies) there is a sub-sitemap, for some of them (posts) there is one for each month. The actual sub-sitemaps look like the old format showed above.

URL Last modified 2011-08-12 19:45 2013-01-18 12:38 2013-01-18 21:64

What are the benefits?

  • The required resources on server-side are lower. Instead of generating a huge sitemap, which required a lot of memory and CPU, only small pieces are served on request. That avoids any memory errors or capacity problems on the server.
  • Your sitemap can contain more content. Each sitemap is limited in size and the number of URLs inside. Splitting the sitemap up means there is more room for your posts.
  • The sitemap loads faster. Since the sub-sitemaps are much smaller than the huge old sitemap, they obviously load faster.
  • Less traffic. The search engines can see when the sub-sitemaps have been modified, so they can request only the ones which have changed.


  • Do i need to submit each sub-sitemap to Google? No, the plugin will automatically tell Google about the index file. Google handles the sub-sitemaps automatically!
  • Will the new sitemap format hurt my rankings? No, why should that happen? The new format is an official sitemap format defined by Google. In fact, Google is using the new format for their own blogs! XML Sitemap of Google Webmaster Blog
  • For some reason, I don’t like the new format. Can I change to the old one?. There is not really a reason to not use the new format, but if you really don’t like it, you can use the 3.x version of the plugin!

Google (XML) Sitemap Generator Plugin Support

Filed under: — arne on January 1, 2009

Support for this plugin is available as professional and free support. Please choose the option which fits you best:

Professional Support

  • Get support directly from the plugin author
  • Get exclusive features
  • Get access to beta versions

Sign up now

Community Support

  • Free support via the WordPress support forums

Visit forums

What’s the right option for me?
Due to the popularity of the plugin, it is impossible to provide quality support for free. If you are a professional user, IT agency or web developer who sells and installs WordPress for third party companies, the professional support will be the right choice for you. It allows you to contact the plugin author directly and receive the best and most professional support for the plugin. Additionally the professional version includes a "White Label" mode which removes all backlinks and donation information, which is especially useful if your clients access the WordPress administration interface too.

Alternatively, you can ask in the free and public WordPress forums for help and visit the FAQ.

Google (XML) Sitemap Generator Plugin Changelog

Filed under: — arne on October 3, 2007

This is the changelog of the Google (XML) Sitemap Generator Plugin for WordPress. Most of the older releases are available at the download archive. The current stable version is always available on the plugin site. If you need the current development release (svn trunk), you can download it here.

New in Version 4.0.8 (2014-11-15):

  • Fixed bug regarding the exclude categories feature, thanks to Claus Schöffel!

New in Version (2014-09-02):

  • Sorry, no new features this time… This release only updates the Compatibility-Tag to WordPress 4.0. Unfortunately there is no way to do this anymore without a new version.
  • New changes coming soon :)

New in Version 4.0.7 (2014-06-23):

  • Better compatibility with GoDaddy managed WP hosting
  • Better compatibility with QuickCache
  • Removed WordPress version from the sitemap
  • Corrected link to WordPress privacy settings (if search engines are blocked)
  • Changed hook which is being used for sitemap pings to avoid pings on draft edit

New in Version 4.0.6 (2014-06-03):

  • Added option to disable automatic gzipping
  • Fixed bug with duplicated external sitemap entries
  • Don’t gzip if behind Varnish since Varnish can do that

New in Version 4.0.5 (2014-05-18):

  • Added function to manually start ping for main-sitemap or all sub-sitemaps
  • Added support for changing the base of the sitemap URL to another URL (for WP installations in sub-folders)
  • Fixed issue with empty post sitemaps (related to GMT/local time offset)
  • Fixed some timing issues in archives
  • Improved check for possible problems before gzipping
  • Fixed empty archives and author sitemaps in case there were no posts
  • Fixed bug which caused the Priority Provider to disappear in recent PHP versions
  • Plugin will also ping with the corresponding sub-sitemap in case a post was modified
  • Better checking for empty external urls
  • Changed text in XSL template to be more clear about sitemap-index and sub-sitemaps
  • Changed content type to text/xml to improve compatibility with caching plugins
  • Changed query parameters to is_feed=true to improve compatibility with caching plugins
  • Switched from using WP_Query to load posts to a custom SQL statement to avoid problems with other plugin filters
  • Added caching of some SQL statements
  • Added support feed for more help topics
  • Added link to new help page
  • Cleaned up code and renamed variables to be more readable
  • Updated Japanese Translation, thanks to Daisuke Takahashi

New in Version 4.0.4 (2014-04-19):

  • Removed deprecated get_page call
  • Changed last modification time of sub-sitemaps to the last modification date of the posts instead of the publish date
  • Removed information window if the statistic option has not been activated
  • Added link regarding new sitemap format
  • Updated Portuguese translation, thanks to Pedro Martinho
  • Updated German translation

New in Version 4.0.3 (2014-04-13):

  • Fixed compression if an gzlib handler was already active
  • Help regarding permalinks for Nginx users
  • Fix with gzip compression in case there was other output before already
  • Return 404 for HTML sitemaps if the option has been disabled
  • Updated translations

New in Version 4.0.2 (2014-04-01):

  • Fixed warning if an gzip handler is already active

New in Version 4.0.1 (2014-03-31):

  • Fixed bug with custom post types including a "-"
  • Fixed some 404 Not Found Errors

New in Version 4.0 (2014-03-30):

  • No static files anymore, sitemap is created on the fly!
  • Sitemap is split-up into sub-sitemaps by month, allowing up to 50.000 posts per month! More information
  • Support for custom post types and custom taxonomis!
  • 100% Multisite compatible, including by-blog and network activation.
  • Reduced server resource usage due to less content per request.
  • New API allows other plugins to add their own, separate sitemaps.
  • Note: PHP 5.1 and WordPress 3.3 is required! The plugin will not work with lower versions!
  • Note: This version will try to rename your old sitemap files to *-old.xml. If that doesn’t work, please delete them manually since no static files are needed anymore!

New in Version 3.4.1 (2014-04-10):

  • Compatibility with mysqli

New in Version 3.4 (2013-11-24):

  • Fixed deprecation warnings in PHP 5.4, thanks to Dion Hulse!

New in Version 3.3 (2013-09-28):

  • Fixed problem with file permission checking
  • Filter out hashs (#) in URLs

New in Version 3.2.9 (2013-01-11):

  • Fixed security issue with change frequencies and filename of sitemap file. Exploit was only possible with admin account.

New in Version 3.2.8 (2012-08-08):

  • Fixed wrong custom taxonomy URLs, thanks to ramon fincken of the forum!
  • Removed ASK ping since they shut down their service.
  • Exclude post_format taxonomy from custom taxonomy list

New in Version 3.2.7 (2012-04-24):

  • Fixed custom post types, thanks to clearsite of the forum!
  • Fixed broken admin layout on WP 3.4

New in Version 3.2.6 (2011-09-19):

  • Removed YAHOO ping since YAHOO uses bing now
  • Removed deprecated function call

New in Version 3.2.5 (2011-07-11):

  • Backported Bing ping success fix from beta
  • Added friendly hint to try out the new beta

New in Version 3.2.4 (2010-05-29):

  • Added (GMT) to date column in sitemap xslt template to avoid confusion with different time zones
  • Fixed wrong SQL statement for author pages, thanks to twoenoug
  • Fixed several deprecated function calls
  • Note: This release does not support the new multisite feature of WordPress yet and will not be active when multisite is enabled.

New in Version 3.2.3 (2010-04-02):

  • Fixed that all pages were missing in the sitemap if the “Uncategorized” category was excluded

New in Version 3.2.2 (2009-12-19):

  • Updated compatibility tag to WordPress 2.9
  • Fixed PHP4 problems

New in Version 3.2.1 (2009-12-16):

  • Notes and update messages at the top of the admin page could interfere with the manual build function
  • Help links in the WP contextual help were not shown anymore since the last update
  • IE 7 sometimes displayed a cached admin page
  • Removed invalid link to config page from the plugin description (The link lead to a "Not enough permission error")
  • Improved performance of getting the current plugin version by caching
  • Updated Spanish language files

New in Version 3.2 (2009-11-23):

  • Added function to show the actual results of a ping instead of only linking to the url
  • Added new hook (sm_rebuild) for third party plugins to start building the sitemap
  • Fixed bug which showed the wrong URL for the latest Google ping result
  • Added some missing documentation
  • Removed hardcoded php name for sitemap file in admin urls
  • Uses KSES for showing ping test results
  • Ping test fixed for WP < 2.3

New in Version 3.1.9 (2009-11-13):

  • Fixed MySQL Error if author pages were included

New in Version 3.1.8 (2009-11-07):

  • Improved custom taxonomy handling and fixed wrong last modification date
  • Fixed fatal error in WordPress versions lower than 2.3
  • Fixed Update Notice for WordPress 2.8 and higher
  • Added warning if blog privacy is activated
  • Fixed priorities of additional pages were shown as 0 instead of 1

New in Version 3.1.7 (2009-10-21):

  • Added support for custom taxonomies. Thanks to Lee!

New in Version 3.1.6 (2009-08-31):

  • Fixed PHP error “Only variables can be passed by reference”
  • Fixed wrong URLS of multi-page posts (Thanks artstorm!)
  • Updated many language files

New in Version 3.1.5 (2009-08-24):

  • Added option to completely disable the last modification time
  • Fixed problem with HTTPS url for the XSL stylesheet if the sitemap was build via the admin panel
  • Improved handling of homepage entry if a single page was set for it
  • Fixed mktime warning which appeared sometimes
  • Fixed bug which caused inf. reloads after rebuilding the sitemap via the admin panel
  • Improved handling of missing sitemaps files if WP was moved to another location

New in Version 3.1.4 (2009-06-22):

  • Fixed bug which broke all pings in WP older than 2.7
  • Added more output in debug mode if pings fail
  • Moved global post variable so other plugins can use it in get_permalink()
  • Added small icon for ozh admin menu
  • Added more help links in UI

New in Version 3.1.3 (2009-06-07):

  • Changed MSN Live Search to Bing
  • Exclude categories also now exludes the category itself and not only the posts
  • Pings now use the new WordPress HTTP API instead of Snoopy
  • Fixed bug that in localized WP installations priorities could not be saved
  • The sitemap cron job is now cleared after a manual rebuild or after changing the config
  • Adjusted style of admin area for WP 2.8 and refreshed icons
  • Disabled the “Exclude categories” feature for WP 2.5.1, since it doesn’t have the required functions yet

New in Version 3.1.2 (2008-12-26):

  • Changed the way the stylesheet is saved (default / custom stylesheet)
  • Sitemap is now rebuild when a page is published
  • Removed support for static robots.txt files, this is now handled via WordPress functions
  • Added compat. exceptions for WP 2.0 and WP 2.1

New in Version 3.1.1 (2008-12-21):

  • Fixed redirect issue if wp-admin is rewritten via mod_rewrite, thanks to macjoost
  • Fixed wrong path to assets, thanks PozHonks
  • Fixed wrong plugin URL if wp-content was renamed / redirected, thanks to wnorris
  • Updated WP User Interface for 2.7
  • Various other small things

New in Version (2008-05-27):

  • Extracted UI JS to external file
  • Enabled the option to include following pages of multi-page posts
  • Script tries to raise memory and time limit if active

New in Version 3.1 (2008-05-22):

  • Marked as stable

New in Version 3.1b3 (2008-05-19):

  • Cleaned up plugin directory and moved img files to subfolders
  • Fixed background building bug in WP 2.1
  • Removed auto-update plugin link for WP < 2.5

New in Version 3.1b2 (2008-05-18):

  • Fixed critical bug with the build in background option
  • Added notification if a build is scheduled

New in Version 3.1b1 (2008-05-08):

  • Splitted plugin in loader, generator and user interface to save memory
  • Generator and UI will only be loaded when needed
  • Secured all admin actions with nonces
  • Improved WP 2.5 handling
  • New "Suggest a Feature" link

New in Version (2008-04-29):

  • Fixed author pages
  • Enhanced background building and increased delay to 15 seconds
  • Enabled background building by default

New in Version (2008-04-28):

  • Improved WP 2.5 handling (fixes blank screens and timeouts)

New in Version (2008-03-30):

  • Added compatibility CSS for WP 2.5

New in Version 3.0.3 (2007-12-30):

  • Added option to ping MSN Live Search
  • Removed some WordPress hooks (the sitemap isn’t updates with every comment anymore)

New in Version (2007-11-28):

  • Fixed wrong XML Schema Location (Thanks to Emanuele Tessore)
  • Added Russian Language files by Sergey

New in Version 3.0.2 (2007-11-25):

  • Fixed bug which caused that some settings were not saved correctly
  • Added option to exclude pages or post by ID
  • Restored YAHOO ping service with API key since the other one is to unreliable

New in Version 3.0.1 (2007-11-03):

  • Changed HTTP client for ping requests to Snoopy
  • Added "safemode" for SQL which doesn’t use unbuffered results
  • Added option to run the building process in background using wp-cron
  • Added links to test the ping if it failed

New in Version 3.0 (final) (2007-09-24):

  • Marked as stable
  • Removed useless functions

New in Version 3.0b11 (2007-09-23):

  • Changed mysql queries to unbuffered queries
  • Uses MUCH less memory
  • Option to limit the number of posts

New in Version 3.0b10 (2007-09-04):

  • Added category support for WordPress 2.3
  • Fixed bug with empty URLs in sitemap
  • Repaired GET building

New in Version 3.0b9 (2007-09-02):

  • Added tag support for WordPress 2.3
  • Fixed archive bug with static pages (Thanks to Peter Claus Lamprecht)
  • Fixed some missing translation strings, thanks to Kirin Lin

New in Version 3.0b8 (2007-07-22):

  • Fixed bug with empty categories
  • Fixed bug with translation plugins
  • Added support for robots.txt
  • Switched YAHOO ping API from YAHOO Web Services to the “normal” ping service
  • Search engines will only be pinged if the sitemap file has changed

New in Version 3.0b7 (2007-05-17):

  • Added notification
  • Added option to include the author pages like /author/john
  • Fixed WP 2.1 / Pre 2.1 post / pages database changes
  • Added check to not build the sitemap if importing posts
  • Fixed wrong XSLT location (Thanks froosh)
  • Small enhancements and bug fixes

New in Version 3.0b6 (2007-01-23):

  • sitemap.xml.gz was not compressed
  • YAHOO update-notification was PHP5 only (Thanks to Joseph Abboud!)
  • More WP 2.1 optimizations
  • Reduced memory usage with PHP5

New in Version 3.0b5 (2007-01-19):

  • WordPress 2 Design
  • YAHOO update notification
  • New status report, removed ugly logfiles
  • Added option to define a XSLT stylesheet and added a default one
  • Fixed bug with sub-pages, thanks to Mike, Peter and Glenn
  • Improved file handling, thanks to VJTD3
  • WP 2.1 improvements

New in Version 3.0b4 (2006-11-16):

  • Fixed some smaller bugs
  • Decreased memory usage which should solve timeout and memory problems
  • Updated namespace to support YAHOO and MSN

New in Version 3.0b2 (2006-01-14):

  • Fixed several bugs reported by users

New in Version 3.0b (2005-11-25):

  • WordPress 2.0 (Beta, RC1) compatible
  • Added different priority calculation modes and introduced an API to create custom ones
    Some people didn’t like the way to calculate the post priority based on the count of user comments. This will give you the possibility to develop custom priority providers which fit your needs.
  • Added support to use the Popularity Contest plugin by Alex King to calculate post priority
    If you are already using the Popularity Contest plugin, this will be the best way to determine the priority of the posts. Uses to new priority API noted above.
  • Added option to exclude password protected posts
    This was one of the most requested features.
  • Posts and pages marked for publish with a date in the future won’t be included
  • Added function to start sitemap creation via GET and a secret key
    If you are using external software which directly writes into the database without using the WordPress API, you can rebuild the sitemap with a simple HTTP Request. This can be made with a cron job for example.
  • Improved compatibility with other plugins
    There should no longer be problems with other plugins now which checked for existence of a specified function to determine if you are in the control panel or not.
  • Recoded plugin architecture which is now fully OOP
    The code is now cleaner and better to understand which makes it easier to modify. This should also avoid namespace problems.
  • Improved speed and optimized settings handling
    Settings and pages are only loaded if the siemap generation process starts and not every time a page loads. This saves one MySQL Query on every request.
  • Added Button to restore default configuration
    Messed up the config? You’ll need just one click to restore all settings.
  • Added log file to check everything is running
    In the new log window you can see when your sitemap was rebuilt or if there was any error.
  • Improved user-interface
  • Added several links to homepage and support
    This includes the Notify List about new releases and the WordPress support forum.

New in Version 2.7 (2005-11-25):

  • Added Polish Translation by kuba

New in Version 2.7 (2005-11-01):

New in Version 2.7 (2005-07-21):

  • Fixed bug with incorrect date in additional pages (wrong format)
  • Added Swedish Translation by Tobias Bergius

Update for Version 2.6 (2005-07-16):

  • Included Chinese (Simplified) language files by june6

New in Version 2.6 (2005-07-04):

  • Added support to store the files at a custom location
  • Changed the home URL to have a slash at the end
  • Fixed errors with wp-mail
  • Added support for other plugins to add content to the sitemap

New in Version 2.5 (2005-06-15):

  • You can include now external pages which aren’t generated by WordPress or are not recognized by this plugin
  • You can define a minimum post priority, which will overrride the calculated value if it’s too low
  • The plugin will automatically ping Google whenever the sitemap gets regenerated
  • Update 1: Included Spanish translations by César Gómez Martín
  • Update 2: Included Italian translations by Stefano Aglietti
  • Update 3: Included Traditional Chinese translations by Kirin Lin

New in Version 2.2 (2005-06-08):

  • Language file support:
    Hiromasa from sent me a japanese version of the user interface and modified the script to support it! Thanks for this! Check the WordPress Codex how to set the language in WordPress.
  • Added Japanese user interface by Hiromasa
  • Added German user interface by me

New in Version 2.12 (2005-06-07):

  • Changed SQL Statement for categories that it also works on MySQL 3

New in Version 2.11 (2005-06-07):

  • Fixed a hardcoded tablename which made a SQL error

New in version 2.1 (2005-06-07):

  • Can also generate a gzipped version of the xml file (sitemap.xml.gz)
  • Uses correct last modification dates for categories and archives. (Thanks to thx Rodney Shupe for the SQL)
  • Supports now different WordPress / Blog directories
  • Fixed bug which ignored different post/page priorities (Reported by Brad)

New in Version 2.01 (2005-06-07):

  • Fixed compatibility for PHP installations which are not configured to use short open tags
  • Changed Line 147 from _e($i); to _e(strval($i));
  • Thanks to Christian Aust for reporting this!

Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress

Filed under: — arne on September 24, 2007
WordPress 3.3+:
WordPress < 3.3:

This plugin generates a XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by, Google, YAHOO and MSN Search.

More information about what XML-Sitemaps are and how they can help you to get indexed by the major search engines can be found at and the searchenginewatch blog.

If you have questions about XML-Sitemaps or run into problems, have a look at my Sitemaps FAQ.

Note: The XML-Sitemap format was introduced in 2005 by Google and adopted in 2006 by YAHOO, Live and so that’s why it’s often called "Google Sitemaps".

Download | Installation | Help & FAQ | Changelog | Donate

Problems with your sitemap? Read my Sitemaps FAQ.


  • Support for all WordPress content, including custom post types, taxonomies, archives, authors, …
  • No PHP skills or file changes needed
  • User interface to customize all parameters like priorities etc.
  • Available in many languages
  • Calculates a priority for each post, based on the number of comments
  • Notifies Google, Bing and YAHOO about changes via ping
  • Includes a WordPress filter for other plugins which can add their pages to the sitemap
  • 100% Multisite compatible, including by-blog and network activation.
  • …and many more!

Download (includes all languages):

Download Icon Download new version with dynamic sub-sitemaps

Download Icon Download older version with single static sitemap

See here for an explanation about single and sub-sitemaps.

Thanks for the translations: Arabian, Belorussian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portugese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Simplified, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Pricing and Licensing:

Good news, this plugin is free for everyone! Since it’s released under GPL, you can use it free of charge on your personal or commercial blog. But if you enjoy this plugin, you can thank me and leave a small donation for the time I’ve spent writing and supporting this plugin. And I really don’t want to know how many hours of my life this plugin has already eaten 😉

$250.00 $150.00 $75.00
$50.00 $30.00 $20.00
$10.00 $5.00 $2.00

If you don’t like PayPal, you can also send me an gift certificate.
Thanks for your support! :)

Notify List:

Subscribe to get notified about new major releases and security issues. Maybe one mail per year, confirmation required (double-opt-in).


Simply download the Zip-Archive and extract all files into your wp-content/plugins/ directory. Then go into your WordPress administration page, click on Plugins and activate it. After that you will have a new menu point called "Sitemap" under the "Options" menu. You can alter the default change frequencies and other options there.

Suggest a feature:

Submit your own ideas and browse existing suggestions on the UserVoice Forum.

Example of a generated sitemap: or


Cutout of the administration UI, click for full image:
Cutout of the Administration Interface
Yes, that screen is still from WordPress 2.0 😉

Google Sitemaps FAQ (Sitemap Issues And Errors)

Filed under: SEO,Sitemaps — arne on April 7, 2006

In June 2005, Google announced a new service called Google Sitemaps. This program allows webmaster to submit an index of URLs which they want to have included in Googles web search. It’s free to use and helps Google to get a more complete overview of your pages.

You are looking at the FAQ for the old version (3.x) of the plugin. Please have a look at the new help page for the most recent information.
(Read on …)