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A Sitemap library suitable for large sites. Compatible with most frameworks, including Rails and Merb.
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BigSitemap is a Sitemap ( generator suitable for applications with greater than 50,000 URLs. It splits large Sitemaps into multiple files, gzips the files to minimize bandwidth usage, batches database queries to minimize memory usage, supports increment updates, can be set up with just a few lines of code and is compatible with just about any framework.

BigSitemap is best run periodically through a Rake/Thor task.

require 'big_sitemap'

sitemap = => {:host => ''})

# Add a model
sitemap.add Product

# Add another model with some options
sitemap.add(Post, {
  :conditions       => {:published => true},
  :path             => 'articles',
  :change_frequency => 'daily',
  :priority         => 0.5

# Add a static resource
sitemap.add_static("",, 'montly', 0.1)

# Generate the files

The code above will create a minimum of three files:

  1. public/sitemaps/sitemap_index.xml.gz

  2. public/sitemaps/sitemap_products.xml.gz

  3. public/sitemaps/sitemap_posts.xml.gz

  4. public/sitemaps/sitemap_static.xml.gz

If your sitemaps grow beyond 50,000 URLs (this limit can be overridden with the :max_per_sitemap option), the sitemap files will be partitioned into multiple files (sitemap_products_1.xml.gz, sitemap_products_2.xml.gz, …).

If you're using Rails then the URLs for each database record are generated with the polymorphic_url helper. That means that the URL for a record will be exactly what you would expect: generated with respect to the routing setup of your app. In other contexts where this helper isn't available, the URLs are generated in the form:


If the to_param method does not exist, then id will be used.


Via gem:

sudo gem install big_sitemap



  • :url_options – hash with :host, optionally :port and :protocol

  • :base_url – string alternative to :url_options, e.g. “”

  • :document_root – string defaults to Rails.root or Merb.root if available

  • :path – string defaults to 'sitemaps', which places sitemap files under the /sitemaps directory

  • :max_per_sitemap50000, which is the limit dictated by Google but can be less

  • :batch_size1001 (not 1000 due to a bug in DataMapper)

  • :gziptrue

  • :ping_googletrue

  • :ping_yahoofalse, needs :yahoo_app_id

  • :ping_bingfalse

  • :ping_askfalse

  • :partial_updatefalse


You can chain methods together. You could even get away with as little code as: => {:host => ''}).add(Post).generate

Pinging Search Engines

To ping search engines, call ping_search_engines after you generate the sitemap:


Change Frequency, Priority and Last Modified

You can control “changefreq”, “priority” and “lastmod” values for each record individually by passing lambdas instead of fixed values:

  :change_frequency => lambda {|post| ... },
  :priority         => lambda {|post| ... },
  :last_modified    => lambda {|post| ... }

Find Methods

Your models must provide either a find_for_sitemap or all class method that returns the instances that are to be included in the sitemap.

Additionally, you models must provide a count_for_sitemap or count class method that returns a count of the instances to be included.

If you're using ActiveRecord (Rails) or DataMapper then all and count are already provided and you can make use of any supported parameter: (:conditions, :limit, :joins, :select, :order, :include, :group)

   :select           => "id, permalink, user_id, updated_at",
   :include          => :user,
   :conditions       => "public = 1 AND state = 'finished' AND user_id IS NOT NULL",
   :order            => "id ASC",

If you provide your own <code>find_for_sitemap</code> or <code>all</code> method then it should be able to handle the <code>:offset</code> and <code>:limit</code> options, in the same way that ActiveRecord and DataMapper handle them.  This is especially important if you have more than 50,000 URLs.

Partial Update

If you enable :partial_update, the filename will include an id smaller than the id of the first entry. This is perfect to update just the last file with new entries without the need to re-generate files being already there.

Rails Routes

To make use of your rails route helper, include UrlWriter and specify location:

include ActionController::UrlWriter

  :location => lambda {|post| post_url(post)}

Lock Generation Process

To prevent another process overwriting from the generated files, use the with_lock method:

sitemap.with_lock do

Cleaning the Sitemaps Directory

Calling the clean method will remove all files from the Sitemaps directory.


If your database is likely to shrink during the time it takes to create the sitemap then you might run into problems (the final, batched SQL select will overrun by setting a limit that is too large since it is calculated from the count, which is queried at the very beginning). Patches welcome!


Tests for Rails components.


Thanks to Alastair Brunton and Harry Love, who's work provided a starting point for this library.

Thanks to those who have contributed patches:

  • Mislav Marohnić

  • Jeff Schoolcraft

  • Dalibor Nasevic

  • Tobias Bielohlawek (


Copyright © 2010 Stateless Systems ( See LICENSE for details.

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