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SitemapGenerator generates Sitemaps for your Rails application. The Sitemaps adhere to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol specification. You specify the contents of your Sitemap using a configuration file, à la Rails Routes. A set of rake tasks is included to help you manage your Sitemaps.

README.md

SitemapGenerator

SitemapGenerator generates Sitemaps for your Rails application. The Sitemaps adhere to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol specification. You specify the contents of your Sitemap using a configuration file, à la Rails Routes. A set of rake tasks is included to help you manage your Sitemaps.

Features

  • Supports Video sitemaps, Image sitemaps, and Geo sitemaps
  • Compatible with Rails 2 & 3
  • Adheres to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol
  • Handles millions of links
  • Automatically compresses your sitemaps
  • Notifies search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, SitemapWriter) of new sitemaps
  • Ensures your old sitemaps stay in place if the new sitemap fails to generate
  • Gives you complete control over your sitemaps and their content

Contribute

Does your website use SitemapGenerator to generate Sitemaps? Where would you be without Sitemaps? Probably still knocking rocks together. Consider donating to the project to keep it up-to-date and open source.

Click here to lend your support to: SitemapGenerator and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

Changelog

  • v2.0.1: Minor improvements to verbose handling; prevent missing Timeout issue
  • v2.0.0: Introducing a new simpler API, Sitemap Groups, Sitemap Namers and more!
  • v1.5.0: New options include_root, include_index; Major testing & refactoring
  • v1.4.0: Geo sitemap support, multiple sitemap support via CONFIG_FILE rake option
  • v1.3.0: Support setting the sitemaps path
  • v1.2.0: Verified working with Rails 3 stable release
  • v1.1.0: Video sitemap support
  • v0.2.6: Image Sitemap support
  • v0.2.5: Rails 3 prerelease support (beta)

Foreword

Adam Salter first created SitemapGenerator while we were working together in Sydney, Australia. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2009. Since then I have taken over development of SitemapGenerator.

Those who knew him know what an amazing guy he was, and what an excellent Rails programmer he was. His passing is a great loss to the Rails community.

The canonical repository is now: http://github.com/kjvarga/sitemap_generator

Install for Rails

Rails 3

Add the gem to your Gemspec:

gem 'sitemap_generator'

Then run bundle.

Rails 2 Gem

  1. Follow the Rails 3 install if you are using a Gemfile.

    If you are not using a Gemfile add the gem to your config/environment.rb configuration block with:

    config.gem 'sitemap_generator'
    

    Then run rake gems:install.

  2. Include the gem's Rake tasks in your Rakefile:

    begin
      require 'sitemap_generator/tasks'
    rescue Exception => e
      puts "Warning, couldn't load gem tasks: #{e.message}! Skipping..."
    end
    

Rails 2 Plugin

Run script/plugin install git://github.com/kjvarga/sitemap_generator.git from your application's root directory.

Getting Started

Rake Tasks

Run rake sitemap:install to create a config/sitemap.rb file which is your sitemap configuration and contains everything needed to build your sitemap. See Sitemap Configuration below for more information about how to define your sitemap.

Run rake sitemap:refresh as needed to create or rebuild your sitemap files. Sitemaps are generated into the public/ folder and by default are named sitemap_index.xml.gz, sitemap1.xml.gz, sitemap2.xml.gz, etc. As you can see they are automatically gzip compressed for you.

rake sitemap:refresh will output information about each sitemap that is written including its location, how many links it contains and the size of the file.

To disable all non-essential output from rake run the tasks passing a -s option. For example: rake -s sitemap:refresh.

Search Engine Notification

Using rake sitemap:refresh will notify major search engines to let them know that a new sitemap is available (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, SitemapWriter). To generate new sitemaps without notifying search engines (for example when running in a local environment) use rake sitemap:refresh:no_ping.

To ping Yahoo you will need to set your Yahoo AppID in config/sitemap.rb. For example: SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.yahoo_app_id = "my_app_id"

Crontab

To keep your sitemaps up-to-date, setup a cron job. Make sure to pass the -s option to silence rake. That way you will only get email if the sitemap build fails.

If you're using Whenever, your schedule would look something like this:

# config/schedule.rb
every 1.day, :at => '5:00 am' do
  rake "-s sitemap:refresh"
end

Robots.txt

You should add the URL of the sitemap index file to public/robots.txt to help search engines find your sitemaps. The URL should be the complete URL to the sitemap index. For example:

Sitemap: http://www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml.gz

Deployments & Capistrano

To ensure that your application's sitemaps are available after a deployment you can do one of the following:

  1. Generate sitemaps into a directory which is shared by all deployments.

    You can set your sitemaps path to your shared directory using the sitemaps_path option. For example if we have a directory public/shared/ that is shared by all deployments we can have our sitemaps generated into that directory by setting:

    SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = 'shared/'
    
  2. Copy the sitemaps from the previous deploy over to the new deploy:

    (You will need to customize the task if you are using custom sitemap filenames or locations.)

    after "deploy:update_code", "deploy:copy_old_sitemap"
    namespace :deploy do
      task :copy_old_sitemap do
        run "if [ -e #{previous_release}/public/sitemap_index.xml.gz ]; then cp #{previous_release}/public/sitemap* #{current_release}/public/; fi"
      end
    end
    
  3. Regenerate your sitemaps after each deployment:

    after "deploy", "refresh_sitemaps"
    task :refresh_sitemaps do
      run "cd #{latest_release} && RAILS_ENV=#{rails_env} rake sitemap:refresh"
    end
    

Sitemap Configuration

A sitemap configuration file contains all the information needed to generate your sitemaps. By default SitemapGenerator looks for a configuration file in config/sitemap.rb - relative to your application root or the current working directory. (Run rake sitemap:install to have this file generated for you if you have not done so already.)

If you want to use a non-standard configuration file, or have multiple configuration files, you can specify which one to run by passing the CONFIG_FILE option like so:

rake sitemap:refresh CONFIG_FILE="config/geo_sitemap.rb"

A Simple Example

So what does a sitemap configuration look like? Let's take a look at a simple example:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = "http://www.example.com"
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/welcome'
end

A few things to note:

  • SitemapGenerator::Sitemap is a lazy-initialized sitemap object provided for your convenience.
  • Every sitemap must set default_host. This is the hostname that is used when building links to add to the sitemap.
  • The create method takes a block with calls to add to add links to the sitemap.
  • The sitemaps are written to the public/ directory, which is the default location. You can specify a custom location using the public_path or sitemaps_path option.

Now let's see what is output when we run this configuration with rake sitemap:refresh:no_ping:

+ sitemap1.xml.gz                   3 links /  923 Bytes /  329 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemap_index.xml.gz           1 sitemaps /  364 Bytes /  199 Bytes gzipped
Sitemap stats: 3 links / 1 sitemaps / 0m00s

Weird! The sitemap has three links, even though only added one! This is because SitemapGenerator adds the root URL / and the URL of the sitemap index file to your sitemap by default. (You can change the default behaviour by setting the include_root or include_index option.)

Now let's take a look at the files that were created. After uncompressing and XML-tidying the contents we have:

  • public/sitemap_index.xml.gz

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <sitemapindex xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9 http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/siteindex.xsd">
      <sitemap>
        <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc>
      </sitemap>
    </sitemapindex>
    
  • public/sitemap1.xml.gz

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <urlset xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:image="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1" xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:video="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-video/1.1" xmlns:geo="http://www.google.com/geo/schemas/sitemap/1.0" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9 http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd">
      <url>
        <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>
        <lastmod>2011-05-21T00:03:38+00:00</lastmod>
        <changefreq>always</changefreq>
        <priority>1.0</priority>
      </url>
      <url>
        <loc>http://www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml.gz</loc>
        <lastmod>2011-05-21T00:03:38+00:00</lastmod>
        <changefreq>always</changefreq>
        <priority>1.0</priority>
      </url>
      <url>
        <loc>http://www.example.com/welcome</loc>
        <lastmod>2011-05-21T00:03:38+00:00</lastmod>
        <changefreq>weekly</changefreq>
        <priority>0.5</priority>
      </url>
    </urlset>
    

The sitemaps conform to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol. Notice the values for priority and changefreq on the root and sitemap index links, the ones that were added for us? The values tell us that these links are the highest priority and should be checked regularly because they are constantly changing. You can specify your own values for these options in your call to add.

Adding Links

You call add in the block passed to create to add a path to your sitemap. add takes a string path and optional hash of options, generates the URL and adds it to the sitemap. You only need to pass a path because the URL will be built for us using the default_host we specified. However, if we want to use a different host for a particular link, we can pass the :host option to add.

Let's see another example:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = "http://www.example.com"
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/contact_us'
  Content.find_each do |content|
    add content_path(content), :lastmod => content.updated_at
  end
end

In this example first we add the /contact_us page to the sitemap and then we iterate through the Content model's records adding each one to the sitemap using the content_path helper method to generate the path for each record.

The Rails URL/path helper methods are automatically made available to us in the create block. This keeps the logic for building our paths out of the sitemap config and in the Rails application where it should be. You use those methods just like you would in your application's view files.

In the example about we pass a lastmod (last modified) option with the value of the record's updated_at attribute so that search engines know to only re-index the page when the record changes.

Looking at the output from running this sitemap, we see that we have a few more links than before:

+ sitemap1.xml.gz                  12 links /     2.3 KB /  365 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemap_index.xml.gz           1 sitemaps /  364 Bytes /  199 Bytes gzipped
Sitemap stats: 12 links / 1 sitemaps / 0m00s

From this example we can see that:

  • The create block can contain Ruby code
  • The Rails URL/path helper methods are made available to us, and
  • The basic syntax for adding paths to the sitemap using add

You can read more about add in the XML Specification.

Supported Options to add

  • changefreq - Default: 'weekly' (String).

    Indicates how often the content of the page changes. One of 'always', 'hourly', 'daily', 'weekly', 'monthly', 'yearly' or 'never'. Example:

      add '/contact_us', :changefreq => 'monthly'
    
  • lastmod - Default: Time.now (Time).

    The date and time of last modification. Example:

      add content_path(content), :lastmod => content.updated_at
    
  • host - Default: default_host (String).

    Host to use when building the URL. Example:

      add '/login', :host => 'https://securehost.com/login'
    
  • priority - Default: 0.5 (Float).

    The priority of the URL relative to other URLs on a scale from 0 to 1. Example:

      add '/about', :priority => 0.75
    

Speeding Things Up

For large ActiveRecord collections with thousands of records it is advisable to iterate through them in batches to avoid loading all records into memory at once. For this reason in the example above we use Content.find_each which is a batched iterator available since Rails 2.3.2, rather than Content.all.

Generating Multiple Sitemap Indexes

Each sitemap configuration corresponds to one sitemap index. To generate multiple sets of sitemaps you can create multiple configuration files. Each should specify a different location or filename to avoid overwriting each other. To generate your sitemaps, specify the configuration file to run in your call to rake sitemap:refresh using the CONFIG_FILE argument like in the following example:

rake sitemap:refresh CONFIG_FILE="config/geo_sitemap.rb"

Customizing your Sitemaps

SitemapGenerator supports a number of options which allow you to control every aspect of your sitemap generation. How they are named, where they are stored, the contents of the links and the location that the sitemaps will be hosted from can all be set.

The options can be set in the following ways.

On SitemapGenerator::Sitemap:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = 'http://example.com'
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = 'sitemaps/'

These options will apply to all sitemaps. This is how you set most options.

Passed as options in the call to create:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create(
    :default_host => 'http://example.com',
    :sitemaps_path => 'sitemaps/') do
  add '/home'
end

This is useful if you are setting a lot of options.

Finally, passed as options in a call to group:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  group(:default_host => 'http://example.com',
        :sitemaps_path => 'sitemaps/') do
    add '/home'
  end
end

The options passed to group only apply to the links and sitemaps generated in the group. Sitemap Groups are useful to group links into specific sitemaps, or to set options that you only want to apply to the links in that group.

Sitemap Options

The following options are supported:

  • default_host - String. Required. Host including protocol to use when building a link to add to your sitemap. For example http://example.com. Calling add '/home' would then generate the URL http://example.com/home and add that to the sitemap. You can pass a :host option in your call to add to override this value on a per-link basis. For example calling add '/home', :host => 'https://example.com' would generate the URL https://example.com/home, for that link only.

  • filename - Symbol. The base name for the files that will be generated. The default value is :sitemap. This yields sitemaps with names like sitemap1.xml.gz, sitemap2.xml.gz, sitemap3.xml.gz etc, and a sitemap index named sitemap_index.xml.gz. If we now set the value to :geo the sitemaps would be named geo1.xml.gz, geo2.xml.gz, geo3.xml.gz etc, and the sitemap index would be named geo_index.xml.gz.

  • include_index - Boolean. Whether to add a link to the sitemap index to the current sitemap. This points search engines to your Sitemap Index to include it in the indexing of your site. Default is true.

  • include_root - Boolean. Whether to add the root url i.e. '/' to the current sitemap. Default is true.

  • public_path - String. A full or relative path to the public directory or the directory you want to write sitemaps into. Defaults to public/ under your application root or relative to the current working directory.

  • sitemaps_host - String. Host including protocol to use when generating a link to a sitemap file i.e. the hostname of the server where the sitemaps are hosted. The value will differ from the hostname in your sitemap links. For example: 'http://amazon.aws.com/'

  • sitemaps_namer - A SitemapGenerator::SitemapNamer instance for generating sitemap names. You can read about Sitemap Namers by reading the API docs. Sitemap Namers don't apply to the sitemap index. You can only modify the name of the index file using the filename option. Sitemap Namers allow you to set the name, extension and number sequence for sitemap files.

  • sitemaps_path - String. A relative path giving a directory under your public_path at which to write sitemaps. The difference between the two options is that the sitemaps_path is used when generating a link to a sitemap file. For example, if we set SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = 'en/' and use the default public_path sitemaps will be written to public/en/. And when the sitemap index is added to our sitemap it would have a URL like http://example.com/en/sitemap_index.xml.gz.

  • verbose - Boolean. Whether to output a sitemap summary describing the sitemap files and giving statistics about your sitemap. Default is false. When using the Rake tasks verbose will be true unless you pass the -s option.

Sitemap Groups

Sitemap Groups is a powerful feature that is also very simple to use.

  • All options are supported except for public_path. You cannot change the public path.
  • Groups inherit the options set on the default sitemap.
  • include_index and include_root are false by default in a group.
  • The sitemap index file is shared by all groups.
  • Groups can handle any number of links.
  • Group sitemaps are finalized (written out) as they get full and at the end of each group.

A Groups Example

When you create a new group you pass options which will apply only to that group. You pass a block to group. Inside your block you call add to add links to the group.

Let's see an example that demonstrates a few interesting things about groups:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = "http://www.example.com"
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/rss'

  group(:sitemaps_path => 'en/', :filename => :english) do
    add '/home'
  end

  group(:sitemaps_path => 'fr/', :filename => :french) do
    add '/maison'
  end
end

And the output from running the above:

+ en/english1.xml.gz                1 links /  612 Bytes /  296 Bytes gzipped
+ fr/french1.xml.gz                 1 links /  614 Bytes /  298 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemap1.xml.gz                   3 links /  919 Bytes /  328 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemap_index.xml.gz           3 sitemaps /  505 Bytes /  221 Bytes gzipped
Sitemap stats: 5 links / 3 sitemaps / 0m00s

So we have two sitemaps with one link each and one sitemap with three links. The sitemaps from the groups are easy to spot by their filenames. They are english1.xml.gz and french1.xml.gz. They contain only one link each because include_index and include_root are set to false by default in a group.

On the other hand, the default sitemap which we added /rss to has three links. The sitemap index and root url were added to it when we added /rss. If we hadn't added that link sitemap1.xml.gz would not have been created. So when we are using groups, the default sitemap will only be created if we add links to it.

The sitemap index file is shared by all groups. You can change its filename by setting SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.filename or by passing the :filename option to create.

The options you use when creating your groups will determine which and how many sitemaps are created. Groups will inherit the default sitemap when possible, and will continue the normal series. However a group will often specify an option which requires the links in that group to be in their own files. In this case, if the default sitemap were being used it would be finalized before starting the next sitemap in the series.

If you have changed your sitemaps physical location in a group, then the default sitemap will not be used and it will be unaffected by the group. Group sitemaps are finalized as they get full and at the end of each group.

Sitemap Extensions

Image Sitemaps

Images can be added to a sitemap URL by passing an :images array to add. Each item in the array must be a Hash containing tags defined by the Image Sitemap specification. For example:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add('/index.html', :images => [{
    :loc => 'http://www.example.com/image.png',
    :title => 'Image' }])
end

Supported image options include:

  • loc Required, location of the image
  • caption
  • geo_location
  • title
  • license

Video Sitemaps

A video can be added to a sitemap URL by passing a :video Hash to add. The Hash can contain tags defined by the Video Sitemap specification. To associate more than one tag with a video, pass the tags as an array with the key :tags.

add('/index.html', :video => {
  :thumbnail_loc => 'http://www.example.com/video1_thumbnail.png',
  :title => 'Title',
  :description => 'Description',
  :content_loc => 'http://www.example.com/cool_video.mpg',
  :tags => %w[one two three],
  :category => 'Category'
})

Supported video options include:

  • thumbnail_loc Required
  • title Required
  • description Required
  • content_loc Depends. At least one of player_loc or content_loc is required
  • player_loc Depends. At least one of player_loc or content_loc is required
  • expiration_date Recommended
  • duration Recommended
  • rating
  • view_count
  • publication_date
  • family_friendly
  • tags A list of tags if more than one tag.
  • tag A single tag. See tags
  • category
  • gallery_loc
  • uploader (use uploader_info to set the info attribute)

Geo Sitemaps

Pages with geo data can be added by passing a :geo Hash to add. The Hash only supports one tag of :format. Google provides an example of a geo sitemap link here. Note that the sitemap does not actually contain your KML or GeoRSS. It merely links to a page that has this content.

add('/stores/1234.xml', :geo => { :format => 'kml' })

Supported geo options include:

  • format Required, either 'kml' or 'georss'

Raison d'être

Most of the Sitemap plugins out there seem to try to recreate the Sitemap links by iterating the Rails routes. In some cases this is possible, but for a great deal of cases it isn't.

a) There are probably quite a few routes in your routes file that don't need inclusion in the Sitemap. (AJAX routes I'm looking at you.)

and

b) How would you infer the correct series of links for the following route?

map.zipcode 'location/:state/:city/:zipcode', :controller => 'zipcode', :action => 'index'

Don't tell me it's trivial, because it isn't. It just looks trivial.

So my idea is to have another file similar to 'routes.rb' called 'sitemap.rb', where you can define what goes into the Sitemap.

Here's my solution:

Zipcode.find(:all, :include => :city).each do |z|
  add zipcode_path(:state => z.city.state, :city => z.city, :zipcode => z)
end

Easy hey?

Compatibility

Tested and working on:

  • Rails 3.0.0, 3.0.7
  • Rails 1.x - 2.3.8
  • Ruby 1.8.6, 1.8.7, 1.8.7 Enterprise Edition, 1.9.1, 1.9.2

Known Bugs

  • There's no check on the size of a URL which isn't supposed to exceed 2,048 bytes.
  • Currently only supports one Sitemap Index file, which can contain 50,000 Sitemap files which can each contain 50,000 urls, so it only supports up to 2,500,000,000 (2.5 billion) urls.

Wishlist & Coming Soon

  • Support for read-only filesystems like Heroku
  • Rails framework agnosticism; support for other frameworks like Merb

Thanks (in no particular order)

Copyright (c) 2009 Karl Varga released under the MIT license

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