Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
812 lines (557 sloc) 39.5 KB


SitemapGenerator is the easiest way to generate Sitemaps in Ruby. Rails integration provides access to the Rails route helpers within your sitemap config file and automatically makes the rake tasks available to you. Or if you prefer to use another framework, you can! You can use the rake tasks provided or run your sitemap configs as plain ruby scripts.

Sitemaps adhere to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol specification.


  • Framework agnostic
  • Supports News sitemaps, Video sitemaps, Image sitemaps, and Geo sitemaps
  • Supports read-only filesystems like Heroku via uploading to a remote host like Amazon S3
  • Compatible with Rails 2 & 3
  • Adheres to the Sitemap 0.9 protocol
  • Handles millions of links
  • Automatically compresses your sitemaps
  • Notifies search engines (Google, 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

Show Me


gem install sitemap_generator

Create sitemap.rb:

require 'rubygems'
require 'sitemap_generator'

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ''
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/home', :changefreq => 'daily', :priority => 0.9
  add '/contact_us', :changefreq => 'weekly'
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.ping_search_engines # called for you when you use the rake task

Run it:

ruby sitemap.rb


In /Users/karl/projects/sitemap_generator-test/public/
+ sitemap1.xml.gz                                          4 links /  357 Bytes
+ sitemap_index.xml.gz                                  1 sitemaps /  228 Bytes
Sitemap stats: 4 links / 1 sitemaps / 0m00s

Successful ping of Google
Successful ping of Ask
Successful ping of Bing
Successful ping of Sitemap Writer


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 !


  • v3.1.0: Add add_to_index method to add links to the sitemap index. Add sitemap method for accessing the LinkSet instance from within create(). Don't modify options hashes passed to methods. Fix and improve yield_sitemap option handling.
  • v3.0.0: Framework agnostic; fix alignment in output, show directory sitemaps are being generated into, only show sitemap compressed file size; toggle output using VERBOSE environment variable; remove tasks/ directory because it's deprecated in Rails 2; Simplify dependencies.
  • v2.2.1: Support adding new search engines to ping and modifying the default search engines. Allow the URL of the sitemap index to be passed as an argument to ping_search_engines. See Pinging Search Engines.
  • v2.1.8: Extend and improve Video Sitemap support. Include sitemap docs in the README, support all element attributes, properly format values.
  • v2.1.7: Improve format of float priorities; Remove Yahoo from ping - the Yahoo service has been shut down.
  • v2.1.6: Fix the lastmod value on sitemap file links
  • v2.1.5: Fix verbose setting in the rake tasks; should default to true
  • v2.1.4: Allow special characters in URLs (don't use URI.join to construct URLs)
  • v2.1.3: Fix calling create with both filename and sitemaps_namer options
  • v2.1.2: Support multiple videos per url using the new videos option to add().
  • v2.1.1: Support calling create() multiple times in a sitemap config. Support host names with path segments so you can use a default_host like ''. Turn off include_index when the sitemaps_host differs from default_host. Add docs about how to upload to remote hosts.
  • v2.1.0: News sitemap support
  • v2.0.1.pre2: Fix uploading to the (bucket) root on a remote server
  • v2.0.1.pre1: Support read-only filesystems like Heroku by supporting uploading to remote host
  • 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)


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:



gem install 'sitemap_generator'

To use the rake tasks add the following to your Rakefile:

require 'sitemap_generator/tasks'

The Rake tasks expect your sitemap to be at config/sitemap.rb but if you need to change that call like so: rake sitemap:refresh CONFIG_FILE="path/to/sitemap.rb"


Add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem 'sitemap_generator'

Alternatively, if you are not using a Gemfile add the gem to your config/environment.rb file config block:

config.gem 'sitemap_generator'

Rails 1 or 2 only, add the following code to your Rakefile to include the gem's Rake tasks in your project (Rails 3 does this for you automatically, so this step is not necessary):

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

If you would prefer to install as a plugin (deprecated) don't do any of the above. Simply run script/plugin install git:// from your application root directory.

Getting Started

Preventing Output

To disable all non-essential output set the environment variable VERBOSE=false when calling Rake or running your Ruby script.

Alternatively you can pass the -s option to Rake, for example rake -s sitemap:refresh.

To disable output in-code use the following:

SitemapGenerator.verbose = false

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.

Pinging Search Engines

Using rake sitemap:refresh will notify major search engines to let them know that a new sitemap is available (Google, 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.

If you want to customize the hash of search engines you can access it at:


Usually you would be adding a new search engine to ping. In this case you can modify the search_engines hash directly. This ensures that when SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.ping_search_engines is called your new search engine will be included.

If you are calling ping_search_engines manually (for example if you have to wait some time or perform a custom action after your sitemaps have been regenerated) then you can pass you new search engine directly in the call as in the following example:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.ping_search_engines(:newengine => '')

The key gives the name of the search engine as a string or symbol and the value is the full URL to ping with a string interpolation that will be replaced by the CGI escaped sitemap index URL. If you have any literal percent characters in your URL you need to escape them with %%.

If you are calling SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.ping_search_engines from outside of your sitemap config file then you will need to set SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host and any other options that you set in your sitemap config which affect the location of the sitemap index file. For example:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ''

Alternatively you can pass in the full URL to your sitemap index in which case we would have just the following:



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, :at => '5:00 am' do
  rake "-s sitemap:refresh"


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:


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"
  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"

Upload Sitemaps to a Remote Host

Sometimes it is desirable to host your sitemap files on a remote server and point robots and search engines to the remote files. For example if you are using a host like Heroku which doesn't allow writing to the local filesystem. You still require some write access because the sitemap files need to be written out before uploading, so generally a host will give you write access to a temporary directory. On Heroku this is tmp/ in your application directory.

Sitemap Generator uses CarrierWave to support uploading to Amazon S3 store, Rackspace Cloud Files store, and MongoDB's GridF - whatever CarrierWave supports.

  1. Please see this wiki page for more information about setting up CarrierWave, SitemapGenerator and Rails.

  2. Once you have CarrierWave setup and configured all you need to do is set some options in your sitemap config, such as:

    • default_host - your website host name
    • sitemaps_host - the remote host where your sitemaps will be hosted
    • public_path - the directory to write sitemaps to locally e.g. tmp/
    • sitemaps_path - set to a directory/path if you don't want to upload to the root of your sitemaps_host
    • adapter - instance of SitemapGenerator::WaveAdapter

    For Example:

     SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ""
     SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_host = ""
     SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.public_path = 'tmp/'
     SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = 'sitemaps/'
     SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.adapter =
  3. Update your robots.txt file to point robots to the remote sitemap index file, e.g:


You generate your sitemaps as usual using rake sitemap:refresh.

Note that SitemapGenerator will automatically turn off include_index in this case because the sitemaps_host does not match the default_host. The link to the sitemap index file that would otherwise be included would point to a different host than the rest of the links in the sitemap, something that the sitemap rules forbid.

Generating Multiple Sitemaps

Each call to create creates a new sitemap index and associated sitemaps. You can call create as many times as you want within your sitemap configuration.

You must remember to use a different filename or location for each set of sitemaps, otherwise they will overwrite each other. You can use the filename, sitemaps_namer and sitemaps_path options for this.

In the following example we generate three sitemaps each in its own subdirectory:

%w(google bing apple).each do |subdomain|
  SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = "https://#{subdomain}"
  SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = "sitemaps/#{subdomain}"
  SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
    add '/home'


+ sitemaps/google/sitemap1.xml.gz             2 links /  822 Bytes /  328 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemaps/google/sitemap_index.xml.gz          1 sitemaps /  389 Bytes /  217 Bytes gzipped
Sitemap stats: 2 links / 1 sitemaps / 0m00s
+ sitemaps/bing/sitemap1.xml.gz             2 links /  820 Bytes /  330 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemaps/bing/sitemap_index.xml.gz          1 sitemaps /  388 Bytes /  217 Bytes gzipped
Sitemap stats: 2 links / 1 sitemaps / 0m00s
+ sitemaps/apple/sitemap1.xml.gz             2 links /  820 Bytes /  330 Bytes gzipped
+ sitemaps/apple/sitemap_index.xml.gz          1 sitemaps /  388 Bytes /  214 Bytes gzipped
Sitemap stats: 2 links / 1 sitemaps / 0m00s

If you don't want to have to generate all the sitemaps at once, or you want to refresh some more often than others, you can split them up into their own configuration files. Using the above example we would have:

# config/google_sitemap.rb
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = "sitemaps/google"
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/home'

# config/apple_sitemap.rb
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = "sitemaps/apple"
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/home'

# config/bing_sitemap.rb
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.sitemaps_path = "sitemaps/bing"
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/home'

To generate each one specify the configuration file to run by passing the CONFIG_FILE option to rake sitemap:refresh, e.g.:

rake sitemap:refresh CONFIG_FILE="config/google_sitemap.rb"
rake sitemap:refresh CONFIG_FILE="config/apple_sitemap.rb"
rake sitemap:refresh CONFIG_FILE="config/bing_sitemap.rb"

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 = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/welcome'

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="" xmlns="" xsi:schemaLocation="">
  • public/sitemap1.xml.gz

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <urlset xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:image="" xmlns="" xmlns:video="" xmlns:geo="" xsi:schemaLocation="">

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 = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/contact_us'
  Content.find_each do |content|
    add content_path(content), :lastmod => content.updated_at

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).

    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 => ''
  • 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

Adding Links to the Sitemap Index

Sometimes you may need to manually add some links to the sitemap index file. For example if you are generating your sitemaps incrementally you may want to create a sitemap index which includes the files which have already been generated. To achieve this you can use the add_to_index method which works exactly the same as the add method described above.

It supports the same options as add, namely:

  • changefreq

  • lastmod

  • host

    The value for host defaults to whatever you have set as your sitemaps_host. Remember that the sitemaps_host is the host where your sitemaps reside. If your sitemaps are on the same host as your default_host, then the value for default_host is used. Example:

      add_to_index '/mysitemap1.xml.gz', :host => ''
  • priority

An example:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add_to_index '/mysitemap1.xml.gz'
  add_to_index '/mysitemap2.xml.gz'

Accessing the LinkSet instance

Sometimes you need to mess with the internals to do custom stuff. If you need access to the LinkSet instance from within create() you can use the sitemap method to do so.

In this example, say we have already pre-generated three sitemap files: sitemap1.xml.gz, sitemap2.xml.gz, sitemap3.xml.gz. Now we want to start the sitemap generation at sitemap4.xml.gz and create a bunch of new sitemaps. There are a few ways we can do this, but this is an easy way:

SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.default_host = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  3.times do |i|
    add_to_index sitemap.sitemaps_namer.to_s
  add '/home'
  add '/another'

The output looks something like this:

In /Users/karl/projects/sitemap_generator-test/public/
+ sitemap4.xml.gz                                          4 links /  347 Bytes
+ sitemap_index.xml.gz                                  4 sitemaps /  242 Bytes
Sitemap stats: 4 links / 4 sitemaps / 0m00s

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.

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 = ''
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:

    :default_host => '',
    :sitemaps_path => 'sitemaps/') do
  add '/home'

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 => '',
        :sitemaps_path => 'sitemaps/') do
    add '/home'

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 Calling add '/home' would then generate the URL 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 => '' would generate the URL, 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. Turned off when sitemaps_host is set or within a group() block.

  • include_root - Boolean. Whether to add the root url i.e. '/' to the current sitemap. Default is true. Turned off within a group() block.

  • 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: ''. Note that include_index is automatically turned off when the sitemaps_host does not match default_host. Because the link to the sitemap index file that would otherwise be added would point to a different host than the rest of the links in the sitemap. Something that the sitemap rules forbid.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • adapter - Instance. The default adapter is a SitemapGenerator::FileAdapter which simply writes files to the filesystem. You can use a SitemapGenerator::WaveAdapter for uploading sitemaps to remote servers - useful for read-only hosts such as Heroku. Or you can provide an instance of your own class to provide custom behavior. Your class must define a write method which takes a SitemapGenerator::Location and raw XML data.

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 = ""
SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add '/rss'

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

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

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

News Sitemaps

A news item can be added to a sitemap URL by passing a :news hash to add. The hash must contain tags defined by the News Sitemap specification.


SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add('/index.html', :news => {
      :publication_name => "Example",
      :publication_language => "en",
      :title => "My Article",
      :keywords => "my article, articles about myself",
      :stock_tickers => "SAO:PETR3",
      :publication_date => "2011-08-22",
      :access => "Subscription",
      :genres => "PressRelease"

Supported options

  • publication_name
  • publication_language
  • publication_date
  • genres
  • access
  • title
  • keywords
  • stock_tickers

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.


SitemapGenerator::Sitemap.create do
  add('/index.html', :images => [{
    :loc => '',
    :title => 'Image' }])

Supported options

  • 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 add more than one video to a url, pass an array of video hashes using the :videos option.


add('/index.html', :video => {
  :thumbnail_loc => '',
  :title => 'Title',
  :description => 'Description',
  :content_loc => '',
  :tags => %w[one two three],
  :category => 'Category'

Supported options

  • :thumbnail_loc - Required, string.

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.


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

Supported options

  • 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.)


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 =>, :city =>, :zipcode => z)

Easy hey?


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

  • Rails framework agnosticism; support for other frameworks like Merb

Thanks (in no particular order)

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