Jump to content

Module: XML Sitemap

Recommended Posts

I missed the XML sitemap generator that I used in a previous CMS so I built my own module to achieve the same functionality.

This module outputs an XML sitemap of your site that is readable by Google Webmaster Tools etc. I've generally found that it reduces the time it takes for new sites and pages to be listed in search engines using one in combination with Webmaster Tools etc (since you're specifically telling the service that a new site/new pages exist) so thought I may as well create a module for it.

The module ignores any hidden pages and their children, assuming that since you don't want these to be visible on the site then you don't want them to be found via search engines either.

It also adds a field called sitemap_ignore that you can add to your templates and exclude specific pages on a per-page basis. Again, this assumes that you wish to ignore that page's children as well.

The sitemap is accessible at yoursite.com/sitemap.xml - the module checks to see whether this URL has been called and outputs the sitemap, then does a hard exit before PW gets a chance to output a 404 page. If there's a more elegant way of doing this I'll happily change the code to suit.

Feedback and suggestions welcome :)

On a slightly different note, I wanted to call the file XMLSitemap originally so as to be clearer about what it does in the filename, but if you have a module that begins with more than one uppercase letter then a warning containing only the module name is displayed on the Modules page, so I changed it to Sitemap instead which is fine as the description still says what it does.

File can be downloaded via GitHub here: https://github.com/N.../zipball/master

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a list of services you can submit your sitemap to:

Google Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools

There used to be a service for Yahoo called Site Explorer that was similar in functionality to the above two services, but it appears that this has now been replaced with Bing's offering. On the bright side it's one less service to sign up to :)

You can also submit to Ask using the following URL (replacing the relevant part with the full URL to your sitemap):

http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.the URL of your sitemap here.xml

Generally I find Google and Bing to be sufficient though, as the other search services seem to trawl their content reasonably quickly and find out about new sites that way sometimes I think.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is also recommended to add the following to your robots.txt file (create one if you don't have one):

Sitemap: http://www.your-domain.com/sitemap.xml

This allows search engines to find your sitemap.xml, even if you didn't submit it to that specific search engine.

Regarding this module, until now I've always used a sitemap.xml template. When I created that one I used the regular sitemap page as an example.

But I will certainly try this module sooner or later.  :)


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually how I began this module - as a separate template - but then I thought it would be quicker as a module and then there's no need for an actual page or any templates and it's all in one file.

Plus I really wanted to have that optional sitemap_ignore field that I'd used in the previous CMS I worked with.

I'm glad I did start creating it as a template and page though, else I'd have had more hassle working out why it wasn't outputting XML (I needed to specify that XML was being outputted by using a PHP header).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete, nice job with this module, it looks very well put together and provides a helpful function. I like the simplicity of it being a module and how easy that makes installation. But there are a couple potential issues with this approach I wanted to mention.

First is that it's taking the place of the 404 page and a 404 header is getting sent before the sitemap.xml output is displayed. This will probably be an issue for any search engines that hit it. You can avoid this by moving everything from your generateSitemap() function into your init() function. You don't need to use any hooks. Of course, you won't have a $page to check at the init() stage, but I don't think you need it–just get rid of the $page->template != 'admin' check... your strpos() below it is likely just as fast.

Next concern is scalability. Generating this sitemap could be a slow thing on a large site. Anything that's slow to generate can be a DDOS hole. Because it's in a module, you can't as easily cache the output with a template setting. However, you could use the MarkupCache module to perform your own caching, and that's something I'd probably recommend here.

Last thing is that I'd suggest renaming the module since it falls in the Markup group of modules. Perhaps the name MarkupSitemapXML?

Other than that, I think it looks great.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks ryan - I was a bit worried about the 404 so this is a good solution and something I'll definitely bear in mind for future modules. I enjoy writing these modules as every one teaches me something new about how PW works behind the scenes.

I've implemented your suggestions and replaced the file in the first post with the modified version with the new name (if anyone has this installed already, simply uninstall the old module, delete the module file and install the new one).

I also implemented caching as you suggested and cached it for an hour (for most sites a day or more would probably be fine, but if you're writing articles or running a blog you want search engines to index your content as soon as possible so that seemed like a good period to set it at thoguh I've no idea how often search engines actually check a sitemap).

I agree that there are quite a few potential issues on larger sites and not just because of the sitemap's size. Google doesn't always index everything on larger sites, and I was just reading about how someone tested this by telling Google that things like news posts and forum posts (individual posts, not threads) should on;y be indexed once as they're unlikely to ever change. This apparently frees up the search engine crawlers to check the new content rather than go over the same content each visit.

I can see a few places that this would be useful in PW - for example a news section would only need each article to be indexed once (if you ever went back and edited a page, I believe the last modified date would force a re-index) and various other similar examples.

There's a good list of tags for sitemaps here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=183668 and the tag to use would be <changefreq> , however that could get a bit tiresome if you had to have it on every page. A potential solution for a future version of this module would be to have such a field and simply have all child pages inherit the parent value if they don't have one set themselves.

Another option as a possible alternative to caching would be to run the module once on the first time the page is called, then only re-generate the sitemap once a page is edited/created/deleted as those are the only three times a change to the sitemap would technically be required.

I'll leave it as it is for now though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to ask - is there a better way of having a module run when an admin-only page is loaded other than this:

if ($page->template != 'admin') {
 // Do stuff

It's no longer relevant for this module as it now runs before the page data is available, but when I had it in the first version I gave myself a pat on the back for figuring I could check for the admin template like this. I can see how such a check would be good for other modules though so just wondering if there's a better way for checking if we're in the admin.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You also could use a Sitemap Index (<sitemapindex>) which allows you to have multiple sitemaps per site.

This allows you to break your sitemap up into several smaller sitemaps. You could even have different cache times per branch, eg. 5 minutes for the news section and 1 day for the other pages.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good point - I'd completely forgotten about that!

One of the forum applications I use has this though I'm quite far behind on the versions. I believe they had one for forums, one for posts, one for calendars etc. It would have made more sense for them to split up posts by forum though as it gets a bit silly if it tries to put a million posts in one file (I don't have that problem fortunately ;)).

So thinking about this a bit more, it would make sense to have some template settings for this module too in a future version and specify cache times and re-index periods for all pages there. It could then create separate sitemaps on a per-template basis as you say. I think that would cover most eventualities there.

My only gripe would be that caching per-template wouldn't help if you were running a large blog/news site as one main template would apply to most of the content. Perhaps splitting it per year, or simply having it split the sitemap at X thousand pages if you have a huge amount of articles? I think per-year sitemaps for larger article sections would be best thinking about it. Presumably if a page from 2009 is modified and then ends up in the 2012 sitemap it's not a big issue - Google will be told in 2012 sitemap to index it again and it's not like you're going to modify old articles particularly often so I wouldn't see a need in cleaning up the 2009 cached sitemap in this case.

It does look like you can easily have a master sitemap linking to sub-sitemaps though so that part is pretty straightforward at least (and it looks like 50,00 pages per sitemap is the maximum allowed): http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2006/10/multiple-sitemaps-in-same-directory.html

Anyway, this is one for when I next get a few free hours ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great update, thanks Pete!

What do you think about putting this on GitHub? (whether now or in the future)?

For the cache time, you could always make it configurable with the module if you wanted to. Let me know if I can assist.

I also like your alternative for time based caching, though I'm guessing time based caching is adequate for most. But if you want to pursue that alternative, you'd use the CacheFile class directly and have a Pages::save hook clear the cache file (or maybe just Pages::added and Pages::deleted hooks).

I wasn't aware of the <sitemapindex>, this sounds like a good idea for the large sites. But also sounds like a much more complex module.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers ryan

Forgot I had a Github account for a sec there. Added, updated the link in the first thread and added it to the growing modules spreadsheet on Google Docs ;)

Yup - I'll probably make the time configurable at some point in the future as it seems like an easy interim update before doing anything more complicated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job Pete. It's easier to follow on GitHub just because we can pull in updates automatically without downloading, unzipping, etc. So many great new modules lately. I need to make a lot of additions to the modules directory.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Mine is throwing an error:

Exception: Unable to create path: /MarkupSitemapXML/ (in /home/theseeke/public_html/wire/core/CacheFile.php line 62)
This error message was shown because you are logged in as a Superuser. Error has been logged.

From a quick read of the relevant modules, it's not apparent to me where it's trying to create that directory.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like your site/assets/cache directory might not be writeable (it needs to be in order to be able to cache the sitemap). Hopefully making that writeable (CHMOD 644 probably) will fix that.

The cache folder itself isn't solely related to this module, so I'm sure you would have come across that message sooner or later.

Hope that fixes it for you :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like your site/assets/cache directory might not be writeable (it needs to be in order to be able to cache the sitemap). Hopefully making that writeable (CHMOD 644 probably) will fix that.

The cache folder itself isn't solely related to this module, so I'm sure you would have come across that message sooner or later.

Hope that fixes it for you :)

No such luck - still didn't work. Also tried 755 and 777 on the off chance, and recursed it through that whole tree to be sure.

Incidentally, file uploads and caching of size()'d images are working fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked it out - you have to install the Cache module as well, which is present in the default PW installation, just not installed by default (I already ahd it switched on on my test account!).

That will make it work, but I do need to put some sort of check into my module to make it a bit easier (need to read the posts around here on module dependencies).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked it out - you have to install the Cache module as well, which is present in the default PW installation, just not installed by default (I already ahd it switched on on my test account!).

That will make it work, but I do need to put some sort of check into my module to make it a bit easier (need to read the posts around here on module dependencies).

Still doesn't seem to work, same error msg, damned if I know why?

http://theseekerr.com/sitemap.xml - there it is, if staring at my error provides any sort of motivation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pete, try adding an extra line to your install function:


That will just ensure that it's installed ahead of time and should resolve the problem in this particular case.

However, I don't think there is a problem with your code, I think it's actually a bug with the MarkupCache module (or maybe Module installer) because the MarkupCache module is responsible for making sure it's files go into the right place, and clearly it's not doing that. I will locate and fix the issue. I was able to reproduce it here by uninstalling the MarkupCache module and then letting it be installed at the time it's used. That seems to be the only time the issue occurs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Found it--it was a bug. Sorry for the inconvenience guys. This is one of those obscure bugs that takes the right set of circumstances to turn up, so these can be difficult to track down. Thanks for finding it. I've just committed the fix to the dev branch, and it should be merged into the stable branch likely tomorrow. Here's the commit message:

[dev c3a8ffe] Dev: fix issue with $modules->get('uninstalled module') where the module's init() wasn't called on an "autoload" module when it was used immediately after it was installed.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I think it's Markup Cache module and not Fieldtype - I forgot to specify which one (the Fieldtype cache module is on by default whereas ModuleCache isn't).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I think it's Markup Cache module and not Fieldtype - I forgot to specify which one (the Fieldtype cache module is on by default whereas ModuleCache isn't).

No dice. The module was already installed, and threw an error about a missing MarkupCache folder when I went to remove it. So I created the folder, and it uninstalled cleanly, deleting that folder. Then I reinstalled the two modules....still no go, and I notice that folder is still missing. I manually created it on the off chance that'd help but that didn't work either.

I'm on the verge of converting your code back to a template, this is getting silly...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By monollonom
      (once again I was surprised to see a work of mine pop up in the newsletter, this time without even listing the module on PW modules website 😅. Thx @teppo !)
      Github: https://github.com/romaincazier/FieldtypeQRCode
      Modules directory: https://processwire.com/modules/fieldtype-qrcode/
      This is a simple module I made so a client could quickly grab a QR Code of the page's url in the admin.
      There's not much to it for now, but if need be you can output anything using a hook:
      $wire->addHookAfter("FieldtypeQRCode::getQRText", function($event) { $event->return = "Your custom text"; }) You can also output the QR code on your front-end by calling the field:
      echo $page->qr_code_field; The module uses the PHP library QR Code Generator by Kazuhiko Arase. When looking for a way to generate a QR Code in PW I came across @ryan's integration in his TFA module. I'm not very familiar with fieldtype/inputfield module development so I blindly followed @bernhard (great) tutorial and his BaseFieldtypeRuntime. At some point I'll take a deeper look to make a module on my own.
      Some ideas for improvements :
      add the ability to choose what to ouput : page's url / editUrl / file(s) / image(s) / ... allow to output multiple QR codes ?
    • By Chris Bennett
      Inspired by @bernhard's excellent work on the new customisable LESS CSS getting rolled into the core soon, I thought I would offer up the module for beta testing, if it is of interest to anyone.

      It takes a different approach to admin styling, basically using the Cascade part of CSS to over-ride default UiKit values.
      Values are stored in ModuleConfig Module creates a separate AdminThemeTweaker Folder at root, so it can link to AdminThemeTweaker.php as CSS AdminThemeTweaker.php reads the module values, constructs the CSS variables then includes the CSS framework Can be switched on and off with a click. Uninstall removes everything, thanks to bernhard's wonderful remove dir & contents function.
      It won't touch your core. It won't care if stuff is upgraded. You won't need to compile anything and you don't need to touch CSS unless you want to.

      It won't do much at all apart from read some values from your module config, work out the right CSS variables to use (auto contrast based on selected backgrounds) and throw it on your screen.
      You can configure a lot of stuff, leave it as it comes (dark and curvy), change two main colors (background and content background) or delve deep to configure custom margins, height of mastheads, and all manner of silly stuff I never use.

      Have been developing it for somewhere around 2 years now. It has been (and will continue to be) constantly tweaked over that time, as I click on something and find something else to do.
      That said, it is pretty solid and has been in constant use as my sole Admin styling option for all of those 2 years.

      If nothing else, it would be great if it can provide any assistance to @bernhard or other contributor's who may be looking to solve some of the quirkier UiKit behavior.
      Has (in my opinion) more robust and predictable handling of hidden Inputfields, data-colwidths and showIf wrappers.
      I am very keen to help out with that stuff in any way I can, though LESS (and any css frameworks/tools basically) are not my go.
      I love CSS variables and banging-rocks-together, no-dependency CSS you can write with notepad.


    • By opalepatrick
      I see old posts saying that repeaters are not the way to go in Custom Process Modules. If that is the case, when using forms (as I am trying to do) how would one tackle things like repeat contact fields where there can be multiple requirements for contact details with different parameters? (Like point of contact, director, etc) or even telephone numbers that have different uses?
      Just for background I am creating a process module that allows me to create types of financial applications in the admin area (no need to publish any of this, pure admin) that require a lot of personal or company information.
      Maybe I am thinking about this incorrectly?
    • By HMCB
      I ran across a reference to IftRunner module. The post was 6 years ago. I cant find it in available modules. Has it been pulled?
    • By tcnet
      PageViewStatistic for ProcessWire is a module to log page visits of the CMS. The records including some basic information like IP-address, browser, operating system, requested page and originate page. Please note that this module doesn't claim to be the best or most accurate.
      One of the biggest advantage is that this module doesn't require any external service like Google Analytics or similar. You don't have to modify your templates either. There is also no Javascript or image required.
      There is only one disadvantage. This module doesn't record visits if the browser loads the page from its browser cache. To prevent the browser from loading the page from its cache, add the following meta tags to the header of your page:
      <meta http-equiv="Cache-Control" content="no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate" /> <meta http-equiv="Pragma" content="no-cache" /> <meta http-equiv="Expires" content="0" /> How to use
      The records can be accessed via the Setup-menu of the CMS backend. The first dropdown control changes the view mode.

      Detailed records
      View mode "Detailed records" shows all visits of the selected day individually with IP-address, browser, operating system, requested page and originate page. Click the update button to see new added records.

      Cached visitor records
      View modes other than "Detailed records" are cached visitor counts which will be collected on a daily basis from the detailed records. This procedure ensures a faster display even with a large number of data records. Another advantage is that the detailed records can be deleted while the cache remains. The cache can be updated manually or automatically in a specified time period. Multiple visits from the same IP address on the same day are counted as a single visitor.

      Upgrade from older versions
      Cached visitor counts is new in version 1.0.8. If you just upgraded from an older version you might expire a delay or even an error 500 if you display cached visitor counts. The reason for this is that the cache has to be created from the records. This can take longer if your database contains many records. Sometimes it might hit the maximally execution time. Don't worry about that and keep reloading the page until the cache is completely created.
      Special Feature
      PageViewStatistic for ProcessWire can record the time a visitor viewed the page. This feature is deactivated by default. To activate open the module configuration page and activate "Record view time". If activated you will find a new column "S." in the records which means the time of view in seconds. With every page request, a Javascript code is inserted directly after the <body> tag. Every time the visitor switches to another tab or closes the tab, this script reports the number of seconds the tab was visible. The initial page request is recorded only as a hyphen (-).

      You can access the module settings by clicking the Configuration button at the bottom of the records page. The settings page is also available in the menu: Modules->Configure->ProcessPageViewStat.
      This module uses the IP2Location database from: http://www.ip2location.com. This database is required to obtain the country from the IP address. IP2Location updates this database at the begin of every month. The settings of ProcessPageViewStat offers the ability to automatically download the database monthly. Please note, that automatically download will not work if your webspace doesn't allow allow_url_fopen.
      This module uses DragScroll. A JavaScript available from: http://github.com/asvd/dragscroll. Dragscroll adds the ability in view mode "Day" to drag the records horizontally with the mouse pointer.
      This module uses the PHP class parseUserAgentStringClass available from: http://www.toms-world.org/blog/parseuseragentstring/. This class is required to filter out the browser type and operating system from the server request.
  • Create New...