Wordpress Sitemap Plugin Update (2.0.2)

Thursday, 19 August 2021

We've finally got around to updating our WordPress plugin addressing a number of bugs which have prevented some people from upgrading without workarounds.

Again, we're sorry it has taken so long, this is due to juggling various priorities and personal issues.

In early 2021 we made one of the biggest updates to our plugin re-architecting much of it and adding new features and flexibility including :

  • Support for sitemap index files
  • Support for image sitemaps
  • Support for news sitemaps
  • Support for larger sitemaps

 

A patch release (2.0.1) addressed some bugs but others since came to light requiring manual patching or rolling back to a previous version which has been an issue.

We are hopeful that this 2.0.2 patch release has addressed the outstanding issues to enable more people to upgrade. Key issues addressed include:

  • PHP debug / log errors xmlRenderer.php when images disabled.
  • Post settings not updating.
  • News sitemap missing language tag.
  • News not working due to bad database upgrade script.
  • Outstanding activation issues on network installs.

 

You can download the latest version from wordpress


If you have any further issues please contact us via our website or join our telegram group. We did have a reddit group but that has once again been banned. Apparently sitemaps are just to controversial for Reddit.

 
Don't forget to follow us on social media to stay up to date.


Overdue online update

Saturday, 14 August 2021

We've been working on an update for some time to address some bugs and performance issues since our last release. This lead to some pretty big rabbit holes and major reworks of code and re-architecting  how we use Microsoft Azure infrastructure, which has consumed many evenings and weekends, but finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Most of the changes in this release were technical under the hood issues that many users wont appreciate although the service is running more smoothly and faster, not withstanding their may be teething issues as we migrate users on to the new release.

Key fixes and changes include

  • Prioritization of sitemap jobs for contributors.
  • Contributor can configure more concurrent requests for faster processing.
  • Longer timeout periods for larger sitemaps.
  • "My sitemaps" page performance improved.
  • Fixed the transient download link issues.


Please note, the more concurrent requests you have the more pressure our spider will put on your website so please use this carefully.

Technical stuff.

Most of the time went in to key technical changes which aren't worth writing up in huge detail but for interest :

  • Re-writing of the spider HTTP stack, in particular, moving to the new .Net SocketsHttpHandler to improve the performance of requests.
  • Changing from exclusively in memory processing to streaming spider results disk, which allows for more concurrent processing and larger sitemaps without running in to memory issues.
  • Migrating the entire spider process to Azure Functions to allow spider sessions to run for longer without timing out and dropping pages.

These key changes were have led to a more performant and stable spider engine, but there was quite a learning curve in some areas which led to lots of time invested in research and bug resolution.

Once we had stabilized the new setup we were able to resolve a number of additional bugs and issues that people had reported, but were transient or hard to reproduce due to stability issues.

External link checker

One issue we have not been able to resolve is the performance of external link validation. We lost a lot of time to this one and despite re-writing our HTTP stack we were unable to resolve it. After many hours we discovered that the problem relates to an issue (feature) of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft is throttling DNS requests and so no matter how performant our code their DNS server is a serious bottle neck.

We have a number of strategies we are looking at to resolve this however it may take some time and unfortunately in the meantime we have disabled this feature to prevent it impacting on other areas of the service.

We haven't forgotten G-Mapper and Wordpress.

In better news, we will be adding a few new features and at some point hope to migrate this code over to G-Mapper so that our Windows users can benefit from these improvements. In the meantime, we're aware that our Wordpress users have been waiting on some bug fixes for some time and so this will be our next priority.

Infrastructure upgrade

One thing that has become clear is that we need to move to beefier hosting and database plans which will ultimately cost more money, almost doubling our costs. We hope that by gaining more contributors we can do this before the end of the year.

Please support us by becoming a contributor  or supporting us in other ways.

Join our community

To help with managing support we've created and online community. Please get involved as it will be a real help to maintaining the project and is a good way to get the latest news and updates and interact with other users about our services, SEO and other related matters.


Ways you can help support us

Thursday, 1 July 2021

This project only keeps going with the contributions from our community and we are very greatful for for your support. We now have more ways in which you can help support the project below.

Contribute / donate

 

Wish list

We have a list of things we need for managing and running the service which you may wish to purchase to help us out.

 

Affiliate links

When you buy from some companies we can get a small % comission when you use are links. A free and easy way to support us and with some you even get a small incentive / discount.


Join our community

Please get involved with our communitues to get the latest news and updates and interact with other users about our services, SEO and other related matters.


Social media

As well as our community, social media is a great way to stay in touch and you can help us out by following us online and giving is a shout out.

 

Coming soon ....

We'll  be adding new ways to contribute over the coming months and we have some exicint ideas about crypto currencies too, so stay tuned.


Our Next Gen Free online XML Sitemap Generator with SEO tools

Saturday, 17 April 2021

After a few months away busy working on our systems we're pleased to announce our latest online sitemap generator and SEO tools .

We've spent some time updating our backend systems to improve performance and flexibility and so as part of this release which enables us to start offering more features and services as a result of spidering your website.

The link checker validates that any images and external links are valid and provides a report detailing any issues, while the SEO / HTML audit checks for common problems.

These can be used as part of the usual spidering process or run individually against a single page.

spider sitemap / SEO results

These featues can also be used indivdually to scan an individual page. See our SEO Tools page for more details. For more details on the HTML / SEO audit please see the HTML / SEO Audit Report page.

Other changes

As well as the  above we have also made some updates to our spider engine to align with industry practices. Our spider will no longer act based on the "nofollow" rel attribute for internal pages. If you do not wish for a page to be included you should use a robots meta tag with the noindex property value and ensure that you have set the " Obey robots meta ta" option in your sitemap settings.
 
External link checking also ignores the nofollow attribute.

We have depricated the options for iframe, framesets, area tags and will now extact all links from a page and process based on the global rules. Please use regular expressions or other avaiable rules to filter your pages.

G-Mapper

It's been a while since we released a new version of G-Mapper, but with these online chnages we hope to propogate many of them to the next version of G-Mapper. This will be quite a significant piece of work and will take a number of weeks, so we will release a number of changes and updates over the coming months.

Feedback

If you have any feedback on the new features or things you would like to see included in the new link checker and SEO audit tools then please get in touch to let us know. we can't promise to respond to all requests however we do log them all and consider them for future features in our product.

The Ultimate WordPress XML Sitemap Plugin

Saturday, 6 February 2021

We've released a number of versions of our  Wordpress Plugin over the years, but recent developments have seen some key architectural changes to simplify development and add some of the frequently requested features, making version v2.0 our ultimate Wordpress XML sitemap plugin.

Key new features in this release include:

  • XML Sitemap Index page
  • Image XML sitemap support
  • News XML Sitemap support
  • Improved performance


NOTE: Some users are reporting issues with the sitemap index file giving a 404 / redirecting to the homepage. If you have this issue please check your settings, deactivate then reactive the plugin.  If you have any further issues please contact support.


XML Sitemap Index page 

We now support the XML Sitemap Index file which simplifies your sitemap, allows for much larger websites and is a more efficient.

We split your sitemap in to a number of key areas including : news, posts, pages, categories, tags. authors and archives. Where there are a large number of entries we may break this down further.

This makes it easier for you to understand your sitemap and a provides a more efficient and convenient way for google and other search engines to consume your sitemap files, and allows us to cater for large websites with many thousands of pages.

News XML Sitemap support

A news sitemap helps keep search engines up to date with frequent new content and provides more information allowing content to be shared and syndicated, including the news title and publication.

The news sitemap is a summary which includes all the news stories from your website in the last 48 hours. This can be taken from all your posts or selected tags and/or categories.

If you enable the sitemap images option, we'll also include images in your news sitemap. To use this feature simply decide which tags / categories you want to include in your news feed and the sitemap will automatically be added to your sitemap index.


Image XML sitemap support

A long requested feature was support for image sitemaps. We've now not only added images, but gone a step further than some other plugins, adding not only the featured image, but also any images we can detect in the body of your post giving you greater coverage of your images.


Simply check the "Enable images in sitemap" option in the settings and we'll include them for any page/post that.


Other key benefits

Unlike the built in Wordpress sitemap functionality and other plugins we provide the ultimate in configurability and detailed control over your sitemap.

  • Various files and formats including XML, RSS and HTML.
  • Set up global defaults across post types.
  • Support for custom post types including those created by other plugins.
  • Set defaults for your taxonomy including categories and tags
  • Edit your sitemap down to individual posts and pages.
  • And more....


Get the plugin

Get the latest and Ultimate Wordpress XML Sitemap Generator Plugin.

We hope you find these updates useful. If you do find our plugin valuable please consider making a small annual contribution towards our costs.


Wordpress 5.5 supports XML sitemaps

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

With the release of Wordpress 5.5 there are some interesting new developments included. Not least Version 5.5 of Wordpress includes support for XML sitemaps, a long overlooked feature and the reason for many sitemap plugins existing, including ours.

While the new feature will serve many users with a basic XML sitemap need, you might want to stick around to learn why this new feature might not be suited to your SEO needs.

A quick XML Sitemap recap


XML sitemaps have a number of advantages and are a key part of your SEO strategy. In particular they: 
  • Maximise your search engine coverage and ranking by submitting all pages.
  • In doing so they improve the speed which your pages get listed.
  • Allow you to take better advantage of search engine webmaster tools
  • Receive alerts about problems in your website
  • Importantly, they allow you to provide hints to search engines about the content in your pages..

XML sitemaps allow you to provide a lot of information about your website content including:

  • Web page address
  • News topics
  • Images and videos
  • When and how often a  page changes
  • Relative priority of content within your site

Coupled with RSS sitemaps you can also provide content which can be aggregated even more broadly to ensure your content is distributed and consumed.

Wordpress 5.5 sitemap feature vs plugins


The new wordpress sitemap feature is very basic and essentially just spits out a sitemap for all the published pages in your website without any user control or indeed any user interface.


“Are there any UI controls to exclude posts or pages from sitemaps?
No. User-facing changes were declared a non-goal when the project was initially proposed,”


Many sitemap plugins at least offer you a degree of control and one of the key design goals of our plugin was to offer you very granular control over your sitemap.

If you want to be able to edit your sitemap, including setting defaults by categories / tags or even edit down to the page level then our wordpress XML Sitemap plugin remains one of the few to enable you to do this.



Another key feature is that we support sitemaps in a variety of formats including XML, RSS and HTML files which maximizes support. RSS in particular is very helpful towards your SEO.


We also actively test with other plugins such as woo-commerce as well as supporting custom posts which gives your sitemap broad compatibility. Again the high level of customization applies to your custom posts types.

We're also exicted to let you know that version 2.0 of our sitemap plugin is on its way in the coming days with some pretty big additions and improvements.

Conclusion


While there is no doubt the inclusion of XML Sitemaps in the core Wordpress distribution is a welcome benfit and may suit the needs of many users with basic needs, if you are serious about SEO and need flexibility and control, you should certainly give our XML Sitemap generator plugin for Wordpress a try  and watch out for version 2!