XML Sitemap & Google News for WordPress

XML and Google News Sitemaps to feed the hungry spiders. Multisite, WP Super Cache, Polylang and WPML compatible.


This plugin dynamically creates dynamic feeds that comply with the XML Sitemap and the Google News Sitemap protocol. Multisite, Polylang and WPML compatible and there are no static files created.

There are options to control which sitemaps are enabled, which Post Types and archive pages (like taxonomy terms and author pages) are included, how Priority and Lastmod are calculated, who to ping and a possibility to set additional robots.txt rules from within the WordPress admin.

The main advantage of this plugin over other XML Sitemap plugins is simplicity. No need to change file or folder permissions, move files or spend time tweaking difficult plugin options.

You, or site owners on your Multisite network, will not be bothered with overly complicated settings like most other XML Sitemap plugins. The default settings will suffice in most cases.

An XML Sitemap Index becomes instantly available on yourblog.url/sitemap.xml (or yourblog.url/?feed=sitemap if you’re not using a ‘fancy’ permalink structure) containing references to posts and pages by default, ready for indexing by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask. When the Google News Sitemap is activated, it will become available on yourblog.url/sitemap-news.xml (or yourblog.url/?feed=sitemap-news), ready for indexing by Google News. Both are automatically referenced in the dynamically created robots.txt on yourblog.url/robots.txt to tell search engines where to find your XML Sitemaps. Google and Bing will be pinged on each new publication.

Please read the FAQ’s for info on how to get your articles listed on Google News.

Compatible with caching plugins like WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache and Quick Cache that cache feeds, allowing a faster serving to the impatient (when hungry) spider.


  1. If you do not use fancy URL’s or you have WordPress installed in a subdirectory, a dynamic robots.txt will NOT be generated. You’ll have to create your own and upload it to your site root! See FAQ’s.
  2. On large sites, it is advised to use a good caching plugin like WP Super Cache, Quick Cache, W3 Total Cache or another to improve your site and sitemap performance.


  • Compatible with multi-lingual sites using Polylang or WPML to allow all languages to be indexed equally.
  • Option to add new robots.txt rules. These can be used to further control (read: limit) the indexation of various parts of your site and subsequent spread of pagerank across your sites pages.
  • Includes XLS stylesheets for human readable sitemaps.
  • Sitemap templates and stylesheets can be overridden by theme template files.

XML Sitemap

  • Sitemap Index includes posts, pages and authors by default.
  • Optionally include sitemaps for custom post types, categories and tags.
  • Sitemap with custom URLs optional.
  • Custom/static sitemaps can be added to the index.
  • Works out-of-the-box, even on Multisite installations.
  • Include featured images or attached images with title.
  • Pings Google, Bing & Yahoo on new post publication.
  • Options to define which post types and taxonomies get included in the sitemap.
  • Updates Lastmod on post modification or on comments.
  • Set Priority per post type, per taxonomy and per individual post.
  • Exclude individual posts and pages.

Google News Sitemap

  • Required news sitemap tags: Publication name, language, title and publication date.
  • Set a News Publication Name or uses site name.
  • Supports custom post types.
  • Limit inclusion to certain post categories.
  • Pings Google on new publications, once per 5 minutes.

Pro Features

Google News Advanced

  • Multiple post types – Include more than one post type in the same News Sitemap.
  • Keywords – Add the keywords tag to your News Sitemap. Keywords can be created from Tags, Categories or a dedicated Keywords taxonomy.
  • Stock tickers – Add stock tickers tag to your News Sitemap. A dedicated Stock Tickers taxonomy will be available to manage them.
  • Ping log – Keep a log of the latest pings to Google with exact date and response status.

Privacy / GDPR

This plugin does not collect any user or visitor data nor set browser cookies. Using this plugin should not impact your site privacy policy in any way.

Data that is published

An XML Sitemap index, referencing other sitemaps containing your web site’s public post URLs of selected post types that are already public, along with their last modification date and associated image URLs, and any selected public archive URLs.

A Google News Sitemap containing your web site’s public and recent (last 48 hours) URLs of selected news post type, along with their publication time stamp and associated image URL.
An author sitemap can be included, which will contain links to author archive pages. These urls contain author/user slugs, and the author archives can contain author bio information. If you wish to keep this out of public domain, then deactivate the author sitemap and use an SEO plugin to add noindex headers.

Data that is transmitted

Data actively transmitted to search engines is your sitemap location and time of publication. This happens upon each post publication when at least one of the Ping options on Settings > Writing is enabled. In this case, the selected search engines are alerted of the location and updated state of your sitemap.


If you’re happy with this plugin as it is, please consider writing a quick rating or helping other users out on the support forum.

If you wish to help build this plugin, you’re very welcome to translate it into your language or contribute code on Github.


XML Sitemap Feed was originally based on the discontinued plugin Standard XML Sitemap Generator by Patrick Chia. Since then, it has been completely rewritten and extended in many ways.



I. If you have been using another XML Sitemap plugin before, check your site root and remove any created sitemap.xml, sitemap-news.xml and (if you’re not managing this one manually) robots.txt files that remained there.

II. Install plugin by:

Quick installation via Covered Web Services !

… OR …

Search for “xml sitemap feed” and install with that slick Plugins > Add New admin page.

… OR …

Follow these steps:

  1. Download archive.
  2. Upload the zip file via the Plugins > Add New > Upload page … OR … unpack and upload with your favourite FTP client to the /plugins/ folder.

III. Activate the plugin on the Plugins page.

Done! Check your sparkling new XML Sitemap by visiting yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml (adapted to your domain name of course) with a browser or any online XML Sitemap validator. You might also want to check if the sitemap is listed in your yourblogurl.tld/robots.txt file.

WordPress 3+ in Multi Site mode

Same as above but do a Network Activate to make a XML sitemap available for each site on your network.

Installed alongside WordPress MU Sitewide Tags Pages, XML Sitemap Feed will not create a sitemap.xml nor change robots.txt for any tag blogs. This is done deliberately because they would be full of links outside the tags blogs own domain and subsequently ignored (or worse: penalised) by Google.


Upon uninstalling the plugin from the Admin > Plugins page, plugin options and meta data will be cleared from the database. See notes in the uninstall.php file.

On multisite, the uninstall.php can loop through all sites in the network to perform the uninstalltion process for each site. However, this does not scale for large networks so it only does a per-site uninstallation when define('XMLSF_MULTISITE_UNINSTALL', true); is explicitly set in wp-config.php.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the options?

On Settings > Reading you can enable the XML Sitemap Index and (if needed) the Google News Sitemap. There is also an Additional robots.txt rules field.

Once a sitemap is enabled, its options can be found on Settings > XML Sitemap or on Settings > Google News.

Ping settings can be found on Settings > Writing.

How do I get my latest articles listed on Google News?

Go to Suggest News Content for Google News and submit your website info as detailed as possible there. Give them the URL(s) of your fresh new Google News Sitemap in the text field ‘Other’ at the bottom.

You will also want to add the sitemap to your Google Search Console account to check its validity and performance. Create an account if you don’t have one yet.

Can I manipulate values for Priority and Changefreq?

You can find default settings for Priority on Settings > XML Sitemap. A fixed priority can be set on a post by post basis too.

Changefreq has been dropped since version 4.9 because it is no longer taken into account by Google.

Do I need to submit the sitemap to search engines?

No. In normal circumstances, your site will be indexed by the major search engines before you know it. The search engines will be looking for a robots.txt file and (with this plugin activated) find a pointer in it to the XML Sitemap on your blog. The search engines will return on a regular basis to see if your site has updates.

Besides that, Google and Bing are pinged upon each new publication by default.

NOTE: If you have a server without rewrite rules, use your blog without fancy URLs (meaning, you have WordPress Permalinks set to the old default value) or have it installed in a subdirectory, then read Do I need to change my robots.txt for more instructions.

Does this plugin ping search engines?

Yes, Google and Bing are pinged upon each new publication. Unless you disable this feature on Settings > Writing.

Do I need to change my robots.txt?

In normal circumstances, if you have no static robots.txt file in your site root, the new sitemap url will be automatically added to the dynamic robots.txt that is generated by WordPress.

But if you use a static robots.txt file in your website root, you will need to open it in a text editor. If there is already a line with Sitemap: http://yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml you can just leave it like it is. But if there is no sitemap referrence there, add it (adapted to your site url) to make search engines find your XML Sitemap.

Or if you have WP installed in a subdirectory, on a server without rewrite_rules or if you do not use fancy URLs in your Permalink structure settings. In these cases, WordPress will need a little help in getting ready for XML Sitemap indexing. Read on in the WordPress section for more.

My WordPress powered blog is installed in a subdirectory. Does that change anything?

That depends on where the index.php and .htaccess of your installation reside. If they are in the root while the rest of the WP files are installed in a subdir, so the site is accessible from your domain root, you do not have to do anything. It should work out of the box.

But if the index.php is together with your wp-config.php and all other WP files in a subdir, meaning your blog is only accessible via that subdir, you need to manage your own robots.txt file in your domain root. It has to be in the root (!) and needs a line starting with Sitemap: followed by the full URL to the sitemap feed provided by XML Sitemap Feed plugin. Like:
Sitemap: http://yourblogurl.tld/subdir/sitemap.xml

If you already have a robots.txt file with another Sitemap reference like it, just add the full line below or above it.

Do I need to use a fancy Permalink structure?

No. While I would advise you to use any one of the nicer Permalink structures for better indexing, you might not be able to (or don’t want to) do that. If so, you can still use this plugin:

Check to see if the URL yourblog.url/?feed=sitemap does produce a feed. Now manually upload your own robots.txt file to your website root containing:

Sitemap: http://yourblog.url/?feed=sitemap

User-agent: *
Allow: /

You can also choose to notify major search engines of your new XML sitemap manually. Start with getting a Google Search Console account and submit your sitemap for the first time from there to enable tracking of sitemap downloads by Google! or head over to XML-Sitemaps.com and enter your sites sitemap URL.

Can I change the sitemap name/URL?

No. If you have fancy URL’s turned ON in WordPress (Permalinks), the sitemap url is yourblogurl.tld/sitemap.xml but if you have the Permalink Default option set the feed is only available via yourblog.url/?feed=sitemap.

I see no sitemap.xml file in my site root!

There is no actual file created. The sitemap is dynamically generated just like a feed.

I see a sitemap.xml file in site root but it does not seem to get updated!

You are most likely looking at a sitemap.xml file that has been created by another XML Sitemap plugin before you started using this one. Remove that file and let the plugin dynamically generate it just like a feed. There will not be any actual files created.

If that’s not the case, you are probably using a caching plugin or your browser does not update to the latest feed output. Please verify.

I use a caching plugin but the sitemap is not cached

Some caching plugins have the option to switch on/off caching of feeds. Make sure it is turned on.

Frederick Townes, developer of W3 Total Cache, says: “There’s a checkbox option on the page cache settings tab to cache feeds. They will expire according to the expires field value on the browser cache setting for HTML.”

The Google News sitemap is designed to NOT be cached.

I get an ERROR when opening the sitemap or robots.txt!

The absolute first thing you need to check is your blogs privacy settings. Go to Settings > Privacy and make sure you are allowing search engines to index your site. If they are blocked, your sitemap will not be available.

Then, you might want to make sure that there is at least ONE post published. WordPress is known to send 404 status headers with feed requests when there are NO posts. Even though the plugin tries to prevent that, in some cases the wrong status header will get sent anyway and Google Search Console will report a vague message like:

We encountered an error while trying to access your Sitemap.
Please ensure your Sitemap follows our guidelines and can be
accessed at the location you provided and then resubmit.

If that did not solve the issue, check the following errors that might be encountered along with their respective solutions:

404 page instead of my sitemap.xml

Try to refresh the Permalink structure in WordPress. Go to Settings > Permalinks and re-save them. Then reload the XML Sitemap in your browser with a clean browser cache. ( Try Ctrl+R to bypass the browser cache — this works on most but not all browsers. )

404 page instead of both sitemap.xml and robots.txt

There are plugins like Event Calendar (at least v.3.2.beta2) known to mess with rewrite rules, causing problems with WordPress internal feeds and robots.txt generation and thus conflict with the XML Sitemap Feed plugin. Deactivate all plugins and see if you get a basic robots.txt file showing:
User-agent: * Disallow:
Reactivate your plugins one by one to find out which one is causing the problem. Then report the bug to the plugin developer.

404 page instead of robots.txt while sitemap.xml works fine

There is a known issue with WordPress (at least up to 2.8) not generating a robots.txt when there are no posts with published status. If you use WordPress as a CMS with only pages, this will affect you.

To get around this, you might either at least write one post and give it Private status or alternatively create your own robots.txt file containing:

Sitemap: http://yourblog.url/sitemap.xml

User-agent: *
Allow: /

and upload it to your web root…

Error loading stylesheet: An unknown error has occurred

On some setups (usually using the WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin) this error occurs. The problem is known, the cause is not… Until I find out why this is happening, please take comfort in knowing that this only affects reading the sitemap in normal browsers but will NOT affect any spidering/indexing on your site. The sitemap is still readable by all search engines!

XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document

This error occurs when blank lines or other output is generated before the start of the actual sitemap content. This can be caused by blank lines at the beginning of wp-config.php or your themes functions.php or by another plugin that generates output where it shouldn’t. You’ll need to test by disabling all other plugins, switching to the default theme and manually inspecting your wp-config.php file.

I see only a BLANK (white) page when opening the sitemap

There are several cases where this might happen.

Open your sitemap in a browser and look at the source code. This can usually be seen by hitting Ctrl+U or right-click then select ‘View source…’ Then scan the produced source (if any) for errors.

A. If you see strange output in the first few lines (head tags) of the source, then there is a conflict or bug occuring on your installation. Please go to the Support forum for help.

B. If the source is empty or incomplete then you’re probably experiencing an issue with your servers PHP memory limit. In those cases, you should see a messages like PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of xxxxxx bytes exhausted. in your server/account error log file.

This can happen on large sites. To avoid these issues, there is an option to split posts over different sitemaps on Settings > XML Sitemap. Try different settings, each time revisiting the main sitemap index file and open different sitemaps listed there to check.

Read more on Increasing memory allocated to PHP (try a value higher than 256M) or ask your hosting provider what you can do.

Can I run this on a WPMU / WP3+ Multi-Site setup?

Yes. In fact, it has been designed for it. Tested on WPMU 2.9.2 and WPMS 3+ both with normal activation and with Network Activate / Site Wide Activate.


Hi Oliver, there is no settings page. It’s completely automatic and functional.

Looking at the sitemap on http://www.allesit.de/sitemap.xml I see all the latest posts there, corresponding to those in the main feed. The latest modification to an older post done on 2011-09-28 13:18 is depicted there too. Maybe you are looking at an older version of the sitemap in your browser cache? Reload the sitemap with Ctrl+R or clear the browser cache.

The only thing wrong I notice is the sitemap reference in the (manually maintained, I presume) robots.txt. It points to a non existent sitemap on another domain… Either adapt the URL or just delete the robots.txt file and let WordPress handle it for you.

Hi Paul, could you install the development version http://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/xml-sitemap-feed.zip on your windows hosted site? There is a slight difference in URL generation which might just fix it for you. Please let me know the result 🙂

Oh, and no, there are no linefeeds after each closing url tag. Are you saying there should be? As far as I know, this is only obligatory for Text file format sitemaps…

Hi RavanH,

That new version worked a treat, it looks excellent now.

The line feeds would just make it easier to scan through the file in text mode. But, your plugin is great as it is.

Thanks again,


That’s good news. Thanks for testing 🙂

About the lack of linefeeds: that is done to keep the sitemap on VERY large sites just a little bit smaller. It’s not much but still… But you can edit the feed template yourself to include linefeeds between the tags if you like. It’s not so difficult. Open XML Sitemap Feed in the WordPress plugin editor, go to the file feed-sitemap.php and find near the end (line 139) the starting tag <url> and put a linebreak (no code, just an Enter) right in front of it. You can do the same for the other tags <lastmod>, <changefreq> and <priority> too and put five spaces in front to increase readability even further.

Hello, I installed wordpress 3.3.1 in a subdomain and sitemap generation is not done.
So I installed the development version given in the previous post and it works.
The first link of the articles at a rate of 70% and the links below 0.
This will be a problem for SEO.

Salut Christophe,

First thing to realize is that 0% in sitemap priority does not mean that URL has no value. Priority is relative. So on a site with only two pages, one with 100% and the other with 0% is in the eyes of Google the same as one with 60% and one with 40% priority. It just means one is more important than the other. Not that one is all important while the other is worthless. Besides, Google does not take these values very seriously. Visitor behaviour and internal page linking much more so, which could result in the page of lesser importance (according to the site owner) being deemed of higher importance by Google all mighty.

Secondly, the automatic priority calculation in my plugin takes various factors into account: difference between oldest and latest post modified date, each posts last modified date, page hierarchy, number of posts versus number of pages (emphasis on site or blog?) and number of comments (per post/page relative to total) plus last comment date. These factors combined are used to determine the relative importance of each URL. Except the home URL which is always 100%, the newest post starts with either 70% (if it’s a blog with more posts than pages) or 40% (if it’s a site with more pages than posts) and can rise to 100% depending on comment activity, the URL of the oldest post usually drops toward 0% unless it has very high comment count and recent comment activity. Pages can start with either 30% (when it is a blog) or 80% (when it’s a site), their hierarchy and finally, like posts, comment count and activity.

This rather complex calculation works best when there are many posts and/or pages, when there is a large time difference between the oldest and youngest posts and when there comments on at least some posts or pages.

Now on your site, there are relatively little pages and posts, little time between the first and latest post and no comments. This will always result in large differences between high and low priority values. The plugin thinks it’s a blog since you have three posts versus two pages. The youngest post (based on modification date, not creation date!) starts with 70% while the oldest posts (same age) drop to 0% since there is no comment activity. The front page always gets 100% while the only other page gets 30% based on that same estimation that it’s a blog.

I would advice to put the info that you are presenting currently as posts, on pages instead. Posts are meant for and treated (not only by my plugin) as time-related, loosing relevance as time passes unless visitor activity (like comments or visitor count) says otherwise. Pages are meant for information that is time unrelated, not loosing it’s value as time goes by. This would also change all of their URL priorities to the same value of 70 or 80% depending on hierarchy 🙂

In the next release of this plugin, I plan on adding a means to set these priority values per page/post to override the automatic calculation. But I cannot promise any release date…

No, you cannot. But do not worry about those rates too much. Google and others might take them as an indication but usually draw their own conclusion on other info like incoming links, traffic, search terms and other mysterious factors 😉

Hi there, we just installed this on http://www.digitalbookworld.com. The /sitemap.xml file is from a previous plugin we were using (currently awaiting my Development team removing that file). The /sitemap-news.xml file populates correctly. My question is, is there a way to pull content into this News Sitemap only for a single category? Our Digital Book Wire category (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/category/wire) is our “news” category…and Google News only wants “newsworthy” content (not how-to/evergreen content). So, we’d like only that category to populate in the /sitemap-news.xml file. Is this possible? If not, what’s your reasoning to not have this functionality? Thanks!

Hi Kern,

It is currently not possible. The reasoning is (was) simplicity. But I realise as popularity increases, the need for at least some flexibility increases too. Some kind of control, allowing exclusion of certain posts of categories plus differentiating in Genre tag value is on the roadmap for the next release… But as said to Christophe just moments ago, I cannot give an estimate on when it will be ready.

In the mean time, you could simply edit the file feed-sitemap-news.php… Find on line 26 the start of query_posts(... and add a new line below it that says:

'category_name' => 'wire',

Hi, I woke up today being advised about some pages in my website that had an error problem. After testing all the plugins within my site I noticed that the plugin that caused my pages to create this error was the the XML SiteMap Feed plugin. After deactivating it, all my pages came back to normal. Everything was good yesterday, but I guess once I updated to the latest version, that’s when the errors occurred. Any thoughts on this, or a way to fix it? Thanks in advance!

The error made all my item pages display this message below:

Error 404 – Page not found!

You are here: Home → 404 Not Found
The page you trying to reach does not exist, or has been moved. Please use the menus or the search box to find what you are looking for.

The error only occurred after updating your plugin to the latest version. It is disabled right now and all my pages are working fine again. Is there something I can do to make it work properly again?

Although I would not recommend reactivating the plugin on a live site, it would really be helpful if you could find a related PHP error in the server (or hosting) error log. Without some hints from there, I have no clue what could be going on at this point because I cannot reproduce the issue. Are you running a lot of other plugins on the same site?

I checked the files in my server and did not find an error log file. I kept the plugin deactivated. I received an email with a solution I have not tried yet. They told me to install this plugin instead (XML & Google News Sitemap Feeds). I will keep you guys posted if this works. Also, to answer your question, yes, I do have multiple plugins installed in my site. About 10 of them. Thanks for helping me with this.

How do I include custom post types into the Google News Sitemap?

I’ve read people managing to do it but can’t find a piece of code anywhere!


With WP_DEBUG enabled, you’ll get some PHP Notices and Warnings due to $wpdb not being declared as a global before refereing it at the top of the first method inside the XMLSitemapFeed class.


Since the update to WP 3.4 for some reason, the publication language isn’t coming up and it causes an error in Google Webmaster Tools. I’ve tried to install the developer version hoping that would work but nothing.

I’ve also deactivated every plugin and tried the one by one but that doesn’t fix it either.

Here’s what comes up on the sitemap:

Best Movies Ever Entertainment News

As you can see everything else comes up fine, but the news language just does the strange one line and that’s it.



Please upgrade. The fix is untested with multi-language plugins but should work on any single language install.

Hi Delower, your setup seems to ad two empty lines to ANY output inlcuding regular HTML (pages and post) and XML like http://sportzfox.com/feed/ … This is not related to my plugin. You’ll have to find out where these two empty lines are coming from. It can be your theme, or even two empty lines before the opening PHP tag in config.php.

Another tip: move your theme dir one dir up, so files go in /wp-content/themes/articledirectory/ instead of /wp-content/themes/Article Directory Package/articledirectory/

Does your plugin also generate a VIDEO sitemap? If it doesn’t do you know where I could get a plugin for WordPress that does?


Hi Denise, the plugin does not do image or video sitemaps at this point. Nor will those be supported by the open version in the near future… I am not aware of any plugin that does this at present (did you search on WordPress Extend?) but I can do customisation if you need it. Contact me for a quote 🙂

Hi Abhishesh, assuming you are talking about the sitemap on http://www.youenth.com/sitemap.xml I can tell you it is not generated by my plugin. You might have a static file called sitemap.xml in your site root? And you might need to disable the sitemap function (if there is one) in your SEO plugin…

How come I keep getting the error below:

This page contains the following errors:
error on line 3 at column 6: XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document
Below is a rendering of the page up to the first error.

Hi ptashe, your code might have been clipped by the WordPress commenting system but it sounds like there is something (antoher plugin?) adding lines to the top of the output so that the xml declatration is not on the first line anymore. If you can give me a link to your site, I can take a look at the output.

Hi Andrew, Thanks for the heads up in your post. Glad you like the simplicity of the plugin 🙂 The next version will have a sitemap index and sitemaps per category to lessen server load on large sites and the News Sitemap tags will be integrated into the normal Sitemaps. Other tags like for images are on the roadmap too.

About the URL request parameters, it will be simplest to modify the feed-sitemap-news.php template file and hardcode it in there… Is there a common reason to actually want to do this?

Hey. Sorry for the ridiculous late reply! I want to run some UTM tracking, so wanted to add additional parameters to the URLs within the sitemap.

The destination page has a canonical tag pointing back to the correct version – but I wanted this for my analytics. I could play about with the file, but wanted to leave a comment with you to see if this is a common request.

Hi Andy, no this has not been requested before. But it is an interesting idea… I’ll add it to the TODO list and consider it for a future (but not the next) release 🙂

Great plugin, one question; does the xml sitemap not appear on Google Chrome browser? I load the sitemap and it appears blank, though when I load it in I.E. or FF, the page loads with the information.

Hi Javier, yes it should be visible in Chrome too. Do you have a link so I can take a look?

Hi Javier, it does not look like that sitemap is from my plugin. You are (or have been) using another sitemap plugin that creates a static sitemap file in the root of your site. Same goes for the static robots.txt file… Delete them and let my plugin take care of the dynamic versions.

The sitemap have generated priorities that are not compatible with the importace of the page. For example my first page are in the sitemap with a priority of 0.5. It can be coincidence but since i have made the last actualization of this plug in,my ranking as drop down! Do you have some sugestion? Can you help me?

Hi Vasco, is this on sucessoavon.com? You do not seem to be using my plugin there… My plugin sets the home page priority always to 1. I found two sitemaps on your domain but none of them are generated by XML & Google News Sitemap Feeds.

About the drop in Pagerank, I can only say that priority in sitemaps does NOT affect Pagerank. Priority is (if not completely ignored by Google) only taken as an indication of INTRA site importance, meaning within your site. Pagerank computation is allegedly based on a whole lot of obscure factors but the main ingredients are incoming links and site authority relative to OTHER sites. Google has recently changed the computation algorithm and many sites have felt a big or smaller drop while others have felt a positive impact. All due to the highly secretive calculations and nothing to do with sitemaps or priority settings.

If it would be possible to dictate Google via the sitemap, everybody would simply set every priority to 1 and everybody would rank #1 😉 In reality, even websites without a sitemap have equal chances of coming first in search results… Do not expect a sitemap to have any (psoitive or negative) effect on your pagerank, it’s there just to tell Google where your new content is and help it index your site more quickly. On the long term, it might help your sites authority (hearsay, not a confirmed fact) but only if your sites content and incoming links is up to par.

My main advice is to open a Google Webmaster Tools account (Bing has a similar service these days) and submit your sitemap there. You will learn a lot about your site and see if there are errors in the sitemap.

No pages in sitemap.xml but only in ?feed=sitemap …

I’m using your cool plugin with qTranslate and qTranslate Slug and I’ve noticed a weird issue.

sitemap.xml only contains articles and the front page, ?feed=sitemap also contains the existing pages. The latter even works for the translated slugs, wuhuu!

Any idea on how to get this for the normal file … since this is the url given in the robots.txt file



Hi Wirtsi, that is unusual behaviour. I have not had the chance to test with these newer versions of qTranslate that provide slug translation (I switched all my multilingual sites to Polylang) and it would surprise me if it all works without issues. Could you disable qTranslate for a second to see if the issue remains?

I suspect it’s an incompatibility with the latest version of qTranslate but I have no time at the moment to test this. Sorry… I’ll get around to it some time but not very soon.

The only quick advice I can give is to switch to Polylang. This will greatly improve your website speed and allow you to have different post slugs per language. It will take some work copying over all english translations to their own posts though…

Check your sites /robots.txt and /sitemap.xml dynamic addresses. If they are correctly created there is nothing left to do.

recently I have been getting a lot of 404 errors from google bots, not sure why, could it be anything to do with the sitemap?

Do these 404’s occur on existing pages or is the bot trying to access pages that actually are not there? If the former, there is something wrong with your WP install or server (PHP/Apache/other). If the latter, open your sitemap.xml and see if there are pages/post referred there that do not exist (anymore) or are showing an incorrect URL.

It will also help to open a Google Webmaster Tools account and submit your sitemap there to get detailed info about crawling errors and other issues…


already signed up with google, all is OK with them

sitemap looks OK

the 404 errors are from bots they appear to be trying to access files which either don’t exist or admin files, I assumed these bots first looked at sitemap before crawling, I have no-index nofollow set on certain areas too


Using no-index or nofollow or even disallows in your robots.txt is not something that will prevent or block bots accessing those URL’s. It’s more of a request than a rule and only ‘nice’ bots will honour your requests. If you really want to block access for certain user agents (by which these bots might be detectable) you’ll set up some extra rules in your .htaccess file. Search on the internet on how to block so called ‘bad bots’ out there.

Another note: If you see weird requests (with a 404 response) for files inside your wp-admin or wp-includes folders, they might be coming from malicious scanning bots that are looking for security holes. But you’ll need to be very aware of weird requests in those folders that have a 200 response, which means they found something… Search on the internet for security related issues (some themes and plugins have holes) and how to make sure there is nothing wrong on your site.

Good luck 🙂

Bad, BAD, Google bot! 😉

Use your Google Webmaster Tools account and look under Health > Crawl Errors to see what is going on. Click each error listed there and you will be able to open a tab ‘Linked from’ that will tell you where/how Google got the URL in the first place. Next, remove these URLs under Optimization > Remove URLs…

I run WPMS, but i can only get the sitemap to work on my main domain. It won’t work for any of the other domains (12 others) i have running on multisite. i used the subdomain method but use the domain mapping to have them run as TLDs. I don’t have a mu-plugins folder. i run other plugins across the network just fine.

You need to Network-activate the plugin and then it should work just fine for all sites. Domain mapping is not a problem. You could activate site-by-site but there is no need for that unless you want to have the flexibility of certain sites using another sitemap plugin… Make sure there is no static sitemap.xml file in the root of your install. And make sure all the sites are set to “Allow indexing” under the Privacy options.

Maybe a (browser or server side) caching issue? Anyway, good to hear it is working correctly now 🙂

I am running WPMS 3.4.2 and version 3.9.2 of your plugin.

Everything works correctly on my main domain and several WPMS subdomains, except one.

And on the one, /robots.txt displays correctly, as does /sitemap-news.xml. However,
/sitemap.xml produces the following output:

[parsererror style="display: block; white-space: pre; border: 2px solid #c77; padding: 0 1em 0 1em; margin: 1em; background-color: #fdd; color: black"]
[h3]This page contains the following errors:[/h3]
[div style="font-family:monospace;font-size:12px"]error on line 1 at column 1: Extra content at the end of the document[/div]
[h3]Below is a rendering of the page up to the first error.[/h3]

ARe you running any plugins on that site that you do not use on the other sites in the network? Can you give me a link to your site either in a comment or via the contact form?

(I sent my site URL via the contact form.)

There are no plugin differences among the WPMS sites. Every listing of installed plugins is identical.

The site in question was the first WPMS site added to the domain, over a year ago, and remained the only WPMS for several months before I added 2 more sties. I recently upgraded this WP network to 3.4.2 and subsequently installed all the other available updates for plugins and themes.

I then created some more sites before discovering and installing your plugin.

I am wondering if the problem with that one site is just a fluke that could be resolved by me deleting and restoring just that one WPMS site from backup.

Hard to say without knowing the true cause…

I notice the sitemap is empty but does return a 200 status. Do you see any related errors in your php error logs?

Ok. I did some experimenting.

The site in question has a total of 7,977 posts. I created a test site and copied all the posts to the test site. I began deleting posts, in blocks of 1,500.

Between 7,977 and 4,500, I continued to receive a blank page.

When I got down to 4,500 posts, I received the following error: “Fatal error. Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 85 bytes) in /wp-includes/cache.php on line 506”

Between 3,000 and 2,000 posts, I again received blank pages.

When I got down to 2,000 posts, the generated sitemap.xml was displayed properly.

I did this process twice…1st deleting from the beginning of the table…2nd deleting from the end of the table…in an effort to eliminate the possibility of a damaged record or range of records. The results were the same with respect to the amount of posts.

I also F5 refreshed at each stage with WP Super Cache on and then off.

I hope these additional details help.

Thanks Roy, for experimenting and sharing. Could you change the mermory limit on your domain to 256 MB? If you have access to php.ini, do it there. Otherwise you might try by adding the line php_value memory_limit 256M to the .htaccess file in your site root. If that does not work, add either a line define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M'); or ini_set("memory_limit", "256M"); to your wp-config.php…

If all fails, you might want to wait for the next development release (not uploaded yet) that will split up posts by year or month over different sitemaps. If you are interested, let me know 🙂

Hi Andy, thanks for the tip. I’ll study and consider it for a future release. It will not get in to the next one though since that has already so many changes…

Hi Mike, you are looking at a human formatted version (where dates are currently still hidden) but Google will be looking at the XML source code where date tags are present. You can open a Google Webmaster Tools account to check your news sitemap for errors.

Awesome plugin Ravan, ill make a donation a soon as posible, u deserve it, tks for the tip of the memory code for wpconfig, that finally make it work.
I would like to ask what is the best way to exclude some categories only from sitemap-news sitemap. Tks for the great job.

Hi Cesar, in the current version that is not possible. However, this (among other things) is planned for the next release…

Hallo Ravan!
Thank you very much for your plugin, but I got troubles to include some requirements of google to the news sitemap. Could you help me?

In your sitemap I can’t find the link to see-online.info and can’t change the title and description to “See-Online.info – Blog für den Bodensee”. The link to the logo image is http://see-online.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/See-Online-250×40.png .

All in all I can’t change the xml output!

This is the format google wants for their sitemap:

Description of the channel (e.g. News Site’s best articles of the day)
News Site’s editor’s picks

text to use as alternative for the image

Headline for first article
Some details
Author name

Headline for second article
Some details
Author name

Headline for third article
Some details
Author name

Headline for fourth article
Some details
Author name

Headline for fifth article
Some details
Author name

Additionally, we request (but do not require) that publishers give us:

date in the tag
datetime in the tag

I will be glad to donate a couple of coffees as soon as the website hits google news again! 🙂

OK, I see… an Editors’ Picks RSS feed. That’s different from a News feed. Integrating that into the plugin (or a separate plugin) would mean a lot of work. Maybe if you tried the following?

Create a dedicated category (or tag) called Editors’ Pick on your site and assign any posts that you want in the Editors’ Picks feed. Then submit the feed http://see-online.info/category/editors-pick/feed/ to Google. This will now serve as your Editors’ Picks RSS feed… but without logo. Or is that really a deal breaker for them?

Can you please tell me how to remove ” tag ” from sitemap, as I don’t want to index tags.
After the update you had separated the tags, categories, post and pages but I want to have controls on what I want to index.

Aziz, looking more closely at your site, I see that you do have my plugin enabled but you forgot to follow the instructions 😉
1. Remove all physical sitemap files that were written to your sites root by other sitemap plugins;
2. Go to Settings > Reading and enable the Google News sitemap.
Now you should be able to see two sitemaps mentioned in http://www.droidmatters.com/robots.txt – one regular sitemap and one news sitemap. Now submit the new news sitemap URL to Google News 🙂

hi could do with some settings, such as do not map the orders, etc as there is a sitemap showing orders this is not good, thanks

Hi Mike, like a shopping cart page you mean? I do not have a good way to detect these kind of pages in all circumstances but you are right, they should not be included.

This is planned for the next release where I’ll have at least some way to exclude certain pages. Probably simply by entering their ID in a dedicated exclusion option field… Well, you see it’s not in the development version yet 😉 but it is planned none the less.

Let me know if you’re volunteering to test 🙂

no i mean actual orders, they appeared on the sitemap then google spotted them and pulled up a load of 404s
i dont mind testing for you, so long as it doesnt affect orders or ordering, I am still running woocommerce 1.6.xx not upgrading to 2 until all the plugins have updated

That’s strange… Do you have a link for me where I can see this issue? You can use the contact form if you don’t want to share publicly.

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