Most of you probably know this, but let’s define what the sitemaps are. Sitemaps are a simple way for site creators to give search engines the information about pages on their site that are available for public. Basically, those are just 1 or more XML files that lists URLs for a site along with additional meta informatio about each URL (like last update, how often it changes, its importance relevant to other pages). With this in mind, search engines can be more clever while crawling the site. Click here see how sitemap of this site looks like.
You will hear the term Google Sitemap a lot, but XML Schema for the Sitemap protocol is not related only to Google at all. It can be used in many places, but the most important is Google Webmaster Tools.
How do we create Google Sitemap in Magento?
1. Sitemap File Configuration
First we need to create sitemap file in Magento. This is basically pointer to tell Magento where to create sitemap file and how to name it. Log in to Magento Administration and go to:
Catalog -> Google Sitemap
Check to see if the sitemap file is already present. Lets assume we wish to create sitemap in the URL: http://www.yourstore.com/sitemap/sitemap.xml
To do it successfully,
- FTP to the server
- create sitemap folder
- chmod the folder to 777
On some servers, previous steps will not be required, but it is better to create the file first so that Magento can edit it.
Let’s go to Magento administration now and click on “Add Sitemap” button. Just insert the default values.
After this step, we just told Magento where to create sitemap file. It is not yet created.
2. Configure Sitemap
Sitemap can be configured from the interface System -> Configuration -> Catalog->Google Sitemap. If you are not sure what does it all mean, check XML Tag definitions section from “Sitemaps XML format” document.
3. Create Sitemap Manually
Looks like Magento folks were thinking that sitemap should only be created by a cron job. Yes, it can be done that way also. Be sure to read Wiki article How to Set Up a Cron Job to get familiar with it. If you are looking for manual creation, quit your search for “Create Sitemap” button. You will not find it. But there is a workaround. You can enter manual URL to execute sitemap creation:
http://www.yourstore.com/index.php/admin/sitemap/generate/sitemap_id/[ID of Sitemap from step 1]
Of course, replace the content with square brackets with actual Sitemap ID.