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Most Textpattern CMS users will be familiar with the rah_sitemap plugin but for those who aren’t, and just because I like it, I’d like to sing its praises.
Rah_sitemap was created by Finnish coding wizard Jukka Svahn, one of Textpattern’s most prolific and helpful plugin authors. The plugin produces a sitemap that conforms to the XML Sitemap Protocol and validates for Google and other search engines. Note to newbies: an XML sitemap is designed for search engine optimization and is not intended to be an HTML sitemap page on your site.
By default rah_sitemap produces a valid sitemap listing all sections, categories and articles (go to View the sitemap to see it). You may want to customize this, however, and easy-to-use options are available. You may prefer to exclude, for example, a private section from appearing in search results, or perhaps some particular articles. Clicking a + sign expands the headings to reveal all your categories and sections plus some advanced options such as excluding future or expired articles.
Rah_sitemap also follows your permanent link mode by default but if you are using another URL scheme via a plugin, for example, you can easily set up custom URLs and override permlink formats. Similarly, timestamps and compression are optimized for most situations but these can also be customized for special needs.
Rah_sitemap and SEO
Installing rah_sitemap and informing Google Webmaster Tools or putting a link on your site to the URL is enough to help make your site more SEO-friendly but it is best if used as part of an SEO strategy. Even though Google recommends sitemaps, I have found in practice that the googlebot also ignores them, just as it ignores robots.txt, to a certain extent. Google does what it wants and breaks its own rules whenever it ‘feels’ like it, but what can we do? However, rah_sitemap is a great help to web-masters/mistresses and when combined with robots.txt, meta description, friendly URLs, titles, headings and content, rah_sitemap helps Textpattern users makes websites optimized to do well in SERPs.
Rah_sitemap is a simple but powerful Textpattern CMS plugin but is only one of Jukka Svahn’s superb plugins.