XML Sitemaps Standalone Sitemap Generator Modernizer Re-skin


XML Sitemaps Overview

Sitemaps is a protocol used to inform search engines about URLs on websites that are available for indexing. Search providers will use the data provided in sitemaps to learn about the site's structure which allows them to do a better job of crawling the site and improve scheduling of future crawling.

Use of this protocol supplements existing search engine crawl- based mechanisms, however it does not guarantee pages will be included in search indexes, nor does it have any influence on how pages are ranked in search results.

What it does, is complement content indexing by putting it on the search engine provider's radar. If the site's structure, markup semantics and content are up to par then indexing and ranking will take it's natural course with some helpful guidance from a properly structured and informative sitemap.xml sitemap file.

More information on Sitemaps is available in this Wikipedia Sitemaps article.


Standalone Sitemap Generator

The Standalone Sitemap Generator is an aptly named, PHP scripted, unlimited XML sitemap generator by UK based XML-Sitemaps.com.

Veneration

It's well worth the $19.99 investment. With 12 years or more of development history to it's acclaim this utility has a mature code base that's more than capable of crawling and indexing large LAMP sites.

Customer service and support is more than adequate given the expenditure.

It has the majority of features and an abundance of configuration options that any astute webmaster would need to generate sitemaps for their site. Notably: Support for multiple sitemap files and file types; no limitation on the number URLs crawled; relatively easy to install for anyone with more than the basic understanding of web servers and Unix 101 under their belt; broken links notification; and last but not least, automation abilities via localized cron or a webcron service.

Criticism

The HTML markup and CSS presentation has become somewhat antiquated and it's far from being mobile friendly. While none of those are critical for backend web applications one would think an organization that's toeing the line on SEO and subsequently hawking SEO centric products and services would take more pride in the markup structure and overall appearance of their software.

By the looks of the statistics on the footer of XML-Sitemaps' user forum, it's obvious there is some undisclosed telemetry taking place between this software and the XML-Sitemaps developer's mother ship, presumably hovering somewhere near Stonehenge. Tinfoil hats aside for a moment, this should be made clear and there should be a means in the configuration for disabling this automatous transmission of data.

Deficiencies

It's a literary abomination of the Queen's English, has disjointed documentation and licensing writs with a retro, late 1990's postage stamp like presentation theme that'll make your eyes bleed.

Enter the Modernizer Re-skin.

Modernizer Re-skin 0.01

This re-skinning breaths new life into the Standalone Sitemap Generator's interface. It preserves the preexisting layout while adorning it with a more modern appearance with some breathing room through a modest attempt at fluidness. The styles have been segmented between screen and print as they should be. The aesthetic presentation is more in line with that of their website and subjectively what one might expect after installing the product for the first time.

See for yourself, have a gander at XML-Sitemaps' On-line generator demo vs ...

Modernizer Re-skin Screenshot

Screenshot example of Modernizer Re-skin for the Standalone Sitemap Generator

Applying the Modernizer Re-skin

At a minimum, only the styles.css in the pages directory of the Standalone Sitemap Generator needs to be updated to take advantage of the Modernizer Re-skin. This will have to be performed whenever the product is updated but that's easily taken care of with a cron job and a shell script that uses wc -l and wget.

The updated documentation.html and license.html files are provided merely for consistency as they appear to be neglected writs from the application proper. The former by three years and the latter by at least eight.

For convenience the three updated files have been made available for download in two archive formats, bzip2 and zip.

Modernizer Re-skin 0.01 Downloads

Stylesheet style.css Sat, 07 Feb 2015 18:24:02 -0400  •  (6,188 bytes)  •  text

Updated documentation.html Sat, 07 Feb 2015 18:24:02 -0400  •  (18,249 bytes)  •  html

Updated license.html Sat, 07 Feb 2015 18:24:02 -0400  •  (4,484 bytes)  •  html

All modernizer-re-skin-0.01.tar.bz2 Sat, 07 Feb 2015 18:22:35 -0400  •  (8,731 bytes)  •  bzip2

All modernizer-re-skin-0.01.zip Sat, 07 Feb 2015 18:22:35 -0400  •  (10,147 bytes)  •  zip