I have been working with Google’s Webmaster Tools, and one of the things that it requires is a sitemap. It took me some tweaking to get it right, but here is what I learned.
First, I had to hand craft a sitemap php file for the main, parent site. The first thing that I struggled with was how to get the content type and XML heading in a php file. The solution was the header() command and to use the echo command.
Here is the heading of my sitemap page:
<?php header("Content-Type: text/xml"); echo '<' . '?' . 'xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ' . '?' . '>' ?>
The next hurdle was to determine how to include the last modified field. I found the filemtime() command could read the last time the file was changed. Then, the date() command using the DATE_W3C format puts it in the correct format that the sitemap expects.
Here is what an entry looks like.
<url> <loc>http://digitaleagle.net</loc> <lastmod><? echo date (DATE_W3C, filemtime('index.html')) ?></lastmod> <priority>0.4</priority> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> </url>
I didn’t need to mess with any of the settings. I should have blogged this as I was doing it, but if I remember right, I had to visit this page the first time to generate the sitemap. From there, it takes over.