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sitemap.xml generation in node.js


Site Map Generation in node.js

This module is intended to be used as a dependency in a website specific site map building project. Add the module to the "dependencies" section of a package.json file:

  "dependencies": {
    "site-mapper": ">= 2.0.1"

There is nothing stopping you from installing it locally and editing the embedded configuration files, but that is not the intent.

npm install --save site-mapper

Create a directory to hold your site map generation configuration. This directory will hold all the files needed to tell site-mapper what to create.

Create a package.json file similar to the following:

  "author": {
    "name": "YOUR NAME HERE",
    "email": "YOUR EMAIL HERE"
  "name": "my-website-site-maps",
  "description": "sitemap generation for",
  "version": "0.0.1",
  "homepage": "",
  "keywords": [
  "dependencies": {
    "site-mapper": ">= 2.0.1"
  "engines": {
    "node": "*"

Create a directory called ./config. For each environment you will generate sitemaps for (possibly you only have one, production), create a javascript or coffeescript file in the config directory named for the environment:

./config/production.js, ./config/ or ./config/production.es6

If you wish to use es6 for your configuration, save the configuration using the .es6 file extension:


And add the following to your package.json as dependencies:

  "dependencies": {
    "babel-register": "^6.9.0",
    "babel-preset-es2015": "^6.6.0",
    "babel-preset-stage-0": "^6.5.0"

You will also have to create a .babelrc file in the root of your project with the following contents:

  "presets": ["es2015", "stage-0"]

At this time, any es6 configuration file should export the configuration object using module.exports instead of es6 export statements.

If you want to use coffeescript for configuration, you will have to add the coffee script module as a dependency:

  "dependencies": {
    "coffee-script": "^1.10.0"

The configuration file can contain any of the following keys. The values below are defaults that will be used unless overridden in your configuration file.

config = {}
config.sources = {}
config.sitemaps = {}
config.logConfig =
  name: "sitemapper",
  level: "debug"
config.defaultSitemapConfig =
  targetDirectory: "#{process.cwd()}/tmp/sitemaps/#{config.env}"
  sitemapIndex: "sitemap.xml"
  sitemapRootUrl: ""
  sitemapFileDirectory: "/sitemaps"
  maxUrlsPerFile: 50000
  urlBase: ""
config.sitemapIndexHeader = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><sitemapindex xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="" xmlns="">'
config.sitemapHeader = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><urlset xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:image="" xsi:schemaLocation="" xmlns="" xmlns:video="" xmlns:geo="" xmlns:news="">'
config.defaultUrlFormatter = (options) ->
  (href) ->
    if '/' == href
    else if href && href.length && href[0== '/'
    else if href && href.length && href.match(/^https?:\/\//)
      if href.length

The sitemaps object contains named keys pointing at objects that define a particular sitemap. The sitemap definition can contain (and override) any of the keys in the config.defaultSitemapConfig object. The produced sitemap consists of a sitemap index xml file referencing one or more gzipped sitemap xml files, created from urls produced by the config.sources objects. The configuration allows for defining 1 or more sitemaps to create, for example, you might configure one sitemap for the http version of a site and another sitemap for the https version of the site. Or you might define one sitemap for the www subdomain and another for the foobar subdomain. By default, all sources defined in config.sources are used to generate urls for all sitemaps. To use different sources for different sitemaps, provide in each sitemap configuration object a sources key like one of the following:

# Specify which sources to include. All others are ignored 
  includes: ['source1''source2'...]


# Specify which sources to exclude. All others are included 
  excludes: ['source1''source2'...]

The sources object contains arbitrarily named keys pointing at functions that take a single sitemapConfig object and return an object with the following keys: type, options. The options key points at a source configuration object that can contain the following keys: input, options, siteMap, cached, ignoreErrors

The input parameter, sitemapConfig, is an object formed by merging the config.defaultSitemapConfig object with the specific sitemap configuration (more about this later).

In the returned object, the type is either one of the built in source type classes (see below) or a site specific class derived from the SitemapTransformer base class.

A minimal config might be ./config/

{StaticSetSourceJsonSource} = require 'site-mapper'
appConfig =
      sitemapRootUrl: ""
      urlBase: ""
      sitemapIndex: "sitemap_index.xml"
      targetDirectory: "#{process.cwd()}/tmp/sitemaps/#{config.env}/http"
    staticUrls: (sitemapConfig) ->
      type: StaticSetSource
          channel: 'static'
          changefreq: 'weekly'
          priority: 1
          urls: [
    serviceUrls: (sitemapConfig) ->
      type: JsonSource
          changefreq: 'weekly'
          priority: 0.8
          channel: (url) -> url.category
          urlAugmenter: (url) ->
            url.url = "http://#{sitemapConfig.urlBase}/widgets/#{url.category}/#{url.url}"
          url: ""
          filter: /urls\./
module.exports = appConfig

site-mapper logs using bunyan format. To get pretty printed logs while running, just pipe the site-mapper output through the bunyan command line tool.

Finally, putting it all together, you can generate the sitemaps as follows:

  1. Install all the dependencies: rm -rf node_modules; npm install
  2. Run the generator: NODE_ENV=staging ./node_modules/.bin/site-mapper | ./node_modules/site-mapper/node_modules/.bin/bunyan

Below is a make file that encapsulates the above recipe. It can be run by running:

make setup generate
usage :
    @echo ''
    @echo 'Core tasks                       : Description'
    @echo '--------------------             : -----------'
    @echo 'make setup                       : Install dependencies'
    @echo 'make generate                    : Generate the sitemaps'
    @echo ''
setup :
    @rm -rf node_modules
    @echo npm $(NPM_ARGS) install
    @npm $(NPM_ARGS) install
generate :
    @rm -rf tmp

For one-off generation of sitemap(s) for a single source, the site-mapper command line tool will accept the following command line arguments:

Usage: node_modules/.bin/site-mapper [-s SITEMAP] [-i INCLUDES] [-e EXCLUDES]
  -s, --sitemap  name of the sitemap in the sitemaps section of the
                 configuration file
  -i, --include  only include specified source(s)                        [array]
  -e, --exclude  add specified source(s) to excludes                     [array]
  -h, --help     Show help                                             [boolean]

So, using the configuration in the previous section, to generate the sitemap(s) for just the staticUrls source:

NODE_ENV=staging ./node_modules/.bin/site-mapper -s main -i staticUrls  | ./node_modules/site-mapper/node_modules/.bin/bunyan

The site-mapper module views the sitemap generation process as follows:

SiteMapper creates one or more Source objects, pipes each one to a Sitemap, which then pipes to one or more SitemapFile objects, depending on the number of urls the source produces and the configured maximum number of urls per SitemapFile (50,000 by default).

+------------+          +------------+        +--------------+       +-------------+
| SiteMapper |          |   Source   |        | Sitemap      |       | SitemapFile |
|------------| creates  |------------|creates |--------------| adds  |-------------|
|            +--------->|            |------->|              |------>|             |
|            |          |            |  urls  |              | urls  |             |
+------------+          +------------+        +--------------+       +-------------+

Sources are Javascript streaming API Transform stream implementations that operate in object mode and produce url objects from data of a specific format. There are three included Source implementations:

  1. StaticSetSource - This source is configured with a static list of urls strings in a configuration file.
  2. CsvSource - Produces urls from CSV data.
  3. JsonSource - Produces urls from JSON data.
  4. XmlSource - Produces urls from XML data.

Sources are configured with an input that produces raw text data of the right format. Source inputs can be either files, urls or an instantiated Readable stream object. The source reads the input and converts it into Url objects. The Url objects may then be filtered based on the url object properies and then are provided for upstream consumers in the Transform implementation.

The configuration object for sources has the following form:

config =
  ignoreErrors: true|false
  input: {},
  options: {},
  siteMap: {}
  cached: {}
  • ignoreErrors

    Set to true if you want to log and ignore errors. If set to false (default) an error in the input stream aborts the entire process.

  • input object

    This object can have one of the following keys:

    1. fileName - full path of the file containing the url data
    2. url - URL that will produce the url data
    3. stream - An instantiated streaming API Readable object that when read, produces url data
  • options object

    Defines source specific options (see below)

  • siteMap object

    Defines sitemap information specific to the source, like the priority of urls it produces.

  • cached object

    If present, turns on caching of the data produced by the input so that subsequent runs or even other sources in the configuration can use it. Contains the cacheFile attribute pointing at the path for the cached data and maxAge attribute, a time in milliseconds the cached data should be considered fresh.

Each url is associated with a channel. The channel can be a static string or derived from the url at runtime. In either case, the channel is specified by setting the channel attribute on the source configuration object's siteMap object. It can be either a string (static channel) or a function taking a Url object and returning a string.

sources =
  staticChannel: (sitemapConfig) ->
      channel: 'foo'
  dynamicChannel: (sitemapConfig) ->
      channel: (url) -> url.category

The channel is used to name individual sitemap files where urls produced by the sources will end up. Files of the form ${CHANNEL}${SEQUENCE}.xml.gz will be created in the target directory.

A Sitemap is created for each URL channel. As urls are added to their corresponding Sitemap, the group will create sequentially numbered Sitemap files, each containing a configurable number of urls, 50,000 by default. The name of the sitemap files is of the form


The Channel is produced as described above

IMPORTANT: If two sources are configured with the same channel, or they use a dynamic channel function that produces the same channel, the second source will overwrite sitemaps created by the first source. It is up to the user to ensure that different sources produce different channels.

site-mapper will create a sitemap index and as many sitemap files as are required. The sitemap files are gzipped. There is no way to turn gzipping off.

It is up to you how you expose the site maps generated by site mapper to Google and other search engines. Each company does this differently, so there are no default publishing mechanisms in site-mapper.

npm run test

This should install all dependencies and run the test suite

options.options =
  columns: ['url''imageUrl''lastModified]
  relax\_column\_count: true|false
  • columns: Specify the names of the columns.
  • relax_column_count: true if you don't want an error raised if the number of columns in the csv data is different from what is configured.
options.options = 
  urlTag: 'url',
    lastmod: 'lastModified',
    changefreq: 'changeFrequency',
    priority: 'priority',
    loc: 'url'
  • urlTag: Name of tags containing url data in the xml document
  • urlAttributes: map of tag name to url attribute names within the urlTag markup.

Out of the box, the XmlSource is configured to read sitemap.xml files. This is useful if you have existing sitemaps or sitemaps generated by some other method that you wish to include with sitemaps generated from other data sources.

The JSON source expects an array to exist in the json data that contains objects or strings representing urls.

options.options = 
  filter: /regex/
  transformer: (obj) -> 
  stringArray: true|false
  • filter: A regex that is used to specify where the array(s) of urls are in the json document. See for how this works
  • transformer: A function taking the raw url object or string from the json document and turning it into an object suitable to construct Url objects
  • stringArray: Set to true if the array contains string urls rather than objects.

Sources can read data from local files (input: fileName: ''), from urls: (input: url: '') or from Streaming API Readable object instances (input: stream: new Foo()).

site-mapper ships with the following custom input stream classes:

MultipleHttpInput({urls: ['url1''url2'...]});

Each url is called and it's data parsed by the underlying Source. Works with either CSV or JSON data.

  url: base url for http requests
    page: 'page' # the name of the paging parameter 
    per: 'per' # the name of the limit or per page parameter 
    perPage: 100 # the value of the limit or per page parameter 
    increment: 1 # the amount to increase the page parameter value for each request 
    start: 1 # the value of the page parameter for the first request 
  format: 'json' # if 'json', the paginated responses are wrapped in a json array [ {page1response}, {page2response}, ...] 
    string: 'foo' # the string to look for in a response that indicates the pagination is over, ie there is no more data.