Support » Plugins » XML Sitemap Feed Plugin Problems

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  • Hi,

    The XML Sitemap on is Page Cached and Minified by the W3 Total Cache plugin. This results in the attached stylesheet not working any more. Are you using W3 Total Cache or any other minify strategy on your server?

    In itself, the stylesheet error is not a problem because search engines like Google will ignore that stylesheet anyway. It is there just to make the XML Sitemap look good in a normal browser 🙂

    However, I’ll investigate if a minified sitemap is a problem for spiders and if so, look for a way to prevent W3TC doing that to the sitemap…

    So far, reports the one from to be valid and adhering to the Schema. But that’s only a formal validation.

    Maybe you can help me with it? Do you have a Google Webmaster Tools account at ? If so, could you re-install XML Sitemap Feed, then (re)submit your sitemap.xml URL to be indexed and then keep an eye on reported errors?

    I’d be much obliged 🙂

    RavanH, may be the site author uses W3 Total Cache, I don’t know. I personally use wp super cache, but planning to go for w3 total cache soon. I do use wp minify plugin though.

    Now, before re-installing xml sitemap feed, and after re-installing, what are the things to do? like removing google sitemaps plugin? removing sitemaps files from root dir? ..and when I enable multi-site, do I need to re-configure the plugin for each new blog?



    Hello you two. Abhim12, thanks for using my site as the example 🙂

    Just to let you and other readers know, I do use W3 Total Cache. I can confirm that Google accepts the sitemap (I’ve just resubmitted it to double-check).

    Thanks diondeville, thanks for checking 🙂 Comforting to know that minify does not break the sitemap for Google at least! Apparently, even though W3TC does not minify the XSL stylesheet itself, it does break the stylesheet rules for the minified XML…

    Ah well… I’ll just have to put a note about it in the FAQ’s 😉

    Abhim12, the XML Sitemap Feed is very simple and does not need any (re)configuring even on Multi-Site mode, but if you have used another sitemap plugin that created a physical file called sitemap.xml on your server in the site root, you need to make sure it is removed. Else search engines will keep looking at that same file and conclude nothing has changed. Also check for a robots.txt file and if it is there, check if the sitemap URL is referenced there. If so, you could keep it but if you want to switch to Multi Site you need to remove that file completely!

    Oh, and yes, that other sitemap plugin needs to be deactivated! Two plugins that do the same thing usually cannot live together 😉

    When in Multi Site mode, be sure that there are no sites with a sitemap.xml or robots.txt file in their designated upload dir under /wp-content/blogs.dir/ID/files/ or anything and that the other plugin did not create any new rewrite rules in your .htaccess file.

    May I ask which other plugin you tried?

    Hang on… I think I found a way around the “problem”. It will be in the next release: 3.8

    Let me know if after upgrading (soon) you still get that stylesheet error. Thanks 🙂

    So, let me understand what you are saying. When I activate multi-site and start adding new blogs in the sub-directory form, I need to have one robots.txt in the root directory.

    And since I use robots meta plugin, I think I’ll just leave it like it is. Then, before installing your plugin, I’ll deactivate google xml sitemaps plugin and also remove sitemap.xml (if it is there) from the root directory. Once it is done, I’ll go ahead and install xml sitemap feed.

    I think those are the steps, right? Now, I am planning to do all this in the next 3-4 days. Would you be releasing 3.8 by then?

    No, it is best to have NO robots.txt file anywhere and let WordPress create it on the fly. My plugin uses that to append the correct sitemap reference for each site on your network automatically.

    But with your own robots.txt file (or one created by a plugin) you might be able to make it work. It all depends on how you are going to use Multi-Site. Will each site on your network be using a subdomain or a subdir? Meaning either http://sitename.networkname.tld or http://networkname.tld/sitename/ ?

    I cannot tell you about Robots Meta plugin because I do not know it. Does it create robots.txt file in the site root dir or does it hook into the same WordPress dynamically created robots.txt output? If the former of the two, it is probably NOT compatible with Multi-Site in subdomain mode unless you ONLY put global allow/disallow rules in there. AND be sure to put not only a
    Sitemap: http://networkname.tld/sitemap.xml
    in the robots.txt file but also one for each site like
    Sitemap: http://sitename.networkname.tld/sitemap.xml

    So if a crawler opens http://sitename.networkname.tld/robots.txt it will not only read “Sitemap: http://networkname.tld/sitemap.xml” (notice the missing sitename; and consequently either ignored it, or get pointed to the wrong pages because that particular sitemap feed will only show URLs for the main site) but also the correct one with “Sitemap: http://sitename.networkname.tld/sitemap.xml“.

    The same approach but with different URLs (like http://networkname.tld/sitename/sitemap.xml) would be needed in the case of a Multi-Site in Subdir mode setup.

    The rest of the steps you want to take seem to be correct 🙂

    My site is and I would be using “Sub-directories.” So, a new site would be where abc is the name of the new site in the network.

    My robots.txt is in the root directory which I created manually using a text file and uploaded. I added robots meta plugin just to make editing it easier and other files like .htaccess easier, that’s it. You can see my robots.txt here –

    Here are the steps which I am going to take.

    1. I will activate the multi-site mode and create a new site in sub-directory form.

    2. The dashboard automatically displays that Google XML sitemaps plugin is not compatible with multi-site, so I will go ahead and deactivate it.

    3. I will then activate XML Sitemap Feed ( I already have it installed but it is not active..I have upgraded it to 3.8 too )

    4. I will then check for a sitemap.xml in my root directory. If I find one, I will delete it.

    5. Later on, I will install W3 Total cache. Right now, I am with WP Super Cache and I might just stick to that for some more time.

    And I guess I should be all set. I have been told that I don’t need to touch the robots.txt file or the robots meta plugin.

    Now, what do you say? Do I need to change the robots.txt file?

    Ok, that’s a bit more clear. Now we know what we want to achieve…

    The steps you want to take are perfectly fine. And you should leave your robots.txt in place with the Robots Meta plugin active.

    – BUT –

    There’s one thing to add to the list:

    4.b After each new site creation, use Robots Meta (or any simple text editor) to edit your robots.txt file and insert an extra line with a new sitemap reference for that new site. In your example that would be Sitemap: (notice the /abc/ in there)

    This is needed because my plugin will only feed a sitemap with links to the main site posts and pages in … Crawlers need to be told to look at each sitemap like to get all those links too.

    Oh, and yes, you do need to delete (or rename) that sitemap.xml file in your site root dir 😉

    You said, “This is needed because my plugin will only feed a sitemap with links to the main site posts and pages in … Crawlers need to be told to look at each sitemap like to get all those links too.”

    If your plugin only feeds a sitemap for the main site, how will the sitemaps for the sub-directory sites get generated? I mean, I can definitely add sitemaps for new sites in robots.txt too, but the sitemap need to be there right for the crawlers to access it? Crawlers won’t create sitemaps on their own, correct?

    “… Crawlers need to be told to look at each sitemap like to get all those links too.”

    With which I meant that for the subdir site ABC there will be a sitemap generated on (notice the /abc/ in there) with all the links to the pages and posts in your ABC site.

    But you will have to put this new sitemap in your main robots.txt just as you have done for the main sitemap. And for each new subdir blog you create you will have to do the same.

    If you do not do that, crawlers will not be aware of any sitemaps other than the one for the main site…

    Alternatively, you can open a Google Webmaster Tools account and submit your sitemaps there 🙂

    Okay. I’ll activate multi-site, install the plugin and add a new channel to my blog this week. Then, I’ll be back asking you to check out my sitemaps, and if everything works fine. 🙂



    I also had stylesheet problem on WordPress MU, using wp-supercache.

    Try my fix here:

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