Posted In Tutorials

Dynamic Sitemaps in WordPress, ExpressionEngine, and Magento

Sitemaps are an easy way to share the structure of a website with search engines. The key here is that the sitemap should be updated dynamically as opposed to manually. With blogs, commerce sites, and other constantly growing sites, it is unrealistic to have to manually update a sitemap with new information.

Add Dynamic Sitemap in WordPress

One of the nicest things about WordPress is the plugin community. When it comes to most dynamics, there is likely a decent plugin available which makes for a great starting point. With dynamic sitemaps, there is no shortage of “free to use” plugins. Our favorite is Google XML Sitemaps. Simply install, enable, and generate the sitemap in the plugin settings panel. Additionally, this tool offers some nice added functions to customize your sitemap.

Add Dynamic Sitemap in ExpressionEngine

ExpressionEngine does not have as many available options as WordPress, but it does have options. There is a “free to use” tool available with EE2; however, we prefer Sitemap Module which has a small licensing fee. This plugin is excellent in terms of control. With installation, it comes with an easy to follow instruction guide.

Add Dynamic Sitemap in Magento

Recent versions of Magento come with a Google Sitemap tool built in. In the Magento admin, go to Catalog » Google Sitemap. On this page, click the orange Add Sitemap button. In the options, enter “sitemap.xml” in the Filename field, and enter “/” in the Path field assuming you want the sitemap.xml file in the root folder.

To ensure the sitemap is fully enabled (or to configure the sitemap), go to System » Configuration » Catalog » Google Sitemap. In the Generation Settings set Enabled to Yes. Click the Save Options button and check to make sure the xml sitemap has been written at


Depending on your server configuration, you may have to manually create some files and adjust the CHMOD options to allow the systems to write to the files. With Magento and WordPress, this is fairly simple as you can add a blank sitemap.xml file into the root folder. After adjusting the CHMOD, the system should automatically be able to write to the file.

With WordPress, it goes one step further as the system adds an sitemap.xml.gz file as well. You can manually generate a GZ file online from the blank sitemap.xml file and upload it into the root folder. Adjusting the CHMOD will allow WordPress to rewrite the file as it does with the regular xml file.

ExpressionEngine should not give any issues as it works within the page structure in EE.

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