XML Sitemaps Meeting: February 25th, 2020

Last week we held the first of many weekly meetings for the XML Sitemaps feature project on Slack.

Meeting Recap: February 18th

We had quite a few people attending, not all of whom were familiar with the project. Thus, we started off with a small recap of the project’s scope and goals. After that we discussed various different topics:

  • How to modify the sitemaps to include/exclude certain URLS
    A pull request has been opened to add a FAQ section to the readme that aims to answer these kind of questions.
    Also, a new way to filter WP_Query instances used for sitemaps has been proposed.
  • Why are there no changefreq and priority fields?
    Those are optional fields in the sitemaps protocol and not typically consumed by search engines. The feature plugin follows other solutions like Yoast SEO who also don’t include those fields.
    Developers can still add those fields if they really want too.
  • Will there be UI controls to include/exclude content from sitemaps?
    Adding UI controls is currently a non-goal for the project.
  • Calculating the last modified date for URLs
    This is rather difficult and computationally expensive in WordPress. Given that sitemaps are first and foremost a discovery mechanism for content, having this data is not necessarily required. We will explore omitting this functionality (GitHub issue).
  • The default limit of 2000 URLs per sitemap is considered high and might need to be re-evaluated.
  • Potential compatibility issues with other XML Sitemaps plugins have been discussed.
    If a site ends up having two sitemaps by accident that wouldn’t be bad. However, the current /sitemap.xml URL might clash with other plugins. A GitHub issue has been opened to suggesting using /wp-sitemap.xml as the base. This would avoid conflicts in this regard.

Agenda: February 25th

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 16.00 CET

For tomorrow’s meeting, the agenda is rather brief:

  • Updates since last week (merged changes, new issues)
  • Next steps for proposed lastmod changes
  • Next steps for URL naming change
  • Planning release of version 0.2.0

This meeting is held in the #core-sitemaps channel , to join the meeting, you’ll need an account on the Making WordPress Slack.

#agenda, #feature-plugins, #feature-projects, #seo, #xml-sitemaps