Here's the problem I'm trying to solve: I have a dynamic php-driven website that is constantly being updated with new content, and I want my XML sitemap to stay up to date automatically. Two options I see:

  1. Write a php script that queries my database to get all my content and outputs to, execute the script regularly using a cron job.
  2. Simply create my sitemap as a php file (sitemap.php), query the db and write directly to that file, and use the htaccess rewrite rule RewriteRule ^sitemap.xml$ sitemap.php so that whenever someone requests sitemap.xml they're directed to the php file and get a fresh sitemap file.

I'd much rather go with option #2 since it's simpler and doesn't require setting up a cron, but I'm wondering if Googlebot will not recognize sitemap.xml as valid if it's actually a php file?

Does anyone know if option #2 would work, and if not whether there's some better way to automatically create an up-to-date sitemap.xml file? I'm really surprised how much trouble I've had with this... Thanks!


While you can generate it with a script easily as the others have said, I would cache the result for a limited amount of time though to avoid unnecessary overhead.

Written by Wrikken

Accepted Answer

Just make sure your script generates the appropriate Content-Type header. You can do so with header().

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