Zoftar Sitemap Generator Easy and Free
Zoftar Sitemap Generator Easy and Free
Hey it's 2017 and I can't get my sitemaps into google!
A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get some sitemaps for our website zoftar.com submitted to google. Surely in 2017 this is a trivial task, there must be loads of sitemap generators out there on the net.
Thing is zoftar.com is a big site, relatively I guess, about 60,000 pages. So after a quick google I found some online sitemap generators but they all had a limit of around 2000 pages. Epic fail.
More Googling revealed some Windows Desktop programs to try.
Ok site looks good, looks like they have gone to a lot of trouble and put a lot of effort into the program.
Installed no problem, upon installation I was greeted with this:
Jesus Christ! Where do I start! I knew just from the UI things where not going to be easy, after 30 mins figuring out the horrible UI I got the thing indexing. Then it fell over. Program error. A couple more attempts even on other websites, the thing kept erroring. Back to google!
I remember this program, had used it in the past with success! Onto a winner here, job done! Upon visiting the website it became apparent that the program has not been updated since 2007. The minimum requirements for the program stated:
Windows versions 95,98, ME, 2000, XP, 2003 Server
Internet Explorer v. 5.5 & up
Hell, I had forgotten that Windows ME existed! But I had used the program in the past on a large website and it had worked. Downloaded and installed, I was presented with this:
Now in my humble opinion the UI is over complicated for the job at hand but it was certainly better then the g-mapper UI. Anyhow entered the necessary details into the program and set it spidering, except it never started spidering, no error message and did not fall over but refused to do anything. Epic fail 2!
Now this program may work on an older version of Windows as per the requirements (Windows versions 95,98, ME, 2000, XP, 2003 Server) but this is 2017 and I did not have anything running any of that to hand. Back to google!
Ok so I have used other Inspyder products and they have worked well, I was confident this time! Downloaded and installed program and was greeted with this:
UI Looks much better then previous attempts, this is the trail version but says it's fully functional for 30 days, at this point I'm willing to pay anyway. Inserted details into prog and set it spidering the site and all was well. I figured it would be finished by the morning.
Came back in the morning to discover it had gone down some black hole pushing form buttons or something. There where some options in the UI I hadn't explored. Had to stop the program and carefully go through all the options. After 30 mins carefully checking everything, I sent the program spidering again.
Came back the next day and the program had gone back down a black hole of some sort again!
No way, invested a couple days into this and still did not have any sitemaps!
Attempt 4 - roll your own!
Ok so by this point I'd wasted 3 days and still had no sitemaps. Time to start coding up our own sitemap generator, and it appeared there was a need for one as well. I had some indexing / spidering libraries I'd used on another project, looked at the libraries and they where a bit rough round the edges, spent a couple hours refactoring them and all was well. Then created a command line version of the program v0.1:
This worked well and completed spidering of the site. We finally got our sitemaps! At around this time though it became apparent our site had some internally linked 404s, but how do you fix a bad link if you can't find it? This 404 finding functionality was added to the program. The program helped us find and fix 90 internally linked 404s on our site.
Now the program was becoming a really useful tool but clunky to use as a command line program. A couple days more effort and the program was given a UI and gave it an installer:
The program outputs 100% google compliant XML sitemaps plus a report of any internally linked 404 pages in your site. It will work on large sites as well.
Here is the download:
It is 100% free, we hope you find it useful!
Article Written By Zoftar : December 15th, 2017.