View Full Version : Google sitemaps - help wanted from a dumb physicist

03-28-2007, 03:27 PM
Is there available anywhere in the WestHost universe simple help for simple folks like me for how to produce a working Google Sitemap, using the WestHost tools? I know it's probably a real dumb question, but it's not my field...

Dan E

03-29-2007, 11:44 AM
Do you have a Google account? Are you looking to use their "Google's webmaster tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/docs/en/about.html)" On the page I linked to under Sitemaps tools there are links to two links to sitemap generators. Is that what you are talking about? There are help pages on this at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/docs/en/protocol.html It uses XML which can be created in any plain text editor and the format that Google expects is on that page if you want to do it manually. Otherwise you would use one of the sitemap generators that Google links to.

03-30-2007, 01:47 PM
Thanks, Shawn. Yes, I have a Google account, and yes, I've explored and tried to figure out the best way to go to generate a Google Sitemap - use Google's tools from Sourceforge, or 3rd party - just a little confusing when I don't know ANY of the languages the various apps are written in. I can probably figure this stuff out given a little uninterrupted time (in short supply), but am not sure how to "run" Python in my WestHost VPS (and I'm not familiar with Python) - any help there would be much appreciated. OR - Has anyone used any of the 3rd party sitemap generators and found one that a novice webmaster (me) can get his head around without losing his teeth in the process :)

Thanks again,

Dan E

03-31-2007, 08:15 AM
Ahh.. ok I see now. Sorry I did not explore the generator info enough. Sorry.

We do have access to python but you need to make sure it is installed on your account via your Site Manager in the Site Applications area. I think on most accounts it is installed by default.

Here is the list of requirements they list:

You must be able to connect to and run scripts on your web server.
Your web server must have Python 2.2 or later installed.
You must know the command that launches Python. (Generally, this is python, but may vary by installation. For instance, if the web server has two versions of Python installed, the earlier version may be invoked by the command python and the later version may be invoked by the command python2.)
You must know the directory path to your site. If your web server hosts one site, this may be a path such as var/www/html. If you have a virtual server that hosts multiple sites, this may be a path such as home/virtual/site1/fst/var/www/html.
You must be able to upload files to your web server (for instance, using FTP).
If you will be generating a list of URLs based on access logs, you must know the encoding used for those logs and the complete path to them.

I already addressed the first requirement. The answer to the second one is "python". That is the command that launches the program in an SSH session.

The directory path to your site should be what they have suggested. /var/www/html. That is where your main web files are... the places where you upload things you want folks to see via the browser.

You have an FTP program right? If you don't you can find out about them in the WH Documentation (http://www.helpdocs.westserver.net/sitemanager/EFM_Uploading_Website.htm) under E-mail/FTP > Uploading Your Website. The link should take you to the correct area. :)

Ok I think that is the pertinent information you need for the WH side of things. You may run into some more once you get into the configuration file (example_config.xml ) but I think that well make sense once you have a look at it. I only scanned the info on that real fast. Looks like you have a lot of options that are simply of a personal nature but would not be specific to WH. I do think there well be a pretty good learning curve on this for you but feel free to ask any specific questions once you get into it.

The last thing you most likely are wondering is "Ok but you still did not answer how I use python!". :) You do that via a program like putty. The information that WH supplies on that subject is located under Advanced Account Usage > Secure Shell (SSH) Direct Link (http://www.helpdocs.westserver.net/sitemanager/SSH_Secure_Shell.htm). WH offers a few other alternatives but putty should be fine for you needs and they link to where you can get it. SSH is like when computers first came out (do you remember) and you had to do everything on the command prompt. It looks like the documentation at Google gives you some pretty good info on what you are typing in at the command prompt. They even give a little image preview of what it looks like in UNIX which is what you are working with here at WH. When you log in here at WH you are going to see something like this:

login as:
You then type in your username for your account. This is just the username without the @domain.com added to it unlike FTP (if you are on shared IP)
Next you see:

username@domain.com's password:
You then type in your password. Do not be surprised when you see nothing on the screen as you type. The cursor or green box well stay where it is. You well see not * like when you log in on other things.
Once you type your password and hit Enter you well see a message about Last login and then you well get the command prompt that looks like this.


Hope the above gets you started.

03-31-2007, 09:14 AM
Many thanks for your invaluable help, Shawn - I'll get stuck into it ASAP. Yes, I do actually remember command prompts :) - I go back to 5-hole paper tape, Autocode, and actually booting with a bank of switches... (circa 1958)

Thanks again,

Dan E

03-31-2007, 10:01 AM
Your welcome Dan. Please do ask if there is anything you run into that you are not sure of. SSH can be a bit daunting at first but well worth learning to work with. I avoided it for a long time but once I started thinking about it in terms of green screens and command prompts it became a bit easier. You should have no problems since your experience goes back a bit further then mine. Luckily I never had to deal with paper and punching holes. :) So far I have not done anything in SSH that was not fixable by myself or the great folks at WestHost.

05-26-2007, 04:41 AM
Is there available anywhere in the WestHost universe simple help for simple folks like me for how to produce a working Google Sitemap, using the WestHost tools?
I'm not sure why you feel you need to use the WH tools, but I used this to create an XML sitemap: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

I stripped out the resulting "Change frequency", "Last modification" and "Priority" afterwards as the SEs don't use this as reliable info from webmasters. They have their own rules about which pages are important or not on your site. :D

To alert Google, Yahoo, MSN and other SEs to your sitemap, all you need to do is place this line in your robots.txt: "Sitemap: http://yoursite.com/ror.xml" (use your path if you didn't place it at root level and without the quotes). They agreed awhile back on a standardized xml sitemap format. If you want to use Google's webmaster tools, then you should submit it to them.

06-12-2007, 08:39 AM
[QUOTE=Lulu]I'm not sure why you feel you need to use the WH tools, but I used this to create an XML sitemap: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

I'm new to this, so forgive the silly question.
Is http://www.xml-sitemaps.com safe site? I'm always leary about freebies.

who can't figure out googles sitemap generator

06-12-2007, 03:38 PM
From what I remember, all you feed it is your URL and then its robot does the rest. It could do it anyway, so nothing to lose. Just make sure to read any terms and conditions.

02-03-2010, 11:39 PM
Add the code just above the <title></title> tag. It is better if you upload the single blank file to your host. Choose html as verification option option in Google Webmaster.