There isn’t a better way to start a new year than creating something new or unique in its own way. Packed with over 1800 freshly written lines of code, SiteTree is ready to be downloaded or upgraded once again.
SiteTree 1.4 is lighter, more user-friendly and you’ll find the administration area better organised and more intuitive.
Google Sitemap with Images Support
With this version, the Google Sitemap feature drops the “beta” badge and makes a step forward with the support to images. Now, to add an Image Sitemap to your WordPress website you don’t have to do more than enabling the Google Sitemap functionality from the SiteTree Dashboard.
Currently, SiteTree will list only the images actually attached to posts and pages through the Media menu but in future versions it will be able to include the featured images, too.
Automatically Ping Search Engines
From now on, whenever you’ll publish a new post (or page), SiteTree will notify the major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) that your Sitemap has been updated — without any action on your part.
You can know about the ping status by just hovering your mouse over the word “ping” in the Google Sitemap Toolbar.
Add Excluded Content to Robots.txt
This feature is a complement to the option that lets you exclude posts and pages from the Sitemap. By ticking a checkbox in the settings page, all the content you left out from the Google Sitemap will be listed in the Robots.txt file created by WordPress, so the Googlebots will be instructed about the pages you don’t want to be indexed.
As you may already know, the Robots.txt file is created only if WordPress has been installed in the root of your public folder. In case your WordPress instal is in a subfolder, you can’t take advantage of the automated fill-up of your Robots.txt file.
Behind the main features just outlined, there is a whole world of scripting instructions that have been updated, enhanced or fixed to make SiteTree more secure, faster and more stable. As though you may browse the detailed list of tech things in the changelog, a couple of under-the-hood changes need a few more words:
- The web caching of the Google Sitemap has been improved with the addition of the Cache Control headers.
- The HTML5 Sitemap has been limited to 300 items by default (you can rise this limit up to 1000 from the settings page). To keep high the user experience of your site, I recommend to list only your best and most relevant content in the HTML5 Sitemap and to leave all the SEO realed work to the Google Sitemap.
- The rebuilding process is no longer scheduled, instead, the Sitemaps are refreshed when visited. This ensures that the Sitemaps are updated as soon as needed and that the publishing of a new post proceeds as smoothly as possible, without any delay.
If you are a developer, you might be interested to the
debugger folder bundled with this release. Inside you’ll find the two classes I was writing about the past November. I recently updated the blog post with some fixes made to the code, so, all should be up-to-date with the one just published.
Best wishes for the New Year,