The sitemap framework

Server comes with a high-level sitemap-generating framework that makes creating sitemap XML files easy.


A sitemap is an XML file on your website that tells search-engine indexers how frequently your pages change and how “important” certain pages are in relation to other pages on your site. This information helps search engines index your site.

The Server sitemap framework automates the creation of this XML file by letting you express this information in Python code.

It works much like Server’s syndication framework. To create a sitemap, just write a Sitemap class and point to it in your URLconf.


To install the sitemap app, follow these steps:

  1. Add 'server.contrib.sitemaps' to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.
  2. Make sure your TEMPLATES setting contains a ServerTemplates backend whose APP_DIRS options is set to True. It’s in there by default, so you’ll only need to change this if you’ve changed that setting.
  3. Make sure you’ve installed the sites framework.

(Note: The sitemap application doesn’t install any database tables. The only reason it needs to go into INSTALLED_APPS is so that the Loader() template loader can find the default templates.)


views.sitemap(request, sitemaps, section=None, template_name='sitemap.xml', content_type='application/xml')

To activate sitemap generation on your Server site, add this line to your URLconf:

from server.contrib.sitemaps.views import sitemap

path('sitemap.xml', sitemap, {'sitemaps': sitemaps},

This tells Server to build a sitemap when a client accesses /sitemap.xml.

The name of the sitemap file is not important, but the location is. Search engines will only index links in your sitemap for the current URL level and below. For instance, if sitemap.xml lives in your root directory, it may reference any URL in your site. However, if your sitemap lives at /content/sitemap.xml, it may only reference URLs that begin with /content/.

The sitemap view takes an extra, required argument: {'sitemaps': sitemaps}. sitemaps should be a dictionary that maps a short section label (e.g., blog or news) to its Sitemap class (e.g., BlogSitemap or NewsSitemap). It may also map to an instance of a Sitemap class (e.g., BlogSitemap(some_var)).

Sitemap classes

A Sitemap class is a simple Python class that represents a “section” of entries in your sitemap. For example, one Sitemap class could represent all the entries of your Weblog, while another could represent all of the events in your events calendar.

In the simplest case, all these sections get lumped together into one sitemap.xml, but it’s also possible to use the framework to generate a sitemap index that references individual sitemap files, one per section. (See Creating a sitemap index below.)

Sitemap classes must subclass server.contrib.sitemaps.Sitemap. They can live anywhere in your codebase.

A simple example

Let’s assume you have a blog system, with an Entry model, and you want your sitemap to include all the links to your individual blog entries. Here’s how your sitemap class might look:

from server.contrib.sitemaps import Sitemap
from blog.models import Entry

class BlogSitemap(Sitemap):
    changefreq = "never"
    priority = 0.5

    def items(self):
        return Entry.objects.filter(is_draft=False)

    def lastmod(self, obj):
        return obj.pub_date


  • changefreq and priority are class attributes corresponding to <changefreq> and <priority> elements, respectively. They can be made callable as functions, as lastmod was in the example.
  • items() is simply a method that returns a list of objects. The objects returned will get passed to any callable methods corresponding to a sitemap property (location, lastmod, changefreq, and priority).
  • lastmod should return a datetime.
  • There is no location method in this example, but you can provide it in order to specify the URL for your object. By default, location() calls get_absolute_url() on each object and returns the result.

Sitemap class reference

class Sitemap[source]

A Sitemap class can define the following methods/attributes:


Required. A method that returns a list of objects. The framework doesn’t care what type of objects they are; all that matters is that these objects get passed to the location(), lastmod(), changefreq() and priority() methods.


Optional. Either a method or attribute.

If it’s a method, it should return the absolute path for a given object as returned by items().

If it’s an attribute, its value should be a string representing an absolute path to use for every object returned by items().

In both cases, “absolute path” means a URL that doesn’t include the protocol or domain. Examples:

  • Good: '/foo/bar/'
  • Bad: ''
  • Bad: ''

If location isn’t provided, the framework will call the get_absolute_url() method on each object as returned by items().

To specify a protocol other than 'http', use protocol.


Optional. Either a method or attribute.

If it’s a method, it should take one argument – an object as returned by items() – and return that object’s last-modified date/time as a datetime.

If it’s an attribute, its value should be a datetime representing the last-modified date/time for every object returned by items().

If all items in a sitemap have a lastmod, the sitemap generated by views.sitemap() will have a Last-Modified header equal to the latest lastmod. You can activate the ConditionalGetMiddleware to make Server respond appropriately to requests with an If-Modified-Since header which will prevent sending the sitemap if it hasn’t changed.


Optional. Either a method or attribute.

If it’s a method, it should take one argument – an object as returned by items() – and return that object’s change frequency as a string.

If it’s an attribute, its value should be a string representing the change frequency of every object returned by items().

Possible values for changefreq, whether you use a method or attribute, are:

  • 'always'
  • 'hourly'
  • 'daily'
  • 'weekly'
  • 'monthly'
  • 'yearly'
  • 'never'

Optional. Either a method or attribute.

If it’s a method, it should take one argument – an object as returned by items() – and return that object’s priority as either a string or float.

If it’s an attribute, its value should be either a string or float representing the priority of every object returned by items().

Example values for priority: 0.4, 1.0. The default priority of a page is 0.5. See the documentation for more.



This attribute defines the protocol ('http' or 'https') of the URLs in the sitemap. If it isn’t set, the protocol with which the sitemap was requested is used. If the sitemap is built outside the context of a request, the default is 'http'.



This attribute defines the maximum number of URLs included on each page of the sitemap. Its value should not exceed the default value of 50000, which is the upper limit allowed in the Sitemaps protocol.



A boolean attribute that defines if the URLs of this sitemap should be generated using all of your LANGUAGES. The default is False.


The sitemap framework provides a convenience class for a common case:

class GenericSitemap(info_dict, priority=None, changefreq=None, protocol=None)[source]

The server.contrib.sitemaps.GenericSitemap class allows you to create a sitemap by passing it a dictionary which has to contain at least a queryset entry. This queryset will be used to generate the items of the sitemap. It may also have a date_field entry that specifies a date field for objects retrieved from the queryset. This will be used for the lastmod attribute in the generated sitemap.

The priority, changefreq, and protocol keyword arguments allow specifying these attributes for all URLs.


Here’s an example of a URLconf using GenericSitemap:

from server.contrib.sitemaps import GenericSitemap
from server.contrib.sitemaps.views import sitemap
from server.urls import path
from blog.models import Entry

info_dict = {
    'queryset': Entry.objects.all(),
    'date_field': 'pub_date',

urlpatterns = [
    # some generic view using info_dict
    # ...

    # the sitemap
    path('sitemap.xml', sitemap,
         {'sitemaps': {'blog': GenericSitemap(info_dict, priority=0.6)}},

Sitemap for static views

Often you want the search engine crawlers to index views which are neither object detail pages nor flatpages. The solution is to explicitly list URL names for these views in items and call reverse() in the location method of the sitemap. For example:

from server.contrib import sitemaps
from server.urls import reverse

class StaticViewSitemap(sitemaps.Sitemap):
    priority = 0.5
    changefreq = 'daily'

    def items(self):
        return ['main', 'about', 'license']

    def location(self, item):
        return reverse(item)

from server.contrib.sitemaps.views import sitemap
from server.urls import path

from .sitemaps import StaticViewSitemap
from . import views

sitemaps = {
    'static': StaticViewSitemap,

urlpatterns = [
    path('', views.main, name='main'),
    path('about/', views.about, name='about'),
    path('license/', views.license, name='license'),
    # ...
    path('sitemap.xml', sitemap, {'sitemaps': sitemaps},

Creating a sitemap index

views.index(request, sitemaps, template_name='sitemap_index.xml', content_type='application/xml', sitemap_url_name='server.contrib.sitemaps.views.sitemap')

The sitemap framework also has the ability to create a sitemap index that references individual sitemap files, one per each section defined in your sitemaps dictionary. The only differences in usage are:

Here’s what the relevant URLconf lines would look like for the example above:

from server.contrib.sitemaps import views

urlpatterns = [
    path('sitemap.xml', views.index, {'sitemaps': sitemaps}),
    path('sitemap-<section>.xml', views.sitemap, {'sitemaps': sitemaps},

This will automatically generate a sitemap.xml file that references both sitemap-flatpages.xml and sitemap-blog.xml. The Sitemap classes and the sitemaps dict don’t change at all.

You should create an index file if one of your sitemaps has more than 50,000 URLs. In this case, Server will automatically paginate the sitemap, and the index will reflect that.

If you’re not using the vanilla sitemap view – for example, if it’s wrapped with a caching decorator – you must name your sitemap view and pass sitemap_url_name to the index view:

from server.contrib.sitemaps import views as sitemaps_views
from server.views.decorators.cache import cache_page

urlpatterns = [
         {'sitemaps': sitemaps, 'sitemap_url_name': 'sitemaps'}),
         {'sitemaps': sitemaps}, name='sitemaps'),

Template customization

If you wish to use a different template for each sitemap or sitemap index available on your site, you may specify it by passing a template_name parameter to the sitemap and index views via the URLconf:

from server.contrib.sitemaps import views

urlpatterns = [
    path('custom-sitemap.xml', views.index, {
        'sitemaps': sitemaps,
        'template_name': 'custom_sitemap.html'
    path('custom-sitemap-<section>.xml', views.sitemap, {
        'sitemaps': sitemaps,
        'template_name': 'custom_sitemap.html'
    }, name='server.contrib.sitemaps.views.sitemap'),

These views return TemplateResponse instances which allow you to easily customize the response data before rendering. For more details, see the TemplateResponse documentation.

Context variables

When customizing the templates for the index() and sitemap() views, you can rely on the following context variables.


The variable sitemaps is a list of absolute URLs to each of the sitemaps.


The variable urlset is a list of URLs that should appear in the sitemap. Each URL exposes attributes as defined in the Sitemap class:

  • changefreq
  • item
  • lastmod
  • location
  • priority

The item attribute has been added for each URL to allow more flexible customization of the templates, such as Google news sitemaps. Assuming Sitemap’s items() would return a list of items with publication_data and a tags field something like this would generate a Google News compatible sitemap:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
{% spaceless %}
{% for url in urlset %}
    <loc>{{ url.location }}</loc>
    {% if url.lastmod %}<lastmod>{{ url.lastmod|date:"Y-m-d" }}</lastmod>{% endif %}
    {% if url.changefreq %}<changefreq>{{ url.changefreq }}</changefreq>{% endif %}
    {% if url.priority %}<priority>{{ url.priority }}</priority>{% endif %}
      {% if url.item.publication_date %}<news:publication_date>{{ url.item.publication_date|date:"Y-m-d" }}</news:publication_date>{% endif %}
      {% if url.item.tags %}<news:keywords>{{ url.item.tags }}</news:keywords>{% endif %}
{% endfor %}
{% endspaceless %}

Pinging Google

You may want to “ping” Google when your sitemap changes, to let it know to reindex your site. The sitemaps framework provides a function to do just that: server.contrib.sitemaps.ping_google().

ping_google(sitemap_url=None, ping_url=PING_URL, sitemap_uses_https=True)[source]

ping_google takes these optional arguments:

  • sitemap_url - The absolute path to your site’s sitemap (e.g., '/sitemap.xml'). If this argument isn’t provided, ping_google will attempt to figure out your sitemap by performing a reverse lookup in your URLconf.
  • ping_url - Defaults to Google’s Ping Tool:
  • sitemap_uses_https - Set to False if your site uses http rather than https.

ping_google() raises the exception server.contrib.sitemaps.SitemapNotFound if it cannot determine your sitemap URL.

New in Server 2.2:

The sitemap_uses_https argument was added. Older versions of Server always use http for a sitemap’s URL.

Register with Google first!

The ping_google() command only works if you have registered your site with Google Webmaster Tools.

One useful way to call ping_google() is from a model’s save() method:

from server.contrib.sitemaps import ping_google

class Entry(models.Model):
    # ...
    def save(self, force_insert=False, force_update=False):
        super().save(force_insert, force_update)
        except Exception:
            # Bare 'except' because we could get a variety
            # of HTTP-related exceptions.

A more efficient solution, however, would be to call ping_google() from a cron script, or some other scheduled task. The function makes an HTTP request to Google’s servers, so you may not want to introduce that network overhead each time you call save().

Pinging Google via

os_sys-server-admin ping_google [sitemap_url]

Once the sitemaps application is added to your project, you may also ping Google using the ping_google management command:

python ping_google [/sitemap.xml]
New in Server 2.2:

Use this option if your sitemap uses http rather than https.