Optimize Ghost for SEO - SiteMap generator
2 min read
An important thing to be well referencend on search engines (is there anything different than Google? :D) is the sitemap.xml. In this file you should list all the pages of your website with some parameters to instruct the reader (the search engine robot for example) about the last update of a page, the update frequency and page priority.
After some tests of scripts found on the net, I decided to create a specific sitemap generator for the Ghost blogging platform. The reasons is that all scripts I found and tests check for pages contactig Ghost thought the WebServer (asking for pages and checking for all links on each page). This is surely a good way to identify all pages and resources of your website automatically... BUT, it could take long time to be generated.
With the script I created, which you can find on github repository, all pages for the sitemap file are generated simply reading the database:
- list of published posts (draft are excluded) and static pages
- list of all pages (i.e. blog.mornati.net/page/2)
In this way your sitemap is generated in a second.
Actually the script works only for MySQL database (that is my actual installation), but with some little extensions we can add any other possible database.
If you execute the script without parameters an help doc is shown on the screen:
ruby generate_ghost_sitemap.rb Missing options: site, priority, frequency, destfile, hostname, user, password, dbname Usage: generate_ghost_sitemap.rb [options] -h, --help Display this screen -s, --site SITE Site base URL. EX: blog.mornati.net -f, --frequency FREQUENCY Update Frenquency. One of: always,hourly,daily,weekly,monthly,yearly,never -p, --priority PRIORITY Update priority. Values beetwen 0.0 et 1.0 -d, --destfile DESTFILE Sitemap destination file. Ex. /usr/share/server/sitemap.xml -t, --test Do not ping Google after sitemap generation -v, --verbose Verbose execution -m, --mysql HOSTNAME MySQL hostname -u, --user USERNAME MySQL Username -w, --password PASSWORD MySQL Password -b, --dbname DBNAME Database name
So, to use it, you can simply add a crontab with all required parameters to access to your Ghost DB and to generate the sitemap file. The user executing cron must have access to the sitemap folder (so normally should be: root/apache/nginx).
0 0 * * * /usr/bin/ruby /root/generate_ghost_sitemap.rb -s blog.mornati.net -p 0.5 -f daily -m localhost -u ghost -w mypasswd -b ghost -v -d /usr/share/nginx/ghost/sitemap.xml
The script's execution is scheduled any day at midnight with all the options you can read ;)