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Living and writing documentation at Documatt, small team of programmers that do write documentation too.


How to add a sitemap to the Sphinx project?

Sitemap is essential part of making your website more visible for search engines. It is usually represented by the sitemap.xml file and lists URLs of all website pages, translations of pages in alternative languages, etc. sphinx-sitemap extension can easily generate sitemap for your Sphinx documentation project.

As an example, have a look to this website sitemap.xml.

Add and configure sphinx-sitemap

All hard work will be done by an amazing sphinx-sitemap extension.

  1. Install:

    pip install sphinx-sitemap
    
  2. Add or append sphinx_sitemap to extensions in conf.py:

    extensions = [
        # ...
        'sphinx_sitemap'
    ]
    
  3. If you haven’t set it already, enter your documentation public URL, e.g.:

    html_baseurl = 'https://techwriter.documatt.com'
    
  4. Build the docs! The output directory will contain automatically generated sitemap.xml.

Update robots.txt

robots.txt is somewhat similar to sitemap. They both talk to search engine crawlers. A sitemap is a list of pages to index, while robots.txt is used to ignore (do not index) some pages. robots.txt is expected at the root of your website, e.g., https://techwriter.documatt.com/robots.txt.

One way to “announce” sitemap to search engines is to report it in robots.txt by Sitemap: command.

  1. Create or update robots.txt in the project root (folder with conf.py). If you don’t have pages to exclude, it may look like this:

    User-agent: *
    
    Sitemap: https://techwriter.documatt.com/sitemap.xml
    
  2. Add html_extra_path = ["robots.txt"] option to conf.py or append "robots.txt" if this option already exist. html_extra_path is a list of paths to be copied to the root of the documentation.

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