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Background sitemap generation for Django

Project description

Django Sitemap Generate

Background sitemap generation for Django.

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Use case

Almost every content site has a sitemap. Django provides an application serving sitemap views, and it's OK if your website is small. If you have complicate logic in sitemap generation or if you have millions of items in sitemap - you'll have a massive load spikes when Google and another search engines come with thousands of there indexer bots. These bots will request same sitemap pages in parallel and those requests couldn't be cached because of large index interval and small hit rate.

The solution is to re-generate sitemap files periodically, once per day and not once per search engine indexer. These files could be served as static files which will not affect backend performance at all.


These project uses index sitemap view and per-model sitemap views to generate sitemap xml files. To provide it you will need following.

  1. Add django.contrib.sitemaps to installed apps

  2. Configure at least one sitemap

    from django.contrib.sitemaps import Sitemap
    from testproject.testapp import models
    class VideoSitemap(Sitemap):
        name = 'video'
        changefreq = 'daily'
        limit = 50000
        def items(self):
            return models.Video.objects.order_by('id')

    Note that changefreq parameter is a hint for search engine indexer, it does not affect sitemap files generation period.

  3. Configure sitemap serving

    from django.contrib.sitemaps import views
    from django.urls import path
    from testproject.testapp.sitemaps import VideoSitemap, ArticleSitemap
    sitemaps = { VideoSitemap, ArticleSitemap
    urlpatterns = [
        path('sitemap.xml', views.index, {'sitemaps': sitemaps},
        path('sitemap-<section>.xml', views.sitemap, {'sitemaps': sitemaps},

Now your website supports sitemap views.


pip install django-sitemap-generate

Working example is in testproject.testapp.

  1. Add sitemap_generate application to installed apps in django settings:

  2. Add a reference to sitemap mapping to django settings:

    SITEMAP_MAPPING = 'testproject.testapp.urls.sitemaps'
  3. Specify name of the sitemap index url. If you have urlpatterns like example above, you can write:

    SITEMAP_INDEX_NAME = 'sitemap-index'

    default: 'sitemap-index'

  4. Specify name of the view.sitemap view. If you have urlpatterns like example above, you can write:

    SITEMAPS_VIEW_NAME = 'django.contrib.sitemaps.views.sitemap'

    default: 'django.contrib.sitemaps.views.sitemap'

  5. Set media path to store sitemaps under

    SITEMAP_MEDIA_PATH = 'sitemaps'

    default: 'sitemaps'

  6. Also you may need to setup forwarded protocol handling in django settings:

  7. Note that django paginates sitemap with p query parameter, but corresponding sitemap files are named sitemap-video.xml, sitemap-video-2.xml and so on. You'll need to configure some "rewrites".

  8. Optional. Change storage for generated sitemaps

    SITEMAP_STORAGE = custom_storage



When you request sitemap over http, django substitutes website domain name from request to links in sitemap xml. In background, you'll need some environment variables. By defaults link are generated for localhost over HTTPS.

export \
  SITEMAP_PROTO=https \ \

# generate all sitemaps
python generate_sitemap

# generate sitemap for single model
python generate_sitemap video

You may run sitemap generation from crontab:

0 0 * * * python generate_sitemap

You may run sitemap generation from celery:

def generate_sitemap():
    generator = SitemapGenerator() # Uses django settings by default

And you will need to configure xml files static responses, i.e. in nginx:

location ~* /sitemaps/(?<fn>sitemap(-(article|video)).xml {
    try_files /media/sitemaps/$fn$arg_p.xml @backend;

location /media/ {
    alias /app/media/;

location @backend {
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
    set $app http://app:8000;
    proxy_pass $app;

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