Create Sitemaps with SiteOrbiter

  Janet Fouts       February 6, 2008      Tutorials Mac Developer


Websites are getting larger and larger, and keeping track of them as they evolve can be a hassle. If you’re a web developer, you’ll want to create what’s called a site map, a special file that lists all of the pages of your website in an hierarchical order. This file can be submitted to search engines to help them index your website. But how the heck are you supposed to create one on your Mac?

Enter a native Mac application called SiteOrbiter. SiteOrbiter is freeware (registration required) and requires Mac OS 10.1 or later. This application will index your files, create an XML site map for Google and other search engines, and also create a visual sitemap that can be saved as a PDF.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download SiteOrbiter from http://www.siteorbiter.com. To install the application, open the disk image and drag SiteOrbiter to your Applications folder.

  2. When you open SiteOrbiter for the first time, you’ll be greeted by the SiteOrbiter Assistant. Enter the URL of the website you’d like to index or, if it’s located on your Mac’s hard drive, click the Browse button and select the top level directory.

    Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

  3. SiteOrbiter will start indexing your website. This could take a while, especially if you have a large website. You’ll see files flashing by in the status display in the upper-left corner of the screen (below).

    Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

  4. Once SiteOrbiter has finished indexing your website, you’ll see a graphical representation of your website in the main window.

    Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

  5. Save your sitemap for search engines by selecting Save from the File menu. You can also export the graphical representation of your website by selecting “Extract to PDF” from the File menu.

You can also export the data as a sitemap for Google by selecting “Generate Site Map” from the Reports and Maps menu.

Taking Another Look at the SiteOrbiter Assistant

Now that you’ve created your very own sitemap with SiteOrbiter, it’s time to take a look under SiteOrbiter’s hood. We’ll start by reexamining the SiteOrbiter Assistant. What do all of those options actually do?

Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

Configuring SiteOrbiter’s Preferences

Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

Understanding SiteOrbiter’s Toolbar

Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

Using the Map Window

Using SiteOrbiter on macOS

Conclusion

That’s pretty much it. All in all, SiteOrbiter is a useful tool for getting a grip on the loose ends that may be lolling around in your website, and it can also give you a lot of insight into who’s linking to your site and what pages they are linking to. Combine that with your traffic stats and you’ll have a much better picture of what your users are up to!

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