Jetpack 3.9 Introduces New Sitemaps Module

Jetpack 3.9 has just been released with a new module that makes it easy for users to add sitemaps to their websites. Since sitemaps are important for SEO, many WordPress sites already have a plugin installed to create them. The new module in Jetpack will detect if you’re already using one of the popular sitemap plugins before activating.

Users who prefer their current sitemaps plugin can leave the Jetpack module deactivated. As an alternative, you can remove the extra plugin and simply opt for using the one in Jetpack.

The new Sitemaps module has nothing to configure. It will automatically create the following two sitemaps:

  • A generic sitemap: yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml
  • A news sitemap: yoursitename.com/news-sitemap.xml

Here’s an example:

jetpack-sitemaps

The news sitemap is written specifically for publishers who want to show up in Google News. If you meet Google’s quality and technical guidelines for news sites, you can apply to be included. Upon approval, the search engine will index your site using this sitemap. It displays only posts published in the last 48 hours.

Jetpack also includes two filters that allow you to add more post types to the sitemaps, since they are limited in what they display. The generic sitemap includes posts, pages, and the custom post types included in Jetpack. The news sitemap only includes posts. Check out Jetpack’s sitemaps documentation for help customizing them.

social-menuVersion 3.9 of the plugin also includes a new Skype sharing button and a new social menu feature that uses Genericons. Theme developers who want to include support for a menu that displays links to social networks can simply declare theme support and use a template tag to output the menu.

This version also improves Photon’s compatibility with WordPress 4.4’s custom image sizes and the module now works seamlessly on HTTPS sites with no filter required.

Jetpack 3.9 features 20 enhancements and 18 bug fixes. Check out the changelog for a full overview.

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