XSL Stylesheet and Transformation with XML Sitemaps

XSL transformations and stylesheets for XML sitemaps are completely ignored by search engines.
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Explanation of XML Related Acronyms

  • XSL: Extensible Stylesheet Language. This covers a range of XML extensions.
  • XSLT: XSL Transformations. Used to transform XML files into other formats, e.g. XHTML.

Relevance for XML Sitemaps

When using an internet browser to view XML sitemap files without above, your browser may state there is no stylesheet associated with the XML document, and that it will use its default rendering instead.

That is not an error.

The XML sitemaps protocol has no mention of XSL and XSLT, and search engines have no use for them. Search engines read the raw XML sitemaps and extract the data as specified in the XML sitemaps protocol.

If you want to create sitemaps for your human visitors, you can take advantage of the rich support in A1 Sitemap Generator for both simple HTML sitemap and advanced HTML sitemaps.

Viewing XML Sitemap Without XSL Stylesheet

Most internet browsers will apply a default style when viewing XML sitemaps inside them. This means they will look differently than what they actually are.

xml sitemap file without stylesheet viewed in FireFox
(XML sitemap file without style information viewed in FireFox browser.)

Adding XML Sitemaps Stylesheet XSL File

You can either use the XSL stylesheet file always included in the installation or point our sitemap generator to another:

xml sitemap stylesheet file

The code part looks like this in generated XML sitemap files:
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="sitemap.xsl"?>
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A1 Sitemap GeneratorAbout A1 Sitemap Generator

Build all kinds of sitemaps including text, visual HTML / CSS, RSS, XML, image, video, news and mobile for all your websites no matter the platform they use.
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