I have a multisite installation with quite a lot sites on subdomains. The problem is that all multisite sitemap plugins create a separate sitemap for each site.

I do not want to have to add dozens of sites to Webmasters Tools. This is a lot of work, makes it all hard to manage, and forces me to read all the stats and reports separately, when I want to have only one.

How can I create a single sitemap that encompasses every site in the network?

  • Are you using subdomains or subdirectories? Apr 10, 2013 at 22:29
  • 3
    What do you think of something of the like for a title: "How to consolidate all sitemaps in a Multisite network?". I suppose you look for a solution and not for a not-solution... :)
    – brasofilo
    Apr 10, 2013 at 22:35
  • Hi, they are on subdomains.
    – HoGo
    Apr 11, 2013 at 7:41

3 Answers 3


WordPress multisite subdomains or suddirectories? I'm not sure if you're getting the two confused. Multisite subdomains are basically fake subdomains that simply have a CNAME or A-Name record added in the DNS records.

That said, and I believe one responder said this, you just need a sitemap for the root domain, and then you'll have a robots.txt that instructs the major search engine bots to your subdomain.

For instance, I have this in a multisite WordPress network, in my root robots.txt:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Sitemap: https://nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://cases.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://directory.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://discuss.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://forums.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://juntunen.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://kinsel.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://johnson.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml
Sitemap: https://bisbee.nationalcdp.org/sitemapindex.xml

When going to Google/Bing Webmaster tools, I simply add the root directory, add the root sitemap, and let the search engine bots do the rest of the work.

Within your sitemap plugin, be sure that it pings search engines too (which most sitemap plugins do by default), so they're continually updated.

  • 1
    Jason, is it possible to autogenerate those URLs in robots.txt?
    – Tony Zeoli
    May 15, 2015 at 2:08
  • I am not sure of one myself, Tony. May 15, 2015 at 8:16

Well you can register the main domain (ie domain.com). Unfortunately you must also register and verify www.domain.com as well as all subdomains. No getting out of that.

Note: Bing / Yahoo webmaster tools is smart enough to realise that domain.com and www.domain.com are the same. So you only nead to register domain.com

But finally you only have to submit a sitemap to domain.com. You can submit more than one sitemap to Google / Bing / Yahoo webmaster tools.

Finally you must add each sitemap to your robots.txt file

Sitemap: http://domain.com/sitemap.xml
Sitemap: http://sub.domain.com/sitemap.xml

Copy same robots.txt file in each subdomain. And your done.

  • I haven't tested the effects of consolidating a sitemap referencing different domains before. Right now my site is off all search engines due to my experiments. If you do go through with it please forward the outcome to me.
    – mAsT3RpEE
    Jun 10, 2013 at 20:32

I do not want to have to add dozens of sites to Webmasters Tools.

You're wasting your time if you do that. Every sitemap plugin I can think of pings major search engines when the sitemap gets updated. And the better ones (all of them?) generate a separate sitemap per subdomain.

Consolidating all sitemaps in a multisite network is utterly useless in that light, and makes for complications when generating the map itself — memory issues and timeouts may kick in.

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