My sitemap is blank, what’s wrong?

Last update: 22 November, 2017

First, determine whether you have a blank or an empty sitemap. A blank sitemap is basically a white screen with no header, no links, nothing at all. An empty sitemap shows the sitemap header but contains no links.

In This Article:

Blank Sitemaps

A blank sitemap is basically a white screen with no header, no links, nothing at all.
There could be several things wrong.

  • Sitemap Source Code

    Check whether the source of the sitemap shows you the data you would expect in an XML sitemap. Not sure how to see the source code, follow the steps in this article.

    If the sitemap source code is empty, you may have a static file, theme or plugin conflict. Please check for theme or plugin conflicts and, if no conflicts are found, FTP into your site to locate and remove any static sitemap files.

  • Sitemap Stylesheet

    If the sitemap source code contains data, make sure the XSL file, linked in the very top of the XML file, is available. Sometimes this file gets blocked by .htaccess prevention of the wp-content directory.

  • Cache Issue

    If you have a cache plugin or server side cache, please flush the cache. If the issue remains, please disable and re-enable the sitemap feature (steps here) to force a cache reset.

    Most cache plugins allow you to exclude the sitemap URLs from being cached and/or minified. Please read this article for more information on sitemap cache.

  • Invalid XML Code

    Open the sitemap and the sitemap stylesheet in Firefox to see if any errors display. If an error displays, please read this article about common sitemap errors.

Empty Sitemap

An empty sitemap shows the sitemap header but contains no links. The most common reason for an empty sitemap is no matched data and this typically happens with specialty sitemaps like the video and news sitemaps.

  • Empty News Sitemap

    If your news sitemap is empty, you probably haven’t published anything recently. Per the Google guidelines, your news sitemap should contain only URLs for your articles published in the last two days.

  • Empty Video Sitemap

    If your video sitemap is empty, the Video SEO plugin has not located any videos on your site. Please ensure you have set up the plugin correctly including the initial re-index of your videos to locate videos that were posted prior to the plugin activation. If the sitemap remains empty after re-indexing videos, please check for theme or plugin conflicts.

Still not Working?

Please read this article on how to get support. Please include a link to the sitemap URL along with any troubleshooting steps you have already completed.

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