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Sitemaps

Sitemaps can be a complicated process when using WordPress in a headless environment. Thankfully, Faust.js takes care of all your sitemap needs through a simple piece of Next.js middleware, handleSitemapRequests.

How It Works​

handleSitemapRequests works by proxying your existing sitemaps from WordPress to your frontend, while replacing any WordPress URLs with your headless frontend's URL.

This means there is no constraints in how your sitemaps are created on WordPress, giving you the flexibility to use plugins such as Yoast or XML Sitemaps. As long as your WordPress sitemaps matches the following criteria, they will be proxied:

Setup​

To get started, we'll first have to define a piece of middleware in our Next.js pages directory. The file must be named _middleware.ts:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
return NextResponse.next();
}

This is what a default Next.s middleware looks like. Having it at the root of the pages directory means that every request to your site will first go through this middleware. You can read more on Next.js middleware here.

The middleware above will currently do nothing, as it's an empty function that goes to the "next" middleware via NextResponse.next(). Let's add our sitemap handling code:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/wp-sitemap.xml`,
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}

handleSitemapRequests accepts two required arguments. The first is the req object passed from the top level Next.js middleware function, and the second is a configuration object. There are two required properties in the configuration object. The first is wpUrl, which is the URL of your WordPress site. The second is sitemapIndexPath, which is the relative path to the sitemap index file that exists on your WordPress site.

This is all the configuration you need to get started. As you can see, if you now go to /wp-sitemap.xml on your headless frontend, you will see the sitemap index file being proxied over with properly formatted URLs.

Additional Configuration​

Ignoring Paths​

There will be instances in which you don't want to proxy over a specific path. For example, if you have a custom post type that you want to exclude from your sitemap, you can do so by adding it to the sitemapPathsToIgnore array.

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/wp-sitemap.xml`,
sitemapPathsToIgnore: ['/wp-sitemap-users-1.xml'],
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}

You can additionally use a wildcard to ignore sitemap paths that may be paginated:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/wp-sitemap.xml`,
sitemapPathsToIgnore: ['/wp-sitemap-users-*'],
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}

Defining Next.js Pages for Sitemaps​

The above code examples account for adding your WordPress content to your sitemap, but what about the file based pages you've created in Next.js? Say for an example we have src/pages/about.tsx and we'd like to include it in our sitemap. That can be done by creating a pages property in the handleSitemapRequests config object:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/wp-sitemap.xml`,
pages: [
{
path: '/about',
},
],
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}

The path property is a relative path to the page you want to include in your sitemap and is the only required field. Take a look at the reference doc for more of the available options.

Creating a /robots.txt Route​

There will most likely be instances where you will need to create a /robots.txt route. This is a file that tells search engines what to do with your site. We have a handy function that you can define in your handleSitemapRequests config object that has an argument of sitemapUrl to be used:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/wp-sitemap.xml`,
async robotsTxt(sitemapUrl) {
return `
User-agent: *
Allow: /

Sitemap: ${sitemapUrl}
`;
},
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}

Examples​

Below you can find some drop in examples for different XML Sitemap configurations on WordPress.

note

Be sure to define your pages property in your handleSitemapRequests config object if you have any Next.js specific pages you want included in your sitemap.

Usage with default WordPress Sitemaps​

Below is a drop in configuration using default WordPress sitemaps. This assumes you want to ignore the "users" sitemap:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/wp-sitemap.xml`,
sitemapPathsToIgnore: ['/wp-sitemap-users-*'],
async robotsTxt(sitemapUrl) {
return `
User-agent: *
Allow: /

Sitemap: ${sitemapUrl}
`;
},
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}

Usage with Yoast​

Below is a drop in configuration using Yoast's sitemap. This assumes you want to ignore the "author" sitemap:

src/pages/_middleware.ts
import { handleSitemapRequests } from '@faustjs/next';
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server';

export default async function _middleware(req: NextRequest) {
const sitemapRequest = await handleSitemapRequests(req, {
wpUrl: process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_WORDPRESS_URL,
sitemapIndexPath: `/sitemap_index.xml`,
sitemapPathsToIgnore: ['/author-sitemap.xml'],
async robotsTxt(sitemapUrl) {
return `
User-agent: *
Allow: /

Sitemap: ${sitemapUrl}
`;
},
});

if (sitemapRequest) {
return sitemapRequest;
}

return NextResponse.next();
}