Sitemaps are an important element for any website; they help visitors navigate your site, and can help search engine spiders index it properly. However, they can be difficult to generate from scratch. Fortunately, there are a number of applications that can automate the process. Dan Wellman reviews a number of these tools, available in various price ranges.
Automating Sitemap Generation - Xtreeme SiteXpert Professional Edition (Page 3 of 7 )
The next program I looked at was Xtreeme SiteXpert Professional Edition. It is presented in an interesting alternative format to your usual Windows application, but remains intuitive and easy to use.
This application provides both a working interface and wizard style element that work together in the creation of your sitemap. You can choose to either add the directory structure and site pages yourself, or use the layout wizard to do it for you. You are given a choice of file modes, including importing an XML template, although this seems to be something that has been included to make the application extensible in future releases.
Once you have worked your way through the wizard and set the basic file properties of the sitemap such as how identical links are treated, where the URL descriptions come from (either META or TITLE tags), you are then free to choose from one of the many pre-designed schemes or styles, which go from basic HTML lists to full Java implementations. Additional options, such as any page content before or after the sitemap, or whether frames are used, can also be set. At this stage, the sitemap can be created, previewed and saved, or can be output as XML.
Xtreeme SiteXpert also has a lot more documentation than the previously evaluated applications. There is a reasonably sized library of information, tutorials and links to external content at your fingertips. The standard version of the program retails for $69; the Pro version is an extra $100 on top of that. This may seem a little high at first, but when you consider that the Sitemap generator is actually just one module of a larger Web development software suite comprising search engine and dynamic menu creation applications, it may be a cost that you can justify.