Getting A Blank Page When Using All In One SEO Xml Sitemap?
I am using the XML Sitemap option inside of the WordPress “All In One SEO” plug in. This was working a few months ago, earlier today for me it was not working and needed to be looked at as a matter of urgency. Basically when I would request my sitemap xml page to show, all I would get today was a blank screen.
Sometimes the recommendation when a WordPress Plugin no longer works is to check a back track and try to determine exactly which update or which component caused it to no longer work.
Also to do an amount of google research with the hope that someone says ‘hey, try this’ and see does that suggestion resolve the issue for you. I am hoping that my ‘hey, try this and this and this’ approach works for you.
Playing well together
WordPress itself had a number of updates over the last few months and it may have been one of them which caused this to no longer work. Quite often when there is a WordPress update, a number of WordPress Plugins need to be updated so that they continue to ‘play well together’.
Disable WordPress Plugins and Re-enable one by one to see which one causes the issue
I use a number of WordPress PlugIns and WordPress, all of which were on the latest version at the time. And still I had an issue. With all the WordPress PlugIns disabled, when I went to the applicable sitemap.xml page, it of course, reverted to the page not found error. With the applicable plugin disabled, it could not find the page, so that was completely correct.
Re-enable the All In One SEO plugin along with XML Sitemap
I then re-enabled the All In One SEO plugin along with XML Sitemap. I then took the option inside my WordPress Dashboard to “update settings” and for it to display the XML Sitemap. The result was the blank page.
Disable Dynamically Generate Sitemap
Some google research suggested to take the option to disable the “Dynamically Generate Sitemap” function. This worked, in that it generated the Sitemap.xml file, however it is not dynamic. I looked at this setting on another website where this was working, and this setting was not disabled. Getting somewhere, however not where I wanted to be, yet.
Compare stuff against another website where this function is working
Luckily I have another website where a lot of my setup is similiar. I tend to use the same WordPress PlugIns and the XML Sitemap for that website was being displayed correctly. One of the differences between the two websites was the release of WordPress that they are on. So I updated this one to the latest and greatest, closed all my browser sessions, and opened up a new one to see did the XML Sitemap display. It did. So it did not appear to be the release of WordPress itself that was causing this for me. To be honest I would have been very surprised had this been the issue.
What about permalinks settings?
Some google research suggested that the permalinks setting should be set to the custom structure of “/%postname%/”. Well it was set to the post name setting of “/sample-post/”. I would change this and click update. But it would not take. I would “do the update” and then go back in again to confirm that it took. In each case, it did not take.
What about the site’s htaccess file?
More google research suggested that I had to change some code/settings. They were a bit vague, and I thought that they meant the site’s htaccess file. Anyway I retrieved the code for both of the websites using my favourite ftp tool – filezilla. I prefer using a tool rather than using actual computer commands when using ftp. The code for both was the same. There also was no reference to the suggested code/setting in both of them, so it was not that.
Now they may have meant me to look at something else.
What about the WordPress Theme?
Then I had an idea. I noticed that I was using a different WordPress Theme, so I decided to use the same WordPress Theme and that fixed it. Ah, happy days.
When I changed the website where this was not working to use the same WordPress Theme as my other website, I could generate my sitemap.xml file with no issues. Ah, happy days.
If you are experiencing something similar and the suggestions above do not help, I am not in a position to help you out. I am offering what worked for me, in the hope that it works for you, if you have a similar experience. I included a few of the things that I tried, which didn’t resolve the issue for me, incase one or more of them help you out. Sometimes with these types of things, just having a few different things to try out can help greatly in resolving the issue.
If you experienced something similar and your solution was different, if you could leave your experience and solution below as a comment, that may help other people in the future that would be great. If you found my solution or one of the solutions if any offered in my comments area below helped you out, please be sure to leave a comment to say that it helped you.