I’ve been happily using this free XML sitemap generator for a while, but as my sites have got bigger I keep hitting the 500 page limit. Since I’m too tight to actually pay for this kind of service I’ve been searching around for a while for another free alternative. I was even thinking of writing my own, but before I was forced down that road, I found this alternative generator. I’m not too keen on Java applets generally, but this one seems to work very well. If it fails to download any pages, you can go back and retry downloading the failed pages. It also gives details of how long pages take to download, so it can also be a useful performance checker of a website.
Even so, I’m a little ambivalent towards sitemaps, especially if they are generated using one of these tools that just crawl your website to find all the pages. What information does this provide to search engines that they can’t find for themselves by crawling the site themselves? And If I do want to provide any more useful information, I have to edit the thing by hand, which I really can’t be bothered doing.