Can youhelp withthissitemap problem?

I am having problems generating sitemap.xml  for gogle and also applying to bing and yahoo.
I have used

Please recommend a sitemap generator that satisfies the protocol.

The sitemap.xml that works on some of my sites consists of only four lines.
The online service I have been using to generate the latest site maps tries to include all the pages on  the site and then comes upa Parse error..
thanks
digiselAsked:
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Dave BaldwinConnect With a Mentor Fixer of ProblemsCommented:
http://www.giftideasfor.com/directory.html results in a "404 page not found" as do most of the other pages.  You can't create a usable sitemap until you have the pages done.  That is the last thing you do, not the first.  And that may be why the other program didn't work.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I use GSite Crawler http://gsitecrawler.com/ .  It takes four lines to define the structure for "sitemap.xml" so I can't believe that is adequate.  And your sitemap should contain all the links you want Google to know about.  That is the purpose of the sitemap.
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digiselAuthor Commented:
HiDave
I have downloaded Gsite Crawler and tied to set up.   There seems to be a problem because it wont crawl my site.   Also I noticed that the latest version of the program was written  2007, though I presume this should NOT make a difference.
Do you have an alternative suggestion please.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
No, that is the version that I am using.  I am still running Windows XP so I don't know if it will run on something newer.  What is your site (so we can check it)?
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digiselAuthor Commented:
I am running Windows 7
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Maybe not then, it doesn't list Vista or Windows 7.
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digiselAuthor Commented:
ok thanks.   any other suggestions?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Just click on "Request Attention" above and get some others to look at your question.
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Ray PaseurCommented:
What is the URL of the site?  Thanks, ~Ray
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Jason C. LevineConnect With a Mentor No oneCommented:
Also, what's in your robots.txt file and .htaccess file.  The tool should be able to crawl your site but something in those files may be blocking the robots.
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digiselAuthor Commented:
to ray www.giftideasfor.com

to Jason i do not yet have a robot.txt file.
This is a very new site that I am building hence my need for a decent program to generate
a sitemap.xml for google, yahoo and bing.
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digiselAuthor Commented:
there are four pages that work fine and it was those i thought the sitemap would find and list.
I think I have done it this way in the past.
I thought that the sitemap would merely list those pages which were live.
But I accept what you say.
Apologies for wasting your time  due to my misunderstanding.
thanks for you input.   It has been much appreciated.
I will get all the pages up before trying it again.
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Ray PaseurConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The sitemap would, in fact, list the pages that were live, but it would make no sense to try to create maps or links to empty or missing pages.

You might want to check this output.  There are some things you can do to make the HTML valid.  If you do those things, you will have a better chance of getting good page rank in your topic areas.
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.giftideasfor.com%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0

I used the Zoom search engine to spider the site.  It looks like most of the links are actually to other web sites, and I did not bother to spider the off-site links.  Zoom can create an XML Google-compatible site map.  I've used it a lot with great success.  You might want to invest!
http://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/


giftideasfor.png
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Jason C. LevineConnect With a Mentor No oneCommented:
If you have no robots.txt file that's another reason why things are failing.  You need one and it should have the following lines in it:

sitemap: http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml

User-agent: *
Allow: /
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David Johnson, CD, MVPConnect With a Mentor OwnerCommented:
also your sitemap is not correct it has a blank line at the top
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

this should be the very first line

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digiselAuthor Commented:
thanks to everyone
I am sorry I did not have more points to allocate for everyone's input
I have tried to be fair
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