How To Create A Sitemap In WordPress

LAST UPDATED: September 30, 2020 • POSTED IN: ,

If you own a website and want to appear in search engine results then you must have a sitemap on your website.

In short, a sitemap helps search engine bots to crawl your website in a systematic way and result in indexing of your website posts and pages.

In this post, we’ll see how to create a sitemap in WordPress and what are different types of sitemap and which one is best for you.

What is a Sitemap?

In simple words, a sitemap is a file where you specify your website’s posts and pages which can be read by search engines such as Google.

website-xml-sitemap-example

There are two types of sitemaps i.e HTML based and XML based which we’ll discuss later in this post.

Typically, a sitemap can be found at the root level of a domain. For example – http://www.example.com/sitemap.xml

If you’re a WordPress user then installing a sitemap is highly recommended.

XML vs HTML Sitemap

In a nutshell, HTML sitemaps are made for users and XML sitemaps are made for search engine bots.

tag-based-xml-sitemap-example

If you want your users to navigate your website and find content related to there interest then you can give them HTML sitemap.

Similarly, to make search engine crawl your website, an XML sitemap is required.

Anyways, Search Engines are Important. 😉

So which one you should use?

Let’s see what Google recommends.

As you saw, how efficiently you can offer sitemap to users. You can categorize, put links in the sidebar and much more.

In the end, it depends on you what kinda website you own and also you can use both sitemap either HTML or XML. No worries at all.

Why You Need an XML Sitemap?

As I told you, XML sitemaps are used by search engines to crawl your web pages.

Crawling is the most important part of SEO and if your website is not reachable to search engines then trust me there is no existence of your website.

Almost all search engines including Google accepts XML sitemap in their webmaster tool.

An XML sitemap helps you with search engine optimization and gives you a boost in SERP results. 

XML sitemaps can also be further categorized into Post, Pages, Images, Videos, etc which helps search engines to read and rank your content better.  

Nowadays, XML sitemaps are not as like old tag-based sitemap, these sitemaps can be easily read by users as well as search engines.

rankmath-xml-sitemap-example

SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO and Rankmath do that for FREE in a nice way.

How To Create a Sitemap in WordPress?

There are different ways you can generate sitemap, the majority of SEO plugins comes with a built-in feature of creating a sitemap.

Few plugins that comes with built-in sitemap support:

Before starting learn how to install a wordpress plugin.

Method 1. Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress using Yoast SEO

If you’re using Yoast SEO on your website then follow the below steps to create an XML sitemap.

1. Install Yoast SEO Plugin

Yoast_SEO_Installation

2. Navigate to General Settings

Here you’ll find XML sitemap option. Simply turn it on, click on Save Changes and your sitemap is ready.

turn-on-yoast-seo-sitemap

3. Verify Your Sitemap

Browse www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml to verify your sitemap.

yoast-seo-sitemap-example

Now the next step would be adding your sitemap to Google webmaster tool.

Method 2. Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress using RankMath SEO

If you’re using RankMath plugin on your website then follow the below steps to create an XML sitemap.

1. Install RankMath SEO Plugin

rankmath-installation-wordpress

2. Navigate to Dashboard

On your RankMath dashboard, you’ll find a sitemap option. Simply turn it on and your sitemap is ready.

turn-on-rankmath-sitemap-feature

3. Verify Your Sitemap

Browse www.example.com/sitemap_index.xml to verify your sitemap.

rankmath-seo-sitemap-example

Don’t forget to add your sitemap to Google webmaster tool.

Method 3. Creating HTML Sitemap in WordPress

To create HTML sitemap in WordPress, I would recommend using Simple Sitemap plugin that helps you to create an HTML sitemap.

1. Install Simple Sitemap Plugin

simple-sitemap-installation-wordpress

2. Add Sitemap In Gutenberg

See how you can easily add HTML sitemap to any of your post or page inside Gutenberg editor.

how-to-use-simple-sitemap-demo

That’s it. This is how you can easily add sitemap in wordpress.

FAQs About Sitemap in WordPress:

1. How to Inform Search Engines About Your Sitemap?

It’s simple and easy. Browse webmaster tool for any search engine. Sign up and add your sitemap. Follow this guide to learn how to do with Google Webmaster Tool.

2. Do you need to manually update the sitemap?

Not at all, whenever you add a new page, post, media, etc. SEO plugin will automatically add new content to the sitemap.

3. How many links are allowed in XML sitemap?

Google says you can include up to 50,000 URLs in a single sitemap. If you have more URLs, you will have to break into multiple sitemaps

4. How much time does Google take to crawl newly added pages?

It depends if your website is entirely new then it may take up to 7 days. Because google reserve some quota for every website and based on that crawling happens. News website are big in size, therefore, they have more quota and less crawling time. Sometimes within a day.

Conclusion: WordPress Sitemaps

Do you know creating HTML sitemap helps you with interlinking and helps passing link juice, which could result in a higher position in Google search.

No matter what type of website you own, you must create a sitemap for your website.

If you just started a blog, then the first thing you should do is creating a sitemap with Yoast or Rankmath and submit it to google webmaster tool.

If you have any questions or stuck somewhere, then ask me in the comment section.

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