How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?

Even these days some websites have HTML sitemaps. However, sitemaps have evolved a lot from the manually created HTML bullet list. Today sitemaps are published in XML instead of HTML and their target audience are search engines and not people.

Recently, one of our users sent us an email asking us: what is a WordPress sitemap? Do I want to have a sitemap on my site? However I am able to create a sitemap in WordPress? If you are new to WordPress and you have the same questions, you are in the right place. During this article we will explain what a sitemap is, why it needs a sitemap, how to create a sitemap in WordPress and how to tell the search engines about their sitemaps.

How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?

How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?

What is a WordPress How to create a Sitemap?

Sitemap is a list of pages on a website accessible to all users. An XML sitemap is a way for website owners to inform search engines about all the pages that exist on their website. WordPress XML sitemap also tells search engines that the links on your website are more important than others and how often you update your website. While sitemaps do not increase search rankings, it allows search engines to better crawl your website.

Why you need an XML sitemap?

From a search engine optimization (SEO) point of view sitemaps are very important. First, we prefer to state clearly that the addition of a sitemap does not affect search rankings. However, if there is any page on your website that is not indexed, then sitemap will give you a way that search engines know about that page, therefore it is indexed correctly.

Sitemaps are very useful for new websites and blogs. As most new blogs usually do not get many backlinks to their individual posts, it becomes harder for search engines to discover all of your posts and pages. Sitemaps allow those websites to help search engines crawl their sites more efficiently.

For popular websites, sitemaps allow your website to interact with search engines more effectively. Search engines will guess however, your website is usually updated, which parts of your website are updated more frequently than others, set crawl rate for your site, etc. This improves the overall visibility of your website. Site to search engines.

How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?

There are many ways to create an XML Sitemap in WordPress. We use the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast to generate our sitemaps. We use this add-on because it allows us to optimize our blog posts along with providing alternative features like sitemaps, social integration and more.

In addition, we have noticed that it works more efficiently than other independent sitemap generators for WordPress. Lastly, it also offers custom sitemaps such as Video Sitemap. To add a sitemap to your WordPress site, the first thing you have to do is install and activate WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.

By default, WordPress SEO does not enable XML sitemap functionality, therefore, you will need to activate it. To make it go to SEO »XML Sitemaps and check the box to enable the XML Sitemap functionality.

When you check the box to enable XML sitemap functionality, WordPress SEO will show you a number of options that you can configure for your Sitemaps. If you are not sure what to do with them, ignore them and click Save Settings.

Now your sitemaps are generated and accessible to the public. WordPress SEO will display an XML sitemap button that you can click to view your sitemap_index.xml sitemap.

How to say search engines on Sitemaps?

The search engines are quite smart in the search for a site map. Each time you publish new content, a ping is sent to Google and Bing to inform them of changes to your site map. However, we recommend that you submit your sitemap to Google using the Google Webmaster tools. The advantage of this is that Google will now show you the errors, indexed pages and other relevant statistics that will be useful as a webmaster.

Go to Google Webmaster Tools. If you are not already signed in to your Google account, you will be prompted to sign in. After logging in you will access the webmaster tools. There you will see the “Add a site” button, click on it and then add the URL of your website.

The next screen will prompt you to verify ownership of the website you are trying to add. There are several methods to do that. But since you are already using WordPress SEO plugin, then the easiest method for you is to copy the meta tag HTML value and paste it into WordPress SEO plugin.

To do this, click on Alternate methods and then on HTML Tag. You will then see a line of HTML meta tag code. Copy and paste this line into a text editor such as Notepad. Now copy the value into the content = “” (without copying the commas).

Leave the webmaster tools site verification page open because we will return to the page after adding the meta tag to verify ownership of the website. Go to your WordPress admin area and then click on the SEO tab. This will take you to the panel of WordPress SEO plugins. Scroll down and you’ll see the Webmaster Tools heading. Paste the value of the meta tag you copied next to the Google Webmaster Tools and Save Settings.

Return to Google webmaster tools, the site verification screen and press the check button. You will see a notice such as “Congratulations on correctly verifying your ownership of www.yoursite.com”. Click continue to see the webmaster tools control panel for your site.

On the next screen you will see the Sitemaps column without site maps. By clicking on it, you can access a Sitemaps page where you can add your sitemaps. Click the red button labeled “Add / Test Site Map” and provide the URL of your site map.

Yoasts WordPress SEO plugin publishes several sitemaps for your WordPress site. The main sitemap is sitemap_index.xml that contains a link to your other sitemaps. You can send sitemap_index.xml only or send all sitemaps one by one. We recommend sending sitemap_index.xml only, Google will automatically detect other sitemaps and crawl them.

Once you have successfully added your sitemap, it will appear as pending. Google will take some time to crawl your website. After a while you could see some statistics about your sitemap.

It will show you the number of links found in your sitemap, how many of them have been indexed, a proportion of images and web pages, etc. Visit Google Webmaster tools often, at least once a month. As your site ages you will begin to see more and more useful data on your website and how it is viewed by the search engine.

This information can help you know how well your site is doing and what other things you can do to improve your search engine performance.

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