Do you know what is an XML sitemap, and how to use it to your WordPress website?
With the help of an XML sitemap, search engines easily navigate your website content. It provides them a list of all your content in a device-readable format.
Manually created site maps are visible to all of us, but we cannot see XML sitemap.
In this article, we will describe to you what is an XML sitemap, and how to create a sitemap in WordPress.
What is an XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is an XML file that lists all your website content in an XML format, so all search engines can easily search and index your content.
Old government websites used to have a link on their main pages, name “Sitemap”. This page usually included a list of all the pages on that website.
We know some websites still have HTML sitemaps today, overall the usage of sitemaps has developed.
Today sitemaps are bringing out in an XML format rather than HTML, and their target audience is search engines, not people.
Especially, an XML sitemap is a method for website owners to say search engines about all the pages that are present on their website.
Why You Need an XML Sitemap?
Sitemaps are most important from a search engine optimization (SEO).
Basically adding a sitemap does not change search rankings. If any page on your site that has not been indexed, a sitemap gives a method to say search engines about that page.
Sitemaps are most useful when you start a blog site or create a new website. It is because new websites do not have any backlinks. This makes it difficult for search engines to search all their content.
This is the main reason why search engines like Google and Bing allow new website owners to submit sitemaps to their webmaster tools. It allows their search engine bots to simply find and index your content.
How to create a Sitemap in WordPress?
There are many ways to create XML sitemaps in WordPress. We will explain to you two popular ways to create XML Sitemaps in WordPress, and you can select one of the best for you.
1. XML Sitemap generator in wordpress by Yoast SEO
The simple and easy method to generate an XML sitemap in WordPress is by using the Yoast SEO plugin.
It is the best WordPress SEO plugin to optimize your blog site for SEO.
You need to install the plugin and activate it. For more help, read our step by step explanation on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Open SEO » General page and click to the ‘Features’ tab. Scroll down to the ‘XML Sitemap’ option and confirm that it is turned on.
After clicking on Save Changes, you can go to the question mark icon next to the XML sitemaps title. It will show the link that you can follow to see all your XML sitemaps.
You can also see your XML sitemap by easily adding sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website URL. For example https://domain.com/sitemap_index.xml
2. Generate XML Sitemap in WordPress by using Google XML Sitemaps Plugin
First you need to install and activate the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. For more help, see our step by step explanation on how to install a WordPress plugin.
After activation, the plugin automatically generates an XML Sitemap for your website. You can see it by easily adding sitemap.xml to your website’s URL. For example: https://domain.com/sitemap.xml
Submitting XML Sitemap to Google
You will need to create a Google Search Console account. You can easily set it up by following the instructions on how to add your WordPress site to Google Wordmaster Tools.
Here your account dashboard, you need to click on the Sitemaps from the left panel.
After clicking on Sitemaps, you need to add the last part of your sitemap URL under the ‘Add new sitemap’ section and click the Submit button.
Google will now add your sitemap URL links to your Google Search Console account.