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What is an XML sitemap? How to create a sitemap in WordPress?

Ammy Brown June 13, 2018
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We are going to find out what is sitemap and how to add it to WordPress website. A sitemap is a page with the full list of the pages of the website.

What is SiteMap? Why do you need it?

You can show SiteMap to your website users so they can navigate through your website easier. SiteMap can be added in HTML or XML formats. The second variant is the better choice.

You can use SiteMap to tell search engines about all the pages available on your site. It is used to provide search engine crawl bots.

How to integrate site Map on WordPress website?

There are different ways to create SiteMap. You can create it manually in HTML or XML format. Or just use any WordPress plugin that allows you to that. There are many different plugins you can use. We will show you how to use one of them.

  1. Login into your WordPress admin panel. Navigate to Plugins > Add New section in your backend.

  2. Enter google xml sitemap into the search field.

  3. You can activate and use any of the plugins you will see. We will use Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

  4. Click on Install tab next to the plugin title. Activate plugin once it’s installed.

  5. Navigate to Settings > XML-SiteMap page to configure your SiteMap settings.

  6. You can see link for your SiteMap XML file in the first box on the next screen.

  7. Also, you can change the basic SiteMap settings on this page. Basic Options section allows you to change basic plugin settings.

  8. Additional pages block allows you to add additional pages to your SiteMap. You can specify here the pages that aren’t added from WordPress admin panel.

  9. SiteMap Content section is used for content selection. You can choose content added to your website SiteMap here.

  10. In case some content has to be hidden from the site visitors and search engines, you can mention it in Excluded Items section.

  11. Search engines usually take any updates from your website. To make your website provide current information you can set up change frequencies for your content.

How to inform search engines about your website Site Map?

The best way to do that is to use Google Webmaster Tools.

  1. Sign into your Google account to access it. You will see the Add a property option there.

  2. Click on it to add your site URL.

  3. Now you need to confirm your website. To do that, click on Alternative Method tab on the next screen and select HTML tag option. Copy that code.

  4. Log into your WordPress account. Open Appearance > Editor page. Add the code you copied previously before the closing </head> tag.

  5. Go back to the webmaster’s page and click Verify button. You will get Congratulations you have successfully verified your ownership of message. Click on Continue button.

  6. You will see section with no SiteMaps on it. Click it to add your SiteMap.

  7. Click on Add/Test SiteMap in top right corner. Enter your Site Map URL to the field you will see. Click Submit button to submit your SiteMap.

  8. Once you add all SiteMaps you will see pending status next to them. Google takes some time to crawl your website. After some time you will be able to see your SiteMap with an approved status. Also, you will see an information that allows you to improve website performance in search engines.

That is it! You know how to work with SiteMaps now. Hope this tutorial was helpful. More tutorials are coming soon!

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