We all know, an XML sitemap for your website is very important. It tells the search engine about the content and page of your site. It helps the search engine to discover the URLs and indexing it perfectly.
Hence, the question is, how to create and publish a WordPress Sitemap? How will you customize the sitemap for your website? At the same time, we will learn why and when you need a sitemap and the pros and cons of using it.
The visitors do not see the full list of XML sitemap like the sitemap created for displaying the content list. Actually, an XML sitemap generates a machine-readable format of your website’s content. It’s an easier process to help the search engine bots to crawl your website accurately.
What is an XML sitemap?
An XML sitemap is an XML formatted file that lists all the content and pages on your website. Search Engines like Google crawl and index the content following this XML sitemap. In the earlier period, we would see an HTML sitemap which was a page named sitemap that would contain the list of all the pages on that website. That means the HTML sitemap was generated targeting the users. On the other hand, an XML sitemap is made for the search engine to help discovering the pages and URLs on your website.
An XML sitemap can give importance to the pages according to the needs. Even it informs the search engine how frequently the website is updated. There are no benefits of ranking the webpage for an XML sitemap but helps to better crawling of the pages of your website. The pros are, an XML sitemap ensures crawling and indexing all the pages on the website.
Advantages of using an XML sitemap?
We see many benefits of using an XML sitemap. It does not impact directly to rank the website’s pages but helps in discovering the pages quickly and accurately. Thus we see different benefits of using an XML sitemap. That means, there are some disadvantages too of not using an XML sitemap. For this reason, we will use an XML sitemap on our website. But Let’s talk about the advantages of using an XML sitemap now.
1. Faster Indexing: An XML sitemap works mainly with the search engine. It contacts with the search engine and submits the sitemap quickly into Google Search Console. Surely, it helps to rank the page fast.
2. Automatic Update Notification: Using an XML sitemap helps the search engine to inform the new content information when published. Similarly, when you update any new content it gives an update notification to Google as well. Surely, it helps to rank the new pages fast.
3. Categorization of Your Content: An XML sitemap works for the categorization of the whole content on the website.
4. Discovering the URLs: Without an XML sitemap, it is not accurate to discover the URLs. But an XML sitemap helps to do it.
5. Content Modification: After each and every modification, an XML sitemap will inform the search engine including Google about the modification.
Two Easiest Ways Of Creating a WordPress Sitemap
We get numerous ways for creating a WordPress sitemap. But according to stats, we will show you the most popular two ways which are perfect and easy to set up. The two ways are using Yoast SEO and generating sitemap using Google XML sitemap.
Method 01: Yoast SEO
It is one of the easiest methods of creating an XML sitemap for your website. It is just a minute of work. Let’s see the process step by step.
1. First go to Add New Plugins Page from Plugins>Add New.
2. Now Search On Yoast SEO keywords and you will find the Yoast SEO plugin here. Now click on Install to create the sitemap.
3. Now Activate it as like any popular plugins.
4. Now the plugin is ready to use. Just need to configure it now. For doing it, go to SEO>General.
5. From here, you will get the options of creating the XML sitemap. See the screenshot below to understand it clearly. Next, turn on the sitemap option. Instantly it will create a sitemap for your website.
6. Then you can check it from here also if the sitemap has been created. Click on the “See The XML Sitemap” option check it.
7. If you want, you can check the activated XML sitemap following the URLs of sitemap_index.xml after the main URLs of your website. That means it would be something like the blow. Use your website name instead of example.
8. If you run an online shop or WooCommerce with your website, it will create a sitemap for you also. Need to mention, when you will submit the sitemap on the search engines, you have to submit the main sitemap URL only.
Important to realize, Yoast SEO works for on-page SEO optimization. So, you can use it also for better search engine optimization.
Hope you have understood. How will you submit the sitemap on the search engine? Continue the post, I have discussed it below.
Method 02: Google XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress
This is another alternative way of creating a Google XML sitemap. If you do not use the Yoast SEO plugin for creating a sitemap or for SEO purposes, then you can use this plugin. It is very simple to install and activate as like any other plugins.
The sitemap URLs would be something like the below.
Now you can customize the plugin of what types of URLs you want to index.
Even you can keep as like the default settings if you think.
Again, if you use Yoast SEO or any plugin for creating Sitemap, you have no need to use this plugin. Hope you understand.
How To Tell The Search Engine About Your Sitemap?
In general, a sitemap sends a ping or notification when you publish any new content. Then the search engine crawls and indexes the updated pages. However, it is good practice to submit the sitemap on the search engine including Google or Bing. It helps to crawl the page fast and you may sit without hesitation of indexing.
Submitting The XML Sitemap To Google:
Among the search engines, Google Search Console is smarter to crawl and indexing the website pages. It is totally free and well-organized for submitting the pages to Google. It is no matter your website is brand new or old, Google can crawl from your website when submitting the sitemap.
1. For submitting the sitemap on Google you have to open and signup google search console website.
2. Click On Start now to signup. When signing up you can select a domain or URL prefix. Selecting a URL prefix is easier to set up. Hence, we recommend it.
3. Now Enter the URL prefix and click on Continue.
4. This time you have to verify the ownership of your website. There are various ways to verify the ownership though the HTML tag method seems easier for me. From here copy the code and you have to paste it on the header of your website. To do this, you need to install another plugin named “Insert Headers and Footers.” You can install and activate it as like many simple plugins.
5. Go to Insert Headers and Footers plugin options from the Settings menu. Now paste the code you have copied from as an HTML tag. Now click on Save to add it to your website.
6. At this time, click on Verify on the Google Search Console. When Google will get the code on your website and get it, it would say, Verification Successful. If you see Unsuccessful then clear the browser cache and check again.
So you have successfully added your website to the Google Search Console. Now you have to add Sitemap here. To do this follow the below steps.
7. From the dashboard’s left panel, you will see an option named Sitemap. Click on here.
8. You will see Add New Sitemap here. You have to add the last past of your sitemap’s URL. After doing this, click on Submit.
If you do the above steps accurately, then Google will show a green signal on the sitemap option. Although it may take some time to verify it.
Now you will see how Google crawls your website. The indexed status will be here also. The pages, images, or other stats will be in this dashboard. So, check it and if you see any issues, do what Google says on the instructions. It will make the website neat and clean. If you don’t understand anything inform us for better understanding.
Submitting The XML Sitemap To Bing:
BING is also a popular search engine in some areas. For this reason, you can add a sitemap for the BING also as like Google. The process is similar, just need to add it accordingly.
1. To do this, go to BING website Tools and signup to submit your website.
2. After signing up, you will see the option of Add New Site. Click on here.
3. In the next, you will see the option of adding Sitemap and other website information. Do it carefully.
4. Click on Submit now.
5. As before, you have to verify the ownership of your website. To do this, you will find the HTML tag option. Copy the code and paste it on the header of your website.
6. Similarly, add the code on the Insert Headers and Footers plugins. You will find it from Settings. If you have already installed the plugin no need to do it again. Just paste the code here.
7. Click on Save and Verify the BING webmaster.
Hope you have added the sitemap on the BING webmaster carefully. Now you can check everything from here.
Submitting The XML Sitemap To Other Search Engine
You will find some other search engines. If you want you can also submit a sitemap to them. Although they collect your page’s information automatically. According to the location, you can take the decision.
Although the process similar to Google. For this reason, I will not discuss it here. If you have any issues you can make a comment. Surely our experts will come back to support you.
How To Check If Everything about XML sitemap is okay?
You have successfully submitted a sitemap. Now you can check the status of everything on your website is working fine. If you follow the sitemap on your webmaster tools, it will provide you deep insights into your website. To maintain the website perfectly it is necessary.
It will show you the crawl rate, indexing status, and search ranking as well. If you have any duplicate content issues it will also show to you. If there are any issues related to indexing, it will also provide you with tips to solve it. When you see any red signal that means it needs to update. After submitting it again, you can solve the issues.
If you want to exclude any pages from crawling you can do it from the webmaster tools also. Although you can handle it from the robots.txt file, you can check it here also if it is working. So, I think you have realized all the matter.
Apart from this, if you have any other issues related to Sitemap or webmaster tools, I inspire you to make a comment. Our experts are ready to help you. Similarly, if you need 3X fast-speed hosting from a reliable online world, you may check our cheap and reliable hosting packages. Thanks for staying with SpeedHost.