How to create Sitemap for WordPress

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What is a sitemap? As the name implies, a sitemap is a list of all pages accessible on a website that is available to users and search engines bots. You may have seen in several places, especially those that are government that has a link titled ‘sitemap’. That’s just a way to guide people and search engines on all accessible pages of the site.

Sitemaps were introduced in the early years of the Internet in 1994 and 1995, when it was considered as a necessity to include sitemaps on any website. This was probably because the sitemap of a website in those years was the main navigation tool before some user-friendly navigation and aesthetics be introduced by designers.

You may think now that we have better and faster navigation, we no longer sitemaps. No. Today, sitemaps are even more important from an SEO point of view. Here are some benefits of why sitemaps are so important:

  • They increase the visibility of web pages to search engines and ensure faster indexing;
  • Sitemaps inform search engines about changes in the structure of your website;
  • It also helps the search engines to signal large sites with many pages that are not well structured or interconnected

These are just some of the many advantages why sitemaps are important and why you should create a sitemap for your WordPress site. In this tutorial WordPress, we will have a quick overview of the types of sitemaps, adding a sitemap to WordPress and how to send a URL of the WordPress sitemap to the search engines. Let’s start.

What will you need?

Before beginning this guide, you need the following:

  • Access to the WordPress admin area.

Understanding the difference between XML and HTML sitemaps

In general, sitemaps can be categorized into two: Sitemaps XML and HTML. The main difference between the two is that the XML is intended primarily to search engines, while HTML sitemap for your site users.

  • Sitemap XML :

    • XML Sitemap, as was said, intended mainly up to the search engines and contains metadata along with the site’s URLs. It contains all the information, including the likes of when a particular URL was last updated, as well as the changes occurred, etc.
  • HTML sitemap :

    • HTML Sitemap is for users and provides easy navigation. It indicates where the users of the contact  or shopping cart  are, among others. Undoubtedly is intended to users, but also helps you boost your site in search engines to improve your ranking, as your site is more user friendly.

Both HTML and XML sitemaps result in easy tracking of pages by search engines. We recommend having both sitemaps – one for the search engines and one for users. This will ensure that you are not leaving any missing important element related to SEO at the same time, ensuring that you also provide a great experience for their users.

Whether you own a very popular site, a relatively new site or a blog. Sitemaps are equally important in all cases. For new blogs with not so many backlinks, a sitemap helps in quick indexing of web pages.

Let’s start with the tutorial and see how to add a Sitemap in WordPress.

Step 1 – Creating an XML Sitemap in WordPress

The XML Sitemap WordPress can be created in several ways. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add sitemap using some WordPress sitemap plugins. Let’s check.

Option 1 – Creating XML Sitemap with SEO Yoast

Yoast SEO plugin  is a very popular plugin that is widely used to improve the SEO of a WordPress website or blog. The plugin takes care of all technical aspects related to content and helps assess the keyword density, H1 and H2 tags, readability, etc. In addition, it can help you in creating XML Sitemaps.

Follow the steps mentioned below to add XML sitemap for your WordPress using Yoast SEO plugin:

  1. Install and activate  the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.
    Yoast SEO plugin
  2. Now you have enabled the plugin navigate to SEO  -> Features  and Advanced Settings pages feature.Yoast advanced settings feature
  3. This feature will allow XML sitemap for your WordPress and a new section  XML Sitemaps  will appear on the menu SEO . Here you can manage multiple configurations as maximum entries per sitemap, delete pages / posts specific sitemap and so on. Unless you need a custom WordPress sitemap, you do not need to change anything here.Yoast SEO sitemap xml settings
  4. In this way, you just generate an XML Sitemap using the plugin. You can find the URL of the site in WordPress Your Sitemap XML .
    wordpress sitemap url

Option 2 – Creating XML Sitemap to Google Sitemaps XML

The plug-in Sitemap   Google XML  can also be used to generate an XML sitemap for your website to help search engines to crawl your site.

This plugin is an easy way to generate a sitemap to various search engines like Ask, Google, Yahoo and Bing. The plugin creates Sitemaps for all pages of WordPress and custom URLs. Moreover, it automatically notifies all major search engines whenever new content is published.

Here are some steps you need to follow:

  1. Install and activate the plugin  from the official WordPress plugin directory.
    google xml sitemaps plugin
  2. Once activated, it will automatically generate the sitemap for your site.
  3. To find the URL of the WordPress site, open the plug-in configuration page by clicking Settings  -> Sitemap XML . You can also change various settings such as priority post / page, delete content, etc.
    google xml sitemap url wordpress

Step 2 – Creating HTML Sitemap for WordPress

The two plugins mentioned above will help you to generate an XML Sitemap. Now, if you want to create an HTML Sitemap for WordPress, use the plugin WP Sitemap Page .

To create an HTML sitemap for your WordPress site, follow these steps:

  1. Install and activate the plugin  in your WordPress site.
  2. Set up a new page and add the short code [wp_sitemap_page]  where you want your HTML sitemap is visible.wordpress html sitemap
  3. Publish the page and visit your URL to view your HTML sitemap.

wordpress html sitemap page

Step 3 – Sending XML Sitemap WordPress for search engines

Step 3.1 – Submit XML Sitemap to Google

Once the XML sitemap is ready, we recommend that you send to Google Search Console tool. The first step to submit your Sitemap using Google Search Engine Console is to submit yourself as the owner of the site. To do this, use one of the verification methods .

  1. Once done, open the main Google Search Console  and select your site.
  2. Click the trace  and select Sitemaps.
  3. Click Add / Test Sitemap .
  4. Enter the URL of the WordPress site and click on Send .wordpress submit sitemap to google seach console
  5. Now, allow some Google bots to process your submission and track your pages.

If your site contains many images, we recommend that you create an image Sitemap. You can also add video sitemap in case you have many videos on your website.

Step 3.2 – Sending XML sitemap to Bing

Bing is another search engine that you may want to submit your Sitemap. Just as we use Google Search Console to submit a Sitemap to Google, we will use the Bing Webmaster Tools to send our sitemap to Bing. Of course, you first need to verify ownership of your site. You can find instructions on how to do this here . During the verification process, enter the URL of the XML sitemap WordPress and press the button Add .

bing webmaster tools add sitemap

That is all that is required to add a Sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools.

Conclusion

Sitemaps are an essential part of our sites. The main purpose of creating a website is to meet the needs of users, and then make sure the top ranking of search engines. Both of these aspects are accepted by Sitemaps to not only make your site easy to navigate and user friendly, but also help in tracking.

Hopefully, following the steps mentioned above, you have been able to generate a sitemap for your WordPress website and also can upload it to the search engines. Do you have any doubt? Leave it in the comments. We also have a post about the 13 best plugins for WordPress. Know more in the link below.