How to Make A Sitemap In WordPress?

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How to Make A Sitemap In WordPress?


If you’re looking to make a sitemap for your WordPress website but don’t know how best to go about it, then this article is for you.
How to Make A Sitemap In WordPress?
 How to Make A Sitemap In WordPress?

 

 

This article explains what an XML sitemap is, why you need it, and how to create one for your WordPress website. 

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is an extensible markup language (XML) file containing a list of essential website pages. It ensures that search engines can navigate the website and index the content you want it to rank. In addition, the XML format is machine-readable. Hence, the files are written in this format, and it is easier for search engine bots to read them. 


The sitemap tells the search engine where to locate the content, the last time the page was updated, the importance of the page to your website, and so on. 

 

However, it is crucial to state that XML sitemaps and HTML sitemaps are not the same. The simple difference between them is that XML sitemaps are for search engines, while HTML sitemaps are for the website users to navigate the website. Therefore, the XML sitemap contains metadata and website URL and is invisible to users. 

Why your website needs an XML sitemap


One of the first things to note is that sitemaps are essential for SEO, even though they directly affect your search rankings. However, if you have a page on your website that isn’t indexed, the search engine can find this page through the sitemap. 

 

How to Make A Sitemap In WordPress?
 How to Make A Sitemap In WordPress?
If your website is new or just starting a blog, you must have a sitemap because you are unlikely to have any backlinks. So it is more difficult for search engines to find all the content on your website. This is one of the reasons why Google and other search engines like Bing allow new websites to submit their sitemap within the webmaster tool. This makes it easier for the search engine bot to find and index the content on the website. 

 

Sitemaps are also crucial for establishing popular sites as well. It allows you to highlight the part of your site that is more important and the part you frequently update for the content to be visited and indexed accordingly by the search engine bot. 

 

How to make a sitemap in WordPress


There are two primary ways to create a sitemap in WordPress: without a plugin or with a plugin.
 

 

Method 1: Creating an XML sitemap for a WordPress website without a plugin


This is a basic method. Hence it is limited in the features it offers. Before August 2020, there were no built-in sitemaps in WordPress, but the WordPress 5.5 release came with a basic sitemap feature. 

This means that you can create a sitemap in WordPress automatically without a plugin. All you need to do is to add wp-sitemap.xml to the back of your domain name, and you will get the default sitemap for your WordPress website. 

 

WordPress added the basic XML sitemap feature to ensure that new WordPress websites do not lose the SEO benefits of a sitemap. However, it is not very flexible, and it is difficult to control what you need to remove or add from your sitemap. 

 

Thankfully, most WordPress SEO plugins have their sitemap functionality, which is better than the basic one from WordPress. You are also able to control the content to add or remove from the XML sitemap. This leads to the second method. 

 

Method 2: Creating a sitemap for your WordPress website using a plugin


As mentioned earlier, most SEO plugins have sitemap functionality that you can use. However, the best (and most used) are All in One SEO and Yoast SEO. In this article, we will be discussing how to create a sitemap using the All in One SEO plugin. 

 

The All in One SEO WordPress plugin is the best way to create a sitemap for your website. This plugin offers you comprehensive tools to help optimize your posts for SEO. The first thing to do is install and activate the plugin. After doing this, go to the Sitemaps page of the tool to check the sitemap settings. 

 

The default setting of this plugin enables the sitemap feature on your WordPress website and automatically replaces the basic sitemap from WordPress. Clicking the ‘Open Sitemap’ button allows you to preview the sitemap, so you know how it looks. Another way to view the sitemap is to add ‘sitemap.xml’ to the website URL, for instance, https://madpcb.com/sitemap_index.xml

Since you are a beginner, you do not have to make any changes, especially since you do not understand it yet. The default setting is good enough and works for different online stores, blogs, and websites. However, customizing the sitemap settings allows you to control what will be included in the XML sitemap. To do this, you have to go to Sitemap settings.

 

Under the sitemap setting section, you have the option to exclude or include post types, manage sitemap indexes, taxonomies (tags and categories). It is also possible to enable the XML sitemap for author archives and date-based archives. 

 

This plugin automatically adds all the content on your WordPress website in XML sitemaps. However, you can have stand-alone pages, landing pages, Shopify store pages, or contact forms that are not part of WordPress. In this case, the AIO SEO plugin allows you to add some external pages to your WordPress sitemap. All you need to do is go to Additional Pages and turn it on. Next, you will find a form in which you’re to add the custom external pages you want to add to the sitemap. The next step is to add the URL of the webpage you are adding to your sitemap and set a priority, with the lowest being 0.0 and the highest being 1.0. If you are not sure which one is ideal for you, it is recommended that you use 0.3.

 

Next, you choose the update frequency and the date you last modified the page. If you want to add other pages, click on ‘Add New.’ Once you’re done with everything, click on ‘Save Changes’ to store the settings. 

 

AIO SEO also allows you to exclude specific pages or posts from your sitemap. To do this, click on ‘Advanced Settings’ under the sitemaps page. You can remove the page or post from your sitemap by making it no-follow and no-index. This will ensure that search engines do not show the content in search results. Edit the page or post you are excluding and go to the settings box under the editor. 

 

Conclusion


Creating a sitemap for your WordPress website is vital, especially if it is a new website. The ideal way to do this is to use the WordPress SEO plugin, and the All in One SEO plugin stands out for this. 

Author Bio

 

Charles Normandin writes unique articles for Australian Writings. He is a professional in writing unique texts and also speaks three languages at a high level. He is fond of volunteering, drawing, and rock climbing. In his view, days spent helping animals at the shelter make their life better. Meet him on Twitter @Charles60104524. 


 

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