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What is an XML Sitemap? How to Create a Sitemap in WordPress?

Are you searching what is a sitemap and how to create a sitemap in WordPress website?

An XML sitemap is important to boost the SEO ranking of your website. If you have not created a sitemap for your website yet make sure to create it. 

If you have a new website you might not have many internal and external links, so submitting sitemap to search engines is an important factor.

So without wasting time lets learn what is an XML sitemap and how to create it for your wordpress site.

What is an XML sitemap?

You create the best content for your website but what if google is not able to crawl through all your website’s content.

As indicated by the name a sitemap is the map of your website. An XML sitemap contains all the URLs present on your site in XML format. 

Through these URLs google crawlers can easily crawl all your sites content.

Sitemap is created for search engines. Your visitors have nothing to do with that..

After you submit sitemap to google it also increases the SEO ranking of your site, as all your website content is updated in the search engine.

A sitemap indicates the following points about your website’s content to search engines.

  • Which are the most important pages of your site?
  • How often do you update your old posts or pages?
  • What changes have you made to your posts and pages recently?

 

How XML Sitemap Benefits Your WordPress Site

There are many benefits of creating a sitemap for your wordpress site. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • If your website is new it might not have many backlinks. So search engines might not find all the pages of your website. Creating a sitemap allows search engines to crawl all the URLs of your site.
  • Sitemaps tell Google which pages on your site are more important to index on google and which should be ignored. 
  • Some new sites face problems indexing their new posts to Google. Creating a sitemap would solve their problem.
  • If you have just started your new website you might not have many internal links on your website. creating a sitemap will exclude all the limitations of not creating internal links.
  • If you post more frequently on your site there are chances some posts might not get indexed due to any technical error. So sitemaps are created to index those posts quickly.

Now after knowing the benefits of sitemap you might be curious to create it for your website.

So without wasting time let’s learn how to create a sitemap for your website.

How to create sitemap for wordpress website

You can create sitemap in wordpress following the three different ways.

So have a look at all the three ways to create a sitemap and implement the one which is easier for you.

How to create an XML sitemap in WordPress without using any plugin.

This is a simple and very easy method to create a sitemap for your WordPress website.

However, this process has no option to include any important pages in the sitemap or to exclude any pages.

You can create your sitemap by just following a single step.

Simply add wp-sitemap.xml after your domain name and WordPress will show you the sitemap of your site.

For example- website.com/wp-sitemap.xml

You will see the sitemap of your site as shown in the image.

This process to create a sitemap of your site was introduced by WordPress.

How to Create a Sitemap in WordPress using Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast SEO is a plugin in wordpress which is a very popular SEO plugin.

It is super easy to create a sitemap using Yoast SEO. To create a sitemap using Yoast SEO, download and activate this plugin from your WordPress.

If you are new to WordPress you can check our guide on how to install a plugin in WordPress.

Now after you have successfully installed yoast seo plugin in your wordpress.

Follow these simple steps.

Go to yoast seo in your wordpress dashboard and select general.

how-to-create-a-sitemap-in-wordpress

Now select features option. After selecting features search for xml sitemap.

Make sure the button is on for the XML sitemap.

Click on the small question mark in front of the text XML sitemap.

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You will see an option to see the XML sitemap. Click on it.

Yoast SEO will show you the sitemap of your website.

How to create sitemap in wordpress using All in one seo plugin

All in one seo plugin is also the best plugin for SEO of your website. 

In order to create sitemap using all in one seo plugin  follow these steps.

Go to plugins and install the All in One SEO plugin.

After activating the plugin go to your WordPress dashboard.

Select All in One SEOthen select sitemaps.

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You will see that the sitemap button is on by default by all in one seo. Click on the open sitemap to view your website’s sitemap.

You will see the sitemap of your website as shown below.

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Now if you want to customize the settings of the sitemap in the All in One SEO plugin you can do that as well.

After you scroll down to the sitemap settings you see many options which you will not see in the yoast SEO plugin.

Here you can include all your posts and pages to sitemap or you can also exclude some if you do not want them to index on google.

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You get an option to include and exclude tags and categories to the sitemap which is again a good feature of this plugin.

You can also include date archives and author archives to the sitemap.

There are some pages on your site that are not part of your WordPress.

You can include those pages also to the sitemap by providing the URL of the page.

An example of those pages is the contact form.

You can include or exclude the images on your website to cover in the sitemap.

All in one SEO tool provides many more features in the free version which you will not get in any other plugin.

However, it also has a pro version which offers you to create a video sitemap and the news sitemap if you use a news website.

How to submit your XML Sitemap to Search Engines

Once you have created your sitemap now it’s very important to submit it to the search engine.

There are two platforms where you need to submit your sitemap they are google search console, bing webmaster tool.

Submit xml sitemap to google search console

Google search console is a tool which helps to check the performance of your site and its traffic. you can check and fix the issues in your site  and you can also check which query brings more traffic to your site.

To submit your sitemap you have to sign up in google search console.

After signing up you will be asked to select the property type. You get two options either you can enter your domain or the url of your website. 

Entering URL is the easy one, so go for it and press continue.

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Now in the next step you have to verify your ownership of your website.

You will see four options to choose from. Choose the HTML tag option.

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After you click on it you will see a code which you need to copy in your wordpress website.

Before you copy the code download a plugin called insert header and footer in your wordpress dashboard.

Now after activating the plugin go to the settings and the header and footer.

Paste the code “scripts in header” option and click on the save button.

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After you have pasted the code go back to google search console and click the verify button to verify the code.

After checking google will add your site to google search console.

Now it’s time to add your XML sitemap to google search console.

Here you need to enter the URL of your sitemap (enter only the last part) and press submit.

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Now google will crawl your site and show you results.

You might have to wait for some time in order to see the total URL discovered.

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Note:-We have used a dummy site to show you the results so it is zero on our discovered URL section.

How to submit XML sitemap to Bing

As google has google search console in the same way Bing has its webmaster tool to check the performance of your website.

Search for Bing webmaster tool.

After you successfully signup you will see two options to submit your sitemap.

You can submit it manually or you can also import it from google search console.

how-to-create-a-sitemap-in-wordpress

Now as you have already added your site to google search console you can directly import the data to Bing webmaster tool.

Your sitemap will be directly imported to bing webmaster tool.

However if you choose to do it manually you have to enter the URL of your site and verify it as we did earlier.

Now bing will ask for verification of your website. You will have several method to verify.

Choose the HTML Meta tag option and copy the code.

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Now as you have already installed the insert headers and footers plugin.

Go to settings and then choose insert headers and footers option.

Paste the code into “scripts in header” box.

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Click save and head over to Bing webmaster to verify the code.

Conclusion

Sitemaps are very important for different search engines to crawl your site content easily.

As this process will hardly take 10 minutes so you should create the sitemap and submit to the search engines.

Submitting sitemap will never have any negative impact on your site, however it will boost the SEO of your website.

Submitting sitemap for a new website will help search engines crawl all the URLs of your site without any internal links.

I hope this guide was helpful for you. Please share the article if you like it.

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