Adding an XML sitemap to your WordPress site

Adding an XML sitemap to your WordPress site

By adding an XML sitemap to your WordPress site you make it easier for search engines to index your site. And after all isn’t getting in search engines the holy grail of website owners?

So what is an XML Sitemap? in simple terms it describes the structure of your site.

An example of an XML sitemap as sourced from Wikipedia is as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
   xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
   xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9 http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd">
    <url>
        <loc>http://example.com/</loc>
        <lastmod>2006-11-18</lastmod>
        <changefreq>daily</changefreq>
        <priority>0.8</priority>
    </url>
</urlset>

The easiest plugin I’ve come across to install as Sitemap is Google XML Sitemaps offering.  To install this go to the plugins section in your WordPress console, click Add and type “Google XML Sitemaps” in the search. The one you are looking for will look like this:

Google XML Sitemaps

Now just click on “Install Now” making sure you Activate it at the end of the install and away you go. It is that easy.

To have a look at your sitemap go to “Settings/XML-Sitemap” on your left menu. On this screen you can have a look at the sitemap that has been generated.

XML Sitemap Settings Screen

You can also use this tool to “Notify Search Engines” about your sitemap which is highly recommended. Since this is a test site I won’t be doing that at this point, however when you try this on your site I’d recommend going ahead with this. An alternative is copying the link and using that in Google Webmaster Tools.

For more information on Google Webmaster tools please read this article.

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