A sitemap.xml is a machine-readable listing of all your website subpages. It helps search engines, such as Google, to fully incorporate your content into their search index. This accelerates the crawling process and reduces the risk of the crawler missing subpages.
Furthermore, the file can provide information on specific content, e.g.:
- information on the website's pictures or videos, such as the duration and the content of a video
- general information on the website, such as the date of the last update
This is the requirement for your website to be found via Google. There are different ways to create a sitemap.xml.
Creating sitemap.xml With WordPress
WordPress can automatically create a sitemap.xml using plugins:
Install one of these plugins in your WordPress administration panel and activate the creation of sitemap.xml as described in the plugin guide..
Creating sitemap.xml Manually
Many content management systems (CMS) provide plugins for creating sitemap.xml files. These plugins automatically keep the sitemap.xml up to date and ensure a correct format.
If you create your website without CMS or your CMS does not support sitemap.xml, you can also create a sitemap.xml manually.
- Create a file called sitemap.xml with a text editor of your choice.
- Include in the file a list of all pages that are to be found by Google.
Use the format described at Sample XML Sitemap.
- Upload the sitemap.xml file to the main directory of your website.
- Update the sitemap.xml file every time you remove pages or add new pages.