XML sitemaps are integral parts of any website. Whether you have a well-established website or you are just a beginner, you need sitemaps. If you’re one of the later, you ought to know what exactly sitemaps are and why you need them first. Later in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create one using a WordPress Sitemap Plugin. Also, you’ll learn how to submit the XML sitemap to search engines like Google.
What are Sitemaps? And why are they important?
Long ago, people manually created sitemaps in HTML that listed the pages of the website in bullets. Primarily, website owners created it to manage the pages of their websites. Back then, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was not as important as it is at the present time. Now, sitemaps are created in XML which facilitates the Search Engines to crawl and index the pages of the website faster. Specifically, these XML files list out URLs of pages in your website exhibiting hierarchy and structure of your WordPress website.
As a beginner, your website will have little or no backlinks and exposure. Hence, creating a sitemap helps search engines crawl, index and rank your site. Creating WordPress XML sitemaps without plugin manually can be a hassle. Therefore, a WordPress Sitemap Plugin helps you create sitemaps of your WordPress website in a jiffy. When you add any new content or pages, the search engines will be pinged concurrently. However, creating XML sitemaps and submitting to the search engines will only help index your posts and pages faster. Consequently, this improves the SEO of your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) basically assists your website to rank higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
In this tutorial, we are going to teach you how to create a WordPress Plugin Sitemap and how to submit it to Google using Google Search Console.
Creating Sitemaps Using WordPress Sitemap Plugin
1. Yoast SEO
With more than 1 million active installations, Yoast SEO is evidently the most popular SEO WordPress Sitemap Plugin. Hence, offering a long list of features such as On-Site Content analysis tool, Meta title, Meta description, Social Preview, XML Sitemaps, etc. It provides the simplest tool to create XML sitemaps for your WordPress website. So let’s start!
Firstly, you need to install and activate Yoast for your WordPress website. After that, go to SEO>Features tab. Now, you can see all the features offered. You can see the XML sitemaps feature and the question mark icon beside it. Click on it and click on the See the XML sitemap link. And that’s it! Yoast generates XML sitemap with the URL sitemap_index.xml. Also, you can manage which pages needs or doesn’t need to be listed in the sitemap.
Furthermore, it only benefits your website if you submit the sitemap to Google. You will learn how to submit the XML sitemap to Google Search Console later in this tutorial.
2. Google XML Sitemaps
One of the oldest WordPress Sitemap Plugin, Google XML Sitemaps WordPress plugin is equally popular which improves the SEO of your website by creating XML sitemaps. Specifically, it creates WordPress XML sitemap that helps index pages better, submits the sitemap and even notifies search engines about each new post or update via ping. So, it’s safe to say Google XML Sitemaps is the best WordPress sitemap plugin available. And it’s completely free!
To create the XML sitemaps, you need to install and activate the plugin first. After you activate, Click on the Settings option in the navigation menu. Now, you can see that the XML-Sitemap option is added. Click on that.
Your WordPress sitemap is created. You can see the sitemap file when you click on the sitemap URL linked. It generates XML sitemap with the URL sitemap.xml. In the XML file, you can see a list of all the contents of the website that are to be indexed.
Also, you can also manage the contents to include and exclude from the sitemap in the options below.
Submitting the WordPress Plugin Sitemap In Google Search Console
For the contents of your website indexed quickly, submitting the sitemap to search engines is worthwhile. Google Search Console is an essential tool for any website owner to get insights and improve search ranks. Firstly, you need to add your website to Google Search Console if you haven’t already. Once you verify your website, the process of submitting your WordPress XML sitemap is very easy.
Click on Sitemaps from the navigation panel. Here, you can add sitemaps of your website. Simply type in the URL of your site’s XML sitemap. Finally, click on Submit and you’re done!
Generally, it takes a while for Google Search Console to process the sitemap. Then, it shows reports for that sitemap.
Therefore, creating WordPress plugin sitemap is an extremely simple task. Even if you’re a beginner in WordPress, having a clear idea about XML sitemaps is a must. Hopefully, you picked up on the know-how of creating XML sitemaps with the help of a WordPress Sitemap Plugin.
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Similarly, if you want to learn more about WordPress plugins, you can check some of our other articles on our website:
- 8 Of the Best WordPress Plugins – Essential Plugins for Your First WordPress Site
- How to Add WordPress Background Image: Step-by-Step Tutorial
- How To Upload PDF files in your WordPress website?