How to create a sitemap for a WordPress website is something that you will need to learn when you first build your website. Or more accurately, when you first start adding content to your website.
My recommendation is to add your Sitemap when you have completed your first three pages. Those will be the About page, Privacy page and a Disclaimer page. By adding your sitemap at the early stages of your website, it will not get overlooked.
What is a Sitemap and why do I need to create one for my website?
A sitemap is a file that contains a list of pages and posts on a website.
The reason for having a sitemap on a website is to help the search engines find the content you place on you site. Quality content on a website assists with search engine optimization. A combination of a sitemap and quality content helps greatly towards ranking pages or posts on the first page of Google. First page ranking in Google is what website owners aim for.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, crawl website content looking for links to pages and posts. This process is how the content on a website gets ranked.
Without a sitemap on a website the chances of the search engines finding data will be a slow process. That is definitely not what you need for your website. You want your website to be seen. Therefore, you need the search engines to find and rank you content.
Each time you publish a new page or post to your website, it is included in the sitemap. When the search engines next crawl your website they see this content.
All the information included in the sitemap is valuable to the success of ranking a website.
There are two types of Sitemaps that can be created for a website but in this article we are looking at creating an XML Sitemap.
How to Create a XML Sitemap for Your Website
There are a several ways of creating an XML sitemap for your website and the option I prefer is to use a plugin.
The plugin I recommend is Google XML Sitemaps.
The installation of the plugin is simple and the results of using it are rewarding because you know almost instantly that your sitemap is functioning correctly.
How to Install Google XML Sitemaps plugin
In the Dashboard of your website Click on Plugins
Then Click on Add New
Near the top right-hand side of the screen Click on Search Plugins
Then type in Google XML Sitemaps
Make sure to include the ‘s’ at the end of “Sitemaps’
Press Enter – You will see the image below appear on the left-hand side of your screen
Click on Install Now
Then Click on Activate
The plugin is now included in your website’s Dashboard
Your XML Sitemap is now installed and working efficiently, although there is one step to take.
That step is to make the search engine aware of your Sitemap. By doing this you can be confident that your Sitemap will be crawled by Google.
Using Google Webmaster Tools to Advise Google of a Website
Log into your Google Webmaster Tools Account
In the Search Console Dashboard Click on Crawl
Then Click on Sitemaps
At the right-hand side of the screen you will see your website address. (See image below)
It may be http://yourdomainname.com or https://yourdomainname.com
Whether it is http:// or https:// you need to add sitemap.xml as seen in the image.
Then Click on Submit
If you go back to Crawl –> Sitemaps you will see /sitemap.xml and this means that Google has been advised of your XML Sitemap.
Now you know how to create a sitemap for your WordPress website or blog, and just how simple it is to do this.
Even though this method of creating a sitemap is simple it is absolutely effective.
You can now be certain that your website content will be crawled by Google.
Thank you for reading this article above.
I would love to receive your comments or questions. Please leave them in the space provided below and I will acknowledge them.