If you’re reading this article, you probably fall into one of 3 categories:
- You are about to build your website by coding from scratch or by using CMS (e.g. WordPress)
- You built your website long ago but just heard about XML Sitemap that you need to submit to search engines for your site to be properly indexed.
- You’re curious and want to know what this is all about.
Whatever it is, you’re in the right place.
We would look at the different steps to take in creating an XML Sitemap for your website. But first, what is XML Sitemap?
XML Sitemaps contains a unique set of instructions on your website’s layout, structure, and arrangement which helps search engines understand your website better. Unlike its HTML counterpart, XML is meant for search engine crawlers to crawl and index your website pages, posts, images and others.
Creating XML Sitemap for websites coded from scratch
For a website that is built from the scratch with an HTML editor, you can get to create XML Sitemap for your website by using an Online XML Sitemaps generator tools or Screaming frog depending on the one you are comfortable with.
Let’s look at the first one –
- Google or visit XML Sitemap generator
- Enter your website URL
Once your XML Sitemap is ready, you will see the screen below
- From the above, click ‘Download your XML Sitemap file’
- Open it in your text editor (if you understand coding) and make some changes.
- Upload the file to your website root folder
- Then Add to Google Search Console and Bing
Second option –
Using the SEO Spider software known as Screaming Frog
- Go to Screaming frog website, locate ‘SEO Spider’ and download
- Install and run the software
- Once you open the software, enter the URL of your website in the space provided and click on start. This action will run on your website and list all it has.
- Click on ’Sitemaps’ at the menu bar, and then ‘Create XML Sitemap’
5. Then follow the on-screen procedures to get your XML Sitemap file.
Creating XML Sitemap for CMS website built with WordPress
If you built your website with CMS (WordPress), chances are that you will be using one of the popular SEO plugins like Yoast of ALL in One SEO Pack or you might just be using Google XML Sitemap Plugin. But here, we are assuming that you’re using Yoast SEO and to generate your website XML Sitemap;
- Go to Yoast SEO dashboard
- Enable the ‘Advance settings’ and save changes.
- Now click on XML Sitemaps from the Yoast SEO dashboard drop down, make necessary changes if any, and click on ‘You can find your XML Sitemaps here’ to access your website XML Sitemaps.
- Now, go to Google Search Engines Console, click on crawl and click then on sitemap, to add your now generated website sitemap.
That’s is. You’re all set up and ready to go!