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How To Create An XML Sitemap In WordPress In 2024?

Do you want to increase the visibility and accessibility of the website on search engine pages which ultimately benefits the website in ranking in the search engine and improving organic traffic? Are you a beginner who wants to create a WordPress sitemap without any worries?

Then you are at the right place! In this article, I will discuss how to create an XML sitemap in WordPress. 

 As you know, when a search engine’s crawler visits the website it looks for a sitemap. The sitemap is like a map that displays all pages of the website.

Those websites that are built on WordPress require a sitemap because these sitemaps help crawlers to find all lists of pages and posts in a smart way. This is important for SEO Search Engine Optimization and makes the website more attractive to search engines. 

In short, sitemaps are the foundation of SEO for any website.  

So without wasting your precious time, let’s start!

What Is WordPress Sitemap?

It is a file where complete information of pages, videos, and other data of your website and the relationship between these data is located. Search engines read this file and rank your website accordingly. 

In other words, it is a file that contains your website content (complete list of content) in an XML format. So search engines can easily discover your website content through this format. 

Two decades ago, websites usually used to have a main page that contained the list of all website content, and the main page (home page) also possessed a link known as a sitemap.  

It acts like an index that contains all main sections and pages of the website which makes it easier for the search engine and audience to understand the structure and layout of the website. So they can easily navigate it. 

But now, websites are more complicated and contain more dynamic menus, sidebars, and other sophisticated features that cannot be handled solely with HTML sitemaps. 

Nowadays, sitemaps are published in XML format, and since then, the use of HTML sitemaps has declined. 

One thing I need to clear, although sitemaps play a role in visibility in search engines, they don’t boost the ranking on the website.  

If your website is small and has less than 100 URLs, then all these URLs are linked internally, then you do not need a sitemap.

But if you run a big website or plan to run a big website that will have more than 100 URLs, almost in billions that will also require linking externally, then you definitely need the sitemap.  

Why Do We Need WordPress Sitemap?

A WordPress site map consists of a list of public URLs that help visitors navigate the web pages easily. Although they play a big role in search engine ranking, they are not directly involved in search engine ranking. 

You can know its importance by this if you have a page on a website that has no link or URL, then it will be lost in the sea of other pages. In other words, sitemaps play a significant role in search engine optimization. 

In short, it plays an essential role when you start running a new website or blogging journey. Initially, new websites don’t have backlinks that increase their ranking factors, so sitemaps help to let Google and other search engines discover your new website. 

It does not mean that established or existing websites do not need sitemaps, they also need sitemaps just as new websites. The established website has multiple pages and allows the search engine to highlight the important part of the website which is regularly updated.

How To Create XML Sitemap For Beginners?

There are different methods you can use to create the XML site map, but in this method, I will discuss the easiest that you can use as a beginner. 

In this section, I will discuss how to create an XML site map with the help of 

With Plugins: 

  • All In One SEO (AIOSEO)
  • Yoast SEO
  • MathSEO 

 Without Plugin: 

In this method, you do not need any plugins to create an XML sitemap.

1. Create XML Sitemap Using Plugin: 

As a beginner, it is advised to create an XML site map with the help of plugins as it not only gives you more control over the site map, but you can easily handle it without worries.

i. By Using All In One SEO (AIOSEO):

First, install the All in One SEO plugin and activate it. 

If you are a beginner and have no idea and want to know how to add plugins on WordPress, then I got you. 

  1. Free versions of this plugin offer XML features, if you want to add extra features like news sitemaps and video sitemaps, then you need to buy an upgraded (Pro) version. 
  2. After activating the plugin, go to the all-in-One SEO menu page and click on the site map option. 
  3. On the general setting of the sitemap, enable the sitemap option. 
  4. All-in-One SEO will activate the Sitemap feature on your website and replace the standard WordPress sitemap feature automatically. 
  5. Now click on the Open sitemap option and analyze its structure and layout.

If you are a beginner, then don’t mess with the default settings, as it will work perfectly for all kinds of websites. 

How To Create Additional Site Maps:

If you are a video gamer or vlogger, then you need to add videos to your blog post. For this, you need to create additional sitemaps for the videos in your blog post and pages. 

For this, 

  • Go to the All in One SEO plugin and then to the Sitemap 
  • To generate these sitemaps, move to the Video SiteMap or News Sitemap tabs.

In short, if you want all the features in one plugin, then AIOSEO is the perfect plugin for you. 

ii. By Using Yoast SEO:

If you want to use Yoast SEO, then follow the underlying instructions. 

  1. First Go to the plugins and install the Yoast SEO if you have not already installed it yet. 
  2. After installation, Yoast SEO turns on the XML sitemap automatically.
  3. Go to the WordPress dashboard and find the Yoast SEO plugin. 
  4. Then click on the General Page and then go to the Features tab 
Click on the General page then features tab of the Yoast SEO
Click on the General page then the features tab of the Yoast SEO

5. After clicking on the feature option, now scroll down and look for the XML sitemap feature under the heading of the advanced settings pages and enable it.

turn on the XML sitemap option

enable the sitemap option

6. After that, click on the save option. 

7. In the old version of the sitemap you will find the direct XML sitemap option, just turn it on. And if you click on the small question mark icon located beside the XML sitemap. 

8. Just click on it, and it will reveal the XML sitemap option. On the next page, you will see the overview list of the XML sitemap that Yoast SEO created for your website.  

these are list of XML sitemap that Yoast SEO created for your website

9. Now the next step will be to copy The URL of this page and submit it to the Google Search Console. 

copy the link of this page that contain the list of XML sitemap

10. Or Add the sitemap_index.xml at the end of your website address. In this way, You can find the XML sitemap. 

11. Submit the XML sitemap to Search Engines. 

on Google Search Console click on the sitemap option and paste the copied URL
on Google Search Console click on the sitemap option and paste the copied URL

12. Whenever you publish something new, search engines are experts in finding new content. 

Create An Account In Google Search Console And Submit It To Google: 

Submit your sitemap manually, in this way, search engines can find it. For this, use the Google Search Console which is a free tool and perfect for monitoring the website performance and also keeping the website in the sight of the search engines. 

Submit A WordPress XML Sitemap To Google And Other Search Engines:

  1. Add your XML sitemap to the Google Search Console.
  2. First, visit the Google Search Console and sign up for the new account.
create XML sitemap and submit to Google Search Console
create XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console

3. In the property field, choose the URL prefix. You can also add the domain.

4. After entering the website URL, click on the continue button. 

Select property type to submit XML sitemap to Google Search Console
Select a property type to submit XML sitemap to Google Search Console

5. After this, verify the website ownership by using the HTML tag method. 

6. Now copy the code and log into the WordPress site via admin. 

7. Double-check the website name in the drop-down. 

8. Now find the sitemap option located in the left side panel. 

click on the sitemap option located in Google Search Console
click on the sitemap option located in Google Search Console

9. Now paste the URL you copied before in the blank field under the Add a new sitemap. And click on the submit button. 

10. After some time, you will see the status of the sitemap is changed from could not fetch to success. 

If you are running a new website, then it might take a few weeks to crawl your website in the search engine, but if you are running an already established website, then your website will crawl within a few minutes. 

iii. By Using SEO Plugin – RankMath:

Another alternative to Yoast SEO is the Rankmath SEO plugin which gives more Advanced settings compared to Yoast SEO.

  1. First, log in as an admin in the WordPress 
  2. Go to the WordPress dashboard 
  3. Go to the plugins and install and activate the RankMath plugin 
  4. Similarly, on the Yoast SEO, go to the sitemap settings 
  5. Here you will see the limit of the links you want per sitemap page. 
  6. Here copy the link or URL of the page. 
  7. Then go to the Google Search Console, then open the sitemap option located at the side panel. 
  8. And paste the copied URL in the blank field
  9. Now click on the Submit button.

How To Add And Remove Pages From XML Sitemap With The Help Of Plugin?

Advanced Settings:

If you have a technical background, then you can customize the setting and add whatever features you want to add to your XML sitemap. 

If you want to add pages to the XML sitemap, then go to the section of the sitemap settings.

In this section, You can organize the sitemap and control what type of content is included or left out. Moreover, you can also make a list based on the date and author pages. 

This plugin puts your WordPress content into XML sitemaps. But if you have other pages (stand-alone pages) that are not included in WordPress pages, like a contact form page, landing page, or Shopify store page, then you can add external pages with the help of the AIO SEO plugin. 

For this, 

  1. Go to the additional pages section and toggle it.
  2. After turning it on, add URLs of the stand-alone pages.
  3. In this section, set the priority of the pages.
  4. There is a limit from 0.0-1. 0.0 is considered the lowest priority and 1 is considered the highest priority. But it is recommended to select 0.3 pages. 
  5. Choose the update frequency and last modified date for additional pages. 
  6. After customizing the option, click on the Save button. 

How To Remove Page From The XML Site Map?

Just like adding pages in an XML sitemap, you can also remove the posts and pages from the XML sitemap. If you want to remove the page or post, you can also remove it by no indexing and no follow. 

In this way, search engines will not show that particular content in the search engine. 

  1. For this, go to the AIOSEO advanced setting section
  2. Under the heading of the Robots settings, check mark the no index and no follow options. 

2. Create XML SiteMap Without Plugin:

If you want to add a basic and limited feature sitemap, then try this method. 

Initially, in 2020 WordPress didn’t offer the built-in sitemap, but now they have this feature but comes with certain limitations. 

You can use this feature and create the XML sitemap automatically without any plugin. 

For this Add wpsitemap.xml at the end of your website domain name. 

Then, WordPress will create the XML site map automatically. 

Although this feature comes with basic features, it helps to get the advantage of SEO that XML sitemap offers. But this feature cannot be controlled easily and inflexibly. 

So if you want to have more control over your XML sitemap, then you need to use certain plugins mentioned above. 

Final Words:

Almost more than 30% of the websites on Google are running based on WordPress. And running a website on a search engine requires strong SEO strategies. 

Sitemap Ping is one of the technical parts of SEO tactics, but thanks to the plugins on WordPress, as a beginner, you don’t need intense coding knowledge to create the XML sitemap on WordPress. 

With the above-mentioned method, you can create the XML sitemap within 20 minutes. I hope these methods will help you to create XML sitemaps on WordPress with ease. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1: What Is An XML Sitemap In WordPress? 

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages, posts, and other content on your WordPress website. It helps search engines like Google understand the structure of your site and index your content more effectively.

Q2: Why Do I Need An XML Sitemap For My WordPress Site? 

Having an XML sitemap enhances your site’s visibility in search engines. It ensures that all your important content is discovered and indexed, leading to better search engine rankings and increased organic traffic.

Q3: How Can I Create An XML Sitemap In Wordpress As A Beginner? 

If you are a beginner and have no idea how to create an XML sitemap in WordPress, then use the most popular plugin Yoast SEO 

  1. First, install Yoast SEO and activate the plugin. 
  2. Then go to the general option under the heading Go the Yoast SEO plugin
  3. Then click on the feature option
  4. Scroll down and enable the XML sitemap option under the heading of Advanced settings 
  5. Then the plugin will start creating an XML sitemap automatically. 
  6. Go to the Google search console and submit it over there.  

Q5: How Do I Submit My XML Sitemap To Search Engines? 

Most search engines have webmaster tools where you can submit your XML sitemap. For Google, 

  1. You can use Google Search Console. 
  2. Sign in to your Google search console 
  3. Then add your website, 
  4. Go to “Sitemaps” located at the side panel, and submit the link to your XML sitemap.

Q4: Are There Any Alternatives To The Yoast Seo Plugin For Creating XML Sitemaps? 

Yes, there are alternatives like the 

  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • All-in-One SEO Plugin

Each plugin has its own features and settings, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Q6: Can I Customize My XML Sitemap In WordPress? 

Yes, you can usually customize the content included in your XML sitemap through the plugin’s settings. You can exclude specific post types, taxonomies, or individual posts if needed.

Q7: How Often Should I Update My XML Sitemap? 

If your website frequently adds or updates content, it’s a good practice to have your XML sitemap updated automatically whenever changes occur. Most plugins, like Yoast SEO, handle this automatically.

Q8: Can I Have Multiple XML Sitemaps For Different Parts Of My Site? 

Yes, some plugins allow you to have multiple XML sitemaps based on categories, tags, or other criteria. This can be especially useful for larger websites.

Q9: Is Having An XML Sitemap The Only Thing I Need For Good SEO? 

When it comes to SEO, there are several factors that are essential, one of them is an XML sitemap, but you cannot rely only on the XML sitemap because good SEO involves many factors, like 

  • Generating high-quality content
  • Building backlinks 
  • Keyword researching  
  • proper use of keywords, 
  • Auditing your website 
  • mobile-friendliness, 
  • site speed, and more.

Q10: Does An Xml Sitemap Guarantee Higher Search Engine Rankings? 

An XML sitemap is just one part of SEO and it does not guarantee that you will get a higher search ranking in the search engines.

Actually, it just helps search engines index your content, and it doesn’t directly guarantee to boost your ranks higher. If you want to rank higher in the search engine, then combine it with other SEO practices for better results.

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