How To Create A Sitemap

  • Share
  • SumoMe

Create A Sitemap One of the important things that all webmasters must do once they launch a new website/blog or even add new pages/posts, is create a sitemap for their blog/website and submit it to online directories so that search engines can faster and better index their site/blog.

Don’t rely on search engines visiting your site and crawling it on their own, create your sitemap and submit it to any directories you find and to all major search engines such as Google!

What Is A Sitemap?

A Sitemap is a page on your website that contains links to all other pages/posts found on your site. When a search engine bot (such as Google Bot) visits your website, it tries to crawl all the pages on your website through the links you have on there so that it can index your pages into its database, that way when people perform a search on something related to your post/page if your website is indexed, it will show up in the search results.

The problem is that search engines are not humans, so they might sometimes run into trouble when crawling your pages if for example:

  • Your pages aren’t properly linked.
  • You have pages created using Flash or Ajax.
  • Your pages are poorly linked to each other or contains no links to other pages.

Therefore providing a sitemap containing your links is very useful to search engines and helps in indexing your pages faster and more accurately since sometimes a sitemap can contain meta data about your links that explain to search engines how important is that link compared to your other pages by showing how often the page with that link gets updated.

Sitemaps can be submitted as text files but the preferred file type by search engines (such as Google) is XML format.

Having a Sitemap allows pages that are built on languages other than html/php (such as Adobe Flash) to be discovered and indexed by search engines.

Do I Have To Use A Sitemap?

Well, you don’t really have to, but it is always better to make it easy on search engines to crawl your pages by using a sitemap and listing to them the exact links your website contains.

It also depends on the type of pages you use on your website, for example if you use the normal html/php pages then in this case it is up to you whether to use a sitemap or not, but if you create a website using flash, or if you have a flash menu for example, then it will be very difficult for search engines to index your pages without the help of a sitemap.

A Sitemap’s main function is to make your pages/posts easily searchable by providing information about each page linked to search engines so that they can better discover and understand the importance of each page on your website.

How Do I Create A Sitemap?

Sitemaps can be created for blogs as well as static sites.

 

Create A Sitemap For A Static Site

There are 2 ways you can use to create a sitemap, you can either:

  • Create a sitemap manually.
  • Create a sitemap using a free an online generator.

a) Creating a Sitemap Manually:

You need to follow the proper coding structure in creating a sitemap.

The following is a basic layout for a sitemap that you can use, just make sure to follow the same structure and add more pages between the <url> and <loc> tags such as below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset
      xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
      xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
      xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9
      http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd">

 <url>
  <loc>http://www.YOUR-SITE.com/</loc> 
 </url>
 <url>
  <loc>http://www.YOUR-SITE.com/index.html/</loc> 
 </url>
 <url>
  <loc>http://www.YOUR-SITE.com/ANOTHER-PAGE.php/</loc> 
 </url>
</urlset>

b) Creating a Sitemap Via Online Generators:

This is my favorite method due to its simplicity and speed, all you have to do is enter the root domain of your website or blog into one of these services and in a few minutes (depending on how many pages your site contains) it will release a sitemap file for you with a XML extension.

The websites I use to generate my XML Sitemaps are:

I usually use the first one because it’s a little faster, and also contains lots of options on what format you want your file to be produced with, however both work just fine.

Create A Sitemap For A Blog

You can use the same methods above to generate a sitemap for your blog, however there are better and easier ways to do this using plugins.


The best plugin for this job is Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin not only automatically generates a sitemap for your blog, but whenever you update your blog, it updates your sitemap and notifies search engines such as Google, Bing, etc…Check out the screenshot below!

Google XML Sitemap

This plugin contains tons of other features regarding sitemaps, I urge you to download it and give it a try, it’s completely free and its one of the best plugins for creating a sitemap.

If you have any suggestions or tips regarding sitemaps or just wanna say hello, please feel free to comment below, if you need help configuring your sitemap don’t hesitate to let me know.

This entry was posted in Design, General Info, Search Engine Optimization and tagged , by Sayed. Bookmark the permalink.

Subscribe To Get My New Posts!

I respect your privacy, NO spam I promise.

Be Cool And Show Some Love, Share!

Pin It
About

I'm a Computer Science Major at York University (Toronto). I Love programming and creating websites, my goal is to one day have my own set of Plugins/Themes created from scratch, for now I'm focused on learning about SEO and Blogging. :)

Connect with me on:

29 thoughts on “How To Create A Sitemap

    • Indeed Andreas, having a sitemap helps search engines discover your pages more easily and index them faster which in return helps your traffic.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Nice tips Sayed every one know the importance of sitemap no doubt there is too much online tools for making that but I still like manual way for making sitemap.

    • Thanks Rizwan, doing it manually is a good option if your site is small or you don’t have a lot of content yet, however if you have a site with hundreds of pages then using an online tool in this case is easier and less time consuming.

      Take Care Rizwan. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Indeed Shalu, many webmasters never bother with submitting sitemaps for their sites/blogs, they rely on Google-Bot to visit and index their pages which is fine but why not help the bot by telling it where everything is using a sitemap, that way we can get our pages indexed better and faster.

      Thanks for stopping by Shalu.

  2. Sitemaps are really important and I wonder why anybody would ignore it when all you have to do is install a plugin and activate it. You raised a very important point in this post Sayed. Hope to see some more in future.

    • Hey Suresh nice to see you here bud ๐Ÿ˜€

      I agree, sitemaps are important and easy to install as a plugin but only if you have a blogging platform such as WordPress or any other blogging system.

      However if you want to create a sitemap for your static site, you have to spend a little more time on it creating links for pages one at a time or you can just use free online generators, so it takes a bit longer than a simple plugin but it’s still easy to do and in all cases very worth it.

      Thanks for stopping by Suresh.

        • hehe..static sites are still pretty cool and useful but only if you design it to attract people.

          People are very used to seeing blogs that when they see a static site with poor design even if it has valuable information, they might not stay long enough to read it all.

          I just uploaded my static site on the main domain about 2 weeks ago: (createawebsiteincome.com) still working on it and there is still more information to add, but I think the design is decent enough for a static site, I added a button for it at the top menu on this blog, let me know what you think when you get a chance. ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. I think without creating a sitemap, a site is incomplete. I am already using Google XML Sitemaps. It can do everything automatically. I haven’t think much. Thanks for sharing this nice post

    • I agree Ahsan, every site needs a sitemap otherwise it is incomplete.

      I love Google XML Sitemaps Plugin, it’s very easy to configure and does everything for you.

      Thanks for visiting.

  4. Hi Sayyed,
    When I was new to my website, I didnot know much about the importance of sitemap but by the time I understand that by providing a sitemap containing our links is very useful to search engines and newbies would be very lucky if they found your post or even I could be lucky if I read such type of post in past.

    • Hey Syeda,
      I too wish I knew about sitemaps when I first started creating sites, it usually took me about a week to get any pages indexed but after I started using a sitemap, it only took no more than 2 days to get my pages indexed on static sites and when I installed a sitemap plugin on my blog, Google indexed my pages almost instantly.

      Could be luck or Google improving their Bot service but either way sitemaps are important and easy enough to create. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Hi Sayed, I recently installed the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, I thought it may be a bit complicated because of the various options, but was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to configure. After about 10 minutes I was up and running and have since noticed more Googlebot activity in my server logs. Recommend it for anyone with a WordPress blog.

    • Hey Beth,

      That’s the best thing about WordPress plugins, they’re just too easy ๐Ÿ˜€ now if you wanted to create a sitemap for a static site, that’s a whole different story, but with the aid of online generators it’s not so bad, still though, plugins are the best.

      Thanks for stopping by, take care.

  6. Sayed ,
    Great suggestions you have make. Create a sitemap manually is a little difficult than using a free an online generator for those whom coding bothers.

    • Hey Gul,

      Yup there are a lot of services that can automatically generate sitemaps for you, I mention the 2 I use in the article, in case you missed them, here they are:

      a) XML-Sitemaps.com
      b) MakeASitemap.com

  7. I have some static HTML pages in my website along with blog so should i use separate sitemaps. I am asking you this because i have installed Google Sitemap submitted plugin which automatically creates sitemap for my blog.

    • Hey Mohsin,

      The plugin will only generate a sitemap for your blog which means that if you have other static pages let’s say on the main root of your domain then the plugin will not be able to sense them, in this case you can create a sitemap manually for the pages + the blog and submit it to Google, but still keep the plugin activated so that when you post new articles it re-submits to Google.

      You will be updating the blog more often than the static pages so keep the plugin activated and only submit a copy of both static and blog whenever you update the static, otherwise just let the plugin do all the work.

      Thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi Sayyed,
    Site map has its own importance.It is good to have it on your site or blog and it is very easy to make so there is no need to excuse for any blogger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *