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How to Create an XML Sitemap in WordPress

An XML Sitemap is a page of links that lets search engines know of all the pages available on your website.  It’s the only way your content can be indexed and allow search engines such as Google or Yahoo to crawl through your site more easily.  You do not create these sitemaps manually.  I use a free WordPress plugin to help me create and manage my XML sitemap.  As this XML sitemap is updated everyday and lets search engines know of new pages created and the frequency pages are updated or accessed.  The free WordPress plugin I use is called Google XML Sitemaps.  Below I will show you how to install, activate, and build your own XML sitemap for Google, Bing/Yahoo and other search engines.

Overview of How to Create an XML Sitemap in Wordpress

  1. Search and Install ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin
  2. Activate ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin
  3. Go to Settings of ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin
  4. Build XML Sitemap for Google and Other Search Engines
  5. See XML Sitemap is Created
  6. Location of XML Sitemap

Steps:

1.  Search and Install ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin

Search in the Wordpress Plugin Directory and you will find the free Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

Create XML sitemap WordPress Plugin - Google XML Sitemaps - Install

Create XML sitemap WordPress Plugin – Google XML Sitemaps – Install
  •  Login to your WordPress Backend Administrator
  • Click on ‘Plugins’, ‘Add New’
  • Search for ‘Google XML Sitemaps’
  • Click on ‘Install Now

2.  Activate ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin

Now you can activate your Google XML sitemaps plugin.  The installed plugin will be under ‘Installed Plugins’.

Google XML Sitemap - Activate Plugin

Google XML Sitemap – Activate Plugin
  • Click on ‘Plugins’, ‘Installed Plugins’
  • Find ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin
  • Click on ‘Activate Plugin

3.  Go to Settings of ‘Google XML Sitemaps’ Plugin

After you activate the Google XML sitemaps plugin you now have to go to the settings to build the sitemap of your site.

Google XML Sitemap - Go to Settings

Google XML Sitemap – Go to Settings
  • Click on ‘Settings’
  • Click on ‘XML-Sitemap

4.  Build XML Sitemap for Google and Other Search Engines

Here you will build your initial XML sitemap for your website.  After you create it once, it will continuously regenerate and add more links to your sitemap as you create more pages.  Your sitemap will be submitted to Google, Yahoo but you must still submit your sitemap manually through Google Webmaster tools.  (that will be the next tutorial).  Here you will build your XML sitemap.

Build your XML Sitemap - Google XML Sitemaps

Build your XML Sitemap – Google XML Sitemaps
  • At the top of the page – XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress
  • Click on ‘Click here‘ to build your sitemap for the first time.

5.  See XML Sitemap is Created

Now your XML sitemap has been created.   You don’t need to touch this WordPress plugin anymore since the XML sitemap will continuosly add links by itself.  All you need to do is now go to Google Webmaster tools to submit your XML sitemap.

XML Sitemap created using Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin

XML Sitemap created using Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin

Will say:

  • Your sitemap was last built on April 16, 2013 8:26 pm.
  • Your sitemap (zipped) was last built on April 16, 2013 8:26 pm.
  • Google was successfully notified about changes.
  • Bing was successfully notified about changes.
  • The building process took about 0.23 seconds to complete and used 25 MB of memory.

6.  Location of XML Sitemap

When you submit your XML sitemap to Google webmaster tools or Bing Webmaster Tools, you will need to know your XML sitemap location.  You can find this at the bottom of the settings page.

Location of XML Sitemap - Google XML Sitemaps
Location of XML Sitemap – Google XML Sitemaps
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page ‘XML Sitemap Generator for WordPress’
  • See the heading ‘Location of your sitemap file’
  • Record this link for future use.  Your sitemap file location is in the ‘Detected URL’, for example my sitemap location is:
    • http://www.cmsmind.com/sitemap.xml

The next step, as mentioned above is tackling how to submit your sitemap location to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools.

That will be in my next tutorial.  Click here for my next tutorial on how to submit your XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.

Thanks,

Elaine

 

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