XML sitemap is mapping of webpages in a language that search engines can understand. Search engines process the pages listed in the sitemaps for the purpose of crawling and indexing. So, XML Sitemap is of utmost importance in SEO which makes the webpage intelligently visible to search engines and bots. All in One SEO Pack is the most popular SEO plugin in WordPress platform. It optimizes webpages for social media along with search engines. Apart from simply adding meta information to the webpages, it has lots of additional features like XML Sitemap, Social Meta, Robots.txt, File Editor, Bad Bot Blocker, Importer & Exporter and Video Sitemap. After you install All in One SEO Pack plugin these features are disabled by default. So you need to enable them manually. One of the important feature is XML Sitemap. This article shows how you can enable XML sitemaps in All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress. Initially, you had to install a separate plugin for generating XML Sitemap apart from SEO Plugin itself. From 2.0.3 release, All in One SEO Pack Plugin has integrated the XML Sitemap Module that generates XML sitemap and submit to search engines from the plugin itself.
Enable XML sitemaps in All in One SEO Pack Plugin
Step 1: Enabling the XML Sitemap Feature
After installing and activating the plugin, Go to All in One SEO Pack > Feature Manager. There you will find a list of additional modules. Simply locate the first option (box) “XML Sitemaps” and click on Activate button.
Step 2: Configuring XML Sitemap Settings
After activating the XML Sitemap module, a tab menu “XMl Sitemap” appears under “All in One SEO” tab. Click on that button.
Now the XML Sitemap setting page opens.
Filename Prefix will set the name for the sitemap. You need not change the default prefix “sitemap” which is easier for search engines to understand.
Notify Google/Bing: Tick the option to notify Google and Bing about the new changes done in the sitemap. This option assures search engines about the most updated version of the sitemap file in ranking and traces the removal and changes done in the pages. The sitemap submission to search engines like Google and Bing also ensures that no 404 pages get listed in the latest sitemap.
Schedule Updates: Ticking this option makes the sitemap to be updated on daily, weekly or monthly basis. Google recommends matching this with the update frequency of your pages or posts.
Enable Sitemap Indexes: Enabling this option makes single sitemap index file comprising of many individual xml sitemap files. It is not recommended to enable if your website has less than 50,000 URLs or static sitemap file is lesser than 10MB in size.
Paginate Sitemap Indexes: If Sitemap Indexes is enabled, this option will paginate the individual sitemap files (pages) with option to set the number of links per sitemap page.
Post Types: This option will include posts types to be included in the sitemap file. All post types, posts only, pages or media/attachments can be selected. The sitemap will include only the post type selected here.
Other options are Taxonomies, Create Compressed Sitemap, Link From Virtual Robots.txt, Dynamically Generate Sitemap etc: These are checked by default. You should tick Include Date Archive Pages and Include Author Page if date archive pages or Author Page is to be included in the sitemap.
Additional Pages: This option lets user to enter inner pages that are not part of the WordPress installation along with extra information like Page Priority, Page Frequency and Last Modified Date. For example, you can list page that is created by a contact form here.
Excluded Items: This option lets user exclude categories and pages by entering slug or page id. Excluding the pages or categories discourage the search engines to crawl and rank them.
Priorities: In this section, priorities of Homepage, posts and taxonomies can be set. Priorities can be set on numbers like 0.0, 0.1, 0.2 etc up to 1.0. Upper priorities get more importance in crawling process by search engines.
Frequencies: These options will decide how frequently your inner pages be crawled by search engines. The homepage, posts or taxonomies can be set as “always, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, never”. If always/never selected, the search engines will always/never crawl those pages, if set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, search engines will crawl those pages/posts accordingly.
After updating these options, simply click on Update Sitemap button to update these options.
Thus, All in One SEO Pack Plugin, though being a SEO Plugin primarily, makes it possible to the admins not to use separate plugin to generate XML sitemap. Its available features and functionalities are great enough to make it standard as well as popular WordPress plugin so far.
Dhiraj Bikram Khadka
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