There are a lot of plugins that can generate XML sitemaps. Out of them, XML Sitemaps plugin is a basic plugin that generates XML sitemaps and notifies major search engines about the changes in website automatically as per the settings defined. In this post, I will show steps to generate XML sitemaps using XML Sitemaps plugin in WordPress.
- In plugin settings page, there is provision of excluding or including of date archives, category, author and tags.
- Specific pages can be excluded from sitemap just by entering ids of those pages.
- Unlike other XML Sitemap Plugin, this plugin stores cached sitemap in the wp-content/sitemaps folder.
- This plugin assigns updates rate and weight automatically based upon statistics collected from the website.
- The site content update is checked on hourly basis and indexed as soon as the page contents changed.
- This plugin uses WP internals to find number of pages, posts, categories and tags on a website.
Generate XML Sitemaps using XML Sitemaps Plugin in WordPress
Step 1. Plugin Installation
Installing the plugin is simple. Go to Plugins > Add New. Then search for the keyword “XML Sitemaps” and click on the “Install Now” button. Then click on “Activate Plugin” to activate it.
Now, hover “Settings”, there appears a new sub menu “XML Sitemaps”. Configuration and update of the plugin can be done using this tab i.e., “XML Sitemaps”.
Step 2. Generating XML Sitemap
Once the plugin is installed and activated, there is no need to do extra steps to generate sitemap, i.e., XML sitemap is generated automatically. The sitemap is generated at the URL: http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml
Step 3. Configuring XML Sitemaps Plugin
Configuring the XML Sitemaps Plugin is very simple. The settings page can be accessed through WordPress Dashboard > Settings > XML Sitemaps.
In XML Sitemaps Settings page, there are several options to choose.
- Include Archive Pages: Ticking this option confirms date archive pages to be included in the sitemap.
- Include Author Pages: This option lets you choose whether to include author pages in your sitemap or not.
- Empty Author Pages: Ticking this option lets you include author page although it is empty, i.e., if the pages or posts is not yet published by its author.
- Include Category Pages: Ticking this option confirms to include category pages in the sitemap.
- Include Tag Pages: Ticking this option confirms to include tag pages in the sitemap.
- Exclude Pages: If you do not want to include specific page or set of pages, you can simply exclude them here. Just putting the ids of these pages here separated by comma will exclude them from the sitemap generated.
- Generate Mobile Sitemap: If your website is mobile-only site, simply click this option to generate sitemap in mobile devices.
After updating these settings as your requirement, click on Save Changes button to save and apply these changes.
This is all about generating XML sitemap using XML Sitemaps Plugin.
This plugin does not refresh the sitemap each time a post or page gets posted. If so, this would require a lot of resources if the site is large. Rather, the sitemap is generated if requested explicitly through the URL: http://yoursite.com/sitemap.xml which is cached inside the folder wp-content/sitemaps until new refresh is required. In this way, you can generate XML Sitemaps using XML Sitemaps plugin.
Dhiraj Bikram Khadka
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