How to Create an XML and HTML Sitemap in WordPress

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When you finish creating a new WordPress website, of course you want your content to appear in search results. One of the first steps in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to create an XML sitemap for your WordPress site.

Want your website to appear faster in Google search results? It's simple, you just need to create a sitemap for your website. Fortunately, how to create a sitemap in WordPress is quite easy. You don't need to understand coding to create a sitemap for your website. 

With the help of a plugin, your website will automatically have a sitemap! Amazing, right? In terms of optimizing a WordPress website, a Sitemap is one of the most important SEO techniques. With a sitemap, visitors and search engine bots can see your website structure better. Sitemaps also provide a better user experience for visitors, as well as provide accurate information for search engines to crawl.

So, in this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about what a WordPress sitemap is, its benefits, the differences between XML and HTML sitemaps, and how they can help your website's SEO.

Apart from that, we will also explain how to create a sitemap for a WordPress website and how to submit a sitemap to Google and Bing. Without further ado, we will start the discussion below..


What are Sitemaps?


How to Create an XML and HTML Sitemap in WordPress

Sitemap is a list of website pages that can be accessed by users and search engines. This list serves to provide instructions to users and search engines regarding all pages that can be accessed on the website.

In other words, the function of a sitemap is the same as a map or floor plan. When search engines are crawling your website, a sitemap can help them find all the pages on your website. That's why creating a sitemap is a part of SEO techniques.

What Are the Benefits of Installing a Sitemap?


Here are some of the benefits of a sitemap for a website:

  • Allows pages on the website to be easily found by search engines and can be indexed more quickly.
  • The sitemap can tell search engines about changes to the structure of the website.
  • Make it easier for search engines to index websites that have many pages and are not structured or do not have internal links.

Understanding the Difference Between an XML Sitemap and an HTML Sitemap


In general, sitemaps can be categorized into two, namely:

  • XML Sitemap – specially made for search engines. The contents are metadata, website URL, and information if there is the latest update on the website URL.
  • HTML Sitemap – made for users or website visitors. Its function is to facilitate navigation. So, visitors can easily access all pages on your website.

Both types of sitemaps have a positive influence on SEO. An XML sitemap can help search engines find your website, while an HTML sitemap can add value to the user experience on your website.

Then, how do you create an XML sitemap and HTML sitemap? Relax, we will discuss both of them in the next section.


How to Create an XML Sitemap in WordPress


Below, we will explain how to create an XML sitemap on a WordPress website using two different plugins. Let's listen!

a. Option 1: How to Create an XML Sitemap with the Yoast SEO Plugin


The Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most popular plugins to improve WordPress SEO.

Besides being useful for optimizing SEO content, this plugin can also help you create an XML sitemap, you know. Here's how to install it:

  • Install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin, for how to install a plugin, please follow the tutorial on how to install a WordPress plugin.

How to Create an XML and HTML Sitemap in WordPress

  • After the SEO plugin is activated, select the SEO > Features menu and activate the Advanced settings pages section.
  • This feature will enable an XML sitemap for your WordPress website and an XML Sitemaps menu will appear under the SEO menu.
  • Happy! Now your website has succeeded in having an XML sitemap. You can open the sitemap URL in the XML Sitemap link.

How to Create an XML and HTML Sitemap in WordPress

b. Option 2: How to Create an XML Sitemap with the XML Sitemaps Plugin


Another plugin you can rely on to create XML sitemaps is XML Sitemaps. This plugin creates a sitemap for all WordPress pages and custom URLs. In addition, it will automatically notify search engines when new content is published. Here's how to install it!

  • Install and activate the XML Sitemaps plugin.

Install and activate the XML Sitemaps plugin.

  • Once activated, the plugin will automatically generate a sitemap for your website.
  • To check the sitemap, please access the sitemap URL via the Settings > XML Sitemap menu on the WordPress dashboard.

WordPress dashboard.


How do I add an HTML Sitemap to my WordPress site?


If you want to create an HTML sitemap, you can use the WP Sitemap Page plugin. Regarding how to install it, please follow the steps below:

  • Install and activate the WP Sitemap Page plugin on your website

WP Sitemap Page plugin

  • Create a new page and add the following shortcode to the post [wp_sitemap_page].
  • Please click Publish. To see the changes, please access the URL of the page. The result will more or less look like the following image.

How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Webmasters


How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Webmasters

An XML sitemap created using a plugin will indeed be submitted automatically to search engine webmasters. However, there are times when we want to submit an XML sitemap manually so that our website can be indexed by search engines immediately.

Therefore, in this section we will explain how to submit an XML sitemap manually on Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster.

1. How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Google Search Console


After your website's XML sitemap has been successfully created, you can submit it to Google Webmaster Tools, or now it's commonly called Google Search Console.

  • First of all, you need to verify ownership of your website first.
  • After completing verification, please go to the Google Search Console page and select the new website that you added.
  • On the left menu, click Sitemaps.
  • In the Add a new sitemap field, enter your sitemap URL and click the Submit button.

How to Create an XML and HTML Sitemap in WordPress

  • Please wait a few days for Google's robots to process your submission and crawl your page.

If your website contains a lot of images, we highly recommend creating an image sitemap. You can also create a video sitemap if you have a lot of video content on your website.

2. How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Bing Webmaster


Bing is a search engine besides Google that you need to submit your website sitemap. The same thing as submitting to Google, you also need to verify your website first. To verify the blog to Bing via the following link, make sure you have created a Microsoft account.

Apart from Google, Bing is one of the most used search engines. Therefore, one of the right steps to increase natural search results on our website is to register a domain with Bing webmaster tools. During the verification process, please enter your website's XML sitemap and press the Add button.

Does WordPress have a Built in Sitemap?


Sitemap is the most important part of a website. A sitemap not only enhances the user experience, but also helps speed up the indexing process and search engine crawlers by robots.

We hope that the steps in this tutorial will help you understand how to create a sitemap on a WordPress website and link it to search engines. Apart from creating a sitemap, there are many other ways you can try to optimize your website's SEO.


Conclusion


In this article, you have learned what a sitemap is and how to create a sitemap in WordPress. To create a sitemap, you can do it manually and use a plugin. If you choose the manual method, you can determine what information will be included in the sitemap. 

However, this method is more troublesome and takes longer because it requires a validator tool. If you want an easier way, you can use the Yoast SEO and Google XML plugins. 

After that, you also need to submit your WordPress sitemap to Google and Bing, which we have also explained here. So, do you still have questions? Please convey via the comments column below, yes...!!
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