What is XML Site Map:
Around 5 to 6 years before you may have seen a sitemap option in menu on many websites and blogs, especially on government websites. That time the sitemap used to be in HTML and consisted of the list of articles on that particular website. Basically it was for human users to help them navigate the website easily. Today the sitemap’s are generally in xml.
Difference between XML sitemap and HTML sitemap:
In simplest words HTML sitemap is for human users while XML sitemap is for search engines. It helps search engines to crawl the website easily and notifies the changes in the website. It also tells them the importance of particular article, updating frequency etc. It’s extremely important getting good results in Search engines.
How to Create a XML Sitemap:
There are several ways by which you can create a XML sitemap. The obvious method is to create a sitemap manually. It’s tedious task and it’s always better to use a sitemap generator or use a plugin if you are WordPress user. Though we can use xml sitemap generator or plugin it’s always better to know how to create xml sitemap. Below in this post we will see how to create sitemap by each one of these methods.
Method 1: How to Create XML Sitemap Manually:
To create sitemap manually, we first need to create a sitemap.xml file. Once you create it open it in notepad.
The basic structure of XML sitemap is as shown 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.example.com/</loc> <changefreq>daily</changefreq> </url> </urlset>
Here, we give the list of all url’s in our website by using the opening and closing url tag and change frequency by opening and closing <changefreq> tag.
In <urlset> tag we include all the links present in our website.
How to Generate XML Sitemap Online:
Apart from creating manual sitemap, you can also generate it online. To generate online sitemap follow the below steps:
- Go to http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
- Enter url and set the change frequency.
- Also set the priority.
So, in this way you have created sitemap of your website. Now after creating a sitemap we need to submit sitemap to search engines.
How to Submit sitemap to search Engines:
Sitemap is of no use unless you submit it to search engines. To submit sitemap to Google you need to have a Google webmaster account. If you have one proceed with the steps below or first create an Google Webmaster account.
Submit sitemap to Google:
- submit your sitemap to root folder of your website using FTP i.e submit it to public_html
- Log in to Google Webmaster account.
- Open the site for which you want to submit sitemap
- Go to crawl >> sitemaps
- Now click on add/test sitemap in top right corner.
- Give the address of sitemap where you uploaded basically if you have uploaded to root folder it is sitename.com/sitemap.xml
- Now click on submit sitemap
- Now refresh the page and you can see the total links submitted.
- You will get the index status report in couple of hours.