Today is an exciting day. If you’ve been following along with our 19 steps to start a blog the right way, you are almost done! Today we are going to teach how to create an XML Sitemap in preparation for submitting your websites to search engines.
You could create your own sitemap following Google’s instructions, or use an online, sitemap generator. I have found that it is easier to use a plug-in. As bloggers, we add pages (posts) on a very regular basis and trying to keep a sitemap up to date takes a lot of effort and time. Time spent on content rather than a sitemap is time better spent.
I use the Google XML Sitemaps (with an s) by Arne Brachhold. Even though it has Google in the name, it is also optimized for Bing and Yahoo. This plug-in is the#1 top rated plugin on WordPress.org
To install the Google XML Sitemaps plug-in go to your WordPress dashboard – Plugins – Add New. In the search box type Google XML Sitemaps. Click install now. Once that is complete, click activate plugin.
Once activated, you will be taken back to the plugins page, scroll down to the Google XML Sitemap plugin and click settings. You will see a note saying the sitemap wasn’t generated yet. Click build it. The default settings work for most bloggers, but feel free to adjust them if you’d like.
Your XML Sitemap is now all ready to go! If you are ready, you can launch your blog!
To review your sitemap settings at anytime, navigate to Settings – XML Sitemap. This page will tell you the last time your sitemap was update and if there are any problems with the sitemap. You can also view your sitemap by clicking the link in the top box, next to the text, “The URL to your sitemap index file is:”
If you’d like to see an example, here is our sitemap. It is created with the XML Sitemap plugin.