It is extremely easy to create a sitemap, which will help with the indexing of your website. You will find more on this topic in our article “How important is a sitemap for the indexing of my site?“. You can then comfortably submit your sitemap to the Google and Bing. For more on this, please see “How can I submit a sitemap to Google?”
Sitemaps for search engines have to be in a specific “machine-readable” format, which means that it needs to be hierarchically structured. Additionally, the sitemap needs to use the XML sitemap protocol for the markup. This is the reason why this type of sitemap is called an XML sitemap.
Creating an XML sitemap
Every webmaster can easily and quickly create an XML sitemap for their website. The free sitemap generator XML-Sitemaps.com can help.
If your website does not have more than 500 pages, you can use the free online XML sitemap generator to quickly generate an XML sitemap.
Once the XML sitemap is generated, you have the ability to download the files or send them to your email.
Aside from the XML sitemap “sitemap.xml”, which is important for search engines, a few additional files are generated:
- the essential file
- the sitemap.xml file compressed into a gzip file. This file will be treated the same as the uncompressed sitemap.xml file
- an HTML sitemap for website visitors
- a simple text file that lists all URLs in the sitemap
- an XML-based sitemap with added RSS
Using an XML Sitemap
Next you have to move the freshly generated “sitemap.xml” into the main directory (root) of your own domain.
The XML sitemap has to be accessible through your own domain:
The result should look something like this:
You can also decide to use the “sitemap.xml.gz”, whose file-size is a lot smaller thanks to the compressed format.
As far as the other files are concerned, they can either be ignored or uploaded to your own webspace.
Once the XML sitemap can be reached on your own domain, you should submit it to Google.
It is also possible to automatically create your sitemaps:
Additional information on this topic:
- Google Search Console Help: Creating Sitemaps
- Online XML-Sitemap Generator (XML-Sitemaps.com)
- XML-Sitemap-Protocol (sitemaps.org)
- Overview of different sitemap variations