Before going into the details of this guide and explain yourself how to create a sitemap, it is necessary to make a necessary distinction between site map (often also called sitemap) e Sitemap XML.
The first is a normal Web page in which a real sitemap is manually created with links to all the pages of the latter (or to the main sections for large websites), useful for facilitating both the navigation of human users who for crawling by the Google robot (called Googlebot) which has the task of crawling the web to index the contents.
The XML Sitemap, on the other hand, is a file that collects all the URLs of an Internet site that the owner of the latter wants to submit to search engines for crawling and, consequently, for indexing such content. Having made this necessary premise, let's take action.
Create an XML Sitemap
Pe create an XML Sitemap it is possible to rely on external tools which, after having scanned your website, automatically create a file containing all the URLs of the site itself.
Create a WordPress sitemap
If your website is built with WordPress, you will be pleased to know that there are numerous plugins to automatically create your blog's XML Sitemap.
Among the first tools you can consider is Google XML Sitemap, a completely free plugin that not only creates an XML Sitemap, but automatically reports to search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo e Ask) new content published.
To add this plugin to your website, go to Dashboard WordPress, click on the entry Plugin present in the sidebar on the left and, in the new open page, presses the button Add new. Now, write "Google XML Sitemap”In the field Searching for plugins e pulsing sul pulsating Install now related to the plugin in question, then wait for the installation to be completed and click on the button activate. If any steps are not clear to you, I leave you to my guide on how to use WordPress.
Automatically, Google XML Sitemap will go into operation generating the XML Sitemap of your website, which will be sent to search engines at the first update of an existing content or when a new article or page is published. If, on the other hand, you want to submit the sitemap right away, click on the entry Settings, scegli l'opzione XML Sitemap from the menu that appears and, in the newly opened page, click on the option your sitemap visible next to the item Notify Search Engines about.
It will be useful to know that, from the plugin settings, you can also manually add the pages to be included in the Sitemap by acting in the section Additional Pages, while in the box Sitemap content you can choose which content to include or exclude (home page, Articles, pages, tag pages, category, author pages etc.).
Besides Google XML Sitemap, there are also other plugins to generate your own website sitemap. Another popular tool you can consider is Yoast SEO, a free plugin (also available in a paid PRO version) that implements useful features from an SEO perspective (search engine optimization).
If you are already using this tag management plugin Title e Meta description of your pages, surely the blog XML Sitemap has already been generated automatically after installing and activating Yoast SEO. To check this, log in to Dashboard WordPress, click on the entry SEO present in the sidebar on the left, choose the tab Functionality and make sure that the lever is under the item Sitemap XML sia spostata her ON.
If, on the other hand, you are using another XML sitemap builder plugin, disable the Yoast SEO sitemap builder feature - having two XML files is not beneficial for search engines and may slow down your site.
Other solutions to create a sitemap
If your website is made with another CMS or you want to know other solutions to create a sitemap without relying on plugins, you can use XML-Sitemaps, a website that allows you to easily create your own XML Sitemap for free.
To proceed, connected to the main page of XML-Sitemaps, enter the address of your website in the field Your Website URL e pulsing sul pulsating Home. Wait, then, for the crawl of your site to be completed, press the button View Sitemap details and, on the newly opened page, click the button Download your XML Sitemap file to download the newly generated XML file to your computer.
In order for the XML sitemap created to be available on your website and to be sent to search engines, it must be uploaded to your web space directory. To do this, you can use one of the FTP programs that allow you to create a connection with the server that host your website and upload and download files from it.
For example, if you use FileZilla, click the button Site manager (l'icona dei three white rectangles top left), press the button New site and enter the data required for connection with the server which are usually indicated in the email sent by your web service provider at the time of activation.
After establishing the connection with the server, in the box Remote site (bottom right) make sure you have selected the root folder of your website, then locate the XML file present on your computer (and visible in the box Local site), drag it to the folder indicated above and you're done. To learn more, you can read my guide on how to use FileZilla.
Create a sitemap for Google
If you have followed the instructions I have given you in the previous paragraphs, you must know that you already have created a sitemap for Google. All you have to do is communicate it to the famous search engine via Search Console, a free tool from Google that allows you to check the health of your website.
To submit your XML Sitemap to Google via Search Console, connected to the main page of the service, press the button Sign up now and, if you haven't already, log in with your Google account. Then choose the account of your interest on the screen Scegli an account, enter the Password in the ready field and click on the button NEXT. If, on the other hand, you don't have a Google account yet, my guide on how to create a Google account may be useful.
Adesso, click on the button ≡ at the top left, choose the option Add property, enter your website address in the field Site URL and click on the button Continue, then follow the instructions shown on the screen to check your website and press the buttons Verifica e Go to the property.
In the newly opened page, click on the item Sitemap present in the sidebar on the left and enter the address of yours Sitemap XML in the appropriate field. It will be useful to know that the XML Sitemap address is usually www.sitename.extension / sitemap.xml o www.nomesito.estensione / sitemap_index.xml if you use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
Then copy the relative URL of your XML Sitemap (i.e. the part of the address that follows the domain extension), paste it in the field Enter the sitemap URL e pulsing sul pulsating Send. If everything went well, you will see the message Sitemap submitted.
You should know that after submitting your XML Sitemap to Google, it will take a few days to process all the data and get the first feedback. In the section Sitemap of Search Console, as soon as Google finishes the first scan of the file sent, the web pages sent, those indexed and any errors and warnings will be visible.How to create a sitemap