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Sitemap Generator

In the vast and ever-expanding landscape of the internet, websites are like islands. And just as explorers of old needed maps to navigate unknown territories, search engines require a special kind of map to find their way through the vast digital ocean of web pages. This virtual map is known as an XML Sitemap, and it plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your website is discovered, indexed, and ranked by search engines.

What is an XML Sitemap?

An XML Sitemap is a specially formatted XML file that lists all the essential pages of your website, along with additional metadata about each page, such as its last modification date and priority. It serves as a roadmap for search engine crawlers, guiding them through the hierarchy and structure of your website. Contrary to what the name suggests, XML sitemaps are not visible to regular website visitors; they are designed exclusively for search engines.

An XML Sitemap consists of a set of XML tags that provide information about your website's content. Some key elements commonly found in an XML Sitemap are the "urlset", "url", "loc", "priority" and "lastmod". The "urlset" tag is the root of your XML sitemap. It contains a collection of all of your site's URLs. The "url" tag is the root tag for each URL in a sitemap. It nests other tags such as the "loc", "priority" and "lastmod". The "loc" tag stores the actual URL of your site. The "priority" tag lists the priority of each link in your sitemap file. Finally, the "lastmod" tag represents the last date of modification for a page.

Why you Need an XML Sitemap?

A sitemap is important for many reasons. The most significant of those reasons is enhanced discoverability. Imagine your website as a library with thousands of books. Without a catalog, visitors might struggle to find the specific book they're looking for. Similarly, search engines need XML Sitemaps to discover and index all the pages on your site efficiently. By providing a comprehensive list of URLs, XML Sitemaps ensure that no important page remains hidden in the depths of your website.

Sitemaps also provide faster indexing for your site. In the world of search engines, time is of the essence. XML Sitemaps expedite the indexing process by offering a clear path for crawlers to follow. When you create or update content, search engines can quickly identify the changes through the "lastmod" tag, leading to faster inclusion in search results.

Lastly, XML sitemaps help improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of your site. SEO is a combination of various strategies, and XML sitemaps are a fundamental component. When search engines can easily crawl and index your site, it positively impacts your search ranking. Additionally, by specifying the priority of each page, you can guide search engines to focus on your most valuable content.

How Often Should I Update my XML Sitemap?

Because an XML sitemap is a digital map of your site to search engines, it is essential to ensure that it is always up to date. Whenever you make a change to the structure of your website such as adding new pages or archiving old pages, you should always generate a new sitemap. In addition, changing the content in your site's pages also requires you to generate a new sitemap. This is because the "lastmod" tag changes and it indicates to search engines that your page has been updated. This will then result in your site's content being indexed and appearing in search results.

Just like updating your sitemap has positive effects, leaving your old sitemap could potentially hinder your site's performance. An old sitemap will contain the old "lastmod" tag for each URL. Thus, search engines will not index the newer version of your webpage. Although your page could show up in results, the actual content that is indexed by search engines like Google will be old. This means your page's preview in search results will display the old content which could possibly affect your site's clickthrough rate.

Best Practices for XML Sitemaps

There are several things to keep in mind in regard to your sitemap and its validity. Firstly, always remember to keep it up to date. Although this seems obvious, many people forget to update their sitemap when they update their site. Secondly, ensure your website doesn't have duplicate pages. These are pages with different URLs but the same content. When these pages appear in your sitemap, search engines usually crawl only one or another. In some cases, none of them are indexed. Lastly, remember to resubmit your sitemap whenever you change it. Search engines don't automatically pick up on changes to your sitemap. This is why it is necessary to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console whenever you change it.

How do I Upload my Sitemap?

Uploading your sitemap is an easy process. Firstly, you generate a new sitemap using our website. Next, you will download your sitemap and upload it to your website's root directory. Lastly, you will add your sitemap to Google Search Console. Just like that, your sitemap is uploaded to Google and will get crawled. We have an article where we explain this procedure in further detail here.

How do I Create a Sitemap?

Sitemaps can be created either manually or programmatically through the use of an online generator. Although it can be done manually, it is highly recommended that you don't create it manually. This is because it will require an immense amount of effort to gather all the links in your site and then wrap them in the appropriate tags. There is also a pretty high chance that you mess up somewhere writing the tags for hundreds of your site's links.

Because manually creating a sitemap is nearly impossible, we recommend using our sitemap generator. The sitemap generator allows you to generate an unlimited number of sitemaps for any website completely free of charge. It is very time-efficient and always results in a valid sitemap that doesn't contain errors.

How it Works?

To create your sitemap, our website first takes the URL you provided. It then proceeds to crawl your website and extract all links from it. They are then filtered to get rid of all links that don't produce a 200 Status Code or are duplicate links. This indicates that the link is working and that it is a valid link. After all that happens, it makes sure that the link is either a webpage, JSON file, or some kind of text file such as an MS Word Document or Pdf Document. We do this to ensure that the link found is an actual link and not a source reference to a static file. From that point, the links are then assigned a "priority" and "lastmod" attribute respectively. Lastly, an XML file is created where all of your links are placed and assigned all of their respective attributes. Finally, when this process is complete, you are prompted to download your sitemap.

If you have any inquiries, suggestions, or simply enjoy our service, feel free to Contact us. Please also consider trying our Email Validator or Favicon Generator if you found this Sitemap Generator helpful. In addition, we have also released a free sitemap API for developers. To learn more, take a look at our Documentation.