Sitemap is a web page that displays complete information about all the pages of the site that are needed for search engines. Someone will say that it is not needed, because all sections are already displayed. However, the need for such a page exists if the site contains fifty pages or more. For search engines and for users, it will serve as a guide to help you understand where this or that information is contained.
XML and HTML files
Since the site map is used not only for search robots, but also for users visiting the site, they usually make up two maps: in XML and HTML formats.
To create a Sitemap for search engines, use an XML file. Thanks to him, robots enter new indexed pages into their search base . In the absence of a map on a multi-page site, a large number of pages may not be indexed for sometimes a very long time.
An HTML file is used to create a site map for users. The importance of this card lies in the fact that its convenience directly depends on whether the user finds the information that interests him or not. Therefore, such a map is created for those Internet projects in which all sections and their subsections do not fit in the main menu.
How to create a sitemap XML
There are three ways to solve this problem:
To significantly save time, the purchase of generators is proposed. Therefore, if twenty to thirty dollars for buying a license is a waste of money for a webmaster, then buying it, especially for a large Internet resource, still does not hurt, since you will not need to create a website manually then.
For a site containing several hundred pages, online services are recommended, where in order to create a Sitemap, you will only need to specify the address of the Internet resource and download the result.
The surest option is to manually create a map. To do this, you need to know tags such as url, urlset, loc, lastmod, changefreg and priority. At the same time, the first three tags are considered mandatory, and you can do without the last three.
Creating a Sitemap in Joomla
To create a Sitemap on a site, Joomla and Wordpress have special additions, like most well-known administration systems, thanks to which a site map is created manually or automatically. For large Internet projects in which materials are constantly updated, such an addition is very convenient.
In "Jumla" it is called Xmap, in Wordpress - Google XML Sitemaps.
Auto create site map
Automatically create a Sitemap help free online servers, if the site has no more than five hundred pages. Here's how easy site map generation is:
Going to one of these Internet resources, you need to find the “Generate Sitemap” item, click on the “Create” button and create a Sitemap automatically.
Find the “site URL” and enter there the address of the site for which the map is being created.
Perhaps the system will require the introduction of a verification code. You must also enter it and press "Start".
The finished map is uploaded to the site.
Manual way to create a map
This method is, on the one hand, the most difficult, time-consuming, but on the other hand, it is the surest way to apply when other options are not suitable. So, for example, if there are many pages that do not need to be added to the site map, but automatically, of course, they get there, a manual way will save the card from “overdosing” such pages. Another reason for choosing this method is poor site navigation.
To implement manual map creation, you must:
Collect pages to include them in the map.
Insert all addresses into the third column in the excel file.
In the 1st and 2nd columns, insert both url and loc.
In the 4th and 5th columns, insert the closing url and loc.
Apply the link function to join the five columns.
In sitemap do sitemap.xml.
Add both urlset and / urlset tags to this file.
Insert a connected column between them.
The resulting file must be checked. You can do this, for example, in Yandex, in the webmaster panel.
How to create a sitemap for Yandex and Google
After creating the site, it is added to the site. For this purpose, the file with the sitemap needs to be called Sitemap.xml and add it to the root directory. So that search robots quickly find it, there are special tools on Google and Yandex. They are called "Tools for Webmasters" (at Google) and "Yandex Webmaster" (at Yandex).
Adding a Sitemap to Google
You must go through the authorization process in Google’s Webmaster Tools at Google. Next, after choosing a site, go to the optimization / Sitemap files, click the "Download" button and confirm this operation.
Adding a Sitemap to Yandex
Similarly, in Yandex Webmaster, you must first log in. Then go to the indexing / Sitemap files, specify the file path there and click the "Add" button.
Site Map Tips
We recommend that you follow these tips when creating a site map:
Search robots today will take only those files that contain no more than fifty thousand url.
If the card exceeds ten megabytes, it is better to split it into several files. Thanks to this, there will be no server overload.
To create a Sitemap xml correctly, with several files, you need to register them all in the index file using the tags sitemapindex, sitemap, loc and lastmod.
All pages must be registered either with the prefix "www" or without using it.
The required file encoding is UTF8.
Also, an indication of the language namespace must be added to the file.
How to create a sitemap for users
Since such a map is created for users, it should be as simple and clear as possible. Despite this, it is necessary to qualitatively convey all the information about the structure of the site used.
HTML maps basically have a familiar user structure, consisting of sections and subsections highlighted in a certain way, for example, CSS styles and graphic elements.
To create a Sitemap for a large Internet project, as is the case with an XML map, splitting is also recommended here. In this case, it is carried out in the form of separate tabs, saving the card from cumbersomeness.
Order for site map file
It is advisable that the generated Sitemap file always has cleanliness and order, especially if the site has a large number of pages. Since search robots scan site maps very quickly, there may simply not be enough time to view the entire file of a large Internet resource.
Therefore, if you get used to adding pages to the site map not at the bottom, but at the top, then, on the one hand, there is no doubt that the search robot will have time to look up the addresses of new pages, and on the other hand, it will be much easier to control all pages.