What is an XML sitemap and why should you have one

A good XML sitemap acts as a roadmap of your website which leads Google to all your important pages. XML sitemaps can be good for SEO, as they allow Google to quickly find your essential website pages, even if your internal linking isn’t perfect. This post explains what XML sitemaps are and how they help you rank better.

--- What is an XML sitemap and why should you have one

  

Supported plugins

If your plugin support the below feature, you can generate XML sitemap too.

  • Plugins can output Sitemap URL into robots.txt


 

Setting ups

  • Setting up XML sitemap on Yoast SEO 
  • Setting up XML sitemap on Google XML Sitemaps 

 

Setting up XML sitemap on Yoast SEO 

1.  After starting WordPress, install Yoast SEO plugin and activate it.

2.Enable [XML sitemaps] under [Features] tab on [General] menu.

3. Access robots.txt 

Virtual robots.txt is generated. Let's access it.
For example, if the running WordPress URL is
https://134bbb1e-980e-11e8-8fe5-ee22392b58ae.app.getshifter.io:43788 , add /robots.txt to tail of that URL and access it.

Sample robots.txt:


User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Sitemap: https://134bbb1e-980e-11e8-8fe5-ee22392b58ae.app.getshifter.io:43788/sitemap_index.xml

  

4. Check sitemap file

Navigate to URL of Sitemap which is displayed on robots.txt.
In this sample, URL is https://134bbb1e-980e-11e8-8fe5-ee22392b58ae.app.getshifter.io:43788/sitemap_index.xml 

5. Generate and deploy

After checking sitemap file, let's make it public.
 

6. Check robots.txt file again.

Access your Shifter site adding /robots.txt  to the tail of the URL.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Sitemap: http://modest-wescoff7228.on.getshifter.io/sitemap_index.xml

  

7. Check sitemap file again.

 

That's all!

The search engine's crawler will access XML Sitemap file through robots.txt.
 

Note

If you already installed Surbma – Yoast SEO Sitemap to robots.txt, it will be removed from your plugin directory with the following error. But never mind Shifter use it as  Must-Use plugin and avoid to multiple installed Surbma.

  

 

Setting up XML sitemap on Google XML Sitemaps 

1. Install and activate the plugin

2. Access robots.txt 

Virtual robots.txt is generated. Let's access it.
For example, if the running WordPress URL is
https://134bbb1e-980e-11e8-8fe5-ee22392b58ae.app.getshifter.io:43788 , add /robots.txt to tail of that URL and access it.

Sample robots.txt:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Sitemap: https://134bbb1e-980e-11e8-8fe5-ee22392b58ae.app.getshifter.io:43788/sitemap_index.xml

3. Check the sitemap.xml

Sitemap's URL on app will be like this: https://134bbb1e-980e-11e8-8fe5-ee22392b58ae.app.getshifter.io:43788/sitemap.xml .


XML Sitemap Index generated by
Google XML Sitemaps plugin

4. Disable notification settings

To avoid sending temporary URL to search engines, uncheck the following two checkboxes under [Basic Option]

  • Notify Google about updates of your site
  • Notify Bing (formerly MSN Live Search) about updates of your site

5. Generate and deploy artifact

After checking sitemap file, let's make it public.
Click [Generate Artifact] button

6. Check robots.txt file again.

Access your Shifter site adding /robots.txt  to the tail of the URL.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Sitemap: http://modest-wescoff7228.on.getshifter.io/sitemap_index.xml

7. Access deployed site and its generated sitemap.xml

The sitemap's URL on deployed site will be like this:
https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml
or  
https://foobar.on.getshifter.io/sitemap.xml
 

XML Sitemap Index generated by Google XML Sitemaps plugin on deployed site

That's all!

The search engine's crawler will access XML Sitemap file through robots.txt.

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