Having a sitemap is important and useful as it tells search engines how your content is being organized and helps Web crawlers do a better job when crawling your blog. As a our blog grows over time, it is essential that a plugin can dynamically generate updated sitemap and automatically update the search engines on new content/links that are added. On this post, I have shortlisted 5 of the best WordPress plugins that you can use to create XML sitemaps.
1. Google XML Sitemaps
The free plugin has been around for close to a decade, and does fantastic work generating XML sitemaps for search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com. With over 18 million downloads, and having a rating close to 5 stars, this is one of the plugin that you can trust to create your XML sitemaps. The plugin basically runs out of the box and sitemaps are generated dynamically. Just install and activate. It works in the background, and automatically updates the sitemaps when you publish new posts on your WordPress blog.
If you have specific requirements, the plugin doesn’t disappoint. For your information, I’ll just name some of them:
- Specify URLs to be excluded from the sitemap.
- Indicate the type of content to include in the sitemap (post, page, tags, categories, etc).
- Excluding specific categories.
- Excluding posts using IDs.
- Determine the frequency of update on each content type.
- Setting priority on your content type.
2. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps (BWP GXS)
With BWP GXS, you don’t have to worry about the limitation of sitemaps imposed by Google. Currently the limit of a single sitemap is capped at 10MB (uncompressed) and no more than 50,000 URLs. The plugin automatically split your sitemap once the limit is reached. Excluding of specific posts or categories can be done via settings too.
Other than creating the standard sitemap, the plugin provides the following functionality:
- Sitemap Index – purpose is to group several sitemaps that are split because it’s over the limit.
- Multi-site compatible – each blog within your network will have their individual sitemap index, and sitemap.
- Google News sitemap
- Option to customize sitemaps using modules.
- Image sitemap – ability to add in Feature Images (if your WordPress theme supports) to your post-based sitemap.
3. Yoast SEO
Yoast plugins have been mentioned a couple of times, so this is going to be a brief one. The plugin is essentially an all-in-one SEO application, so if you are a beginner on WordPress or prefer to have a plugin that consolidate all SEO features including the generating of XML sitemap, then this is for you. The plugin automatically creates XML sitemaps, and notifies Google and Bing of it’s existence. Images are also included for better indexing in search engines. Read more on the Yoast plugin here.
4. XML Sitemap & Google News feeds
The plugin dynamically generates XML sitemaps and whenever there are new posts on your blog, it automatically pings search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo, Yandex and Baidu. For users who are using caching plugins and facing compatibility issues, give this plugin a try since it is supposedly compatible with WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache and Quick Cache.
Key functions and features include:
- Comply with XML sitemap and Google News Protocol.
- Works on Multi-Site.
- Custom/Static sitemap can be added.
- Options to define what to be added or excluded.
- Includes XLS stylesheets for human readable sitemaps.
- Polylang compatible.
5. All-in-One SEO Pack
All-in-One SEO Pack by Semper, is a multi-purpose SEO plugin that offers the creation of XML sitemaps as well. The plugin had been around for ages, and has been downloaded over 26 millions times currently. As with most of the sitemaps plugin, you have the options to set the priorities, frequency, inclusion and exclusion of post types and categories. One of the features worth a mention is the ability to add in URLs that are not managed by your WordPress blog onto the sitemap.
Which is your preferred WordPress plugin to create and manage your XML sitemap?
Extra: Looking for more plugins to make your blog better?
-> Check out what plugins the best bloggers are using here.
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