How to properly create a sitemap on your site?

A sitemap is a key file that allows you to tell search engines information about which subpages, multimedia files (images, videos, etc.) or other components make up your site. This not only gives search engines information about the very existence of your site, without a sitemap your site will be virtually invisible to them. Furthermore it will also help them search its content, so they can easily extract relevant information from it, which they can then display to their users .

Creating an XML sitemap will therefore help you be visible in search engines (Google, Seznam.cz, Bing, etc.) – and this will ultimately increase traffic to your site. If you don’t have a sitemap created and no backlinks from other websites lead to your website, then this is even the only way to get into search engines at all and have pages indexed in them.

Creating a sitemap from scratch

You can create a sitemap relatively easily manually, although at a time when it can be generated in a few seconds (see below), this makes no sense in most cases. However, if you do throw yourself into creating a sitemap on your own, then it must always always contain a “<loc>” with the page URL and the introductory tags “<urlset>” and “<url>”. In addition, the basic sitemap may also contain information about the last modification of the website “<lastmod>”, how often the content of changes <“changefreq”>, or the importance of the given subpage on your website “<priority>” – from 0 to 1, where 1 indicates the highest importance of the subpage .

So the simplest sitemap can look like this:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>  
<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>  
    <url>  
        <loc>http://www.urlvasehowebu.cz/stranka1.html</loc>  
        <lastmod>2021-01-01</lastmod>  
        <changefreq>monthly</changefreq>  
        <priority>0.8</priority>  
    </url>  
</urlset> 



You can then check here if you managed to create the sitemap correctly and place it in the root directory of the website. All you have to do is insert a link to www.urlvasehowebu.cz/sitemap.xml into the validator.

How to do sitemap for different language versions of the site?

It is important to note that a sitemap must always be created for all language versions of your site in order to be searchable by all potential visitors. Therefore, if you have your website translated from the Czech original into the Slovak and English language versions, then the sitemap of individual subpages should look like this:

<url> 
  <loc>http://urlvasehowebu.cz/list1</loc> 
   <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="cs-CZ" href=" http://urlvasehowebu.cz/list1"/> 
   <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="sk-SK" href="http://urlvasehowebu.sk/list1"/> 
   <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-GB" href="http://urlvasehowebu.co.uk/list1"/> 
</url> 


The names of individual languages ​​and countries are then derived from the ISO 639-1 and ISO 3166-1 standards, so you need to follow them, otherwise the sitemap will not work for you.

WordPress plugins that allow you to generate a sitemap


If you use the WordPress content management system (CMS), then we have good news for you – you can have a sitemap generated for your website directly in it. For example, with these free plugins:

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin from Google has been on the market for 9 years, and currently holds the title of the best rated and most downloaded plugin for creating sitemaps in WordPress. This is mainly due to its simplicity and speed with which you can create and configure sitemaps – all you have to do is visit Settings, where you can adjust everything in the XML-Sitemap section, from the priorities of individual subpages to the frequency of their editing. The creation of the sitemap itself and its update will be performed by the plugin completely automatically, so you don’t have to worry about anything. In addition, this plugin will not slow down your site.

Sitemap by BestWebSoft

This plugin can automatically generate a sitemap.xml file for your WordPress site and help search engines index it. It can also add a sitemap to your robots.txt file, which is used by search engines to crawl your site more efficiently. It also offers the ability to create sitemaps for websites in multiple language versions. The Sitemap by BestWebSoft plugin even offers a paid PRO version ($ 20 per year), in which, for example, you can exclude certain types of posts from the sitemap.

Yoast SEO

Unlike the previous two, the Yoast plugin is not only focused on generating sitemaps, but it is a comprehensive tool for optimizing your website for search engines – it therefore contains everything you need for SEO analysis. Simply put, this WordPress plugin will help your website rank better in search engines.

Online sitemap generation

An interesting alternative to WordPress plugins is the ability to have a sitemap generated online. So if you already have a website up and running, just visit xml-sitemaps.com, where you just enter its address and then a sitemap will be created automatically. The disadvantage of this solution, however, is the need to manually edit everything if you are not satisfied with the code. On the other hand, if you don’t create a website in WordPress or another similar system, and at the same time you don’t want to create a sitemap manually, generating a sitemap online is the easiest and fastest option.

[The original article was written in English. To other languages it was automatically translated by Google Translate]

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