What is a Sitemap
A Sitemap simply is a list of pages of your website hierarchically and systematically organized typically. It is a way of organizing your website, identifying the URLs and data under each section.
Three different types of sitemaps exist.
- Sitemaps used by the website architects during the website design
- Sitemaps structurally listed and organized to be indexed by crawlers of search engines such as Google and Bing
- Sitemaps listed on website with a visual interface for easy navigation
Benefits of Sitemaps
In particular, the sitemaps generated for the purpose of web crawlers aiding to index the contents of the website are highly beneficial. The content will be indexed faster and effectively on the search engines that result in a better search engine optimization (SEO) rankings of your website.
Sitemaps are typically in XML format that makes a listing of URLs for the website and submitted from the back end normally. The webmasters have flexibility to provide additional information about each URL such as the time of update, changes made. Such sitemaps are highly beneficial
- Where some content is not available through browser.
- The website is a large one and updated frequently so web crawlers can pick up the new content intelligently and faster
- Where website has few external links
- Converting websites built using AJAX, Flash or other non-HTML languages into searchable pages.
An Example sitemap (XML)
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" <sitemap> <loc>http ://www. example. com/sitemapl. xml. gz</loc> <lastmod>2018-10-01T18:23:17+00:00</lastmod> </sitemap> </sitemapindex>
XML Sitemaps are especially helpful if:
You have a brand new website
Your have got a lot of pages
Your web-site has dynamic content generated by CMS
Your website has complex navigation
You don’t have desired Google PageRank
Some of your webpages are either not accessible from the main page and its children, or are burried too deep in the page hierarchyWeb-Site-Map
List of Top Sitemaps Generators
There are plenty of sitemap generators available online that make our life easy by generating sitemaps dynamically with every update to the website. The best 5 sitemap generators are provided below.
XML-Sitemaps.com is one of the best generators that is much cost effective and works very efficiently. I have used their service for my other web sites and noticed tremendous difference in performance of my web sites with Google search.
XML-sitemaps is available in three options. The first option is a free generator more than enough for a small website with 500 pages or lesser. You can simply enter the URL of your website and the sitemap will be generated in XML format which can be easily uploaded on your website and submitted to Google Search Console and others such as Bing Webmasters.
The second is a PRO version targeted for medium to large websites upto 1,500,000 pages indexing that comes with an automatic update.
PRO version will assist you detecting any broken links on the website and help create images, videos, news sitemaps and RSS feed. PRO plans start from $3.49 per month.
XML-Sitemaps also provide an unlimited generator installed on your server and updated back end through setting up a cron job.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
SEO Spider is a sitemap generator that works on windows, mac and Ubuntu.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler, that allows you to crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyse onsite SEO. Unlike XML-sitemaps The generator is a desktop application and no online sitemap is not possible.
Spider comes with two licensing options. One is a free version which lets you crawl up to 500 pages that is more than suitable for a small website. The other is a pro version that removes the 500 page limit and comes with several additional premium functions such as integration with Google Analytics, Search console and scheduling.
Web-Site-Map.com is a totally free online sitemap generator with no premium options available.
The advantage of using web-site-map generator is the free element and online availability. However, the site keeps a dynamic limit on the number of pages that can be crawled at anytime based on the traffic. As I last checked, the limit shows 3950 pages per crawl.
Sitemap Writer Pro
Sitemap Writer Pro is a desktop paid application for generating sitemap with unlimited number of web pages at a life time cost $24.95.
Sitemap Writer Pro is an easy-to–use program, fast and efficient, which offers 7 types of sitemaps (Standard Sitemap, Google Image, Google News, Google Video, Google Images, Google Code Search, Google Geo, Google Mobile) to properly index your website, generate an xml sitemap and upload it to all search engines supporting XML sitemaps (Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, Bing (Live.com) and Moreover.com).
Google XML sitemaps for wordpress
Google XML sitemaps is a plugin exclusively for wordpress websites. This plugin works with wordpress version 3.3 and better and is available free.
With this sitemap plugin, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.Since version 4, the sitemap files are dynamically generated and that’s something quite useful for the bloggers.
Sitemaps are a necessity for every website with the primary purpose of easy submission to search engines to maintain the SEO rankings on a daily basis.
It is a must-have-tool for every webmaster and website owner and offers a record of great features that you will benefit from.
What’s your recommended sitemap generator? Please leave your comments. Would love to update the list with other generators.