A website sitemap is a roadmap to your website. It informs search engines about the pages on your website that are available for crawling to facilitate indexing on search engines such as Google.
How you generate a sitemap for your website will depend on the type of website you have. WordPress websites can use a plugin, whereas non-WordPress websites can use an online sitemap generation tool.
Follow the steps below for WordPress websites.
1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard
2. If you haven’t already, go to Plugins > Add New Plugin, search for Yoast SEO and install it
3. After installation, activate Yoast SEO
4. Hover over Yoast SEO on the menu and click on Settings
5. Locate the APIs section and make sure the XML sitemaps toggle is enabled
6. Click on View the XML sitemap button
7. In your browser address bar, you will see your website Sitemap URL, copy and paste the URL down somewhere secure
8. Go to the Google Search Console section of this guide
All other websites (non-WordPress)
Follow these steps for any type of website (non-WordPress):
1. Go to the XML-Sitemaps website
2. In the Your Website URL field, type in your website URL, with the https:// or http:// included – as an example, our URL would be https://skystrahelp.com
3. Click the Start button
4. Once completed, click the View Sitemap Details buttons
5. Click on the Download Your XML Sitemap File and save the sitemap file to your computer, it will be called sitemap.xml
6. Locate the sitemap.xml file on your computer and go to the Upload and generate sitemap URL section of this guide
Upload and generate sitemap URL
Follow these steps only if you have a website not built on WordPress. If you have a WordPress website, do not complete these steps and go directly to the Google Search Console section.
1. Open this guide: Upload files to public_html folder – follow all of the steps to upload your sitemap.xml to your website public_html folder
2. After you upload the sitemap.xml file to your website public_html folder, open this guide: Create links from public_html – and create a link for your sitemap.xml, for example, the sitemap link for skystrahelp.com would be:
3. Copy and paste the URL down somewhere secure
4. Go to the Google Search Console section of this guide
Google Search Console
⚠️ To complete this section, you need a Google Search Console account and your domain verified through Google website verification.
1. Go to your Google Search Console account where your website is connected and verified
2. In your Google Search Console account, click on Sitemaps
3. Locate the Add a new sitemap section and paste in your website Sitemap URL
4. Click the Submit button
WordPress website version
All websites (non-WordPress website) version:
5. Google will now begin crawling and indexing your website. Google indexing is an ongoing process and relies entirely on Google’s infrastructure on algorithms, however, you should start seeing results indexing results a few weeks after your sitemap submission.