Building an XML Sitemap in WordPress

There is a great plug-in for wordpress called “Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress” this plug-in once downloaded and installed allows you to configure a sitemap for your blog. If you aren’t using a sitemap for your blog, you definately should be. First off let me explain what a Sitemap is.

Introduction: What is a Site map?
A sitemap also known as a Site Index is basically a listing of every resource in your website or blog in a flat file for easy searching and indexing by major search engines. This is typically an XML type of file. A sitemap will help get all of your blog posts indexed by Google and other major search engines so pages are not missed.

  • First step: Download and Install the Sitemap Plug-In

Go to Arne Brachhold’s web site and download the google-xmlsitemaps-generator for wordpress
Save the file to your computer
Ftp or scp the file to your web server
Put in the wp-content/plug-ins folder of your wordpress installation and make sure it is unzipped there

  • Step 2 – Enabling the Plug-In

Open your WordPress wp-admin site
click on Plug-Ins
Activate your “Google XML Sitemaps” Plug-In

  • Step 3 – Configure the Plug-In

Click on your Settings XML-Sitemap
This will take you to the configuration generator for your XML Sitemap

Make sure the following items are check marked:
Sitemap Files Section:
Write a normal XML File
Write a gzipped file
Building Mode:
Rebuild Sitemap if you change the content of your blog

Update notification:
Notify Google about updates of your blog
Notify MSN Live Search about updates of your blog
Notify about updates of your blog
Notify YAHOO about updates of your blog (if you have a yahoo account)
Modify or create robots.txt file in your blog root which contains the sitemap location.

Advanced Options
Build the sitemap in a background process
Post Priority
I do use Post Priority and have it set to prioritize the post by number of comments

Location of your sitemap file
These you should leave default directory and filename, make sure the sitemap.xml exists in your web site root.

Sitemap Content
Include homepage
Include posts
Include static pages
Include categories
Include tag pages
Include author pages
Include archives

Change frequencies
I left most of these default but I noted these:
Homepages and Posts I set to daily because sometimes I make daily updates to POSTS especially opportunities
Static pages, Categories I set to weekly
Archives I set to daily since those grow daily
Older archives I set to yearly
Tag Pages and Author pages I also set to weekly.

Homepage 1
Posts .6
Minimum Post .2
Static Pages .6
Categories .3
Archives .3
Tag pages .3
Author pages .3

Click Update Options or Build your SiteMap Manually (whenver you change these options you should build your sitemap manually).

  • Step 4 – Confirming your sitemap

Now go ahead and hit your sitemap and make sure it is indexed as you want to see it.
type your URL/sitemap.xml
You should see a sitemap page like mine below:

Dragonblogger sitemap

Now just wait for the search engines to update. Once they do you can try doing searches for your own posts and see how often they come up in the search engines.

-Dragon Blogger

If you found this post helpful let me know via comment or email

  • Update: reviewed my Google Sitemap instructions and was able to use them to tweak her configurations and settings and recommends my instructions on her blog.  Thank you Colleen.

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