If you haven’t heard of a sitemap before, now is probably a good time to start learning about them if you run a blog. A sitemap is a XML file originally created by Google for webmasters to use to create a “map” of their website.

A good sitemap is dynamic, keeping the freshest content at the top. This way Google knows to index any new posts or updated posts. Google’s spiders then use your Sitemap.xml file when they index your website to ensure they get everything new or that has changed. A sitemap also helps ensure pages get indexed that use JavaScript or Flash, but do not contain HTML links (without a sitemap, these normally would not be discovered by a search engine).

Eventually the Sitemap.xml file was adopted by Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com, making it as important for webmasters to use as a Robots.txt file to get their website maximum exposure and control what is indexed.

If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume you are a WordPress user. If you’d like to create a sitemap for your WordPress blog, look no further than the Google Sitemap WordPress plugin. This is the WordPress plugin I use for this website. When activated, it will create a sitemap on http://yourdomainname.com/sitemap.xml and do all the maintenance work for you. You’ll want to then log in to your Google Webmaster Tools account and add your sitemap, or make sure your homepage links to your sitemap somewhere (usually the footer) so the search engines can find it.

For those that are curious what they look like, you can see what our sitemap looks like here. Are you using a sitemap for your blog(s)?

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. Calaelen. Gnomes for World Domination says:

    I’m using the same plugin and Google indexes my new blogposts in about 15-30min by now.

    Worth a donation to the author…

  2. androo says:

    this is perfect just what i was looking for… thanks!!

  3. Rashed says:

    Thanks.

  4. Louis Bedre says:

    When I read posts like these, i think, “This person is in my head, its EXACTLY what i was thinking!”

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