Explanation of adding Google XML Sitemaps in detail
What is a Google XML Sitemap
A sitemap is a complete list of pages in a website that are used by either search engine crawlers or site users.
There are two types of sitemap files – XML sitemaps, and HTML sitemaps. HTML sitemaps help users navigate your site.
XML sitemaps represent the entire structure of your site in a search engine-readable format. With an XML sitemap, search engines will easily crawl and index your pages. Also, if you make changes to your site, they will be quickly detected and indexed as well.
Hence, an XML sitemap is very essential if you want your WordPress website to rank in Google, this article will show you how to create and maintain a sitemap file and maintain your site using the Google XML Sitemap plugin in WordPress.
How to install the Google XML Sitemap extension on your site:
From the menu, click Add-ons, then Add New.
Search for “Google XML Sitemaps”, then click on “Install Now” and then “Activate”.
After activating the extension, from the menu, go to Settings; Click on XML-Sitemap to access the settings page.
Although the default settings are fine and ready to go, you can customize different options if you need to. These options include Primary, Additional Pages, Publishing Priority, Sitemap.xml Location, Sitemap Content, Excluded Items, Frequency Changes, and Priorities. When you’re satisfied with your options, click “Update Settings” to save the settings.
You are finished now. A sitemap will be generated and search engines will always be notified of new content on your site.
Google XML Sitemaps vs Yoast SEO
If you have created a website, you need to know that it is necessary for your site to have a sitemap. Of course, you can wonder if one is needed, but it’s a fact that search engines index sites that come with sitemaps. A sitemap is basically a set of URLs that tell the search engine which pages of the site can be indexed, how often those links are updated, and their relative importance to one another. A website with a proper sitemap gets indexed faster, and gets more traction online, which is all the more reason you need to have one of these two extensions. You can choose Google XML Sitemaps or Yoast SEO; Of course, Yoast SEO comes with more tricks, but let’s take a closer look at each and see how they come out.
Google XML Sitemaps
The unique thing about Google XML Sitemaps is that it is a custom add-on that focuses on the XML sitemap creation function, and also provides you with more options in creating maps than any other add-on. Although the plugin is used by more than 2 million active WordPress sites, a smaller number when compared to Yoast SEO. For starters, it’s very easy to download and set up Google XML sitemaps, along with customizable settings. It’s less complicated than some of the other sitemap plugins. Some of the options in this extension are that it allows you to modify notification settings, XSLT styles, create additional custom pages, prioritize pages, sections and site sections, sitemap content types, review and edit excluded items, and change priorities. Moreover, this extension gives you better control over your content to get the sitemap you need.
Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin that covers everything related to the internal SEO process, and its functionality is not limited to sitemaps alone. The sitemap functionality for Yoast SEO is only one small aspect of everything this plugin can do, which is why this plugin is so popular on WordPress. Comparing both Google XML Sitemaps with Yoast SEO (in its entirety) is unfair, so it’s better to compare the sitemap functionality of both, this plugin provides a decent enough sitemap, but doesn’t provide a lot of settings.
Comparison of sitemap plugins in WordPress
Well, we compare the sitemap functionality of Google XML Sitemaps and Yoast SEO; To start with, Google XML sitemaps come with a better look, and a slightly larger font helps make them more visually appealing. Sitemaps follow a different logical structure, Yoast uses type archives such as page-sitemap.xml, post-sitemap.xml, category-sitemap.xml and more.
Google XML Sitemaps contain more child sitemaps, neatly organizing your content into easily accessible monthly archives. Most importantly, it has size limitations. In other words, the size of each sitemap you create should not exceed 10MB. And since Google XML generates the sitemap as archives, with the separation on a month-by-month basis, the file should only be a few kilobytes in size. This is because Google XML sitemaps put less stress on your server in order for your website to perform more efficiently. But this point is only important when you have a large website with thousands of pages and if you are running a small site, you can choose any extension.
Yes, Yoast is more than just a sitemap plugin which is why it has become the most popular WordPress plugin from Google XML Sitemaps. In fact, by using this plugin individually, you should be able to optimize your site in terms of internal SEO. It would be a good idea to use both Google XML sitemaps and plugins for better functionality and better sitemaps. In general, soon Google XML Sitemaps will be integrated with Yoast SEO very soon. But keep in mind that you will need a good sitemap to make sure that search engines index your pages faster. And if you are starting to create a website, it is very necessary to have the required sitemap plugins. Both of these plugins generate good sitemaps that are loved by search engines, and one thing that stands out is that Google XML Sitemaps comes with better options than Yoast SEO.
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