XML Sitemap Optimization with WordPress

This tutorial will show you how to generate a sitemap for a WordPress blog and tell most of the major search engines where your site map is located. Including a site map will increase the amount of pages that get index by search engines, and ultimately increase traffic to your website.

Recently Google, Yahoo, and MSN announced a standardized site map format. The new standard is an XML document that tells the search engine how to index your site. Using the Google Site Map Generator we can generate an XML sitemap, and later edit the robots.txt field to tell search engines where to look for this file.

First you will need to download the Google Site Map Generator V2.0 plug-in for WordPress. Save the file to disk and extract its contents using your favorite zip program. Now connect to your website with your favorite FTP client. I personally use SmartFTP.

Upload the plug to your plug-in directory, which is usually public_html/wp-content/Plugins/.

XML Sitemap Generator Tutorial for WordPress

While you are logged in, create two site map files and chmodd them 666. The two files are sitemap.xml.gz and sitemap.xml.

Now log into the WordPress Admin Panel and click the Plugins tab. Select the Google Sitemap Generator plug in and active this plugin.
XML Sitemap Generator Tutorial for WordPress

Now click the options tab, and then click the sitemap tab. Your will see the sitemap generator options displayed. The default options will work perfectly for most sites. If you wish to change the settings go ahead and do it, they are well commented. After you have made your changes, or accepted the defaults, click the rebuild sitemap button. You will only have to do this one time. After this the sitemap will be generated every time you post.

XML Sitemap Generator Tutorial for WordPress

WordPress should tell you that all files were successfully built.

XML Sitemap Generator Tutorial for WordPress

Take not of the URL that your sitemap.xml is located at. The last thing that we need to do is add a line to the robots.txt file that tells the search engines where to find the sitemap. If you would like to know more about robots.txt you can find it the information here.

Go back to your FTP program and edit the robots.txt file. Add the following line, obliviously replacing the URL with the URL of your sitemap.xml file. You can the find the URL on the sitemap tab in the previous step (copy it and paste it):

Sitemap: http://www.teamtutorials.com/sitemap.xml

After you save the changes you are finished. Adding a site map will help search engines crawl your site, therefore increasing the number of pages listed in the search engine. If you want to take it one step further you can manually add your site map to Google https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/siteoverview.