The Importance of Sitemaps For Your WordPress Website

Have you ever wondered what the importance of sitemaps for your WordPress website is? For starters, have you ever heard of the term sitemaps? Are you even aware of the fact that you can have an HTML or an XML sitemap, both bearing their fair share of benefits? If you are new to the world of fast-developing and ever-changing WordPress, you might be baffled by this term and it might very well be the first time you’ve even heard about it. Worry not – that’s what our WP Full Care team is here for. To give you a better idea of some very important aspects that will help your WordPress website rank better and generate better user experience. Both of these things you can achieve with some help from an HTML or an XML sitemap.

The importance of sitemaps for your WordPress website is a big one

Think of it this way – sitemaps help you gain not only better visibility by search engines, but also easier navigation. With sitemaps, everything is done in a faster and easier way, even indexing any newly added pages to your website. For new sites, sitemaps are vital for quick success! Even though it will take some time for Google to index your pages, it will still be a much quicker process than the alternative. Currently, there are two formats which you can use: HTML which is used for humans, and XML which is made for the search engines.

A white alarm clock.
Sitemaps may not lead to overnight success, but they certainly help you get there faster.

Your first question might be whether having two different sitemaps is necessary or whether it leads to duplicated content. Having two different formats on your WordPress website won’t lead to duplicated content. However, two formats will work on impacting and improving different areas; both of which are important in everything you are trying to achieve as an owner of a website.

What is the function of an XML sitemap?

In essence, an XML sitemap is a document that lists all URLs for all the pages available on your website. Sitemaps were created with the intent of helping search engines navigate your website more easily and that helps them index your website. What you may not be aware of is the fact that there can exist sitemaps for different contents, such as blogs and video files. Every sitemap contains detailed information; such as when the page was published, how frequently it has been updated, and so on.

As soon as your XML sitemap is set in motion, make sure you submit it to Google Search Console. This action will help the search engines index your pages faster, which will result in your website having its place in the search results. Being noticed on Google is a dream for so many website owners – it leads to good things only!

The importance of sitemaps for your WordPress website lies in the fact that it helps visitors find your website

By having a sitemap, you are basically giving Google a signal in which location your pages and posts can be found. Simply having a WordPress website is not enough these days – you have to make sure your site ranks well if you want to attract any kind of visitors or at least a large number of them. And that’s where sitemaps enter the scene. With a bit of help, search engines will be able to locate your content and place it in the search results. That is where visitors will find it after searching for a targeted keyword.

A woman looking at the map.
Sitemaps will index your pages and place them in their rightful position.

Will your site be listed in Google if it doesn’t have a sitemap? The answer is yes, but it greatly improves your chances of ever having a significant ranking. To put it bluntly, without a sitemap, the only other way the search engines could find your site’s content is through links on another site. And even that would take months for even a single page to get indexed, not to mention all the pages you have. Trust us – you don’t have that much time to spare. You need results, and you need them now!

What is the function of an HTML sitemap?

A lot of people find themselves in a dilemma as to whether or not to create an HTML sitemap even though they already have an XML one. We’ll come to that later and, for now, delve into what an HTML sitemap is. An HTML sitemap is made mostly for your users. However, it helps the search engines index your pages, and it also helps your readers navigate the site better. It increases the chances of old content being indexed better. That is an occurrence that can only be jam-packed with benefits. Essentially, an HTML sitemap is a list of all the existing pages and blog posts on your website with links to all of them. It’s a great way for any visitor to your website to have a nice and easy overview of all the services offered by your business, as well as all the blog posts ever published.

How does an HTML sitemap improve user experience?

It’s simple – the person visiting your website will have a list of all the posts ever published. Usually, to get to your older content, you would have to click endlessly. With a sitemap in place, you can reach any post or high-impact WordPress landing page you want in only two clicks. If that does not cause user satisfaction, we don’t know what does!

The differences between XML and HTML sitemaps?

Those of you that were with us from the very first sentence will probably be able to draw your own conclusions by now. But let’s more closely put into perspective some of the main differences between XML and HTML sitemaps. After that, you’ll be able to make an educated decision as to which one you want to create for your WordPress website.

A man on a computer, learning the importance of sitemaps for your WordPress website.
There’s no need to choose between these two different formats when you can have both!

As you were able to guess by now, the main difference between an XML and an HTML sitemap is their purpose. XML sitemaps were created for the search engines, while HTML sitemaps have the goal of helping your visitor find what they need. One makes it easier for search rankings to crawl your site, while the other one helps boost user experience. Sometimes, people consider HTML sitemaps to be a thing of the past. And the truth is that they have been overshaded by XML sitemaps lately. Our honest recommendation would be to incorporate both XML and HTML sitemaps after creating your website. You can clearly see how that will help you achieve the best results, right?

The bottom line

By now, you should be able to clearly understand the importance of sitemaps for your WordPress Website. They allow the search engine to crawl through your website, index your pages, and place them in their rightful position in the search results. They also improve the user experience; that is of crucial importance if you wish for those visitors to stay on your website and make a purchase. The benefits of both XML and HTML sitemaps are useful in their own ways. Think real hard where you see your website and, therefore, business in the future, and form your final decision. You know our recommendation.

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