Optimizing your website for organic search traffic is crucial for any website. This task can be time-consuming for busy site owners. Sitemaps are some of the best tools available to improve your website’s SEO. They not only provide information about your website to search engines to help them index your site, but they also ping them when you update your website. In this article, we’ll look at the 8 plugins to help you decide which is the best WordPress sitemap plugin for your needs.
What is a WordPress Sitemap
A sitemap is a list made with XML that tells search engines about your content and the structure of your website. They include page URLs, when the content was last modified, the type of content, etc. Post types are identified, and you have the option to keep post types from indexing if you want to keep them private.
Search engines such as Google can crawl your website on their own, but this takes time. Providing a sitemap ensures that search engines have all the information they need to index your website.
The XML document can be created by hand, but the best way to create a sitemap is with a WordPress sitemap plugin. Sitemap plugins inform search engines of changes on your website, so their information is always up to date. They’re easy to use and there are plenty to choose from.
For this list, I’ve separated them into two types: SEO plugins that include sitemaps, and those that are dedicated to sitemaps. I’ve only included plugins that create sitemaps for search engines since our focus is on improving search engine optimization (SEO).
WordPress SEO Plugins with Sitemap Features
Since sitemaps are an important part of SEO, creating a sitemap is a standard function of SEO plugins. Here are the best SEO-focused WordPress sitemap plugins with awesome sitemap features.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress and it includes a sitemap feature. For this reason alone, one of the best choices to build a sitemap for your WordPress website. It’s available in both a free version and a premium version with expanded features.
The free version includes the sitemap features, which is enabled by default. You have control over the number of sitemap entries. Mark post types that you don’t want to appear in your sitemap. Add an external sitemap if you have sitemaps for other parts of your website.
Price: Free | More Information
2. All in One SEO
All in One SEO provides several types of sitemaps including the standard XML map, a news sitemap, a video sitemap, and an RSS sitemap. The pro version adds news, video, and RSS.
Sitemaps are included in the free version and give you the ability to enable indexes, enter the number of links per sitemap, choose the post types and taxonomies, disable by date, disable by author, enter specific URLs, and set up advanced settings.
Price: Free for XML sitemaps, $49.50 per year for Pro (adds news, video, and RSS sitemaps) | More Information
3. Rank Math SEO
Rank Math SEO includes a fast-loading sitemap that works with different post types including attachments, projects, custom post types, etc. It also creates sitemaps for taxonomies. It includes lots of detailed options for customizing your sitemaps. Generate Locations KML files for local sitemaps.
It will also create a WooCommerce sitemap. Even though this plugin has a premium version, everything you need for sitemaps is included in the free version.
SEOPress creates a sitemap for post types, taxonomies, videos, images, and HTML. The sitemap features are included in the free version. The general XML sitemap and Image sitemap are enabled by default. The settings are simple and you can adjust the general options and options for the post types, taxonomies, and HTML sitemaps independently. You can view the sitemap, ping Google manually, and flush the permalinks.
Exclude pages, posts, custom post types, or terms from the sitemap. You can also set the sort order and disable the publication date. It’s limited to 1000 posts per post type.
Jetpack is a popular plugin from Automattic, the creators of WordPress, and happens to be a good option for a WordPress sitemap plugin. The free version comes with a set of traffic tools that includes sitemap features. It automatically generates a sitemap for your public posts and pages.
You can enable custom post types. It also generates a sitemap specifically for Google News. If there is another sitemap plugin in use, this feature is automatically disabled. It warns you if you have search engine visibility disabled in your WordPress settings.
Dedicated WordPress Sitemap Plugins
Dedicated WordPress sitemap plugins have no other features aside from creating a sitemap. Here’s a look at the most popular dedicated sitemap plugins.
6. Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps is one of the oldest, most popular, and highest rated sitemap plugins available. It includes multiple languages and it’s compatible with multisite WordPress installations. It calculates the priority of posts based on their number of comments. You can set it to prioritize by comment average or disable the priority feature.
It also includes filters that allow other plugins to add their pages to the sitemap. Sitemaps include post types, taxonomies, and custom post types. Include or exclude items, change the frequencies, and change the priority of each post type.
Price: Free | More Information
7. XML Sitemap & Google News
XML Sitemap & Google News creates a standard XML sitemap and a sitemap for Google News. You can control which sitemaps are enabled, which post types and taxonomies are included, how priority is calculated, and who to ping when the site is updated.
You can also set robots.txt rules, add external pages, and add external sitemaps. It’s compatible with multisite and it’s multilingual-ready. Several one-click tools help you ping search engines, clear cache, etc.
8. Sitemap by BestWebSoft
Sitemap by BestWebSoft supports standard pages, custom post types, and taxonomies. It can be integrated with your Google Webmaster Tools account. Create sitemaps for your media.
The pro version adds features that support custom URLs, multisite, exclude posts, and set the frequency of your changes. The free version has tools not found in other plugins, but some of the most common features are only available in the pro version.
Price: Free for basic features, $20.98 per year for pro features | More Information
Selecting the Right Sitemap Plugin
Choosing the right WordPress sitemap plugin is an important step in improving your website’s SEO. The best option for your website will depend on the other SEO tools you need. Be sure to check if the features you need are available in the free version or if the premium version is required.
Many website owners prefer a one-stop solution such as Yoast SEO or All in One SEO. These are the most popular SEO plugins available and they’re solid options.
If you need a feature that isn’t provided in the standard SEO plugins, dedicated sitemap plugins might be a better option. Google XML Sitemaps and XML Sitemap and Google News are excellent choices.
If you need options for WooCommerce and products, take a closer look at the plugins with options for images. Several of the sitemap plugins throughout this list include options for images.
That’s our look at the 8 best WordPress sitemap plugins for busy site owners. There are lots of good options available and many of them are free. Be sure to list the features you need to help ensure you’re getting the plugin that meets those needs. Whatever your sitemap needs are, you’re sure to find the right plugin on this list.
We want to hear from you. What’s your favorite WordPress sitemap plugin? Let us know in the comments below.
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This content was originally published here.