page title icon How To Create & Submit a Sitemap in WordPress

How To Create & Submit a Sitemap in WordPress

Creating a sitemap for your WordPress website should only take a few minutes. While many options for creating a sitemap exist in WordPress, we use Yoast SEO to create this since it is a built in feature that we already use on sites we build or market. In order to configure your XML sitemap with the Yoast plugin, you need to complete a few short steps.

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard on your website.
  2. In the left menu you will see a menu listing labeled “SEO”, click this link. 
  3. Further select the General tab underneath SEO.
  4. Within the Features section, beneath General, you will see a switch for On/Off of your XML Sitemaps. Toggle this switch on to turn on an xml map of your website.

View what your website looks like, type the string /sitemap.xml after your domain. For example, you can view our sitemap here. Now that you have finished creating this directory, search engines like Google can better digest your website’s content and structure. Simply waiting for search engines to crawl and read your site can be painstakingly slow. However, there is an easier way to get this newly created map into search engine databases.

Submitting your XML Sitemap to Search Engines

Submitting your Sitemap to Google

Since Google is the most successful search engine in the world, you will definitely want to submit your website here.

  1. Sign into Google Search Console
  2. In the sidebar, select your website. You will need to add your website to Google Search Console if you have not already done so.
  3. Click on “Sitemaps”. This will be located underneath the “Index” section.
  4. Remember to remove any outdated or inaccurate sitemaps from this section.
  5. Enter sitemap.xml or your websites formatted url for this file into the “Add a New Sitemap” section to complete the full url for your website.
  6. Click submit and you’re done.

Submitting your Sitemap to Bing

Submitting to other search engines helps with your visibility all over the internet. Many people use Bing simply because it’s the default search engine on their computer.

  1. Sign into Bing Webmaster Tools
  2. On the “My Sites” web page, select your website. You will need to add your website here as well if you have not previously done so. 
  3. Click “Configure My Site” and then select the button for “Sitemaps”
  4. Remove any old or inaccurate sitemaps here.
  5. Enter your new sitemap url structure here and then click submit.

Submitting your Sitemap to Yandex

Yandex is a search engine founded in Russia and accounts for a market share of over 50% in search traffic occurring in Russia. This means that there is both plenty of web traffic as well as crawlers here to bolster your websites relevance on an international scale. 

  1. Sign into Yandex Webmaster Tools
  2. Select your website from the home page.
  3. Select “Indexing Options” and then “Sitemap Files”.
  4. Remove any old sitemaps that are not functioning or accurate anymore.
  5. Type or copy your full sitemap url into the text box at the top of the screen and then click add to finish adding your sitemap to Yandex. 

Submitting your Sitemap to Baidu

Baidu is the 4th largest website on the internet as measured by Alexa rankings. While this is the second largest search engine in the world, since it has a 78% market share in Chinese search engine use it is largely ignored by the western world and should not be dismissed so lightly. We have found that submitting a site-map to Baidu significantly helps in overall indexing and thus ranking of a website.

  1. Baidu only accepts text format, xml format and sitemap index formats for submission.
  2. Maximum size of your map must not exceed 10MB.
  3. Login to your Baidu webmaster tools account. 
  4. Select the verified website you are submitting for.
  5. Click on the “Submit Sitemap” button and you’re done.

Listing your sitemap within your robots.txt file is another way to make certain that search engines that do not accept a submission quickly locate and index your website. While these are the only four websites we know of to submit yourself to today, this process often changes over the years, and you should always submit them to as many places as possible. More indexing equals more traffic!