Different Ways to Generate Sitemap

July 24 [Tue], 2012, 15:38
Sitemaps, in a nutshell, are a map of the website. It contains all the URL that helps search engine know what is found in your website so search engines can find all pages. Moreover, the sitemap will also enable you to add more information to help the spiders indexing.



Two Kinds of Sitemaps



HTML - an internet page you show the structure of the website. It is mainly used to navigate visitors to scan your website.



XML - a file you list all the web addresses of the website. This is beneficial for search engine spiders to index your pages and optimize website to get higher rankings.



Well, this article will show you more details about XML sitemap.



Two Ways to Generate a Sitemap



Basically, there are two ways for you to generate a sitemap. One is getting a sitemap manually and the other way is simply trying a free sitemap generator.



Manual Way for Sitemap Generation



For those sites that just have small pages such as 1 - 20 pages approximately, you can most likely manually generate the sitemap. Here is its protocol:



1. Create a text file and save it with an .xml extension

2. First lines of the file:

<?xml version=”1.0" encoding=”UTF-8"?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">

3. Generate an entry for each URL. The <loc> tag is required, the others are optional.

<url>

<loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>

<lastmod>2005-01-01</lastmod>

<changefreq>monthly</changefreq>

<priority>0.8</priority>

</url>

4. Last line of the file:

</urlset>

5. Upload the file to your server and then submit it to the search engines.



Generally, the manual way is not advisable. This is because it is time-consuming. Imagine that your site has 15 URLs, and then all the process may cost you hours to edit all the site addresses together with metadata. And you just type one at a time. Moreover, you need to know some technical knowledge and skills like XML tag etc. So my suggestion is free sitemap generator.



Use Sitemap Generator to Get Sitemaps



Most likely the simplest way of creating sitemaps, particularly if you possess a large site, is using a sitemap generator. You will find several sitemap machines you are able to download free of charge.



Well, one professional sitemap generator I often use is SiteMap X. It is also a free application. Why I mention this software? One reason is convenient and efficient. You just need to input the base address on the proper field and click a button. Then this tool can automatically create four types of sitemaps. Besides, it can help you find out all the dead or broken links. Furthermore, it can also upload generated sitemaps with built-in FTP/FTPS/SFTP Client and then immediately ping search engines with updated sitemaps.
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