Recently, my preferred WordPress XML Sitemap plugin stopped functioning correctly. It could be because this plugin’s author had not updated it to become compatible with a current version of WordPress I am using 4.8.1. I decided to look for another XML sitempa generator for both Bing and Google search engines.
Luckily, I found Google XML Sitemaps coded by Arne Brachhold. This is like my third or fourth WordPress XML sitemap plugin I have had to use. Hopefully, this plugin author will not abandon this plugin and keep updating the code.
Using a WordPress XML Sitemap can be crucial to your website’s Search Engine Optimization’s success. You want to first make sure that you do NOT have a current robots.txt file in the root directory of your website files. This plugin will conflict with a robots.txt file that is located in root directory of your website.
Click on “Plugins” on left hand side of WordPress. You want to choose “Add New”. Type in “Google XML” in a “Search Plugins” box in upper right hand corner.
Look for “Google XML Sitemaps” and click on an “Install” button. Once this plugin is successfully installed then click on “Activate”. Click “Settings” in WordPress and look for and select “XML-Sitemap”.
You probably don’t need to change any settings. However, if you have a robots.txt file in you website root folder then you can uncheck an option to create a virtual robots.txt file in WordPress. I had to delete my robots.txt file in order to get this plugin to create a sitemap.xml file on this anetcomputers.com domain.
Remember if you have a domain.com/robots.txt file it may interfere with this plugin. Under “Sitemap Content” you can select other types of content that you want included in this sitemap.xml file. You then click on “Update options” if you made any changes.
You have just created a sitemap.xml file that search engine robots such as Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc. index your website with. This is a crucial Search Engine Optimization step, so that your website starts receiving traffic. As an added bonus tip, you can take this newly created Uniform Resource Locator yoursite.com/sitemap.xml and submit it to Bing and Google via both a Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Webmaster Tools.
This will tell both search engines where to look for a sitemap.xml file to index your website. Also, this plugin will automatically update this sitemap.xml file and even notify both Bing and Google of new content you created.