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Most people may have difficulty in identifying a new destination without a map. A giant search engine like Google also encounters the same problem in crawling and indexing new web pages without a sitemap. This article is written to give you some basic information and guideline about a sitemap for your Joomla website.
What is a sitemap and an XML sitemap?
Why you need a sitemap
How to create an XML sitemap
How to submit your XML sitemap to Google
1. What is a sitemap and XML sitemap?
A sitemap is a file that showcases all important content on your website. It's visible for humans to see the relation between pages in order to navigate the website smoothly. Over the time, sitemap is not quite necessary for humans to browse a website properly. But it's important for search engines instead. This is the way that giant search engines like Google or Bing defines which page or file should be shown up in a search result. In case you have never seen any XML sitemaps before, you might find them a bit daunting at the first impression.
A sample xml sitemap with 1 URL
A sample xml sitemap with multiple URLs
2. Why you need a sitemap
Thanks to a sitemap, Google or other search engines will be able to see all the important content web-pages on your website, as well as understand their connection. Therefore, they can crawl and index them. If your content hasn't been indexed yet, there is no way for it to be ranked on Search results.
There is no guarantee that all the pages on our website will be crawled and indexed by using a sitemap, because Google must follow a complicated algorithms to make crawling process. But people usually can take an advantage of owning a sitemap, rather than having no one.
3. How to create an XML sitemap?
Here below are some important requirements that you need to prepare:
A live site
A sitemap generator
A Google Search Console account
You can receive a numerous result when looking for an XML creation tool on the internet. But xml-sitemaps.com is a common option I have ever opted for. Go to xml-sitemaps.com > paste your website url > then click "Start". Listing all URLs on your website and creating the sitemap might take a bit long, so please be patient to wait its process. When the sitemap is created, you'll be able to download XML Sitemap file
Generate an XML sitemap for your website
The process of sitemap generation is completed
Download your XML sitemap file
3. How to submit an XML sitemap to Google
After having done generating your XML Sietmap, it's time to submit it to Google. But firstly, you're supposed to upload the XML Sitemap file to the root folder of your website (robots.txt file) by inserting the line below anywhere in the file, so that you can have access to the sitemap at yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Note: Your sitemap should be manually named like "sitemap.xml". In case, you have more than one sitemap, you're supposed to name your sitemaps following the scheme for example: sitemap_1.xml, sitemap_2.xml, sitemap_n.xml.
Let's start to submit your sitemap:
Login your Google Search Console account > navigate to Sitemaps > enter your sitemap URL > Click submit
Done! it's so simple, isn't it?
I hope this article will be helpful for you to know how to create an XML sitemap for your Joomla site. If you encounter any trouble regarding sitemap generation, you'd better refer to Sitemap Trouble Shooting Guide.
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