What Is Sitemap In Website? Easy Simple & Complete Guide 2021

what is sitemap in website

Hello friends, I am Anand Patel, In this post, we are going to learn about sitemap, what is sitemap in website, what are the types of sitemaps, why sitemap is important, and all that you want to know about sitemap.

A sitemap is a file that works as a road map or book’s index page to help search engines and users easily find and navigate pages, posts, videos, and images on our website.

If you are reading this post that means you also have questions in your mind like what is sitemap in website, what are the types of sitemap, what is XML sitemap, how to create XML sitemap, how to submit sitemap to google webmaster tools, and many more.

So read this post till the end, and you will get all your answers and will become able to create, solve issues, and submit the sitemap to the google search console.

What Is Sitemap In Website

A sitemap is a file that works as a road map or book’s index page for our website to help search engines and users easily find and navigate pages, posts, videos, and images on our website.

For example, if you open a book and want to search any specific topic on it, but if you didn’t get any index page or navigation to the topics that are covered in the book, then it will be difficult for you to find that topic in that book

Or if you want to go to a specific place in a city, but if you don’t have the road map or navigation, then it will be difficult for you to find that place

But if you have an index page on that book or a road map of that city, then it will be very easy for you to find any particular topic on that book or any specific place in that city.

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Same as told in the examples, the sitemap also helps search engine crawlers and visitors to easily find, crawl, index, navigate pages, posts, videos, and images on our website.

The sitemap is not compulsory that you must have for indexing or ranking, but it is important and beneficial because it helps users and crawlers in finding and crawling our web pages.

If you don’t know that how much traffic does a website need to make money then click on the link to read that post

Types Of Sitemap

We have learned what is sitemap in website, and why it is important, here we will learn about the types of sitemaps, there are mainly two types of sitemaps

  1. XML Sitemap
  2. HTML Sitemap

What Is XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is a file that works as a roadmap for search engine crawlers and helps them in finding, crawling, and indexing our website’s pages, posts, videos, and other content.

XML sitemap contains all URLs of our web pages, post, videos, images, and whenever we make any update or changes in that or publish any new post or anything that shows in our sitemap,

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So, crawlers get an indication that something has been updated on this website, and they visit our sitemap, and through our sitemap, they go to our new or updated pages/posts and crawl and index them.

If you are a new blogger or website owner and don’t know How Long Does It Take To Rank In Google then click on the link to read that post.

What Is HTML Sitemap

HTML sitemap is a map of our website pages and links, HTML sitemap helps users in finding pages, links to other related page and posts, it is a navigation system for visitors to navigate different pages on a website.

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HTML sitemap contains main pages, categories of the website, and links to their sub-categories and other linked pages and posts, that helps users to easily navigate from one page to another page.

If you don’t know what is bounce rate in google analytics should you worry about it click on the link to read that post

Difference Between XML Sitemap And HTML Sitemap

XML and HTML sitemap are the files that help to navigate and find pages on our website but they have some differences

Serial no.XML sitemapHTML sitemap
1The XML sitemap is created to help search engine crawlers easily find pages and posts The HTML sitemap is created to help users and visitor to easily find and navigate pages on website
2XML sitemap contains URLs of different pages of the websiteHTML sitemap contains main pages, categories, and links to other pages of the website
3The XML sitemap is for search engines crawlers, it is not understood by the website’s visitorsThe HTML sitemap is for visitors of the website, it is not understood by the crawlers of the search engines
4We need to submit an XML sitemap in webmasters toolsWe don’t need to submit HTML sitemap in webmasters tools

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How To Create XML Sitemap

We have learned what is sitemap in website, now we will learn how to create XML sitemap, There are so many different ways to create an XML sitemap for a website, but as we always try to provide the best information to our users, so here we are going to tell the best way to create an XML sitemap for your website

To create XML sitemap follow these steps =>

https://webmastersgyan.com/
  • Here in the search bar enter the URL of your website and click on start.
  • If you have a small website that contains less than 500 pages, then it will create a sitemap for free, but if you have a big website that contains thousands of pages, then you have to choose a PRO plan to create an XML sitemap.
  • After clicking on start, it will automatically start the process and within 2-5 minutes, it will create your website’s XML sitemap.
  • When the process is completed, click on the view sitemap, and you will get a link to download your XML sitemap file, click on the link and download your sitemap file.
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  • After downloading your XML sitemap file, you have to upload this file to your website’s root directory or public HTML folder of your website, so it will be updated automatically whenever you will update or publish any new post or page.
  • To upload your XML sitemap to your root directory go to cPanel/hosting account => file manager => public html folder => click on upload file => select your downloaded XML sitemap file => click on open/submit/upload => save or refresh
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  • Your XML sitemap will be added to your website root directory.
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Here we have created our XML sitemap and added it to our web site’s root directory, now it will be automatically updated whenever we will publish any new page or post.

This is the best way to create a sitemap for a website, but if you are having your website on WordPress or any other platform, then you can also use your SEO plugins like Yoast or rank math to create the sitemap, but we don’t recommend creating a sitemap from those plugins

Because we have found that those plugin’s sitemap sometimes gives HTML errors in google search console, and then it becomes very difficult to solve that issue, that’s why we recommend creating sitemap from above told method.

If you don’t know about SEO (search engine optimization) and types of SEO then you are missing a lot of important things, click on the link to read that post.

How To Submit Sitemap To Google Webmaster Tools/Google Search Console

After creating your XML sitemap, you will need to submit it to search engines webmaster tools like Google webmaster tools/google search console, so let’s learn how to submit sitemap to google webmaster tools =>

  • Open your website search console, if you haven’t added your website to the search console, then first create your account in the google search console, and add and verify your property(website) in that.
  • After going to the google search console of your website, click on the sitemap shown the left side of the console.
https://webmastersgyan.com/
  • In the add a new sitemap section, enter sitemap.xml after the URL of the website and click on submit.
  • After that, it will fetch your XML sitemap, and it will show in the submitted sitemap section, and it will also find all URLs from the sitemap.

Here we have learned what is sitemap in website, how to create and submit a sitemap in the search console, now we will find answers to the other questions or errors related to the sitemap.

If you don’t know What Are Backlinks On a Website? Do backlinks Really Help In Ranking then click on the link to read that post

Some Other Questions Related To Sitemap

We have found that people are having some errors related to sitemap and finding the solutions on the internet like =>

Your Sitemap Appears To Be An HTML Page. Please Use A Supported Sitemap Format Instead.

How To Fix Sitemap couldn’t fetch Error

Sitemap Index Can Be Read But Has Errors

If you are having these types of errors in the google search console and searching for how to fix sitemap couldn’t fetch error/sitemap index can be read but has errors/your sitemap appears to be an HTML page please use a supported sitemap format instead,

Then, first of all, you must know what are these errors and why you are facing these types of errors

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If you are having a website on WordPress or any other platform, and created and summited sitemap through any SEO plugin like Yoast or rank math, then you can get these types of errors, because those plugins may have errors in the coding of their sitemap.

There may be different issue that you are getting these types of errors as =>

  • The sitemap is not available (you can check in the live URL test)
  • The sitemap is not indexed in the search console.
  • The sitemap is not updating and not submitting new posts and updates.
  • If you have created a sitemap from any third party website (as we told above), then it may have that you haven’t uploaded your sitemap properly in your website’s root folder(public HTML folder)

Now to solve these errors, if you have created your sitemap through any SEO plugin, then contact them regarding these errors and wait for them to solve these errors

Otherwise, the best solution is to turn off the sitemap setting from those plugins, and create a sitemap as told above, and properly upload it to the public HTML folder of your website

Then remove your old sitemap from the google search console, If you want to know how to remove sitemap from the google search console then follow these steps =>

How To Remove Sitemap From Google Search Console

=> Open google search console

https://webmastersgyan.com/

=> Click on sitemap section

=> Click on your old submitted sitemap

=> Now click 3 dot option icon

=> You will get remove sitemap option, click on it, and your sitemap will be removed

Now submit the new sitemap that you have created and uploaded in your public HTML folder(we have told above how to submit the sitemap), and your problem will be solved and you will not get these errors again.

If you have created a sitemap from any third party website as told above in how to create xml sitemap section, then it may happen that you haven’t uploaded your XML sitemap in your file manager’s public HTML folder, and because of it your sitemap is not fetching your new updated or published pages

So, first of all, upload your sitemap file in your website’s root or public HTML folder, and save it, and then refresh or resubmit your sitemap in google search console, your problem will be solved.

Do you know what is the keyword and what is keyword density and how does it affect your ranking click on the link to read our complete guide on it?

Final Words

Here we have learned what is sitemap in website, what is XML sitemap, how to create sitemap, and all, also solved issues related to sitemap, But sitemap is not a compulsory thing that you must have it otherwise your pages and post won’t be crawled and indexed.

But sitemap is important as it helps crawlers and user to easily find pages on our website, as crawlers have limited time for every website to crawl, and visitors also want clear navigation to move from one page to another page of the website,

So, you should create and submit sitemaps to webmaster tools to help them, If you like this hard work to provide this information, then please tell us your view in the comment section.

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