Creating a sitemap is a critical step in optimizing your site for search and enhancing user navigation. There are three different methods of creating a sitemap and they are XML, HTML and visual sitemaps.  HTML for human users and a page of links that helps visitors navigate your site users. XML is for search engines and the language of search engine crawlers and arguably the most crucial sitemap file. Visual for planning also made for people, this one provides a clear visual representation of your site’s structure.

This post will clarify you about XML sitemap and generating guidelines and submitting process to google. Indeed, an XML sitemap is highly recommended if you want your pages to show in search engine results. If you don’t provide an XML sitemap, search engines have to rely on hyperlinks (on your site or elsewhere) to discover pages on your site. This is inefficient and it can lead to pages being missed. User with zero technical knowledge can also generate sitemap as it can be created with plugins or site generators tools.

What is XML sitemap?

Why we call it XML sitemap? It’s called an XML sitemap because it’s written in Extensible Markup Language (XML). It’s a format that makes it easy for search engine crawlers to read a sitemap. Google says sitemaps are suitable for large websites, websites with extensive archives, or new websites with few links. However, every website can benefit from having it. There are really no downsides to having one. And it only takes a few minutes to create one.

An XML sitemap is a file that lists the URLs of a website, providing metadata about each URL, such as when it was last updated, how often it changes, and its relative importance. This helps search engines like Google, Bing, and others to crawl the site more efficiently and effectively, ensuring that all important pages are discovered and indexed.

The biggest reason you should create and submit your XML sitemap is indexing. With a XML sitemap you no longer need to rely on linking to get your pages crawled. Moreover it also helps Search engines see new or updated sites and pages more quickly. With the meta description available in site map bots can crawl pages more intelligently. Additionally, it also ensures that search engines are finding important information about images and videos, which are inaccessible to crawlers.

There are various types of sitemap you can explore such as standard XML sitemap, Image site maps, video sitemaps and News sitemaps. News sitemap is used for sites that publish news content, ensuring timely indexing of articles. Whereas image and video sitemap provide information about image and video content. On contrary, Standard sitemap list the URLs of all the web pages you want indexed.

How to create XML Sitemap?

Sitemaps are more than just decorative, they play a significant part in your website’s SEO and understanding how to create a site map is an essential skill that can significantly enhance your web presence.

It’s likely that the platform you use to manage your website’s content automatically generates and updates your XML sitemap. You may be able to find yours by going to in your browser.

Creating an XML sitemap can be done in several ways: manually, using tools or plugins, online generator, or write a script to generate it dynamically. Here’s a step-by-step guide for each method.

1: Creating Manually

  1. Open a Text Editor: Use a simple text editor like Notepad or a code editor like Visual Studio Code.
  2. Write the XML Structure: Follow the XML sitemap format.
  3. xmlCopy code<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns=""> <url> <loc></loc> <lastmod>2024-07-01</lastmod> <changefreq>daily</changefreq> <priority>1.0</priority> </url> <url> <loc></loc> <lastmod>2024-06-28</lastmod> <changefreq>monthly</changefreq> <priority>0.8</priority> </url> <!-- Add more URLs here --> </urlset>
  4. Save the File: Save the file with a .xml extension, e.g., sitemap.xml.
  5. Upload the Sitemap: Upload the file to the root directory of your website (e.g.,

2: Using Online Sitemap Generators

  1. Choose a Generator: Use an online tool like XML Sitemaps.
  2. Enter Your Website URL: Provide your website’s URL and configure any additional settings (e.g., frequency of changes, priority).
  3. Generate the Sitemap: Click the button to generate the sitemap.
  4. Download the Sitemap: Download the generated sitemap file.
  5. Upload the Sitemap: Upload it to your website’s root directory.

3: Using CMS Plugins (e.g., WordPress)

  1. Install a Plugin: Install a sitemap plugin like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, or Google XML Sitemaps.
    • For Yoast SEO:
      1. Install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin.
      2. Go to the Yoast SEO settings in your WordPress dashboard.
      3. Navigate to SEO > General > Features.
      4. Ensure the XML sitemaps toggle is turned on.
      5. You can view your sitemap at
  2. Configure the Plugin: Follow the plugin’s instructions to configure your sitemap settings.
  3. Submit the Sitemap: The plugin will automatically update the sitemap as you add or remove content

4: Programmatically Generating a Sitemap (e.g., Python)

  1. Write a Script: Use Python to generate a sitemap dynamically.
  2. pythonCopy codeimport os from datetime import datetime urls =
  3. [ {"loc": "", "lastmod": "2024-07-01", "changefreq": "daily", "priority": 1.0}, {"loc": "", "lastmod": "2024-06-28", "changefreq": "monthly", "priority": 0.8}, # Add more URLs here ] sitemap = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>\n' sitemap += '<urlset xmlns="">\n' for url in urls: sitemap += ' <url>\n' sitemap += f' <loc>{url["loc"]}</loc>\n' sitemap += f' <lastmod>{url["lastmod"]}</lastmod>\n' sitemap += f' <changefreq>{url["changefreq"]}</changefreq>\n' sitemap += f' <priority>{url["priority"]}</priority>\n' sitemap += ' </url>\n' sitemap += '</urlset>' with open('sitemap.xml', 'w') as file: file.write(sitemap)
  4. Run the Script: Execute the script to generate the sitemap.xml file.
  5. Upload the Sitemap: Upload the generated sitemap to your website’s root directory.

It’s likely that the platform you use to manage your website’s content automatically generates and updates your XML sitemap. 

Where and how to submit XML sitemap?

Submitting an XML sitemap to search engines like Google and Bing helps them crawl and index your site more efficiently. While Google and Bing are the major search engines, you might also consider submitting your sitemap to other search engines like Yahoo (which uses Bing’s search index) or smaller, regional search engines. Here’s how you can submit it to Google.

Submitting XML Sitemap to Google

  1. Sign in to Google Search Console:
    • Go to Google Search Console.
    • Sign in with your Google account.
  2. Select Your Property:
    • In the Search Console dashboard, select the website property you want to submit the sitemap. If you haven’t added your site yet, click on “Add Property” and follow the instructions to add and verify your site.
  3. Navigate to the Sitemaps Section:
    • In the left-hand menu, click on Index > Sitemaps.
  4. Submit Your Sitemap:
    • In the “Add a new sitemap” field, enter the URL of your sitemap (e.g.,
    • Click the Submit button.
  5. Check the Submission Status:
    • After submitting, you can check the status of your sitemap submission in the Sitemaps section. Google will indicate if the sitemap was successfully processed or if there were any errors.

IN a Nutshell,

Is it possible to have a site with XML sitemap? Yes, it is if you have a sufficient page links on your website. However it doesn’t mean you don’t need XML sitemap but serves as a valuable tool in enhancing your website’s visibility, improving SEO, and providing a better experience for both users and search engines.

Most importantly to have a perfect sitemap you should verify pages to be included, follow its protocol, use correct tag and structure, include metadata such as last modified date, change frequency, and priority and more. Similarly, do not forget to include the sitemap location in the robots.txt file, regularly update and also use tools and analytics to track the sitemap’s effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.