How to Add an XML Sitemap to Your Website

Wordpress emblem

Why do you need a sitemap to your WordPress website?

A sitemap is like a map of your website.  It tells search engines what your website is about so their Googlebot and other web crawlers can find your pages and files easily and when it was last update.

There are two ways you can do this. One of the ways is to use the free version of the Yoast plugin and setup your sitemap from there.  The second way you can add a sitemap to your WordPress website is to use a plugin called, Google XML sitemap. This is a free plugin!

I really like the Google XML sitemap because it was really easy to use and I believe just about anyone can learn to do this by themselves.  However, I would caution you not to attempt it unless you are comfortable working with WordPress’ dashboard and the plugins.  If not, ask your webmaster or web designer to do this for you.

sitemap chart

But if you are set on doing the installation yourself, then, by all means, let’s begin.

Below, I’ve outline the step-by-step instructions.

Here are the steps:

  • Login to your WordPress website and access the dashboard.
  • Click on Plugins
  • Select Add New
  • On the upper right side in the Search box type in
  • Google XML Sitemap (see images below)
  • Download and Activate
  • Go back to dashboard and open the plugin.  Click on Settings
  • Scroll to the tab-area Sitemap Content

Make sure to check the appropriate boxes you need. You should also add a check to include categories and tag pages.

Then scroll down to Change Frequencies. Change the Posts to Weekly if you want Google and other search engines to check your site more often. Ultimately, you can check and uncheck the specific areas you need.

Now, scroll to bottom and click “Update Options”.

Then scroll back up again and in the “Result of the Last Ping” tab-area, select your sitemap from the Notify Search Engines.  You will see that Google was successfully notified about changes and Bing was successfully notified about changes. Click Update.  That’s it, you’re all done! Wasn’t that easy?