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Generate Useful Site Maps Easily

Generate Useful Site Maps Easily

November 6, 2011
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" Enter the sitemap, which in its simplest terms is a categorized listing of all the pages on a website. "

One of the biggest tasks facing search engines when trying to rank a website is to determine which pages are the most (and least) important. Likewise, surfers often face difficulties in finding the resource they seek, especially on larger, content-rich websites.

Enter the sitemap, which in its simplest terms is a categorized listing of all the pages on a website; but which can also take the form of a dynamic feed generated by a content management system such as WordPress, using code plugins to ease the whole process — such as this brief roundup of solutions for automatic Word- Press site map building:

Quick XML Sitemap. This simple plugin allows users to easily and quickly generate an XML sitemap of a WordPress blog and ping several search engines, including Ask.com, Google and Bing. The oneclick installation process and self-updating XML feed make this basic tool one worth considering.

WP Realtime Sitemap. According to its publisher, this sitemap plugin makes it easier for your site to show all its pages, posts, archives, categories and tags in an easy to read format, without the need to modify templates, or any HTML/PHP knowledge required. Fully featured, the free WP Realtime Sitemap plugin comes complete with an uninstaller and is available in English, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, Russian and Spanish.

Google XML Sitemaps. Generating a special XML sitemap designed to help search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com, better index your site, this plugin makes it easier for crawlers to see the complete structure of a site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin offers support for all types of WordPress generated pages, as well as custom URLs and notifies the major search engines each time a new post is created.

Sitemap. Another fully-featured plugin, Sitemap is based on thewp_list_pages(‘title_li=’) function and employs shortcodes to display a customizable hierarchical list of pages, using [sitemap], [pagelist], [subpages] and [siblings]. Many additional parameters are also available, such as [pagelist depth=“2” child_of=“4” exclude=“6,7,8”]. A series of usage examples is included, detailing the flexibility of the tool’s display options.

While not the only options, these offerings illustrate the range of tools and techniques available for automating WordPress sitemap generation — and because they are all free and easy to install, webmasters can try a few; seeing which one works best on their site — your customers will thank you and better search engine ranks benefit your traffic flow.


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