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WordPress XML SiteMaps, my take

Map of the worldMy opinion on WordPress XML SiteMap Plugins

It is my opinion which is shared by many others, to keep the number of WordPress Plugins on your website as low as you can. This is partly because the more WordPress Plugins that are active on your site, can potentially consume more computer resources and take more time to deliver your great content back to your website users. This great content needs to be displayed to your website users as quickly as possible.

All In One SEO WordPress Plugin

Many websites using WordPress use the All In One SEO Plugin. It just so happens that this WordPress Plugin has some great additional functionally, and one of these functions is the All In One SEO XML SiteMap.

After doing some research, I decided to implement the All In One SEO XML SiteMap on my website. At the time I did some quick research and make a quick decision after reviewing my options. I do not use other sitemaps so I can not comment on them. Another reason, is that I was already using other functionally provided by the All In One SEO Plugin, so I did not have to implement an additional WordPress Plugin.

Keep the number of WordPress Plugins 5 or less

I am keen to keep the number of WordPress Plugins to four or less, and I have already reached the four limit. This is a self imposed limit based on what I was reading.

Site Health Checks

I am a proud member of Wealthy Affiliate. (See my review of Wealthy Affiliate here.) One of the many benefits of Wealthy Affiliate membership is that they perform SiteHealth Checks of the websites you have hosted with them. They check various headings for you, provide scores and provide feedback on how the website could be improved. This is not an exact science, however having this information helps. And helps you to determine what to spend time on. These SiteHealth Checks help people using this tool to improve their websites assuming of course, that they take the suggested courses of action. 🙂

Implement All In One SEO XML SiteMap

The notes below assume that the All In One SEO WordPress Plugin is already installed and active on your website and that you have administrator rights to the associated WordPress Dashboard:

Go to your website’s WordPress Dashboard, select All In One SEO from the list, then select XML SiteMap from that list.

Then click on the button to enable the All In One SEO XML SiteMap.

Set/Edit settings accordingly to how you want the tool to behave. When I did this first, I simply accepted the default settings and then changed some of them. You will notice a Help icon displayed within the tool. If you need help, simply click on that 🙂
I used this help icon to help me to decide on some settings. 🙂/>This help icon is there to help people, including you and I, so I suggest you use it.

At this stage, the tool is suggesting that you review your settings and edit them if need be. If you changed settings during this process, be sure to click the update option, otherwise your revised settings are not saved. After this process, click on the view sitemap link to ensure that the process works.

I recall I had some trouble initially. It reported an error, something about some sort of parsing error. I cannot remember the exact error message.

I then used ftp to access my site. Everyone has their favorite tool for this, mine just happens to be Filezilla. I find that it does what I need to do and therefore am quite happy with it. If it is not broke, do not fix it. I already know how to use this tool from earlier life experiences.

Anyway, I used ftp to access my main folder on my website. I believe that this is different for everyone so I will not mention the folder name here.

Among the files, I would clearly see:-

  • sitemap.xml
  • sitemap.xml.gz

Both of these had a file size of 0 and the last modified date was not just now. This to me, just appeared as ‘oops, not all is as expected’. So I renamed both of them as follows:-

  • sitemap.xml    Renamed to sitemap-old.xml
  • sitemap.xml.gz    Renamed to sitemap-old.xml.gz

Then I went back to my website’s WordPress Dashboard, selected All In One SEO from the list, then selected XML SiteMap from that list. I then selected the view sitemap link and it worked. Yipeeeeee. 🙂

Once I had it working, I then reviewed the settings for more fine tuning. I excluded some pages as they contain similar information used by numerous websites throughout the internet. This is considered as good practice. The pages I excluded were my Privacy, affiliate, terms and conditions pages.

Then I could access the sitemap.xml file on my website using my browser. This file is recreated and rebuilt every time it is requested so the information on it is as up to date as possible. Yipee. Job done. 🙂

So I think, all good.

Please let us know what you think about this in the comments area below.

7 thoughts on “WordPress XML SiteMaps, my take”

  1. I check my site health consistency and I noticed I have too many plugins. I will definitely check out the all- in- one- seo plugin and get rid of a few ones that I have.

    great information keep it up.

  2. David
    Great info regarding Site Map. My research indicates that Site Maps are a good way to increase SEO Rank. I have been having problems getting my SITE MAP created. I will try you advice However,I am not very knowledgeable on FTP. With this said, are there other ways I can go about renaming the sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz files

    Best Regards
    Scott

    • Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your feedback and thanks for dropping by. You asked a great question. I will write a post about using FTP using commands. Using a ftp client like Filezilla uses these commands under the hood. Fiezilla has a nice user interface.

      I plan on having this post up within the next few days.

      Thanks for the great question.

      Have a great day.

      Kind Regards,
      David

  3. Thanks again I will try fillzilla

    • Hey Scott,

      Thanks indeed for dropping by my site and dropping a comment.

      Yes, filezilla is easy to use once you downloaded it from the internet and play around with it a bit.
      There is a site manager within it that can be configured to remember your ftp user name and ftp user name password information along with the name of the ftp site you are connecting to. Also great for copying the contents of folders over. Quite easy to use once you have figured out how it works.

      Cheers,
      David

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