How to Generate and Upload Sitemap XML File in 1 Minute?
Hello! On this site, we talk a lot and often about web development and SEO, today's post is no exception. We will talk about what a sitemap is, why you need it, and most importantly, how to upload it and where. There are many questions, but I will try to explain everything very simply and intelligibly.
What it is?
A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website. It assists search engines in understanding your site's structure and locating all of your pages. A sitemap can include information such as how frequently a page is updated, when it was last modified, and the relative importance of each page on your site.
Examine it for yourself. Instead of using simple words, I'll use an example. When you create a sitemap for your site, you obtain the entire URL of the page (the path to the HTML file on the hosting), as well as the date of the latest modifications on this page (this is also visible in your hosting's admin panel). All of this information is displayed while looking for an elderly guy, as illustrated in the screenshot below.
Sitemap Upload Result
How to Generate it?
There are many ways to create such an XML file, I even knew people who wrote such files by hand. We will not be doing this, so we will use the online tool for this. We have a separate article about these resources on our site (if you missed it, I recommend that you read the link), but I always use the XML-Sitemap tool for my own purposes.
This free tool allows you to generate XML sitemaps for up to 500 pages on your website. I use this particular tool - it is simple, the interface is intuitive, and most importantly, the tool is effective. You enter a link - you get an XML file that you need to upload to the root folder of the site. Everything is simple.
XML Sitemap Generator - Interface
If you have a large site, here is the solution for you. The pro version has the ability to automatically compose XML files, recognize broken links and access the API. And most importantly, you can scan more than 500 pages. I don't need it, I have a small site, so the free version is enough. The paid version will cost you $4.19/mon.
Now that you have downloaded the XML file, you need to do something with it. Quite logical. This file should be kept or updated as needed in the root folder of your site. To put it even more simply, you should upload this file to the same place where you have your index.html file. This is the only place on your web host, there are no alternatives - you will understand why a little later.
As previously stated, a sitemap is just an XML file that is posted to the root folder of your project (i.e., the same directory as the index file) on your hosting. This is how my Hostinger cPanel seems to me. (Because this is my project, some details have been withheld.)
Hostinger - Sitemap Uploading
Your interface may be very different, but the essence remains the same. You can look at what the site generated for you to make sure that all the internal links of your site are really there.
Google Search Console
It is not enough to store this file on the hosting, it will not be of any use. You need to make sure that Google receives information that your site has an XML file, and you can start indexing pages. For this we need Google Search Console.
Since creating a profile on GSC is a fairly large branch of our topic, if you do not already have a profile there, then I recommend that you read the official documentation from Google at the link. I think no one can explain it better through the developers themselves.
With a profile ready and configured, you just need to go to the Sitemaps tab and in the Add a new sitemap field, paste a link to your XML file. This link will look something like this - https://example.com/sitemap.xml. That is why it is important to load the XML file exactly in the root folder of your project.
Google Search Console - Sitemap Uploading
File downloaded. Congratulations! It has become my habit to check the number of pages found in the XML file in the Google Search Console and on the XML file generator site for consistency. The fact is that sometimes Google loses some pages from its attention and there is a need to download the file again. It's only happened to me twice, but it is worth it...
Now that Google knows everything about our pages - how many there are, when they last appeared, and what their URLs are - we're ready to start checking the URLs. In fact, this indexing is a process during which Google will check your page for errors, uniqueness of content and its quality, and if everything is fine, then your page and the site as a whole will appear in the search results.
Google Search Console - URL Check
Every day, a huge number of pages are indexed in this way, so checking and indexing does not happen instantly. You will have to wait. No one knows how long it will take, but personally it didn’t take me longer than a day to check one strain. In general, remember that the most important thing in working with Google Search Console is patience - nothing happens instantly here.
Google Search Console - URL Status
This procedure must be done with every page in the XML file, with every page of your site. It is not enough to simply index the old home site, as I did in the beginning and inexperience. Given that it takes about a day to index one page on average, then if you load a hundred pages at once, you will have to wait a lot.
As you can see, downloading an XML file and having it approved by Google is very simple, but very useful and effective if you want your site to be noticed in the search engine at all. I tried to describe in as much detail as possible the process that I go through almost every day, updating and downloading new versions. Of course, there are even more steps to achieve excellent SEO results, but today we focused on this.