What Is sitemap.xml And How To Create It?

Mikołaj Sykuła
Mikołaj Sykuła
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May 17, 2023
What Is sitemap.xml And How To Create It?


Sitemap.xml definition

Sitemap.xml is a file that helps search engines like Google to more easily understand the structure of your website. This is a list of URLs available for indexing for a given page.

Purpose and benefits of sitemap.xml

The main purpose of sitemap.xml is to make it easier for search engine robots to discover and index pages. Thanks to this, your website can be indexed faster and more effectively, which can contribute to improving its visibility in search results.

How does sitemap.xml work?

Understanding the sitemap.xml structure

The sitemap.xml structure is quite simple. Each page on your website is represented by a <url> tag, which includes the following elements:

How search engines use sitemap.xml?

Search engines like Google use sitemap.xml to index your site efficiently. Search engine crawlers read sitemap.xml to find out which pages are available for indexing, when they were last updated, and how often they should be checked for changes.

Technical aspects of sitemap.xml

Detailed overview of sitemap.xml tags

Below is a more detailed overview of the tags that can be found in sitemap.xml:

How to use sitemap.xml tags for SEO?

Sitemap.xml tags can be effectively used for SEO optimization. For example, by regularly updating the <lastmod> tag, you can inform search engines about updates to the page, which can speed up their indexing. Using the <changefreq> tag can help search engines understand how often they should visit your site. On the other hand, using the xhtml:link hreflang tag can help search engines understand the relationship between different language versions of your page.

Common mistakes and how to avoid them

It's easy to make a few mistakes when creating sitemap.xml. Below is a list of the most common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them:

When should you use sitemap.xml?

Examples of pages that need sitemap.xml

Situations where sitemap.xml is less needed

How to create a sitemap.xml file?

Creating a sitemap.xml file is relatively simple and can be done in several ways:

Manually create sitemap.xml

You can create a sitemap.xml file manually by creating an XML file and adding appropriate tags to it. Below is an example of a simple sitemap.xml:


Using a sitemap generator

There are tools and websites that can automatically generate a sitemap.xml file for your site. Examples of such tools are XML-Sitemaps, Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Google Search Console.

Using CMS plugins

If you use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, there are plugins that can automatically generate a sitemap.xml file for your website. Examples of such plugins are Yoast SEO for WordPress and OSMap for Joomla.

How to test and submit sitemap.xml to search engines?

After creating the sitemap.xml file, it's important to test it and submit it to search engines. Here's how:

Testing sitemap.xml

You can test the sitemap.xml file using Google Search Console. After logging into the console, go to the "Sitemaps" section and enter the URL into your sitemap.xml file, then click "Submit". Google Search Console will verify that the sitemap.xml file is correct and inform you of any errors.

Submitting sitemap.xml to search engines

To submit your sitemap.xml file to Google, use Google Search Console as described above. To upload a sitemap.xml file to Bing, use Bing Webmaster Tools. In both cases, you will need to verify that you are the owner of the site before you can upload the sitemap.xml file.


The sitemap.xml file is an important SEO tool that helps search engines discover and index pages on your site. Remember to update your sitemap.xml file regularly, especially after adding new pages or making significant changes to the page.

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