A sitemap is an XML file that consists of all the URLs of a website. Besides automatically adding URLs, sitemap file can be used to include additional information about the URLs in the sitemap.
A sitemap is used to provide the information about a website to the search engines, as sitemap lists all of the URLs that are available for crawling. Using a sitemap is especially recommended for the large websites that have new pages updated regularly. In this way, the search engines can crawl your website more successfully, as they will get all of the information from the sitemap.
When it comes to creating a sitemap, you should have in mind the following guidelines (source: Wikipedia):
– Sitemap files have a limit of 50,000 URLs and 50 megabytes per sitemap.
– Sitemaps can be compressed using gzip, reducing bandwidth consumption.
– Multiple sitemap files are supported, with a Sitemap index file serving as an entry point.
– Sitemap index files may not list more than 50,000 Sitemaps and must be no larger than 10MiB (10,485,760 bytes) and can be compressed.
– You can have more than one Sitemap index file.
– As with all XML files, any data values (including URLs) must use entity escape codes for the characters ampersand (&), single quote (‘), double quote (“), less than (<), and greater than (>).
Create a static Sitemap.xml
Install software called Sitemap Generator (http://wonderwebware.com/sitemap-generator/) on your computer. Once installed, open it and provide the URL of the domain and click on Start. It also allows restrictions, such as not to index images or specific URLs.
Create an automatic Sitemap.xml with WordPress
First we must install and activate the plugin. To do this, you should go to your WordPress dashboard, find the option Plugins, click on Add New and search for XML Sitemap:
Create an empty .txt file and save it as “sitemap.xml” and remove the txt from the name. You should do the same with another txt file naming “sitemap.xml.gz”. Upload these two to FTP and save them in the root of the blog. Once uploaded set the permission CHMOD 77.
We click on the right mouse button for each of the two files from the FTP:
Here is a Google’s guide on building a sitemap: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/183668?hl=en
This video illustrates how to add a sitemap to WordPress:
How to Install an XML Sitemap in WordPress
In this video you can see how to create and sumbit Google sitemap:
How To Create and Submit a Google Sitemap