XML sitemaps are a good way to communicate directly with search engines, notifying them of new or updated content very quickly and allowing to speed up the process of indexing pages.
Typically, Google likes to speak to website owners in riddles. Creating a sitemap is one of those rare chances in SEO that Google has got the nod. Google makes it clear that:
“If your site’s pages are properly linked, our web crawlers can usually discover most of your site. Even so, a sitemap can improve the crawling of your site, particularly if your site meets one of the following criteria..”
In other words, a sitemap is not mandatory for SEO, and websites won’t rank any better or worse as a result of having it or not having it. But Google recommends using a sitemap for websites that have:
- Rich media content
- Lots of content that’s not well linked
- New websites with a few external links
- Dynamic content
Even if XML sitemaps help Google quickly find all essential pages on your site, Google still tells that “adding a sitemap doesn’t guarantee the indexing of those URLs.”
All of which is to say – every website owner wants Google to easily crawl the most important web pages and know the last updated data of them. For lucky ones, some content management systems (CMS) can automatically create XML sitemaps. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones, there are a lot of awesome tools out there you can choose from. Keep reading to learn about tools that will generate a sitemap for your website and help your SEO.
Price: Free | Premium: From $7 per month
SE Ranking is a lesser-known tool but with more advanced features out there. It’s something that I call a freemium sitemap generator that provides an unlimited number of pages available as a part of the SE Ranking Website Audit tool.
The tool is easy to use with the option to select what types of pages to include in your XML sitemap. You can very easily exclude pages like redirections (3xx), client (4xx) or server (5xx) error pages, duplicated or canonicalized pages, pages that are blocked by robots.txt with noindex or nofollow pages. Additionally, you can quickly set the priority and change frequency for different crawl depths and create the last modified date.
Price: Free | Premium: £149.00 per year
Screaming Frog is a powerful desktop software that helps with a wide range of SEO activities, including the ability to create an XML sitemap for any website in minutes. The tool provides a free version with a crawl limit of 500 pages. To crawl websites more than 500 pages, you will need to buy an annual license.
XML sitemaps are vital for SEO, but are often misused and misunderstood. If you want someone to find the most important pages on your website, Screaming Frog allows you to include them optionally or you can choose the default options. But it’s worth excluding any noindex, paginated, duplicate pages and PDFs. It’s also optional whether to include images or hreflang in your sitemap.
Price: Free | Premium: €66.36 per year
Yoast is a mega-huge SEO plugin with a lot more features that cover everything SEO-related. The sitemap is only a tiny portion of the entire spectrum, but it is our primary selling point here.
If you are running WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin will automatically create a sitemap for your website and submit it to Google and Bing. The best thing about this plugin is that it updates automatically. Once you create a new blog post or product page, a link will be added to your sitemap instantly.
The Yoast SEO plugin features integration with Google Search Console. You can easily check out how your website performs in search results without leaving your WordPress dashboard. The plugin is great for building the best dynamic sitemaps for your sites.
One of the most impressive features is the ability to create sub-sitemaps by category for every 1,000 links. It’s very convenient for websites that get large and massive. Each sub-sitemap is linking to the main sitemap that allows Google easy access to the entire directory.
Price: Free | Premium: $39.95
Inspyder provides the easiest way for webmasters to generate accurate XML sitemaps on a scheduling basis, with the option to create separate sitemaps for mobile-focused pages, images, and even videos. It’s easy to use and manage complex websites on your PC.
Inspyder Sitemap Creator automatically generates an XML sitemap for your website, uploads it to your server, informs Google‘s crawlers of any changes, and sends you email notifications if there is a problem.
The software can process an unlimited amount of pages and websites, and is 100% compatible with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com. For advanced webmasters, there are free tools like URL and HTML encoders that might provide extra value and utility.
Price: Free | Premium: $3.49 per month
XML-Sitemaps is one of the most used online sitemap generators. It works perfectly for websites that have up to 500 web pages. To generate more than 500 URLs, you’ll need to explore the paid options.
The pro version gives you a high degree of control and creates multiple sitemaps such as video, image, mobile, ror, and news. Plus, you will receive lifetime free updates once you purchase a PRO account.
The tool is simple to use, with easy step-by-step instructions, and doesn’t require any advanced technical expertise. It’s good in terms of output in quick generation time and multiple formats. However, it will be better to use for static content.
Price: Free | Premium: $24.95
Sitemap Writer Pro is one of the fastest sitemap generators available on the market that provides support for different sitemaps with millions of URLs for your website. The tool has a user-friendly interface and many useful features, such as auto-checking of duplicate or broken URLs, search engines notification about your sitemap, and ready-to-use settings for the most popular CMS.
You can manually add a list of URLs, import files from an FTP server or the hard disk, or automatically generate links to include in your sitemap file.
G-Mapper is a simple, unlimited web site spider that is better tailored for most basic needs. The tool supports not only the XML protocol, but also podcasts, RSS, text files, and images. Compared with Sitemap Writer Pro, it doesn’t work too fast, but it will push the matter through and the batch edit module will do other lengthy and cumbersome editing jobs in a jiffy.
If you are using WordPress, G-Mapper can offer a free WordPress Sitemap Generator plugin which configures sitemap values for tags, posts, pages, and the whole website. In addition, you will get an automatic daily ping when you’ve updated pages or posts in WordPress.
Price: Free | Premium: $49
A1 Sitemap Generator makes it easy for both beginners and professionals to build optimized XML sitemaps for websites that allow you to exclude unwanted URLs, calculate priority values for web pages, automate and schedule the whole process by using command line support and the batch file. Therefore, you can create a task scheduler and automate tasks, such as build sitemap or scan website at given intervals.
Website crawling and software speed make A1 Sitemap Generator a user-friendly and intuitive tool to withstand high speed when crossing 100.000 pages, and even crunching mega-huge websites with millions of URLs. All you have to do is run the program on your PC and let the high-performance site crawler do its work.
Bonus tools contain an integrated FTP client that helps you FTP upload the sitemap to your website. A1 Sitemap Generator can also scan websites from local folders and websites on LAN, CD or other removable media.
There are a bunch of numerous choices out there for creating XML sitemaps. Now it’s your turn to decide which tool gives the best option for your specific purpose.