Adding a Sitemap to a Godaddy WordPress Hosting Account
Do you ever wake up in the morning just to find that you can’t immediately find the site that you’re trying to reach? It’s a real pain when you’ve spent a good portion of the night trying to work on a presentation or a blog post only to find that you can’t get to them because some URL is wrong or the page isn’t found. If you’re using WordPress, this can be easily solved by creating a Sitemap. A sitemap is a file that can be found at the root of your WordPress installation (typically in “sites”/) that acts as a guide to the different areas of your site. When a user opens it in their web browser, they will see a list of all the pages on your site along with some relevant information about why you chose that page (via the Description and Title). They can then click on one of the links to be taken to that particular page. The Description and Title are also what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) considers the “meat” of the page content which is what the user is most likely to enter into the search bar of their browser when looking for your site.
Creating a sitemap is quite easy. Simply navigate to Sites in your WordPress dashboard and click on the Create New button near the top of the page. From here, you can either choose to use one of the existing templates or drag and drop the different areas of your site into the sidebar so they can be organized according to your liking. When you’re finished, click on the blue Save button at the top right of the page to add the sitemap to your WordPress account.
Why Create a Sitemap?
The most basic reason for creating a sitemap is so that your users can find your site easier. Imagine waking up in the morning, excited about a new presentation you’re working on or a blog post you’ve just written. You want to make sure that when someone clicks on that link, they’re taken to the page they’re expecting. If you’ve never created a sitemap before, it can be hard to know where to start—especially since there are so many different ways that they can be configured. With a sitemap, you can enter a URL for a single page or for the home page and then each section (blog posts, presentations, etc.) can be its own URL all pointing to the same place. This makes it much easier for users to find what they’re looking for as there will always be one URL to go to.
Another advantage of creating a sitemap is that you can have a look at its contents without actually having to go to the site. If you think that there are certain pages on your site that are more important than others, you can put them at the top of the list in the sitemap. This will then make them appear first when users search for your site. The more prominent the page is in the sitemap, the more likely it is that users will click on it when it comes time to visit your site.
Another very cool feature that some web hosts provide is the ability to have multiple sitemaps and to designate which one to use when a user visits a specific site. In the case where one of the sitemaps is designated as the “front page,” the user will automatically be taken to the home page when they visit the site—even if it’s done automatically without their knowledge, it’s still a nice touch. This can help with SEO as well since Google considers the front page of a website to be one of the most important parts of the website.
Adding a Sitemap to WordPress
As mentioned above, the simplest way to add a sitemap to your WordPress account (and the one most shared by users) is to go to Sites in your dashboard, click on the Create New button, and then select the Sitemap option. Doing this will add a new “Sitemap” to the list in the Media area of the dashboard.
From here, you can either go back to the Sites area of your dashboard and click on the Sitemap entry to edit the settings or you can click on the Sitemap entry itself to go to the edit page. You’ll be able to see all the areas of your site in the sidebar of the page (blog posts, announcements, etc.) along with the description and URL for each section.
WordPress offers a lot of customization options for the sitemap and you can choose the colors, layout, and even the Content area (the meat of the page) from which the description and title are pulled. Some hosts will even let you choose the order that the different sections are presented in so you can put the most important content at the top.
You don’t necessarily have to go through all of these steps to add a sitemap to your WordPress account. Some hosts will automatically add one for you when you activate the service.
Creating a sitemap for WordPress can be a painless process and it can really help with navigation. Not only does it make it easier for users to find content on your site but it also makes it easier for Google to crawl and index your content since it’s all in one place.