Sitemaps are important because they can notify search engines of all the webpages on your domain. The sitemap is a structured way to tell for example Google what pages it should add to their search index. If you use WordPress, there are a couple of ways to generate a sitemap for your website.
What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a structured file (in XML format), that lists all of the pages on your domain. Additionally, the sitemap will contain some metadata about each page, such as the last modification date or its importance.
More info can be found on: https://www.sitemaps.org
Why is a sitemap important for a WordPress website?
Search engines such as Google or Bing are important ways for website owners to gain visitors; we call it ‘organic traffic’. A user is looking for an answer via a search engine, and the search engine is providing an answer (by providing relevant website – including maybe yours).
By submitting a sitemap to (for example) Google, you can be sure that Google will take into account every page that is listed within that sitemap. While it is not a guarantee that every single page within the sitemap will be crawled by Google, it is still one of the best actions you can take to increase your chances at least.
In the end, if more of your pages are indexed by search engines, the higher the chances that your pages will appear in the search engine results page for one or more keywords. Thanks to an increase in visitors, you can better share your story, sell your product or increase awareness (or anything else – depending on the purpose of your website).
Where to find my sitemap on WordPress?
Creating a sitemap for your WordPress blog or website can be done in multiple ways. The easiest way is by using the standard option that is offered by WordPress (starting from version 5.5).
Default sitemap location in WordPress
WordPress comes with a sitemap by default. Many people don’t know this (yet) because it is not very clear where to find the location of this sitemap within your WordPress installation.
The standard sitemap of WordPress is likely going to be sufficient for 95% of all users. You can find the sitemap by going to the following location:
To add an example, if you have a website https://example.com, you should be able to find your sitemap on this location: https://example.com/wp-sitemap.xml
Perhaps a good point to add here is that it is not necessary to manually add your sitemap to Google Search Console. Why not? The developers at WordPress were smart and simply added a reference to the sitemap location in your robots.txt file. Search engines wil first look for the robots.txt file and then be instructed to go to your sitemap. So in fact, it happens automatically.
You can’t seem to find this sitemap? Perhaps you are not yet using the latest version of WordPress (5.5 or later), so you should upgrade first.