WordPress is an extremely powerful and versatile platform – but this versatility also brings options; With options comes confusion, since you have so many choices to make even for the smallest of things. This is where this list might help you – a list containing 12 of the best WordPress plugins to generate XML Sitemaps. As a webmaster you obviously realize how important a sitemap is not only for your users, but also for you as a webmaster – it enables search engine crawlers to be able to crawl your website in a better and more efficient fashion, and also keeps your SEO up to date.
Top WordPress SiteMap Plugins
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin has been rated at the top by people and has over a million installs – one of the essential plugins for your WordPress site. It does what it says in the name – generate and XML sitemap so search engines can do a better job of crawling through your website and indexing it.
It supports Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com and automatically notifies them to crawl your site every time you put up a new post. It has been around for over nine years and is still getting full support by its developers all for no money at all unless you want to give them a donation with your free will.
Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps
As it is with competition – you make a product and patiently wait for your competitor to make something better, and then name it that too. This plugin will build for you four different types of sitemaps and includes support for modules enabling custom sitemaps – sitemaps made according to your needs. The makers of this plugin claim to have unrivaled flexibility and we just might have to agree with them on that. It is available in multiple languages for free.
The Page-list plugin used to be known as simply “Sitemap,” however after a complete overhaul and re-write it is now known as Page-list. A highly optimized extension that has only one purpose – provide you with shortcodes you can embed anywhere on the page; making it easier to browse through your site without going through endless menus and submenus. You can even add additional parameters to the shortcodes as you like and all this is completely free and extremely optimized.
XML Sitemap & Google News Feeds
As the name suggests, this plugin will create different types of sitemaps for your website, the two prominent ones being an XML Sitemap and a Google News sitemap. It is one of the most simple plugins that accomplish this – it creates no files, and you as a webmaster doesn’t need to go through any complicated setup process. All it does is instantly give you a sitemap for your website without any fuss. It is available for free in multiple languages.
Sitemap Generator for Webmasters
This plugin offers something unique for the webmasters who cannot afford to host their websites on a dedicated server – that is the majority. If you share your hosting with various other WordPress installations, you are most likely low on CPU quota, which means it is hard for you to have anything CPU intensive as a plugin.
This plugin uses an external service to build a sitemap for your website – it’s not instant. However, it barely uses any resources on your server and keeps your server hosts happy. The external service is free up to a sitemap of 500 URLs, but anything above that goes into a monthly subscription territory for which the prices can be found here.
Google Sitemap by BestWebSoft
This plugin makes a file specifically for the Google Webmaster Tools – making it better and easier to gather information about your site in the Webmaster Tools. That’s pretty much all it does, though – there are no added bells and whistles, straight to the point and entirely free of charge.
Simple WP Sitemap
This plugin generates an XML and HTML sitemap for your website the moment someone visits their respective addresses – not a moment before or after it does it make a sitemap. What this gives you is a sitemap that is always updated – because it is quite literally made only when it is visited. It might be just a tiny bit CPU intensive to do, but it keeps all the crawlers up to do and shows them what you want to see them as fast as possible. And it is entirely free of charge as well.
Google Video Sitemap Feed
This plugin is one of the few zero-configuration plugins. All you have to do is install it and then it handles all the work. It will create a sitemap of all the videos on your site from YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion – and it does it on the fly, so the sitemap is always up to date, and just in case some video on your website gets deleted or taken down, the plugin will even send you a notification on your email notifying you about it. All for no cost to you.
WP Sitemap Page
This plugin generates a sitemap for your users rather than for the bots – something many people overlook. You can make as good site design as you like, but some people still prefer the good old way of browsing through a neatly nested sitemap – which is exactly what this plugin will give them.
With a simple shortcode in any of your posts, you can embed the sitemap for your website – you can even give the extra shortcode parameters to filter the sitemap so you can have some very specific sitemaps too. All of it is even customizable with custom CSS support and it supports multiple languages. It even supports custom post types – all of this free of charge.
WP SEO HTML Sitemap
This plugin is adding features to an entirely different plugin. If you happen to use the Yoast SEO plugin for your SEO needs – which you might be considering it has over a million installs – then this plugin is very useful to you. The Yoast SEO plugin lacks the HTML sitemap feature, and this plugin fills that gap by using the settings from your Yoast settings and building an HTML sitemap that you can embed anywhere with a shortcode. It provides various options for customization all the while keep it simple and integrating everything with Yoast SEO.
SiteX Sitemap Generator
This plugin is a bit different – instead of going to your website and making a proper sitemap, this one goes through your navigation bars and generates a nested sitemap according to how you have designed your site’s navigation. This can be useful in certain situations and you might be in one of those, so if you are – this one will cost you $15 for a regular license with six months of support.
Smart Sitemap.xml Tools
This plugin once again generates the sitemap for your website on the fly on demand, removing the need to read or write permissions on your server. What’s different is that it supports multiple sites – so you can have one sitemap for a network of websites. The plugin also lets you set various rules for how you want to generate the sitemaps.
It can also create an XML transformation file that can make the XML sitemap human readable depending on the browser – search engines will ignore this file. It also features an easy import/export feature for your settings so you can transfer settings between websites and supports multiple languages. It does come with a price of 19$ for a regular license, though.
Over To You
These were some 12 great sitemap plugins for your WordPress website, containing both free and paid plugins – whether the premium ones are worth their cost is up to you to decide, but the free ones all are worth a try depending on your specific needs.
There are some that can do one specific type of sitemap extremely efficiently and some that just add tons of features to play with. In any case, you have full control and the ability to make a choice – which is what makes WordPress an ideal platform to work with WP.