Video: All in One SEO Pack – Configuring XML Sitemaps
In this video, we’re going to run through the XML Sitemap’s functionality in the All in One SEO Pack.
Here you can see that we’re logged into the WordPress dashboard and we’ve navigated into the Feature Manager area of the All In One SEO Pack. What we need to do now is click Activate where you see XML Sitemaps because this isn’t actually enabled by default.
Then in the left hand menu, just sort of below Performance over there, you will see XML Sitemap now appears. Now what we need to do is actually go and configure the particulars of the sitemap.
So here what we can do is choose the filename prefix and leaving it as the default being sitemap is just fine. Next, we can choose to notify Google as well as Bing.
So it’s always good to turn these on, so that anytime you have new content go out, search engines or at least these search engines will be notified that you’ve done so.
Next, you can enable the sitemap indexes. Now if you’ve got an enormous sitemap, we’re talking sort of in excess of 50,000 links in there or greater than five megabytes in size, then this is something you want to turn on.
Otherwise, you can just leave it off. There’s really no harm done if the sitemap isn’t really, really large.
Then you can also choose to paginate the sitemap index. So for anytime where you have an excessively large sitemap, this will actually break it down into separate files and it’s definitely best to do this if you have a massive sitemap that will make search engines a lot happier.
Then we just choose what post types and taxonomies we want included in the sitemap. So at the moment, I’ve currently got all post types being put into this sitemap. But I probably don’t need to. I might only want to put posts and pages in there.
You can see here I’ve also got forums, replies and recipe available. These are three examples of post types that I have and these are strictly based on my current WordPress installation. So, these will change based on what plugins you have installed in the theme that you’re currently using.
Thereafter we can see taxonomies. So at the moment, all taxonomies are going to be included in the sitemap. For most people, that’s going to be fine. You’ve got your categories, tags, topic tags format and you can see how I’ve got recipe categories and that’s just regarding your custom post type that I’ve got in this theme at the moment.
By default, the date and author archive pages will not be included in the sitemap. So you can choose to enable them if you would like. Next you can choose to create a compressed sitemap if you would like. Now this is turned on by default. You should probably just leave it on.
It will just create a zipped version of your sitemap for search engines to retrieve. Then you can choose to link from your virtual robots.txt file. If you don’t know what this means, don’t touch it. It’s on by default and you should leave it that way.
Finally, we just have the Dynamically Generate Sitemap option and that should be turned on. You should leave it on because it will save you a lot of trouble and a lot of work.
Now we come down to additional pages. So what we can do here is add pages that are on your website but are not managed through WordPress. So if for some reason you have a page that’s not on WordPress which is fairly unlikely, you can actually just add it through here, so whatever you like. Then hit Add URL.
Now we can choose to exclude items from the sitemap. So we can exclude certain categories. As you can see here, they’ve just got a big list of the current categories in the website and we can also choose to exclude pages and this will be as a comma separated list and you can use page IDs or slugs. So you might have “contact 2, 3, 4, 5,” or something like that.
It just really depends on your website and how familiar you are with WordPress.
Next we can choose the priorities. This has to do with how prioritised a particular item is in the sitemap. It’s really best if you don’t go and change these. They’ve already been configured in such a way that will have the most benefit for your website. Of course if you have a very special website and it’s something you want to do to pull off a custom SEO strategy, then you will need to come in here and make changes.
The same applies for frequencies. The frequency that the sitemap is updated with certain posts and pages and archived pages as you can see here is going to be pre-defined by the plugin and it is set up with the best intentions.
So it’s best not to change those unless you know exactly what you’re doing or you’ve had a thorough read of the documentation. When you’re done making any changes to your sitemap setup, all you need to do is click Update Sitemap and there you go. You could see that the All in One SEO Pack has updated the sitemap options. So that’s all we need to cover with regards to the sitemap. If you have any questions about the sitemap or anything we’ve done here today, please feel free to ask in the comments below.