How to set up a perfect WordPress xml sitemap

If you have installed an SEO plugin like All in one SEO Pack or Yoast SEO you probably already have an XML sitemap but do you have it? configured correctly? Not only do we have to create an XML sitemap from our website, and add it to the Search Console and to Tools for Webmasters of Bing we also have to configure it well.

What is the XML Sitemap and what is it for?

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<p> A XML Sitemap basically <strong> is a file that informs search engine crawlers about the structure of your website </strong>listing all (or part) of the existing URLs. search engine bots use this sitemap as an initial guide to crawl your website. </p>
<p> An XML Sitemap <strong> can contain information (metadata) about the frequency of update of each URL, the priority </strong> of it and, in the case of videos, the duration of the content. </p>
<p> You can (and must) create specific sitemaps for images, video and specialized content for mobile phones. of your compressed XML sitemap (gzip). </p>
<p> <span class= An XML sitemap is the first line of attack for indexing in SERPs #WordPress #SEO @fernandot Click to tweet

Search engines will not be guided exclusively by the information given in the XML Sitemap but it is your first map to your web, they will take into account your indications, will always benefit you and it will never hurt you to have it that's for sure.

So create a Sitemap XML is the first line of attack for the correct indexing in the SERP of the search engines, and configuring it properly is a fundamental task for any web administrator, but the default settings of the plugins are that, by default, and not they adapt to all existing webs.

If you use the Yoast SEO plugin you can only configure what type of content will be added to the XML sitemap without being able to determine more important settings, so we will concentrate on the aj You are available in All in one SEO Pack practically the same as you will find the fantastic (but heavy) plugin Google XML Sitemaps which do allow you to configure an XML sitemap with precision

What to include in the XML Sitemap

In the sitemap you must include all the URLs in which there is content related to the theme of your website and that offer unique, valuable information and relevant for readers and, logically, also for search engines.

 elements to include in sitemap xml wordpress

So, as a starting rule, the XML Sitemap should always include :

  1. The cover of your website most importantly, the gateway to your site.
  2. Pages : your invariable and unique content that it defines you and explains what you are, what you do, what you offer, what are your values?
  3. Entries : your periodicals, in which you offer valuable information to visitors to your website about the content of your sector or business.
  4. Taxonomies : those that serve organize and rank your content, such as labels and categories.

Also, depending on the orientation and segment of your website, the XML Sitemap can include :

  1. Videos : indicating the duration, content category and audience classification
  2. Images / Attachments : specifying the metadata that identifies them
  3. Mobile content : especially if you offer special pages for old mobiles, but also if you have defined a precise mobile strategy.
  4. Topics in the forums if you had them.
  5. Custom content types such as projects, portfolios, etc., if they are relevant to your topic and SEO strategy.
  6. Author files necessary for Google's authoring algorithms.

Additionally, if there are URLs that you want to add to the Sitemap and you have not generated them with WordPress the plugin allows you to add them manually and configure their parameters.

 pages added sitemap xml wordpress

What NOT to include in the XML Sitemap

It will depend a lot on your content strategy but as a starting rule the XML Sitemap should not include:

  • URLs with duplicate content.
  • URLs of attachment pages automatically generated by WordPress.
  • Membership URLs.
  • Files by date.
  • Taxonomies self-generated by the theme or plugins that do not offer organization or content hierarchy.

Additionally, you can also manually exclude URLs, even if you have indicated that they are included, indicating the ID or slug of the same. [196] 59003]  excluded elements sitemap xml wordpress

Update frequency of the XML Sitemap

An important parameter, that the search engines will value, will be the frequency with which your URLs are updated. The plugins that allow you to configure these values ​​offer you the following values:

  1. Do not overwrite : Which will use the default values ​​of the plugin. The default settings are usually for blogs so as a rule do not ever leave it like this.
  2. Always (always): Ask the crawlers to visit your URLs as often as possible, every minute if possible. Configuration suitable for sites with many news that are updated very often, such as digital newspapers of the first order.
  3. Every hour (hourly): You want the bots to visit you every hour. Suitable for news sites that publish new content several times a day.
  4. Every day (daily): To be visited once a day, ideal for blogs that post a daily entry as much.
  5. Each week (weekly): If you update the blog from time to time it is a good configuration.
  6. Every month (monthly): Typical for static websites without a news section or blog, for crawlers to check if Every year (yearly): For exclusively static websites and landing pages ( landing pages ) that never change, but that you want Google to remember that exist.

 frequencies sitemap xml wordpress

And now the usual doubt arises what frequency do I assign to each type of URL? Of course, you want the search engines to visit you the more the better. However, many visits from the trackers does not mean that they will position you better in the SERPs.

Make life easier for search engines and they will reward you, complícase and penalize you #WordPress #SEO @fernandot Click to tweet

In fact, the algorithms of crawlers could " think " that you cheat them if you make marks, for example, a frequency always and do not update anything from your content never or you do it very infrequently.

The rule that you should always apply with the search engines is not to lie to them or try to cheat them because they will catch you and they will penalize you if you generate a consumption of their resources inadequate to the result they will obtain. Google and Microsoft are million-dollar companies but they did not get rich by being fooled, and they are very jealous of the money they use to manage their tools.

I always recommend the universal rule of … " It makes life easier for search engines and you reward, complícales the task and you will be penalized . "

With this in mind, you must assign a frequency appropriate to the reality of each type of URL that you include in the XML Sitemap, being honest with your settings.

Do not try to cheat Google, you will always get caught #WordPress #SEO @fernandot Click to tweet

For a blog like WordPress Help a suitable configuration would be More or less like this:

  1. Portada : always because I publish every day, sometimes several times, and in many occasions I modify titles and extracts of the entries, with what what appears on the cover You can change . Also valid would be the value hourly .
  2. Entries : hourly for the same reason above, since it is quite usual to modify entries once published, to correct errors, add links, provide more content that comes up with the conversation with readers in the comments.
  3. Taxonomies : as they show the file of the entries should be the same parameter you use for them, in the example that we are following hourly .
  4. Pages : daily | weekly | monthly | yearly any of these values, it will depend a lot on how often you modify the information of your pages. When in doubt put the same frequency as for entries, although a reasonable value, even ambitious, would be daily .
  5. Author pages : the same frequency that you establish for taxonomies, being a file of entries.

Above all, keep in mind what we are talking about, how often the URL is updated, how often it shows new or updated information.

So you must clearly distinguish the archival pages, like the cover page and taxonomies, of the entries and pages. The first ones will be updated whenever there is new content, the second ones only when you modify them independently. Keep this in mind when defining frequencies.

XML Sitemap Priorities

One parameter of great relevance is the priority we assign to each URL in our Sitemap. The available settings come in numeric format of type: 1.0, 0.9, 0.8, and so on up to 0.0, and always include the option Do not overwrite to use the plugin's default values.

]  Sitemap priorities xml wordpress

Although the value is of this type then it will be displayed in the XML Sitemap as 100%, 90%, 80% and so on.

This is translated in which we are going to tell search engines what percentage value each URL of our website has in SEO of our entire site, that's nothing.

Come on, you have to decide what value has on the total weight of the positioning of your website each type of content or file difficult decision where they are or not?

My advice is that always, always, assign the value 1.0 (100% ) to the cover as a fundamental element of the SEO of your website (normally) since it contains the eta title main and the most relevant and up-to-date information on your site.

For the pages you must apply the value 9.0 (90%) as they must always contain absolutely relevant information about what What are you offering?

If, in addition, you publish entries with valuable content, that you use to reinforce your positioning you assign them also the value 1.0 (100%) or as little 0.9 (90 %) or 0.8 (80%) since the search engines feed mainly on relevant and updated content.

From here there is no fixed rule apart from not assigning very high values ​​to the rest of the URLs except specific strategy on some type of content (video, images, etc.) basically so that they do not compete with your main URLs (cover, pages, entries).

Basically, what you are saying to Google and Bing is where you publish your most relevant content with your theme which you prefer to position in front of other URLs in case of doubts or need of saving of resources.

More parameters to take into account in the XML Sitemap

, our beloved WordPress plugins also offer us other interesting parameters to configure, and the main ones are the following:

  • Create a compressed XML sitemap (gzip) : Believe it always, in fact the crawlers read them more faster than standard.
  • Notify Google and Bing : Here the plugin sends a ping to the crawlers when your sitemap is updated so they can see what has changed. I think it goes without saying that you always activate it.
  • Generate the XML sitemap dynamically when you publish new content: Do I really need to tell you whether to activate it or not? Ok, yes.
  • Schedule updating of the XML sitemap : This is in case you want to specify a specific time in which to update your sitemap. This is because the creation of the sitemap, on websites with many URLs (thousands), can consume many resources of your server, and it may be better to choose certain hours to avoid slowing down your website if you do not have a powerful server. If you use it you must disable the automatic update when you publish new content, for obvious reasons.
  • Prefix of the site map : By default the prefix is ​​ sitemap so your XML sitemap will be will call sitemap.xml . You should only change it if there is a conflict with another sitemap
  • Create indexes of the site map : If you activate this the sitemap will not initially show all your URLs, but it will be a kind of menu with links to other sitemaps , organized by type of content (pages, entries, taxonomies, etc.), in which the URLs of each container will be. You must not activate it unless your website contains so many URLs (the rule is that does not contain more than 50,000 URLs and does not weigh more than 10 Mb ) that slows down too much the visualization of the sitemap ( Note: the plugin Yoast SEO creates the sitemap with indexes by default, without the possibility of changing ). What has been said, ideally, unless you have many URLs, is to display it directly, without indexes, to facilitate browsing and indexing the crawlers, without having them visit several URLs to see the structure of your website. If you need to create the index the plugin All in One SEO Pack creates it with links to the compressed sitemaps of each type of content, much more efficient and fast loading for crawlers.
  • Add link to the virtual robots.txt file ]: WordPress always offers a robots.txt virtual file. If you are going to create a file robots.txt own (with All in one SEO Pack you can do it easily) do not activate this box, especially if both are going to be in the same route, usually in the root folder of the site . If you are not going to create your own file activate it, it is better than nothing.
  • Add sitemap in HTML format : The Google XML Sitemaps plugin offers you this option, but it is not necessary. The normal xml Sitemap offers the necessary, basic styles for the crawlers to read them correctly.
  • Change the sitemap route : Another setting that allows the Google XML Sitemaps plugin, very useful if not the root folder of your site does not have writing permission, allowing you to save the sitemap in any other folder.

Any questions?

If it has there is some doubt put in the comments and we all solve it.

NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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Plugins that you should NOT install

 guitar burning

Plugins are a big part of the huge success of WordPress but as with everything, there are good ones, bad ones , regular and just the opposite. Today we will see some that, and not precisely because they are bad plugins, you should avoid as much as possible.

I mean plugins that, despite their virtues, are detrimental to the performance of your site , that slow it down, and you already know that this is not good, not only because Google can penalize you, but because you do not want your visitors to abandon you for having a slow site?

Let's go to it …

 wordpress slow

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin is a wonder it not only creates a site map that is updated only each time you publish something but it has so many settings that it is absolutely impossible not to have a file sitemap.xml perfect and thus help search engines index your site.

Now this plugin is a enormous resource devourer because precisely the process that must be done of revision of and all your database to create correctly the map of the site means that in many servers (shared of course) there are times when you will not even create the map due to lack of memory.

Are there alternatives? bad is not, at least as good. There is one that is not bad, Better WP Google XML Sitemaps but personally I did not like its operation, not even the map it generates. But come on, that's a personal opinion, make the site map and quite complete.

Another option is Google Sitemap this is weaker unless you opt for the payment options, but it can be

The other possible alternative is using the plugin's sitemap modules such as All in one SEO pack or Yoast's WordPress SEO .

Broken link checker

] Wonderful, essential, obligatory but it happens the same as the previous one, that when analyzing ALL the links of your site to find broken links, in a constant and tremendously effective way, is a memory devourer like no there is another, even worse than Google XML Sitemaps.

The bad thing is that a server has not found any other plugin that does not even look like it, so be damned. The only possible alternative is to use web services or SEO desktop applications, which sometimes offer search engine broken links, such as BrokenLinkCheck CheckLink or LinkChecker this last installable.

Or, what I do: a day of little traffic I install it, I activate it, I let it work a few hours, fix links and I deactivate it until next time .

WP Post Views

This veteran plugin, from the last century, is actually a very cool tool because it shows us the most viewed posts, which we can make visible in the form of widget or code.

It is a good SEO tool but it has its hidden face, and is that, of course, being constantly reviewing your entries to show their popularity consumes many resources to be constantly checking your database .

I would say any plugin that does the same it can be useful of alternative but it is not true, they are not alternative, all plugins of this type have the same problem because they all do the same, so your only alternative are external statistical analysis systems like Piwik or the same Google Analytics.

JetPack

Of course, I could not miss, and that is that JetPack has modules that do much of the above, although it has other modules that help speed up your site, but in this kind of thing you do not have to to compensate, we must be as effective as possible.

Whether we are talking about the statistics module, because of what was said previously of WP Postviews, of Markdown, Beautiful Mathematics or the Shortcodes because they have to "translate", of the infinite Scroll by the JavaScript, of the Gravatar Hovercards until they load the information or the Contact Form, that consumes what is yours even if you do not believe it, we are facing a monster .

So avoid it, and use to alternative plugins for each utility you "really" need .

Akismet

Yes, remove that face of astonishment, that Akismet, and wonderful as it is, is also piece of plugin brick, that slows down your site more than desirable .

This is due to several reasons, because not only do you have to connect to the JetPack servers to check lists of spammers but also check your database to show more comments of each author, and even shows thumbnails emerging from the URLs in the comments, and all that consumes his .

Also, you have enough alternatives to combat spam .

Are there more mallet plugins?

There is more, of course, and there's nothing better than doing your own checking on your site with plugin P3 which analyzes the loading of the components of WordPress. It seems almost messy but this plugin is also a great consumer of resources, but at least it is of the type to install, activate, use and deactivate.

The best, in any case, is to follow a series of guidelines to the time to choose plugins and avoid – where possible – those that comply with the following rules:

  1. Plugins that load a lot of scripts, style sheets and other additions.
  2. Plugins that add additional requests to the database on each page of your site.
  3. Plugins that perform complex operations like MySQL commands or intensive search in the database.
  4. Plugins that make many requests to the database.

It is not the number of plugins you have installed which slows down your site but the quality of the plugins you have installed.

Choose well, choose only those you need, and for everything else create your own plugin functions only with what each site re

NOTICE : this publication is from two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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What's New in All in one SEO Pack 2.0

 all in one seo pack

Some time ago I had my heart split with the plugin All in one SEO pack because there were some versions that did weird things, but the truth is that I have returned to him and I am happy, after a step by his clone called Platinum SEO pack, also very majete.

yesterday came to version 2.0 and, well, I'm pretty fly but still not quite, I'll explain …

Despite the infatuation of many people with the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast , personally I do not usually recommend it except to learn because the truth is that for newbies it helps that little pill that you add in the WordPress editor where it shows you the Google snippet, SEO tips and those things, but for a normal use not I recommend it, and I always encourage you to use All in one SEO pack or Plat inum SEO.

Why do not I recommend Yoast's WordPress SEO? then for two fundamental reasons ?:

  1. I've seen things that you would not believe, oops, sorry, ] I have seen how it destroyed the SEO of several sites due to poor integration with the WordPress theme used. The plugin wants to do so many things, and puts so much into the code of the page that sometimes it spoils more than fix .
  2. It is a megaplugin, which does many things but none perfectly and many in "automatic" . It is very comfortable " jetpack style " to install a plugin and have almost everything, but carries certain weaknesses, in addition to servitudes. For example, it includes a module to create a sitemap, but it is really a trick, much worse than Google XML Sitemaps, a whole standard; let's not say that utility to modify the system files, which should be prohibited until the age of 50 or have gone through 2 divorces . Of the automatisms, active options by defect, we talked another day in earnest.

In short, that is a plugin " apañao " to have that of " all in one ", but if you want to control what a plugin does, especially in the SEO of your website, it is better to leave automatisms and more with the speciality that Google has lately put with the automations in SEO.

] That's why I do not share the teenage crush with the Yoast plugin and I always recommend this beauty that is All in one SEO pack, beautiful in its simplicity, power and transparency of what it does ]

Now, and we go back to the beginning of what it is today: version 2.0 of All in one SEO pack has come to light, and something had to be done to make it noticeable, and I started shaking there, before agreeing to update it somewhere.

What's new? ? then some, important :

  • New interface (miedito, with the beauty of simplicity combined with power)
     Capture of settings all in one seo pack 2.0
  • New module system (what I told you about the "jetpack system", even more scary)
     capture of modules in aiosp 2
  • New performance module ( still without much chicha, and the little that has EYE)
     Capture of performance settings of aiosp 2
  • New options to control the " rewrite " of titles in the custom input types (an obligation, especially for WordPress 3.6 )
     personalized post settings aiosp 2
  • Advanced settings for controlling titles in custom input types
  • Possibility of showing custom meta fields normally hidden
  • Visual Upload SEO status in posts, pages, etc (without colorines, thank goodness).
     seo indicator in entries aiosp 2
  • The pointer to show you the news (and the mania that I'm taking
  • The preview of the Google snippet has been added in the plugin box in the entry and page editor (come on, like Yoast's)
     view snippet aiosp
  • options to mark for noindex, nofollow in all boxes
  • In the settings has been added field for verification of webmasters from Google, Bing and Pinterest (this is cool)
     webmasters check aiosp 2
  • Field to add the Analytics ID
     google analytics aiosp 2
  • Links to the plugin settings (optional) in the WordPress admin bar (not worth anything, really , do not activate it)
     seo links in menu admin aiosp 2
  • … and the typical solutions to errors and such, the normal in each update.
  • Oh, I forgot, now the options are no longer as Settings submenu but with its own icon below the "casita" ( bad, very bad)

I've put captures of all the news, but what's important …

Has the All in one SEO pack become a crap? Is it a cool thing but a petard like Yoast's?

Well, fortunately it seems that no, at least for the time being because it maintains its main virtues, namely:

  • ] Rewrite of titles PERFECT the most important
  • Code inserted in the subject very clean, without goals that are redundant or redundant all well picked up and doing their job.

The rest are trinkets or toys to entangle, except the inclusion of Webmasters verification in Google, Bing and Pint erest, really useful which added to the verification of Google+ makes your site is connected to the basics.

The performance screen, if you ask, does not work – at least for now – practically for nothing , it informs you of what any PHPinfo would tell you and makes you a list of plugins, come on, a subnormality, in which I hope you do not dare and start to put analyzers and other crap that end up going crazy with the " SEO status " of our publications, when Google does nothing but remind us what has always been law and axiom: content is king, and what you have to worry about is to create good articles and then, that if, move them around so that people know them, but forgetting to do excess accounting positioning (how do I call it), of thinking if you have gone enough keywords or if you title is more SEO than the mother who gave birth to him and those things, is that clear ?, well that, to stop being bullshit .

And what does it do on the screen? " Performance " almost better than you do not touch it or you're sure to screw something! Bets are allowed!

You can modify PHP memory and runtime parameters something that later modify some plugins, or it will not matter what you put if your hosting has it on it, something quite common.

Now, I'm a little concerned that the thing is being dismissed, maybe taken away by the recent Yoast's popularity, to put him useless shit to look like " cool " like the "other", error in which I hope you do not incur, then in version 2.0, All in one SEO pack is still the perfect plugin for SEO .

And if nothing else, make a clean fork of guarre Rías, but for now continues to fulfill its function, and very well, in fact better than before .

NOTICE : this publication is two years ago or more. If it's a code or a plugin it might not work in the latest versions of WordPress, and if it's a news story it might be obsolete. Then do not say we have not warned you.

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Two tips: Install WP 2.5.1 and disable Google XML Sitemaps

If you do not know what to do today for tomorrow, do not think about it: install the update to WordPress 2.5.1 for avoid being hacked and disable the Google plugin XML Sitemaps to alleviate the memory load of your blog . We already did it as soon as we could .

The entry Two tips: Install WP 2.5.1 and disable Google XML Sitemaps first published Fernando Tellado in Help WordPress . Do not copy content, do not say anything good about you to your readers.