It has been 11 years since Google has introduced XML sitemaps. As soon as XML Sitemaps were launched by Google, developers started working to develop software, scripts and plug-in which would help one in creation, submission and management of sitemaps. We all know that sitemaps are in XML language and if you are thinking of managing the ones for your website then you are wrong as it is very difficult to create and manage sitemaps manually.
As everything around us is becoming automatic, there are many visual sitemap generator tools which you will find on the internet. If you are using Content Management systems like WordPress or Joomla you will come across a lot of plug-ins which will help you create the sitemaps and will also allow you to submit them to search engines directly. If you will search on Google for sitemap generators you will come across thousands of tools and one might easily get confused with this pile of search results.
If you are planning to use a sitemap generator for your website then you need to keep a few things in mind like if you don’t get the best visual sitemap generator there is a chance your website won’t get indexed in search engines. Some of the factors which you should keep in mind while searching for the Sitemap generator are mentioned below:
- Website Size
Different sitemap generators have different plans and packages. You will get advanced features in these sitemap generators such as content inventories, auto updates and much more. If you have an established website with a lot of posts shared on it then you need to use a good sitemap generator tool which is capable of handling all the content present on your website. You will find many free sitemap generator tools on the internet which will create sitemap for up to 500 pages. Now if your website has close to 1000 pages, some of the content present on your website won’t get indexed.
Google suggests that a sitemap should not have more than 50,000 links or 10MB. The sitemap generator which you are going to use should be able to create multiple sitemaps if you have a big website. DYNO Mapper allows one to create multiple sitemaps and is ideal for websites which have thousands of pages.
- Sitemap Tools vs Plug-in
As we have mentioned earlier, sitemap plug-ins will help the webmasters with WordPress blogs. It is not mandatory to use sitemap plug-in for CMS based website as it is totally up to you if you want to use sitemap tools or plug-in as both sitemap plug-ins and tools have their own advantages and disadvantages. The benefit of using a visual sitemap generator tool is that there is no need of installing anything. You just have to copy the links which you want to see in the sitemap and a sitemap generator tool like DYNO Mapper will do it. If you are using plug-ins then they need to be installed only if they are compatible. It totally depends on you if you want to select a sitemap plug-in or a tool.
- Free vs Premium
You can select between both free and premium sitemap generator tools available on the internet.. As we have discussed earlier some free sitemap generators are only capable of storing limited number of links, that won’t happen in case of premium sitemap generator as you get to choose between different plans. Both free and premium sitemap tools are coded by developers and they have to generate some funds even from free sitemap generators. You might have seen advertisements on free sitemap generators and messages saying “This sitemap was created by XYZ”.
Premium sitemap generator tools also allow you to manage multiple sitemaps from one single account which is not possible with free sitemap generators.
- Pinging search engines
Creating a sitemap won’t help you in indexing all the posts which are present on your website or the content which you intend to publish in future. If the sitemap generator is not capable of pinging the newly updated content to the search engines then it is of no use. Make sure that the sitemap which you are going to use is capable of pinging the search engines every time new content is posted on the website.
- Google Analytics Integration
Most of the sitemap generators which you will get online come with Google Analytics Integration. We all know that it is very important to use Google Analytics as it helps you in analysing the traffic you receive on your website and keeping a track of your users. Make sure the sitemap generator tool which you are going to use allows you to integrate your Google analytics account which will help you in analysing all the web pages based on different metrics. It will help you in improving the structure of your website and getting the content indexed on search engines faster.
- Ability to submit to major search engines
If you are going to create a sitemap it is obvious that you would like to submit it to all the major search engines. The sitemap generator which you are planning to use should be able to submit your sitemap on popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. If the sitemap is submitted only to a limited number of search engines then you won’t be getting maximum exposure for the content present on your website.
These are some of the factors which you should keep in mind while searching for the perfect sitemap generator tool. Make sure that you keep these tips in your mind the next time you are planning to buy a sitemap generator for your website.