Written by Winston Burton –
Sitemaps are a powerful tool for SEO pros and webmasters. They help Google and other search engines navigate through a website and find new pages and content.
It’s not guaranteed that search engines will index the content but telling them what pages are important can make a significant difference.
Sitemaps can help you:
- Get an overview of your website’s structure.
- See which pages are being crawled by Google and other search engines.
- Know how frequently the pages are being crawled.
- Identify pages that are not being indexed.
- Determine which pages have errors that need to be fixed.
With help from sitemap generators, the search engine crawls of your website will be faster and more efficient.
If you have a small site i.e., less than a few hundred pages, managing your sitemap on your own is doable.
But if you have a medium or large site and regularly add a significant amount of new content, you may want to consider either adding a dynamic sitemap to your site or looking into a sitemap generator.
A dynamic sitemap automatically adds new pages to the sitemap file.
It is usually faster and requires fewer resources than writing to a static file.
Choosing A Sitemap Generator
If you decide on a sitemap generator, many tools are available online – but which one is the best for you?
Here are 10 of the best sitemap generator tools I’ve found for SEO pros:
1. Google Sitemap Generator
This plugin for WordPress creates a sitemap for your website that will be compatible with all Google requirements.
It’s easy to use and works for all sizes of websites.
The plugin also comes with various translations which can be a great add-on.
2. Screaming Frog
One of the most popular crawlers in the SEO community, Screaming Frog can be used to create sitemaps for any size website.
It also offers an XML sitemap generator.
This tool is a bit more advanced and is specifically designed for larger websites.
The XML sitemap generator follows this progression: Crawl The Website > Click Sitemaps > XML Sitemap > Select Pages To Include.
One of my favorite Screaming Frog features is it allows you to create a sitemap from a list crawl.
For example, if you want to check the status codes of a list of URLs and perform a list crawl, you can create an XML sitemap from that list crawl quickly and easily.
- Price: Free for up to 500 URLs. If you have an enterprise-level site that has thousands or millions of pages, you will need to sign up for the paid version, which is €149 annually.
This sitemap generator tool allows you to create sitemaps for your website quickly and easily.
It also offers a range of features such as support for multiple languages and the ability to include/exclude certain pages.
With the online generator, you can create a small sitemap for up to 500 URLs.
If you need to create a bigger sitemap (up to 1.5M pages), there’s a pro model.
- Price: Free for up to 500 URLs. Beyond that, the pro model is $3.49 per month.
4. Yoast SEO Sitemap Plugin
A popular WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your website for search engines, Yoast SEO also includes a sitemap generator tool that can help you easily create sitemaps for your website.
One of the most appealing features about the Yoast sitemap generator is its set of sensible defaults for what goes into the sitemap – and for excluding many pages that should not be there.
Yoast SEO chooses to break larger sitemaps into smaller sitemaps. Their sitemaps hold up to 1,000 connected URLs.
- Price: The XML sitemap feature is free to use in Yoast SEO.
This website software company offers an XML sitemap generator that is super easy to use and can handle complex sites.
It runs on your PC. You can schedule a sitemap generation and receive an email notification when the sitemap is complete, and also get a sitemap in multiple formats – images, video, etc.
- Price: Inspyder offers a free trial so you can try it before you buy. You can an Inspyder package for about $39.95 annually.
A website planning company, Slickplan offers a sitemap generator that is easy to use and offers a WordPress plugin.
A valuable feature of Slickplan’s tool is that it allows you to build a sitemap from scratch using drag and drop or start with an existing website by importing its URL, sitemap index file, or Google XML file.
Slickplan’s visual sitemap generator builds easy-to-navigate hierarchical sitemaps to help you present and test a variety of architecture scenarios for web pages.
You can also offer batch editing for large sitemaps that require numerous edits.
Another cool feature of Slickplan is that it gives users the ability to easily import a website into the application from a previously exported XML file.
Additionally, you can export your existing XML website sitemap directly from WordPress and import it into Slickplan.
- Price: The basic plan starts at $10.79 per month all the way to $100.39 per month.
This generator gives you a good solution for realizing and displaying the true architecture of a website with interactive visual sitemaps.
Dynomapper’s sitemap is capable of crawling 200K pages per crawl. The sitemap editor enables users to rework the hierarchy, categorize pages, and assign a workflow status to each page.
- Price: Unfortunately, Dynomapper does not offer the sitemap generator as a stand-alone; it is included with packages that have other tools. Pricing starts at $49.95 per month.
8. Sitemap Writer Pro
This is a terrific tool for creating sitemaps fast, and for managing large sites that have millions of URLs.
Sitemap Writer Pro offers eight types of sitemaps to properly index your website: Standard Sitemap, Google Image, Google News, Google Video, Google Images, Google Code Search, Google Geo, and Google Mobile.
- Price: A very cost-effective $24.95.
This is another visual sitemap builder that you can use to create a sitemap without investing time in formatting.
One of the great features of WriteMaps is that you can export your visual content into a PDF or share it with a unique URL.
You can also upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.
- Price: The monthly plans are free for three sitemaps up to 50 URLs and go up to $29.99 a month for unlimited sitemaps.
Eating super-fast visual sitemaps is what Octopus.do does best.
You can generate sitemap XML from visual sitemaps and submit it to Google, Bing, and other search engines to improve your visibility and SEO.
Octopus.do offers an interactive flow, taking full advantage of drag and drop.
You can also export your sitemap to various formats including PDF, PNG, TXT, and XML.
- Price: Free for one project, then all the way up to $120 per month for unlimited sitemaps and projects.
These are the top 10 sitemap generators based on my experience.
There are many others out there, so be sure to do your research to find the one that is right for you.
Make sure it generates a sitemap that is formatted correctly and that you can easily upload and validate.
I’ll leave you with the following time-saving tips.
Always create multiple sitemaps for different sections of your site. This will help you see which sections of your site have issues getting indexed.
The limit of a single sitemap is 50MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs. If you have a larger file or more URLs, you will need to break your list into multiple sitemaps.
Alternatively, you can create a sitemap index file (a file that points to a list of sitemaps) and submit that single index file to Google.
Google does not consider priority in the sitemaps, so placing one URL as a higher priority will not have any impact on indexing.
Once your sitemap is created, place it on the root, add it to your robots.txt file and submit it to Google via Google Search Console.
After you’ve submitted it, watch for any errors, and check to see that the file has been submitted and read successfully.
Featured Image: DestroLove/Shutterstock