Which Is The Best Sitemap Plugin For Your WordPress Blog

Sitemap of your blog is one of the most essential element and the first step for making your blog search engine friendly. Sitemap file contains link to all the posts, pages of your blog and you can submit the file to Google Webmaster tool, Bing webmaster tool or any other search engines to help them crawl your site effectively. We already have a detailed write up on Google crawling and indexing, which will give you detailed information on sitemap and how search engine crawls your website.

WordPress Sitemap Plugins

One of the coolest thing about WordPress platform is, you don’t need to manually generate sitemap after writing a new post. You just need to pick the best Sitemap plugin and install it at the time of setting up your blog. Once you have generated the sitemap file using any of the below listed plugin; you submit it to Webmaster tools, and this plugin auto include new posts, pages in your existing sitemap file.

In this post I will discuss some of the popular WordPress Sitemap plugins that you can use on your blog. Do remember, you just need one plugin to generate sitemap and there is no point in using more than one plugin for the same purpose. Moreover, you should also generate image and video sitemap for your blog, which will help you to drive traffic from image and video searches.

Popular WordPress sitemap plugins 

WordPress SEO by yoast:

Yoast WordPress Sitemap plugin

SEO by yoast is most popular SEO plugin for WordPress, and you can refer to this guide to learn everything about this plugin. This plugin has a module which will let you generate sitemap for your WordPress blog. The reason for adding this plugin at the top of the list is; you might be using SEO by yoast plugin on your blog and instead of having another plugin to generate sitemap, you should use sitemap module of this plugin. Once you have installed and activated the SEO by Yoast plugin, simply go to SEO > XML site maps and generate sitemap for your blog. For Google news WordPress site, you need to buy a premium version to generate news sitemap file.

Check out this plugin on WordPress repo

Google XML sitemap plugin:

Google XML Sitemaps plugin

This plugin has been around for years and if you are not using our no.1 sitemap plugin, you should use this one. Google XML site maps plugin is easy to use and not memory exhausting anymore. Years back they had few issues with server memory but now this plugin has matured and you would like it to use it on your blog.

Check out Google XML Sitemap plugin

Better WordPress Google XML sitemap plugin with Google news sitemap (BWP GXS)

Google news sitemap plugin

This is the best alternative to above two plugins and best free WordPress plugin for generating sitemap for news site. Currently (August 2014), I’m using this plugin on my blog to generate sitemap. This plugin comes with lots of setting option for your sitemap file and a busy WordPress site will appreciate the cache mechanism of this plugin. Above image shows the news sitemap module of this plugin. You can download the plugin for free from official repo here.

What I don’t like about above plugins is: They don’t let us create sitemap for images or videos. I believe this is one feature that the above mentioned stand alone plugins should offer. Here are options for image sitemap and video sitemap plugin:

Conclusion : Which one you should use

If you are using SEO by yoast plugin, then use the sitemap feature of that plugin only. If you are not using SEO by Yoast or need a free WordPress news sitemap plugin, use BWP GXS plugin. If your scenario doesn’t fit above two plugins, then you should use Google XML site maps plugin. You should definitely use image and video sitemap plugin to generate image and video sitemap and submit it to Webmaster tools.

Do remember, you just need one plugin for generating sitemap and it’s better to limit the number of WordPress plugins on your blog as too many plugins will slow down your blog. Read: How many WordPress plugins you should use


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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.


COMMENTs ( 27 )

    • says

      In what case one should use mobile sitemap plugin? As in majority of the cases we don’t need any mobile sitemap. Here is what Joh muller have said for the same

      That SEO tool is wrong, you don’t need – and shouldn’t have! – a mobile sitemap if your site doesn’t have a feature-phone (WAP/WML, etc) version. If your site is responsive and works well on smartphones, that’s enough for us (if you use one of the other methods, make sure to follow those instructions separately). Feel free to point them at this thread, if they need more information.

  1. says

    Hey Harsh can i ask you what sitemap plugin you are using for Shoutmeloud? because i’m pretty confused about my site’s appearance in google since i’m using seo by yoast.

  2. says

    Hi , i was searching for a better Sitemap plugin and reached here ,the yoast plugin create site maps URL like site.com/sitemap_index.xml , is that cause any issues ?

  3. says

    Several blogs that I have few plugins installed, I have WordPress SEO Yoast disabled, other plugins that are cpu instensive. I believe this would increase server load in the cpanel backend. just a thought imho

  4. says

    Hi Harsh
    I’m a Yoast SEO plugin man so I use the XML sitemap function that is part of the plugin.

    I’m well pleased with the SEO results and the sitemap function.

  5. Jaqueline Smith says

    Hey Harsh,

    Thanks for the guide but i’d like to ask you something, I’ve recently started some Blogger blogs, is it necessary to build sitemap for blogger? if yes then how do i start building it?

  6. says

    To be honest, I yet have a long way to go to get to know WordPress properly. But right now I think my favorite plugin would be WordPress SEO by Yoast! This is incredibly powerful to help someone find out if there is any big SEO mistakes he has made.

  7. says

    Very useful post. Thanks..

    I used Google XML sitemaps for my blog. After 2 days, there are warnings “high response time”. Then I created a sitemap from an online sitemap generator and it is working. No errors.

    Now, I submitted a sitemap using Yoast SEO. I have submitted 3 sitemap for one blog. Is it good, bad or useless?

  8. says

    Hi Harsh,

    You have mentioned a great plugin to build sitemap. I’m using this plugin too as this plugin has lot of more feature for SEO as well. This plugin automatically create sitemap which is best option for those people who don’t have focus on sitemap.

    Google XML sitemap is also a best plugin to use for making sitemap.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep it up :)

  9. Siraj Mahmood says

    Hello @Harash
    Today I got your new post newsletter, After read this one post Some things came on front. Every Blogger and site owner should need a optimize sitemap that contains simply URL and Secondly important thing is Frequency which will tell to Bot when they crawl this URL, It should be a same time or specific time Such as Daily, Weekly,Yearly, Hourly. Because some unknown or newbies don’t focus on it. This can lead to be a big disaster with your blog because some other black hat sites can copy your data before crawl your page this thing generate duplicate content in search engine. But this option does’t exist in Yoast Seo For wordpress, That,s why I’m using Google Sitemap for WordPress for my blog.

    • says

      Wow that was quite an addition and you added a valuable point on setting up the priority. That was a good comparison between SEO by yoast and XML sitemap and Yoast should add priority feature to make his sitemap module more feature rich. Though I couldn’t find much detail about importance of setting priority on official Google page here. This is what they have to say:

      Describes the priority of a URL relative to all the other URLs on the site. This priority can range from 1.0 (extremely important) to 0.1 (not important at all).
      Does not affect your site’s ranking in Google search results. Because this value is relative to other pages on your site, assigning a high priority (or specifying the same priority for all URLs) will not help your site’s search ranking. In addition, setting all pages to the same priority will have no effect.

      Adding more to it, in WordPress this is typically not a major issue just because WordPress uses Ping services to notify about new posts. Usually search engine picks up new content based on ping-services and this works great when someone follow a publishing schedule. As this way search engine bots follow a pattern to come and visit your blog for new content.

      You might like to check out this list of Ping-services for WordPress: http://www.shoutmeloud.com/wordpress-ping-list.html

  10. Karan Bhagat says

    Hello Harsh Sir
    You have mentioned WordPress SEO by Yoast for this purpose. I am totally confused between two plugins i.e WordPress SEO by yoast and All In One SEO pack. Can you please suggest me which one to use not only in terms of Sitemap but in other point of views as well.

  11. says

    Hello Harsh,

    Nice List but I have a question related to Google XML Sitemap plugin. Recent updated version arranges sitemap in monthly sitemaps archive. I am person who generally republish older posts again. So, how will the plugin adjusts with that? Any side-effects?

    • says

      I believe it will add the updated post link at the top of sitemap, this is what I have seen. They also have last updated timestamp which is again useful for search engine to recrawl old content and find the updated time. To answer your question, there are no side-effects.

  12. says

    Hi Harsh,

    One of my friend told me about Yoast News features two days back, and this article came to me as a confirmation. It’s seems to me like that you were hearing the conversation, and wanted to help me with my doubts (Smile).

    Alright, so the query is this. If someone is already using Yoast Free version and the site has all type of content both news and general articles. What would you suggest (a.) Upgrade to the News Plug-in of Yoast (b.) Get the BWP GXS one

    Also, suppose if one goes with the News Plugin of Yoast would it have other features which would support the general articles?

    Your help will be much appreciated.

    Best wishes,

  13. says

    Hi ,
    Google XML site map new version has awesome features. It categorize the site , Post & page separately. I have downloaded the new version of Google XML sitemap a few days back for my new website.