XML Sitemap Generator Tool

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How Fastoola's XML sitemap generator works

Enter the URL of your website, select the options from drop down menus that best suit you, select the number of pages you need to crawl and press "generate sitemap" button. Our free XML sitemap generator tool will generate an XML sitemap for your site, which you can save to your computer for subsequent submission to your accounts with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

What is an XML sitemap?

An XML sitemap is an XML file that contains information about pages and files hosted on your website. It helps web crawlers quickly discover important content on a website and understand its structure. While a sitemap is beneficial for all websites and blogs, it is particularly significant for those whose internal pages are not fully linked to each other.

The XML sitemap lists webpages in a standard form, so that they can be easily discovered and processed by search engines. An example of XML sitemap with only one URL is given below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
<url>
<loc>https://www.example.com/good-seo-practices/</loc>
<lastmod>2023-01-01</lastmod>
</url>
</urlset>

See more complex examples and detailed documentation here.

In above example, XML sitemap contains the following four basic elements:

  1. The declaration of XML version (<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>): It tells crawlers about the type of file they have accessed.
  2. The URL set (<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">): It tells crawlers about the protocol.
  3. The URL (<url>): It lists the URLs of your webpages.
  4. Lastmod (<lastmod>): It specifies the date on which the page was last modified.

To be valid, an XML sitemap needs to meet above basic standard. Other properties that can be included in an XML sitemap are <priority> and <changefreq>. These properties are optional and their omission don't impact the functioning of a sitemap.

While XML is a widely used type of sitemaps, search engines can read and process other formats as well, including RSS, mRSS, Atom 1.0 and text sitemap. Read more about supported formats in Google documentation.

In most cases, sitemaps assist crawlers discover the maximum number of pages published on a website or blog. However, it is not guaranteed that engines will crawl and index each URL added in the sitemap file. Read what Google says about sitemaps in their documentation.

What should be the size of your sitemap file?

According to Google's documentation, the size of a single sitemap file should not exceed 50,000 URLs or 50MB for all supported formats. If your file is larger than this size limit, Google guides you to follow one of the following two approaches:

  1. Split your file to create more than one sitemaps and submit them to search console one by one separately. Yes, Google allows submission of multiple sitemaps for a single property.
  2. List the URLs of all individual sitemaps in a single file to make a sitemap index. Submit this index file to search console and Google will process it. Follow Google's instructions on how to create a sitemap index file and submit the same to your search console account.
    If your website has been built on WordPress CMS, plugins like yoast can automatically create individual sitemaps for different sections of your website (like, categories, posts, pages etc.) and combine them all into a sitemap index file. You just need to submit that index file to search engines.

For Bing Webmaster Tools, the maximum size of a single sitemap file is the same as allowed by Google. Read more on Microsoft Bing Blog.

How to create an XML sitemap for your website

Depending on the size and built of your website or blog, you can follow one of the following three methods to generate a sitemap.

1. Create a sitemap manually

You can generate a sitemap manually by using a simple text editor, like Notepad or Nano. Once you have opened your text editor, follow the syntax exactly as described in our sitemap example given above. Save the file as an "XML" file (i.e., with .xml extension at the end of file name) and upload the same to your account with Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.

The manual method is appropriate for small websites that generally host up to a few dozens of pages only. For larger websites, manual process proves to be tedious and inconvenient to maintain for long period.

2. Sitemap for CMS based websites

If your website uses a content management system (like, WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, Wix etc.). It may likely have some built-in functionality or plugins available to automatically generate a sitemap for you. If it does not generate a sitemap automatically, you can search for a tutorial on how to configure your particular CMS for this purpose and fix the issue accordingly.

3. Use an XML sitemap generator tool

If your website is large but does not use a CMS, you can still automatically generate a sitemap using an XML sitemap generator tool. Many reliable sitemap generators are available on the internet that you can use free of cost. Find a list of sitemap generator tools here.

However, websites that host these tools sometime limit the number of pages that can be crawled and included in a sitemap. Such restrictions are generally imposed only on free users. Paid users are given full access without any restriction.

Does your website really need an XML sitemap?

Web crawlers can generally discover most of your pages if they can be accessed through your site's internal navigation i.e., the links that you place in menus, sidebars and main content of your pages. However, if your website has some pages that other pages don't link to, search engines may not be able to find and crawl them.

Let's list out some situations when you might or might not need to create a sitemap for your website.

(i) Your website might need a sitemap if:

  • it is a large website with tons of live content.
  • It is a complex website with pages that other pages don't link to.
  • it is a newly published website with very few to no inbound links from other websites.
  • it hosts a lot of videos, images and other rich media content.

(ii). Your website might not need a sitemap if:

  • It is a small or simple website with only a few internal pages.
  • Its internal link structure is comprehensive, which the crawlers can follow to discover all internal pages.
  • It does not host a lot of rich media content, like videos, images etc. 

Submission of sitemap to search engines

Submission to Google Search Console (GSC)

1. Login to your GSC account.

2. Select the relevant domain property at the top of left sidebar.

Selecting-property-to-submit-sitemap

3. Under the "Index" section click on "Sitemaps" link.

Click-to-submit-sitemap

4. Complete the URL of sitemap by entering the name of your sitemap file, including extension; e.g., sitemap.xml etc.

Complete-sitemap-URL

5. Click on "Submit" button to complete your sitemap submission to GSC.

The process of submitting sitemap described above is the most conventional one. Search Console also offers a few other methods, which you can learn from this link.

Submission to Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT)

The process of submitting sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools is much similar to Google Search Console. To complete your submission, you need to follow the six steps listed below:

  1. Login to your BWT account.
  2. Select the relevant website at the top of left sidebar.
  3. Click on "Sitemaps" from the left sidebar.
  4. Click on "Submit sitemap".
  5. Enter the full URL of sitemap file that you have already uploaded to your server.
  6. Press "Submit" button to finalize your sitemap submission to BWT.

Remember that sitemap is just a hint, and there is no guarantee that engines will follow it to crawl your pages.

List of the best XML sitemap generator tools

We have compiled a list of 13 best XML sitemap generator tools for you. You can see the list below:

  1. Fastoola's XML sitemap generator
  2. XML-Sitemaps.com
  3. Sitemap Writer Pro
  4. Inspyder Sitemap Generator Tool
  5. XML Sitemap by Labnol
  6. Duplichecker's XML sitemap Tool
  7. Small SEO Tools
  8. Yoast SEO
  9. XML Sitemap and Google News
  10. XML Sitemaps
  11. Dyno Mapper
  12. Sitemap Builder by Slickplan
  13. WriteMaps