What is a XML Sitemap?

Written by Dave Bishop
illustration of website xml sitemp

Very simply put it is a list of your website URLs. It’s there to map your website structure and the pages included.

XML is short for “Extensible Markup Language”

Why do I need an XML sitemap anyway? Well because search engines use bots or crawlers to index the World Wide Web and a sitemap gives them an easy way to read what is on your website. Here's what Google says about sitemaps.

You can also think of it as a table of contents for the bot to quickly see all your pages in one place in a bot friendly format.

A good analogy of this:

Think of your website as a house and each page of your site as a room. You can think of an XML Sitemap like a blueprint for your house and each web page were a room, your XML Sitemap would be a blueprint—making it easy for Google, the proverbial home inspector of the web—to quickly and easily find all the rooms within your house

Sitemaps can also contain other useful information about each page they have listed. Not only that search engines allow authorized user to add sitemaps to their webmasters tools so you can quickly submit new crawls of your site when you do updates and want them re-indexed fast.

Of course Eco Web Design handles all of this for you and if you are web hosting with us it’s included! We can also do this for you on your own server but it’s done as a service.