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Word Press Sitemap Plug-in

Having a sitemap for your WordPress blog is just as important as having one for your website in that it ‘maps’ your blog for the search engines making sure everything you want ‘crawled’ is seen.  However, the installation is not the same. Placing a sitemap in your blog is accomplished by installing a plug-in, activating it and configuring  the settings.

There are 2 ways to install this plug-in:

  1. Manually download the plug-in and upload to the plug-ins directory then configure
  2. Automatically install from the Dashboard (Recommended)
Manual Download of  XML Sitemap

For those that want to give it a try, the manual download can be accessed at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/.   Once you’ve downloaded the plugin follow the installation steps at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/installation/.   If you encounter any problems, there are other tabs available to help out – FAQs, Screenshots, etc.  Unless you are proficient with FTP programs and code this method is not recommended.

XML Sitemap Plug-In Installation

The easiest way to install the Google XML sitemap in your WordPress blog  is through the Admin – Dashboard.

  1. Log-in through the Admin account to access the Dashboard.
  2. Under the Plug-in heading; Click on ‘Add New’ – this will open a new screen.
  3. In the ‘Search’  box type in ‘sitemap’ and perform a search. You will see a list of sitemap plug-ins to choose from.
  4. The Google Sitemap should be first – click on ‘Install’.
  5. Return to the Plug-in Section on the sidebar and click on ‘Installed’.  This will open a new screen.
  6. You will now see the ‘Google XML Sitemap’ plug-in in your list of plug-ins. . Click on ‘activate’.
  7. Now, from the Dashboard go to the heading ‘Settings’ – you should see ‘XML Sitemap’ listed – probably near the bottom. Click to open.
  8. The screen displayed allows you to configure the settings for your blog’s sitemap.
  9. Most of these can be left on default, however, you will want to change the ‘Update Notification’ section. Checking the boxes for Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo will allow those search engines to crawl your blog.  If you do not do this the purpose of the sitemap will be defeated.
  10. Continue reading through the other options – make any changes you feel you need.
  11. At the top of the page, generate your sitemap.
  12. Save update (at the very bottom)

Couple of issues I ran into.

Yahoo.com

1.  You will need a Yahoo account in order to get an ‘Application ID’. If you do not have a Yahoo account, the link to get one is under the space for the ID number.   Click through and follow the prompts to get your ID number. Once you get it, copy and paste it into the ID box on the ‘Settings’ page.

2.  Should you have any problems logging-in to Yahoo, it may be due to not allowing cookies.  If this is the case, you will  need to  allow ‘cookies’ for the Yahoo website. This can be done from the Internet Explorer tool bar. 

Click on Tools > > Internet Options > > Privacy > > Sites > > (type in the address for Yahoo – http://www.yahoo.com) and click ‘Allow’.

Close the Tools box. You should now be able to log in to Yahoo without any problem.

Ask.com 

After generating my sitemap (for the first time), I received an ‘error’  message that there was a problem notifying Ask.com. On checking the Internet for solutions, it would seem that this is a common problem in that Ask  is not accepting this information. To get around this issue, I went back to the ‘Update Notification’ section in my ‘Sitemap Settings’ and unchecked Ask.  I then clicked on the ‘Update Options’ link at the bottom of the page.

Once you have your sitemap installed and the setting configured, you will not need to do this again unless you change something on your server or blog (this does not include adding posts or pages.)  If you feel you want to have Ask.com as part of the ‘Update Notification’ section, you can periodically go in and check their ‘box’ and ‘update options’ to see if they are accepting sitemap information.


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