Everything You Need to Know about WordPress Built-in Sitemap

2020 marks a memorable year for the WordPress community. In the same year, WordPress respectively released two updated versions – WordPress 5.5 and 5.6.

Among lots of new amazing features to cheer about, the new sitemap is one of the outstanding updates that sparks WordPress users’ curiosity.

What makes it different from the old ones?

The topic for discussion today centers on the new built-in sitemap. Through this article, you’ll know about its key features, as well as where it is located on the WordPress site.

Sitemaps in WordPress Previous Versions

A sitemap is simply a file that contains all of the URLs of your website. It helps search engines like Google, Bing, or others easily and quickly crawl and index your content.

Before WordPress 5.5, sitemaps were only added to the WordPress site using plugins, such as Yoast SEO or Rank Math, or other tools, like XML Sitemap Generator.

XML sitemap

Sitemaps in WordPress 5.5 and Above: Location and Outstanding Features

From WordPress 5.5 onwards, you no longer need a plugin to create a sitemap. By default, WordPress 5.5 and beyond include an extensible core sitemap to help search engines find out your public content. The process of discovering and indexing the sitemap takes place even more effectively thanks to the robots.txt file exposed by WordPress.

You can locate a sitemap index at /wp-sitemap.xml. This XML file will list all the sitemap pages exposed by a WordPress site.

Plus, the sitemap index will be able to accommodate up to 50,000 sitemaps while each sitemap can contain up to 2,000 entries. Whenever it reaches the maximum limit, another new sitemap file is automatically added.

new xml sitemap

Apart from that, WordPress also generates sitemaps for all public queryable post types and taxonomies, as well as author archives and homepage by default. You can freely configure the sitemap behaviour. For example, add, remove certain entries or even disable the sitemap using provided filters and hooks.

For anyone who wonders where the sitemaps for images, videos, and news are, the answer is these functionalities are not included in the new sitemap. The WordPress team is still working on it to enable these functionalities in the future versions. For now, you may need the assistance of plugins to create such types of sitemaps for your site.

Final Words

The new sitemap update may be a drop in the bucket for those who already have sitemaps on their sites. However, for users who currently don’t have sitemaps implemented, it can be an excellent solution for website indexation.

What do you think about the new sitemap? Have you updated your site to the newest version yet?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!

Also, you may be interested in this related article on how to optimize sitemaps to boost SEO for your WordPress site.