Why do websites need both a HTML and XML sitemap?

Last Edited May 4, 2015 by Super User in Sitemaps

HTML and XML sitemaps

A Sitemap is a list of pages containing URLs found within a website that is available to users and search engines in order to navigate through a website and aide the user in finding the content they are looking for. The two types of sitemaps that you should be concerned with are XML and HTML.

What are the differences between these two types of sitemaps?

HTML sitemaps are created and available for viewing by website visitors to help them navigate through a website. Usually, they are setup with a linear structure showing the hierarchy of the site from top level pages to lower level ones. They provide the user with a very easy to read outline of content, making their navigation to their desired content easier.

XML sitemaps are a little different from HTML sitemaps, because they are intended for search engines and spiders not website visitors. XML sitemaps can be visible with any web browser, but their main function is to provide the URLs of a website to search engines. They even show data on how often a page has been changed compared to other URLs on the same site. This information is very important for search engines because the more links they are provided with, the more a website will appear in search engine results.


Why do websites need both a HTML and XML sitemap?

Here are the key reasons why sitemaps should be used on every website:

  • Clarifying the website’s purpose and goal.
  • Avoiding duplicated data.
  • Minimizing the number of steps it takes to go from a page to another.
  • Communicate the web site’s architecture and hierarchy.

Without a proper sitemap, some of your priority pages could be missed by search engines. Search engines won't be able to find your content and will most likely not include your website in search engine results. If you want to compete with your competitors in Google, try just submitting your sitemap. It will make a world of difference and you will be glad that you did. 

It is very easy to create a sitemap. If you know XML then you can create sitemaps manually or you could use DYNO Mapper, a sitemap generator that lets you edit your sitemap in an easy to use interface. DYNO Mapper will help you create a XML and HTML sitemap for your website. The free online sitemap generator is good for 14 days at no charge. Sign of for a free sitemap generator trial today and start generating sitemaps. 

In addition, sitemaps can be used by project managers and provide a foundation and organization to a web development project. The sitemaps can be formatted on a hierarchy-like structure and everyone will be able to see the website’s final structure.

Lastly, it will help users navigate through the site and find their desired content. Websites with large amounts of content will take more time and effort to be searched through by users. A sitemap will utilize the site in such a way that users will easily be able to access the content they want to see.

To conclude, sitemaps are very useful, effective, and time-saving that every site must establish and publish one. Investing in automatic sitemap generators like DYNO Mapper is a great idea. DYNO Mapper will generate a sitemap for your website for a cost, but think of all the time saved by using a web mapping tool like DYNO Mapper. 

Author: Super User


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