Create an XML sitemap using Yoast

Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast makes it easy to create and submit an XML sitemap.

We’ll explain how to do it step by step.

Note: In the screenshots below, my WordPress admin might look a little bit different from yours. That shouldn’t keep you from being able to follow each step.

Log in to WordPress admin

First, we’ll to turn on Yoast’s advanced settings. In the left sidebar, it has a “Y” icon, and says “SEO”. Click the “Dashboard” option.

Create XML Sitemap

From the Dashboard, click “Features”. From the Features tab, find “Advanced settings pages”.

Switch the advanced settings to “enabled”. Then, scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes”.

Great! Now that we’re turned on Yoast’s advanced features. You should see that the Yoast menu in the left sidebar has changed. There are a few additional options.

Create your XML sitemap

It’s very simple to do, but we’ll give you the instructions in a detailed way.

In the Yoast menu, click XML sitemaps. Here is where you setup your XML sitemap functionality.

The first tab “General”. You can leave the settings where they are.

User sitemap tab

If your WordPress site has multiple authors, and you want their author archive URLs to be indexed, you can enable this tab.

If you leave it disabled, it won’t harm the full functionality of the sitemap. We’ve left it disabled here, because the WordPress site we’re using has a single author.

If you’ve changed anything, click “save changes.”

Post Types tab

In this section, you’ll decide which types of posts should be indexed. In most cases, you’ll want to include everything  “in sitemap”. If you prefer to keep some of your content hidden or gated, then leave it off the sitemap.

Note sure what to do? Keep everything “In sitemap”.

Again, click “save changes”.

Excluded Posts tab

Do you have any posts that you know you want to keep off the sitemap? If so, add them here.

If you’ve added any posts to the exclusion list, click “save changes”.

Taxonomies tab

Most likely, you’ll keep the settings here the same. The more tabs you keep “in sitemap”, the fuller and more helpful your XML sitemap will be.

If you do make changes, be sure to click “save changes”.

Okay, your sitemap is ready! Let’s take a look at it.

Go back to the “General tab”

Under the heading “Your XML Sitemap”, click to view your XML sitemap.

That’s your brand new, shiny XML sitemap.

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