Wordpress 5.5 supports XML sitemaps
With the release of Wordpress 5.5 there are some interesting new developments included. Not least Version 5.5 of Wordpress includes support for XML sitemaps, a long overlooked feature and the reason for many sitemap plugins existing, including ours.
While the new feature will serve many users with a basic XML sitemap need, you might want to stick around to learn why this new feature might not be suited to your SEO needs.
A quick XML Sitemap recap
XML sitemaps have a number of advantages and are a key part of your SEO strategy. In particular they:
- Maximise your search engine coverage and ranking by submitting all pages.
- In doing so they improve the speed which your pages get listed.
- Allow you to take better advantage of search engine webmaster tools
- Receive alerts about problems in your website
- Importantly, they allow you to provide hints to search engines about the content in your pages..
XML sitemaps allow you to provide a lot of information about your website content including:
- Web page address
- News topics
- Images and videos
- When and how often a page changes
- Relative priority of content within your site
Coupled with RSS sitemaps you can also provide content which can be aggregated even more broadly to ensure your content is distributed and consumed.
Wordpress 5.5 sitemap feature vs plugins
The new wordpress sitemap feature is very basic and essentially just spits out a sitemap for all the published pages in your website without any user control or indeed any user interface.
“Are there any UI controls to exclude posts or pages from sitemaps?
No. User-facing changes were declared a non-goal when the project was initially proposed,”
Many sitemap plugins at least offer you a degree of control and one of the key design goals of our plugin was to offer you very granular control over your sitemap.
If you want to be able to edit your sitemap, including setting defaults by categories / tags or even edit down to the page level then our wordpress XML Sitemap plugin remains one of the few to enable you to do this.
Another key feature is that we support sitemaps in a variety of formats including XML, RSS and HTML files which maximizes support. RSS in particular is very helpful towards your SEO.
We also actively test with other plugins such as woo-commerce as well as supporting custom posts which gives your sitemap broad compatibility. Again the high level of customization applies to your custom posts types.
We’re also exicted to let you know that version 2.0 of our sitemap plugin is on its way in the coming days with some pretty big additions and improvements.
While there is no doubt the inclusion of XML Sitemaps in the core Wordpress distribution is a welcome benfit and may suit the needs of many users with basic needs, if you are serious about SEO and need flexibility and control, you should certainly give our XML Sitemap generator plugin for Wordpress a try and watch out for version 2!