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Both HTML and XML sitemaps?



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Both HTML and XML sitemaps?

Do you have both HTML and XML sitemaps?
Do you think a websites needs 2 sitemaps? Apparently, an XML sitemap is only for search engines, to make everything easier to crawl and therefore index.

I have no problems with creating and submitting an XML sitemap, though for websites that are coded in asp.net I had to use SiteMap.aspx and not XML.

Anyway, what do you think about HTML sitemaps? Should such sitemaps be also submitted in Search Console together with the XML?
I remember back in the old days of the internet most websites indeed had a HTML sitemap, but that was for the users, not search engines.

Are HTML sitemaps mandatory for modern websites? Is it a "best practice" type of situation? What do you think?

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idealmike

Yes a website that has a lot of pages and or posts such as blogs and online stores, should have both an XML and a HTML sitemap. The XML sitemap is used by search engines and is laid out in a way that they can understand and includes things like post dates and update frequency so it knows which posts, categories or pages to give more importance to.

Where as an HTML sitemap is laid out in a way that is very useful and easy for people to use to find all all the pages/posts and categories and things on your site. Another thing that can be useful is an archive and a lot of people don't use them. An archive page lists out all your posts and pages in chronological order by date they were posted to the site which is also very helpful for people and a good way of letting search engines find all your posts and that as well. If you're using WP you can use an archive plugin just search the plugin repository for one.

But you should not submit an HTML sitemap to Google Search Console no. You should submit only an XML sitemap to it. It will not accept the HTML sitemap as it's written in HTML and it's looking for the XML version instead. And I think that HTML sitemaps are an absolute must for large sites that have a lot of pages and deep pages and sub-categories etc as they can help your users to find those pages from one single page (the sitemap).

But it can still be useful for smaller sites too. It's one of those things that's better to have and not need than it is to need it and not have it. Both HTML and XML sitemaps?



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Lynne

Oh my gosh Cristian now you are getting into things that are outside of my comfort zone. Yes I have submitted sitemaps to Google and I think to Bing too.

I wasn't even aware that there were different types of sitemaps until this post so I don't know what type I submitted. So my sitemap was generated by my SEO plugin if I remember correctly, so I went into my All In One Seo and got the sitemap there. Whatever they gave me is what I submitted.

What is the best way to submit your sitemap and have I done it correctly?



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Cristian

Well, you most probably generated an XML sitemap if you used the All In One Seo plugin.
I recommend you switch for YOAST SEO is way better and has more functionalities. Either way, you have done everything right if you submitted that sitemap to Google Search console and whatever Bing haves.

As far as for the HTML sitemap, that's what I'm asking. It's more for the user and less for search engines. I usually don't develop an HTML sitemap anymore, wondering if it's still useful for SEO and user experience?



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sumoncps

As Google webmaster tool only allow XML sitemap so we are having XML version of our sitemap. And along with XML sitemap, we also have html version of sitemap which is visible to our website.



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overcast

For most of the clients that I know, I have decided to go with the XML version. And the sitemap.xml is even the google search console accepts that. It can be good to have both options. But these days the XML version is required. That being said, both Bing and Google search console accept the XML sitemap. I wish to make use of only XML for personal preference. Other people can make use of both if they want.



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