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Apparently there is a difference between the sitemap.xml and sitemap.html, but I am not able to figure out what it is. Can someone explain it?
in (xml)file sitemap will automatically created and in (html)file you have to create your sitemap by hand.
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xml usually is ugly / nothing but code - html is the flowery version of your sitemap
Right now google prefers either one, just make sure you have a sitemap!
i suggest to use XML sitemap as its easy to index
Yes there are two different kinds of site maps. You have first an HTML site map which is a page that is made for people to see all of your sites pages and other internal links such as to your categories, contact page etc. It's called HTML site map because it's an HTML file that is often formatted to make the layout look nice and add some styling effects. Then you have an XML site map which is made for Search Engines. An XML site map is in XML format which is something that Search Engines can read due to the language used being one they can understand. Some web browsers can open and display XML files in a readable way for people too but they are good to have because a search engine may look for it on your site and it will help it to better crawl and index all of your site. Search engine crawlers only crawl so deep, so if you have pages that can only be accessed by being on those pages, you can link to these in your XML file and the search engine will be able to see it, crawl and index it. HTML and XML site maps aren't the most important part of SEO but having, using both correctly and updating them can greatly aid the Search Engines to provide more up to date results for your site to people not only just in the Search Engines but on your site too.