Things you want to know about websites


Make a sitemap for Search Engines

A sitemap is a file that contains a list of urls of web pages, images, videos etc. belonging to your site. It is not the sitemap that you see on websites. It is a way to tell search engines about your web pages so that they would not miss them from indexing.

Making a sitemap is a simple and easy job. General sitemaps are saved with an xml extension and can be submitted to search engines like google, yahoo or bing. Lets see the general pattern of a sitemap.xml file based on sitemap protocol.

Now let me explain those tags you see in the above example, one by one.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

This line just describes the encoding of the document. You can just copy it as it is right now and use it without any problems.

<urlset xmlns="">

This tag tell that a set of urls is to follow. It also define a naming space for you content. You should always specify the right kind of naming space. Here i am quoting different naming spaces for different types of content from google's website.

General URL xmlns="
Images xmlns:image="
Video xmlns:video="
Mobile xmlns:mobile="
Code Search


Geo xmlns:geo="
News xmlns:news="


<url> encloses tags defining your content.
<loc> tell the url of you page.
<lostmod> is optional. It tells when the page was last modified. Its format is YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmTZD.
<changefreq> is optional. It tells how often your page is updated. The allowed option are,

<priority>is also optional. It tells how important your page is relative to other pages on your site. The allowed options are 0.1-1.0, where 1.0 has the most priority and 0.1 has the least priority.

After the first <url></ur> has ended, start second <url></url> for second url in the same way and so on. There would be as many <url></url> tags, as the number of pages, one for each.

You can edit and use the above showed sitemap file and then save it as sitemap.xml.

To submit the sitemap.xml file to a search engine you need to have a webmaster account with that search engine, like Google webmaster tools for Google, Yahoo site explorer for Yahoo. Then you can login to your webmaster account and submit you sitemap there. You can see more information on google's sitemap help.

Including images in your sitemap

If your site has images you can submit them via the sitemap as well. Just use the code like this,


The <loc> tag describes the page which has images and then all the image information is enclosed in <image:image></image:image> tag. The <image:loc>defines the location of the image. There will be as much <image:image></image:image> tags as the number of images.

Automatic sitemap generators

What to do if you have a very large site and you don't want to enter each entry manually? In this case you can try an automatic sitemap generator.

I have found a nice sitemap generator here at It is a java based application so, you need to have java run time environment installed on your computer to run it. You can download java run time from

There are some other sitemap generators which you can see a list here at Google . These are scripts which you can download and install on your web server.

These automatic generators tend to select all files in your website directory to be included in your sitemap, so you have to deselect the unwanted files and keep the required files only before finally generating the sitemap file.

So, go make a sitemap, submit it to search engines and keep them from missing any page of your web site. Good luck.

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