A site map is a special file that helps search engines like google find all the pages on your site better.
This article is part of a series on regular website maintenance that you can do yourself.
The site map is often generated by a plug-in. It can be a real file on the server or a virtual file that the plug-in sends whenever it is requested. In either case you should make sure it is sending the right information to Google.
This is another simple check that you should do regularly, particularly if you have upgraded any plug-ins. Find the site map file, or view it in a browser, and check that it was created at the same time as your last website change. For instance, when you last added a page or post. If you have not changed anything recently you can just try to access the site map in your browser and make sure it looks OK. It is usually at www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml
Two common plug-ins for creating site maps for google are WordPress SEO by Yoast, and Google XML sitemaps . Another thing to check is that any excluded pages are not in your site map. These are things like thank you pages when someone signs up to your newsletter or a download page for a free gift, you don’t want these to show up on google
If you have access to webmaster tools (and you should) then check the last time the site map was uploaded and that google has indexed all the pages in your site map. That’s the ultimate test that it is working and it is good to know all your hard work is paying off and your pages will be in the Google search results
Check my website maintenance summary page for other articles and ideas on keeping your website running well, safe and secure.