Why You Should Create a Visual Sitemap For Your WordPress Site

Why You Should Create a Visual Sitemap For Your WordPress Site

Embarking on a new website build? Creating a visual sitemap is an often-overlooked step that can help you improve client relationships and overall productivity. They’re also super simple to create with the right tools.

In this post we’ll explain why you would should create a visual sitemap and show you some easy tools (from whiteboards to WordPress plugins, we’ve got a great one from Mind Doodle for you to check out) that will help you create one.

When planning a new WordPress site build there are some common steps most people take.

First you might sit down with your client to discover their goals.

Then you’ll probably dive into a discussion about the purpose of their website.

Finally, it’s time to transfer all of this into a plan and work through the possible structure of their site.

Now, although this sounds like a straightforward workflow… what happens if these plans get lost in translation?

Or worse, what if you’re cleaning up a site littered with duplicate content, or that contains a structure that wasn’t well thought out prior to release?

Visual Sitemaps Could Be The Missing Link You’ve Been Looking For

And in this article we’ll be showing you how easy it is to create a visual sitemap in WordPress – as well as diving into the benefits of sitemaps in general.

But first…

What are Sitemaps?

A sitemap is a list of all the pages that make up a website. They’re often used by a developer, designer or website owner to plan a new website or rethink an existing web structure.

Visual sitemaps on the other hand, show the hierarchy of web pages and the relationships between them.

So how do they stack up against your usual kind of sitemap?

Let’s examine the main differences.

The Difference Between a Visual Sitemap and an XML Sitemap

The main difference between a visual sitemap (or site map) and an XML sitemap is that the former is intended for humans and the latter for search engines.

The concept of a sitemap for humans is easy to grasp, as the image below shows.

Use this sitemap to communicate your website plan to clients. (Source: Pixabay)

An XML sitemap for a search engine, on the other hand, informs search engines about pages on your site that are available for crawling.

It does this by listing all the URLs for a site with additional metadata about each URL – such as when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is relative to other URLs in the site.

This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently and discover pages from links within the site and from other sites.

XML Sitemap

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This article was written by Martin Aranovitch and originally published on WPMU DEV Blog.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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