The Dagon Sitemap Generator is a WP plugin that provides a visual sitemap for your visitors. I recently added this feature to a new client site. That site has a drop-down menu for static pages and a blog category menu on the blog section.
A site with many pages makes it easier for visitors to lose their place or miss an interesting sub-page! Sitemaps give visitors another reason to explore your blog, read more posts and lower the bounce rate.
The Dagon sitemap plugin installed so easily that I was confident enough to add the feature to BloggingWithSuccess. Mr. I, our official plugin/theme breaker, would be proud. Our new sitemap has the advantage of listing every post under its category. You can exclude pages and categories if you want.
What Is a SiteMap?
There are two types of sitemaps. One is for your visitors (HTML/page version), and the other is for search engines (XML version). The XML version lays out all of your pages and all URLs that might otherwise be missed by search engine spiders. This post discusses the sitemap for humans.
You can customize the Dagon Sitemap Generator from your WP admin panel. You have options to show multi-level pages (drop-down menu), multi-level categories and exclude pages or categories. The software creates a page list (prev/next) to avoid a gazillion links on one page. You can list posts by title or date within categories. The sitemap easily replaces the standard WP or theme archives. Actually, you can have both if you want, as you can see in the examples below.
How to Create Your Site Map
- Go to “Add a new plugin” and search for Dagon Design Sitemap Generator. Install and activate the plugin.
- Go to Settings for “ddsitemapgen” and customize your map.
Here are some of my options:
– show posts and pages, with pages listed first
– sort pages by title (you may want them to date)
– show comment count for each post (you may want to add dates)
– exclude 3 categories (uncategorized, misc, featured) and 7 pages
- Create a new page called SiteMap. Add this shortcode in the HTML:
<!– ddsitemapgen –>
- Add the page to your menu or put a text link in a sidebar widget.
Quick Tip: How to find a page ID to exclude from site map or another widget
If you want to exclude pages from the site map, you must specify the numerical page ID, not the page name! WP hides the page ID — I’m not sure why.
To find the page ID, go to Pages->Edit and hover over the title of the page. The status bar of your browser will display a URL with a numeric ID at the end. This is the page ID.
Similarly, for category ID’s, go to Administration > Posts > Categories. Hover over the category name to see the ID at the bottom of the browser window.
Benefits of a Site Map/Archive
- As the blog owner, you can refer to the list when you add internal links to new posts. The shortcut is already formatted.
- Visitors who don’t find what they want with the search box can scan down the site map as an alternate search tool.
- You see what posts inhabit each category and determine if some posts have too many categories. You may need to realign a few posts.
- Readers may spot useful content that would otherwise remain buried within your blog.
Do you have a site map or archive that lists all posts? If so, take a look and let us know what treasures you found, but don’t remember writing! Leave a comment with your thoughts about using this feature.
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