Difference Between XML and HTML Sitemap

Sitemaps can be defined as a way to track the pages on your website.

If you want to make sure that your site is working well and that users are finding all the relevant information,

then you need to have a sitemap that describes every page of your website.

A sitemap helps search engines understand how the whole site works and organizes the contents in a more user-friendly manner.

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What is a sitemap?

what is sitemap

It’s basically a map of your website.

You know how when you search for something on the internet, the result page shows different links that are relevant to your search terms.

Well, sitemaps are like those links in an organized schematic way.

Sitemap helps web crawlers (spiders) understand what are the pages of your website and how important they are.

Why do you need a Sitemap?

A sitemap is beneficial for both your users and search engines.

A search engine’s job is to index all the content on a website so people can use them as a reliable source when they are looking for something online.

But if everything is just mixed together then that makes things difficult.

To make finding what you want easier, we need sitemaps to organize our site with its associated pages in one place in an easy-to-follow format.

Different types of Sitemaps:

different types of sitemap

A sitemap is basically a list of web pages.

However, there are two types of sitemaps depending on what type of content your website has:

XML Sitemaps – this type of sitemap lists all the web pages and directories on your site.

HTML Sitemaps – this type of sitemap lists only the web pages on your site, no directories.

What is an XML sitemap?

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language.

It is what web crawlers use to find out which are the most important pages on your site, so it helps them crawl less frequently visited pages too.

You can submit this kind of sitemap to search engines for indexing.

What is an HTML sitemap?

An HTML sitemap lists only the web pages on your site, no directories.

It’s simply a list of links that are relevant to your website’s contents.

Difference Between Xml And Html Sitemap?

xml vs html sitemap

XML Sitemaps list all the web pages on your website, including directories.

It’s best if you have an XML sitemap because it helps search engines index all of your website content–not just web page links.

HTML Sitemaps are just simple lists of web pages.

This sitemap type is perfect for websites that have a lot of pages that are not linked to one another.

It’s also best if you have this type of sitemap because it will help search engines know what your website contains without having to do deep crawling, which may harm your site’s performance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of XML and HTML Sitemaps

Advantages and Disadvantages of XML and HTML Sitemaps

Advantages & Disadvantages of XML Sitemap


Helps search engines crawl less important pages on your site.

Helps them index more frequently visited pages faster Provides a preview of the content of your website.

Allows you to submit a sitemap for Google and other search engines to see.


Takes time to open up the page and load.

If you have a lot of web pages on your website, it can take a while for these pages to load.

Advantages & Disadvantages of HTML Sitemap


Your website will load faster.

HTML sitemaps are not as good when it comes to helping search engines rank your site higher in search results.

But they’re perfect for websites that have a lot of pages that aren’t linked to one another.


Helps search engines index less important pages on your website. It doesn’t provide an accurate preview of your website–its contents.

It may be seen as unreliable by search engines since not all content is revealed when you use an HTML sitemap.

How to create a sitemap?

How to create a sitemap

There are various sitemap methods that you can use on WordPress websites.

And the most popular one is to have a plugin that will automatically generate them for your website.

A native method is using Yoast SEO plugin. It will create a sitemap automatically by just enabling the option in the settings.

Why are Sitemaps important?

Why are Sitemaps important

The sitemap is a website’s index.

It contains information about all of the pages on your blog or other sites, listing each link in an easily navigatable and searchable format.

This benefits your website in a lot of different ways, and one is when you have multiple pages on your site.

Search engines like Google can follow the links on the sitemap to find all other content.

Search bots can also crawl through this file and see what text crawls out at either end so they know how navigational information should be displayed.

What are the benefits of having both XML and HTML sitemaps?

Having a sitemap helps search engines index your website faster.

It’s best that you have both types of sitemaps because it will give you a more accurate preview of what type of content your site has.

This way, web crawlers can easily figure out which content is the most relevant to your site.

Wrapping Up

A sitemap is a file that tells search engines what pages on your website are important and should be indexed.

It is important to have a sitemap created for your website.

This will ensure that your pages are properly indexed by the search engines and they can help you make changes to them whenever there are updates or additions.

This will help the search engine to crawl your site more efficiently, which in turn helps with ranking for specific keywords.

So basically, having both HTML and XML sitemaps is best because it makes your website more appealing to search engines.

Having both will help search engines figure out what type of content you have on your website like blog posts, videos or images plus if you don’t want them to visit certain pages.

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