Website Sitemap

Hey all,

I’m currently developing a small Website - 9 pages to be exact. It’s a small business Website to showcase products and product information as well as company information for a company with 40+ employees.

I was just about to complete the 9th Web page in the site - the Sitemap. Then it got me thinking…It’s only 8 pages (excluding the Sitemap page) and the navigation makes it easy to get to every single page.

Is there really a need for a Sitemap page on this Website?

I’m starting to lean against having a Sitemap page in this particular Website now because it’s so small and it’s so easy to navigate. Maybe I just went a bit silly in the site planning stages but, what do you guys and girls think? Is it necessary for a Sitemap page on such as a small Website?

And also whilst I’m asking that question - in general - when is it appropriate to add a Sitemap page to a Website?

Thanks for the help peeps!

Andrew Cooper

I’ve been on sites with smaller sitemaps. eg. 4 pages. Just because a page can be found through links, doesn’t mean that all users will do so. IMHO a sitemap page is a good idea, just one more way to find a page. Redundant, perhaps. I suppose you could test to see just how large a percentage of the visitors actually go to it and then decide. Of course if the site might grow, then it would be easier to add to an existing sitemap page than create one at some future point.


Maybe you don’t want a sitemap for your visitors, but they may not know the size of your site and just want to look.

A better reason to have a sitemap would be for the search engines. You will find that Google is looking for a file usually named sitemap.xmp that provides specific information about each page. I believe you can also provide the link to that site to Yahoo and Bing.

Slickmap is a lovely, easily configured sitemap that works well for smaller sites. It’s also free. It doesn’t give Google the .xmp file, but it gives customers an elegant, attractive, and easily used map to navigate the site with.

I thought the “p” was a typo for “l”. I would be interested in knowing more about these .xmp files. A search only gave me Adobe meta-data stuff. Got a link to more info?

my point of view is that a sitemap such as the one in question is of no practical value unless it is a very well designed page with images and such that would be easy to sift through.

if a web surfer needs to visit your sitemap page to find what he’s looking for i don’t think the site is presented very well. From an seo perspective, it serves no purpose if embeded into a template with surrounding navigation links pointing to the same pages.

the only way to add any seo value and potential fun for your site would to be to creativelly present the sitemap in an editorial manner.

Good point. The sitemap pages for the smaller sites were not simply a short list of links. They had a small paragraph describing each page.

The sitemap is named sitemap.xml, but it should be zipped before uploading, as sitemap.xml.gz (or .zip if you’re using pkzip instead of gnuzip).

For example:

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

See Google for more info, including other data you may include. To my knowledge, all major search engines support the sitemap protocol.



If you only have 9 pages, all of which are linked too, I wouldn’t bother with a sitemap to be honest, the only time you need a sitemap is when you have lots of pages which require indexing (alike a contents page in a book). It seems a bit redundant to offer a sitemap for such a comparably small website (with a limited number of internal links). Also it’s worth noting (gary) that you don’t have to gzip your sitemap, it’s only worth doing that if the unzipped version is approaching the 10mb limit which Google follows, and as far as I am aware, you can’t use conventional zip, it has to be gz (per search preferences). :slight_smile:

On my message, it was a typo.

sitemap.xml is the file that the search engines use.

I use CoffeeCup Sitemap program to create the XML file, and it also produces a sitemap.html that can be used on the site.

the primary purpose of an xml sitemap is to help crawlers index the pages that are deeplinked within a big site and daily updating.

If its a small site, say 7 pages or less. Then a sitemap really isn’t necessary depending on how the homepage and navigation links are set up. I tend to think that every website needs at least one page from which all the other pages can be accessed. On a small website, this should probably be the homepage. And like someone said earlier, a description to go with each page link would also help. If its a large site, then it would be hard to fit all that information on the homepage. In other words, you would need a true sitemap page in that case. A sitemap.xml would also be helpful.

I really don’t think it matters imo. A sitemap helps your visitors and SE spiders, so it’s worth having.

i agree with some. having a sitemap is always good for search engines just because, but of course users wont need it. I would recommend putting it on the site, but placing it in the footer section.


There have already been many replies to this one, still I would like to add my words and thoughts to it.
For my own sites that are generally less than 10 pages, I do not consider creating a sitemap. The main use of Sitemap, as everyone must be knowing, is to help crawlers find the pages. Hence, technically, its good to have them for even a four page website. For smaller websites, building HTML sitemaps would work fine. But for larger one’s with thousands of pages, XML sitemaps are used.
In short - If you have time and you are trying to make this website (regardless of how many pages it has) a good one, take my advice, Build it. It will definitely add Juice to your site. No harm. :slight_smile:

I think it’s been pretty well established that an HTML sitemap may not be necessary as it’s primary use is for human users. With only 8 pages, there’s little chance that a user won’t be able to find the page they’re looking for but would happen to look in the HTML sitemap.

That being said, I always submit an XML sitemap no matter how large/small the website is. I’ve gotten myself into the habit of updating the sitemap every time I made an architectural change to the website and uploading that sitemap to /sitemap.xml. This keeps Google aware of any changes I’m making and I’d argue that the new content is crawled and possibly indexed faster than if I didn’t update the sitemap.

I always use a sitemap.xml file in my sites. Most of mine are for organizations and they publish news, issues, and other focus items frequently. I store permalink copies of each published item in HTML and PDF format in folders ArchivesHTM and ArchivesPDF and my software automatically generates a new sitemap.xml with each new item or update for each of those two folders; each sitemap.xml resides in its respective folder. My main sitemap file resides in the site root so search engines can easily find it; it is also called sitemap.xml but it has three entries: the first refers to a sitemap named mainmap.xml for the site itself, the other two refer to the sitemap.xml for the archive folders described. Like this:

  • <sitemap>
    <loc>http://(your site)/mainmap.xml</loc>
  • <sitemap>
    <loc>http://(your site)/ArchivesHTM/sitemap.xml</loc>
  • <sitemap>
    <loc>http://(your site)/ArchivesPDF/sitemap.xml</loc>

The file mainmap.xml gives the structure for the site itself. Including <lastmod> tells the search engine if anything has changed.

If you do use the sitemap above, remove the dashes before the <sitemap> element as their invalid (me suspects someone copy pasted from a web browser) :slight_smile:

Putting the site map is not a bad idea!

You know, I’ve got those exact same words framed and mounted on my wall.