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Lesson 15 – Part 2 – Install and Configure Google XML Sitemaps

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This video is part of our old WP eStore Course Go to our Updated WP eStore Course for current videos.

Welcome back to Part 2 of Lesson 15 of the Build Your Own E-Commerce Website tutorial series. In the second part of this lesson we are going to install and configure Google XML Sitemaps.

First open up your web browser and go to your e-commerce website and in this case that’s Log into it and this is a plugin obviously. We’re going to scroll down here to Plugins, select Add New and then in the Search we’re going to search for Google XML Sitemaps.

Download and Install the Plugin

Skip the Google XML Sitemaps with multisite support because we’re only dealing with a typical sitemap. So we will take Google XML Sitemaps here, 3.2.4 and install it. Then we’ll Activate the plugin. Come down here to the Settings menu and select XML-Sitemap and we’ll go through the process of configuring it for our ecommerce website.

Configure the Plugin Settings

First it shows that this sitemap hasn’t been built yet. We’re not going to click it yet to build it the first time; we’ll do that when we’re done with our plugin configuration. First, let’s go through our Basic Options. We do want Write a normal XML file checked and Write a gzipped file checked. We do want to rebuild it if we change the content of our blog. We don’t need to check Enable manual sitemap building; we do want to Notify Google about updates of our blog. We won’t Notify Bing about updates to our blog and we want to Notify about updates to our blog. Leave the Notify YAHOO unchecked at the moment and in another lesson I’m going to show you how to set that whole thing up with YAHOO. In fact I’m also going to do one on how to set it up with Bing. We do want to add the sitemap URL to our robots.txt file.

Scroll down here and look at Advanced options and there’s no reason for us to “Limit the number of posts in the sitemap”. We don’t need to worry about increasing the memory limit at the moment. If your sitemap gets huge you may need to but right now it’s no big deal. The same thing is true for execution time. We don’t need an XSLT stylesheet. We don’t need to Enable MySQL standard mode unless you’re having a problem. But it is a good idea for us to Build the sitemap in a background process.

If we scroll down here, this is a place for us to specify pages that we don’t want to show up. Thesis offers us a way of doing this as well, so we won’t use this feature in the plugin, we’ll just use Thesis to govern what gets showed and what doesn’t.

Come down to Post Priority. If it’s a post-heavy website, you can have Comment Count specify the priority for your posts. I generally just don’t use automatic priority calculation and I just keep it all the same. You could certain choose Comment Count if you get lots of comments, or Comment Average. I generally just leave it right here.

You do want Automatic detection of the sitemap and this should be the name, sitemap.xml. So that means this is your path to that sitemap and you can check that by clicking on this button. If you don’t really like the way that sits or you want to put your sitemap someplace else you can specify a Custom location.

Then down in terms of Sitemap Content I want to Include homepage, Include posts. I don’t really care about the following pages of multi-posts but I want to Include static pages, Include categories and Include tag pages. The rest of these I don’t think really matter. If you have lots of different authors you could include this. I don’t think you need to index by archives, by date but you could check those if you wished.

Then this is a place for you to exclude certain categories from the sitemap. I generally exclude Uncategorized and that’s all I do. In terms of Change frequencies, I just leave this as it is. I generally don’t change the stuff in this and I also don’t change Priorities. Now hit Update options.

Now click here to build the sitemap for the first time and once this is built it will send this sitemap off to Google and to Bing and to You can see that it says Google, Bing  and were successfully notified. If you want to see what that looks like you would just go to your address which is in this case, www.estore14.byobtutorial/sitemap.xml. So here is a copy of my sitemap that was just created by the plugin.

That wraps up Part 2 of Lesson 15 of the Build Your Own E-Commerce Website tutorial series.

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