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3 Considerations When Setting Up A Sitemap For Your Website

Last Updated On Sunday, Apr 9, 2023 | Written By - Mudit Jain


3 Considerations When Setting Up A Sitemap For Your Website

When it comes to websites, their user-friendly quality is one of the most important considerations you need to have an easy-to-use and functional website.

It shouldn’t be cluttered and difficult to navigate, otherwise, users will quickly lose interest and just leave. Minor difficulties in the user interface (UI), even seemingly harmless ones, may all lead to a bad user experience when piled up.

This is where the sitemap comes in. The sitemap, as the name suggests, is essentially a map that shows users how to access certain parts of a website through a hierarchy.

It helps the end-user find out how to get from the home page to anywhere else they’d like to go.

A site map allows search engines to keep track of all the pages on your site. This provides an organized list of all the links to all the pages on your website.

If a user gets lost while trying to browse your site, they can always refer to your sitemap to see where they are and get to where they want to go.

Sitemaps will allow your users to navigate through your site hassle-free. It’ll also enable you to access the structure of your site and its key points easily.

Whenever you need to add new content to your site, you’ll be able to consider the existing data by simply looking at your sitemap.

When you design sitemap layouts, it should always start with the home page and branch out into all the possible routes an end-user may take.

Here are four of the most important considerations you need to take into account when setting up a sitemap for your website:

1. Hierarchy

It's important to ask yourself what you want to deliver to users with your site. The answers you come up with should be your guide on how you’ll design your website’s sitemap and what to prioritize in the hierarchy.

A well-designed sitemap will allow you to have control over the user-interaction that happens on your website.

Your sitemap should give information on which elements and pages you want to be emphasized along with the path you want your users to follow.

You have to think like your target users to imagine how they’ll be using your website. Determine which is the easiest path to get your users where you want them to go.

The goal of your site is to lead your users to the parts of your website you want them to use.

2. The Sitemap Type

When creating a sitemap, it’s important to first decide on the type of sitemap you’ll be using. There are two types of sitemaps. HTML and XML.

Hypertext markup language or HTML sitemaps focus on making your site more user-friendly while Extensible markup language or XML sitemaps focus more on search engine spiders, commonly known as ‘crawlers’.

XML sitemaps allow you to design your document markup and the information content can be easier to use due to the descriptive and hypertext linking features of XML.

It can also provide you with more options for better browser presentation and performance compared to HTML. It can also make information more accessible because of the flexible markup feature that XML offers.

On the other hand, with HTML sitemaps, it’s easy to build a document browser interface. It’s also easy to understand because of its simple syntax. Compared to XML, which requires more effort to map application types to elements of XML, HTML provides direct mapping.

The syntax of HTML is also very brief. It’s also a simpler technology that most developers are already familiar with.

3. Size And Design

Your sitemap should not be larger than 50MB, with a maximum of 50,000 URLs. These limits will ensure your web browser will not lag when serving large files.

If your sitemap contains more than the maximum, you must then create multiple sitemap files or use a sitemap index file. If your site is small but you’re planning on expanding, you should use a simple sitemap index.

Planning the size of your website’s sitemap is important especially if you need to constantly change the contents of your website.

Having a sitemap template can be an effective tool that can help simplify your website design and process.

When designing a sitemap, it’s essential to write down the fundamental contents of your website. You also have to figure out how your users will be able to interact with the content on your website.

When designing a sitemap for your website, consider asking yourself these three basic questions: What’s your target audience’s demographics and consumer persona?

What’s your site’s primary objective? And lastly, what changes are you going to bring in in the future? These three essential questions may help you build a sitemap that’s truly useful for your site’s efficiency and your users’ convenience.


When creating a sitemap, one must avoid confusing the end-user. Too many branches are often confusing for a user who’s unfamiliar with the sitemap.

As such, it is advisable to group certain parts of the website into categories to make it easier for them.

A good sitemap should be clear and simple so your end users can have the smoothest experience with your website.

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