Sitemap Plugins for WordPress
Perhaps one of the more underestimated SEO tools is the sitemap. Sitemaps, as the name implies, are just a map of your site. In simple terms, it is a page that shows the current structure of your site, its sections and the links between them. Traditionally sitemaps where prepared in the html format and although search engines such as Yahoo still accept these outdated forms of sitemaps, Google requires the sitemap to be submitted in XML format. And the XML sitemap is a must have. Do not underestimate its power. You will want to submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools to keep track of indexed pages and search metrics.
One may argue that html sitemap still have relevance to the users, that they know how to navigate through the page. In my humble opinion, if a user requires a sitemap to find his/her way around the site you have a serious issue with UX and UI. Keep things simple and keep the page hierarchy as flat as possible so the users can reach the information they are seeking for instantly without having to search for it within the site.
Google XML Sitemap
One of the longest supported XML Sitemap tool for Wordpress. It has been supported for over 7 years and pretty much everyone who has worked on a WordPress Web-development or SEO project has been in touch with this tool. Google XML Sitemap will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it's much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content. It is a must have and needs to be added to all your WordPress project.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
We introduced SEO by Yoast already in another Article named where we introduced the greatest SEO plugins for Wordpress. This great plugin not only let you set metatags and other essential SEO configurations, it also has a sitemap creator. It sounds powerful, however, I am not as impressed with it as I am with the Google XML Sitemap plugin. Perhaps we have been using Google XML Sitemap for too long and therefore haven’t really given Yoast a fair chance. But the few times I used it I didn’t find it as user-friendly and it doesn’t have the broad range of functionalities on offer like Google XML Sitemap.
Google XML Sitemap for Videos
Great plugin to create a video sitemap. Google XML Sitemap for Videos does what it says on the tin by creating a sitemap for any page that embeds or links to a video and therefore makes it an effective tool to rank within vertical search engines. Please note that the plugin hasn’t been updated for more than two years and I believe it is not actively maintained any longer. However, it does work with the latest WordPress releases and does its job well.
Google XML Sitemap for Images
Similar to the plugin above there is a plugin that creates a sitemap for all your images embedded within your pages. Google XML Sitemap for Images hasn’t been updated for more than two years and may not be actively maintained any longer - however, for the time being it works well.