A sitemap, the file that lists all the URLs on your website, is an integral part of your site design and search engine optimization (SEO) process. A sitemap’s existence is crucial to your PageRank because it tells Googlebot and other search engine bots where to start and where to go next when it crawls your pages. Without such a file, generally created in XML, HTML, or CSV format, your website might never get the attention it needs to appear in major search engine results pages (SERPs).
How To Generate a Sitemap
Since it’s critical for your website to have a sitemap, you’re probably wondering how to generate one, right? Well, there are a couple of ways to generate a sitemap. First, you can do it manually, which we won’t go into here, or you can use a sitemap generator tool.
There are plenty of free sitemap builders online to choose from so you may not know which one to go with. We’ve done the work for you and have compiled a list of the nine best free sitemap generators on the web for small businesses.
9 Best Free Sitemap Generators in 2023
- Screaming Frog XML Sitemap Generator
- Inspyder Sitemap Creator
- YoastSEO (plugin)
- Google XML Sitemaps (plugin)
Note: Some content management systems (CMSs) automatically create a sitemap for your new site. So, there may not be a need to use a free sitemap generator.
As a sitemap is largely made up of URLs and code, creating it manually is challenging and prone to errors, especially for larger websites. Fortunately, some of the best sitemap generators around are free to use. Sounds shady? Don’t let the word “free” stop you from using them to create your sitemap file. Even the most skilled web developers use these sitemap generators to save resources and time.
Here are the 10 best sitemap generators we found (and used), listed in no particular order.
This sitemap generator, which has a free and Pro paid version, is arguably the most frequently referenced. The free tool can be used to create an XML sitemap file for free for up to 500 URLs. Beyond that, you will need to sign up for its paid plan, which costs $4.19 monthly. XML-Sitemaps also has other SEO features, including a SERP page checker, sitemap validator, keyword density calculator, and competitor analysis. No registration is required and you get sitemaps ready to download immediately.
2. Screaming Frog XML Sitemap Generator
Screaming Frog has an XML sitemap generator that’s free to download and use for up to 500 URLs. If your website has more pages, you will need to purchase its SEO Spider license for $259 per year.
3. Inspyder Sitemap Creator
The Inspyder sitemap tool has a free trial version for up to 25 pages. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay a one-time fee of $39.95 to download and install it on your desktop. Inspyder also offers free website analysis tools, such as the HTTP Header Viewer, HTML/URL Encoder, and Sitemap Validator (to check for errors on your XML sitemap).
This free sitemap tool lets you create a visual representation of your sitemap that can also be downloaded in XML. In addition, you may invite your teammates aboard to plan, collaborate, and organize from within the app. You can quickly make changes to the visual sitemap with the drag-and-drop feature which is highly convenient. The free Flowmapp tool is for one active project, 50 pages, and 100MB of space. Its paid options allow the crawling of unlimited pages, with prices ranging from $11 to $120 per month.
Slickplan has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface for its free sitemap generator, which is limited to one sitemap and a single user. Just sign up for a 14-day free trial on its website, no credit card is required. If you want unlimited access to all its features, which include a content planner and diagram maker, it will cost you $10.79 to $103.49 per month, depending on the number of users, active projects, and storage space.
This app lets you create visual sitemaps for free with just a few clicks. The map you create on its site will be available online for 14 days unless it is revisited, which extends its validity for another 14 days every time. When you’re done, you can save your sitemap to your computer in XML, PNG, or PDF format.
WriteMaps is a visual sitemap tool that lets you generate a sitemap for free for up to 50 pages, with a limit of three sitemaps. Beyond that, you will need to subscribe to its paid plan, which starts at $14.99 per month. You can export your visual sitemap and share the unique URL with your team to get input.
8. Yoast SEO (plugin)
Yoast SEO is probably the most popular free WordPress plugin for basic SEO and is the tool of choice to insert an XML sitemap. It has a premium version that costs $99 per year. Yoast SEO is packed with plenty of SEO features, like automated meta tags and canonical URLs, templating for titles and meta descriptions, and an integration with Schema.org (schema markup language repository for webmasters).
9. Google XML Sitemaps (plugin)
WordPress users know the Google XML Sitemaps plugin all too well, not only because a sitemap is necessary but because this free tool is very easy to use. It also generates HTML sitemaps and has over 2,000 five-star reviews.
Does Google Have Its Own Sitemap Generator?
Google used to have its own open-source tool called Google Sitemap Generator, which it placed on beta testing sometime in 2009. It was designed to create XML sitemaps, mobile sitemaps, and code search sitemaps. However, the company later announced that it was no longer pushing forward with its plans for the short term. For now, website owners and developers can use any of the best sitemap generators listed above.
Sitemap creation can be an intimidating process, but it’s all pretty much fluid if you have the right tools. The good news is that many of the sitemap generators come at zero cost. If you need help with your sitemap or have general technical SEO questions, get in touch with Markitors. Our team is ready to provide the help you need to optimize your site and make it rank high up in search results.