When it comes to sitemaps, there are several basic types.
You can easily add a basic public sitemap of your pages with the sitemap shortcode, which automatically displays a list of all your pages in a hierarchical bulleted list format.
Create a Site Index
If you would like to create a site index, you can follow these steps:
- If you don’t have CATEGORIES included in your sidebar, go to your Sidebar Widgets editor and include it.
Note: A categories drop down menu won’t work – it needs to be a list, so you may have to uncheck the “Display as dropdown” option on the categories widget
- Open a page of your blog up so that you can see the CATEGORIES sidebar with all the categories listed.
- Carefully highlight all of the categories in the CATEGORIES box and copy them to the clipboard.
- Press CTRL-C for PC.
- Press CMD-C for Mac.
- Open the Manage Pages part of your Dashboard and create a new page.
- Paste the contents of the clipboard into the editor.
- Press CTRL-V for PC.
- Press CMD-V for Mac.
- Edit the list as you see fit.
- Remove extraneous categories like “Uncategorized.”
- Create a “Recommended” or “Most Popular” list of categories above or in place of the alphabetized list.
- Add static, descriptive text before or after the list.
- Bold certain categories to make them stand out.
- Name the page and save it.
- If you don’t want to have a separate sidebar listing of categories, go back and remove the CATEGORIES Sidebar Widget.
Don’t forget that pages created in this way are NOT self-updating like the CATEGORIES widget in the sidebar. You’ll have to redo the entire process every time you add a new category to any post, or you’ll have to learn how to edit the page yourself to add the category and the link.
XML Sitemaps for Search Engines
Your site is enabled with just about everything you need to be super-searchable. This includes an XML sitemap, which you can access at yourgroovysite.wordpress.com/sitemap.xml. If you have a Custom Domain on your site, you can access your sitemap at yourgroovydomain.com/sitemap.xml.
No need to do anything extra on your end, just make sure that the option in Settings > General > Privacy is set to “Public”. The sitemap file included with your blog is available to every search engine that supports the protocol, including Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask.com, and others. WordPress.com automatically sends updates to search engines every time you update or delete a page or post. If you would like to learn more about the protocol, visit sitemaps.org.
If you’re looking to add your sitemap to Google Search Console, you’ll need to verify your site with Google Search Console using the Meta tag option.
News Sitemaps are very similar to standard XML sitemaps for search engines, but they are specific to Google News. Publishers must be pre-approved for Google News before Google will index a news sitemap. News sitemaps include only posts published in the last 48 hours.
Your blog already has a news sitemap generated at yourgroovysite.wordpress.com/news-sitemap.xml. Approved publishers must log in to Google Search Console and add their news sitemap location as another sitemap.