WordPress is a popular content management system that runs a third of today’s Internet sites now gets built-in support for XML sitemaps.

This feature appears in WordPress version 5.5 released on August 11, 2020.

XML sitemaps are special files that list all of a site’s pages, blog posts, tags and other content. Search engines such as Google, Yandex and others use sitemaps to index site content, with XML-based sitemaps being the most widely used format.

Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has not supported the creation of a sitemap, a feature that has until now been solved by third-party plugins.

Most modern WordPress site administrators typically use SEO plugins to generate a sitemap when creating an XML-based sitemap and uploading the sitemap to search engines for quick indexing in search engine results.

“As of version 5.5, WordPress will provide a sitemap at /wp-sitemap.xml. This is a basic XML file containing a list of all the sitemap pages available on the WordPress site” the WordPress team said earlier this week.

“The robots.txt file provided by WordPress will link to the sitemap index so it can be easily discovered by search engines”.

Work on finally adding built-in sitemap support to the core WordPress codebase began last year after repeated requests from users over the past few years.

According to the WordPress development team, each WordPress site will generate a central file, called a sitemap index, that can link to up to 50,000 related XML sitemaps, each containing up to 2,000 entries, to index different types of content.

“By default, sitemaps are created for all public record types and taxonomies, as well as author archives and, of course, the site home page”, the WordPress team said.

In addition, the new WordPress sitemap files will also be compatible with the standards and formats used by major search engines such as Google and Yandex, so site owners can immediately prepare content for indexing as soon as it goes live.

More technical details are available in the official announcement from the WordPress team.

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