HTML sitemaps are important for your site, not only so customers have an easy way of finding what they are looking for, but also to help Google find out what your site is about. Please note you will also need an XML sitemap for Google, but that is taken care of with the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, which I recommend, so I was looking for a plugin with only the HTML sitemap.
Recently I decided to review the plugins available that offer this function. I was not completely happy with what I found. Here are the plugins I reviewed (the one I ended up using is at the bottom):
WP Sitemap Page Do not recommend. Warns that it could be very slow, so that was enough to steer me away. I also steered away from Simple Hierarchical Sitemap and Kocuj Sitemap because at the time of this post, they did not have any reviews and after reading the descriptions, they didn’t seem to offer anything special that the other plugins I tested offered.Kwayy HTML Sitemap Recommended for sites with emphasis on pages and custom post types like products. Although this one ended up being one of my favorites because it’s ease of setup, it only allows you to show pages, posts and posts, and there is no option to display more than one column (gets pretty long when you have quite a few posts). There is no ability to display authors, categories, tags, or archives. You can choose to show pages first or posts and change what they are called, for instance you could call pages “services”.PS Auto Sitemap Good for sites with the main emphasis on posts divided by categories My second choice to use on my own site, but only because my site is really defined by categories. I liked that the posts were separated by category. But there was no option to show authors, tags, or custom post types. There was an option to show categories first or pages, which is good for me since my site is set up with categories rather than pages. Unfortunately, there was no way to change the order that the categories appeared. Inserting the sitemap was easy with the shortcode provided, but I was momentarily confused by the need for a “post ID” since I was using it on a page, put then I realized that page ID’s were also called post ID’s. I was easily able to find the ID of my page by hovering over the title in the list of pages and looking for the number in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Then I was able to exclude any particular posts or pages by ID as well. Not everything I would want since it still didn’t have the option for columns, but as close to what I needed as I had been able to find.
HTML Page Sitemap Do not recommend. No settings page. All the customizations are done with shortcode, so it takes a little while to figure out. Right out of the box, when you insert the shortcode, you are given a list of your pages. By adding more code, you can modify the depth and exclude certain pages. This seems to be more useful for extremely large sites where you might use this at the bottom of the page to show subpages of the current page.
WP Realtime Sitemap Recommended The plugin I finally decided on. It allowed me the option to show not only pages and posts, but also categories, tags, custom post types, and archives. Plus, I could choose how to order each one of these, which order they would be displayed in, and whether or not to display them.I was a little confused by the last part where it asks you to order each of them, because you have to list them all whether you have chosen to display them or not, but I figured that out pretty quickly. You just have to make sure each type is listed once. Here is how I chose to display mine. You will notice that I set archives, menu, and custom post types at the end, even though I chose not to display those. You are also able to choose to exclude items from displaying at all. Although this still didn’t give me the option of having two columns, I decided that was fine. I do like that it shows my tags as a cloud. This one takes a little longer to configure than the others, but the point was that I wanted to be able to configure it. If you are looking for something to just install, add the shortcode, and you’re done, then you’d probably rather use Kwayy To see how it looks on my site, click here.
I agree that having an HTML Sitemap is very important for a blog, both for the reader and the search engines. I have gone through the plugins also and my final choice was a free WordPress plugin Simple Sitemap. As the name suggests, it is a simple HTML sitemap that is very easy to install. What I like about it that it separates the posts into groups and titles each group as per the category name.
Thanks for sharing your findings,
Laura Hartwig says
I always like to hear what other people are using. I’ll look into Simple Sitemap. Thanks for letting me know!