Just like a travel map and your GPS help you find your way to destinations around the world 🗺️, a sitemap helps shoppers find their way to your site, via search engines.
See, a sitemap lists the pages on your website that are available to users and it helps search engine crawlers “read” your site more intelligently and index your content so they can include it in relevant search results.
Great news: We automatically generate your sitemap for you when you create your Volusion store. You can access a copy of your store's sitemap at http://www.yourvolusionstore.com/sitemap.xml. Just be sure to change yourvolusionstore to your actual domain name!
In some special cases, you might require a sitemap in another format, such a text file. In these cases, you will have to do it manually, like so:
- Go to http://www.yourvolusionstore.com/sitemap.xml to generate the sitemap
- Right-click inside the browser window to bring up your browser's context menu
- Click View Source or View Page Source (depending on your browser)
- Copy the generated sitemap into a text editor, such as Notepad
- Save the file as either a text file or as an XML file (depending on your requirements)
- Connect to your store's FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and upload it to the highest level directory: the /v/ folder
- Go to Settings > Maintenance > Manage 301 Redirects
- Create a redirect for the sitemap so search engines can find it, i.e.:Source Path = /mysitemap.xml and Target Path = /v/sitemap.xml
⚠️ Good to Know: You can’t add a 301 redirect using "/sitemap.xml" as the source, since "http://www.yourvolusionstore.com/sitemap.xml" is an existing page on your store.
Instead, you should implement a 301 redirect from a source page that does not already exist, such as "/mysitemap.xml" or "/sitemap.html."
Submitting Your Sitemap
You can make it even easier for Google to crawl and categorize your site by submitting the URL for your sitemap directly to it.
Just go to http://www.google.com/webmasters, log in and follow Google's instructions.
Before you submit your sitemap to search engines, you will first need to activate SEO-friendly links in your store. To learn how, see our article on SEO Features.
The path you'll follow will be similar to this:
- Google Webmaster Tools > Submit your content to Google
- Google Webmaster Tools > Verify Your Site — meta tag preferred
- Copy Google's meta tag and paste it into your Admin Area at Marketing > SEO > Globally Appended Meta Tags
- Submit Your Sitemap by entering "sitemap.xml" into the available textbox and click Submit Sitemap
Sitemaps that contain more than 50,000 URLs or exceed 10MB in size may fail when uploading them to search engines, and most of the products in the file won’t be indexed.
If your site is larger than the specs above, you may need to create multiple, smaller sitemap files, and reference them with a sitemap "index" file. A sitemap index file can include up to 1,000 sitemaps, and must not exceed 10MB (10,485,760 bytes). You can also use gzip to compress your Sitemaps.
See our article on How to Submit Multiple Sitemap Files to Search Engines for instructions on how to break larger a sitemap into smaller ones and submit them.
Make your online store known to search engines and shoppers by creating (and submitting) your sitemap! This way, search engines can intelligently crawl and index your site’s content, serve up relevant pages in their search results, and drive in more shoppers. 🛍️