What should and should not be included in a sitemap for a WordPress site?
 by Staff

What should and should not be included in a sitemap for a WordPress site?

  • While looking for guidance on sitemaps for a WordPress site, I found this 2017 SEN post that said;

    In the majority of cases we use Yoast SEO and turn off sitemaps for Categories, Tags, Author and "special" categories, like perhaps a theme's portfolio.

    My question is, does that advice still stand or is it different now that we are in 2022?


As with all things, there has been some progression on this topic.

First, let's talk about category pages. Back in 2017, few WordPress templates provided any way to put unique text on a category page. They were more like a search result page and there wasn't much benefit to having them indexed. Now, that's different.

Today, many themes allow you to add content at the top of a category page and, as such, it can be worthwhile to include them in sitemaps — mainly because of all the subpages & subcategories linking back to the category page. Therefore we'd recommend that you try to add at least a short paragraph of content at the top of the page and use Yoast SEO to create a good title tag for it.

Tags - sometimes those are worthwhile if you add some content to the tag page that is somewhat unique. This is similar to categories but typically not quite as important.

Author pages; IF you have a custom page with some content on that page AND you want it indexed, then yes. But if the answer is no, then set that category to not show in search.

Portfolio and other special things — it depends. Usually these aren't for public use. Instead they are components of a theme or special plugin that are used to make things functional. As such, they aren't necessarily something you want visitors to see, nor do you want them indexed in search engines.

For example, we have a site with a category called product_shipping_class. That's not som...