If you are using SMF as your forum management software, then you can very easily create a HTML and XML Sitemap for it. A HTML sitemap may help your visitors better navigate your site, while an XML Sitemap can be submitted to Search Engines for better crawling and indexing of your forum.
Both of these sitemaps can be generated by using a single MOD known as SEO Sitemap and XML sitemap. You can install it using the inbuilt Package Manager of SMF.
Once successfully installed, head over to Admin >> Configuration >> Modification Settings (Miscellaneous) and here you can select how your sitemap will be displayed?:
If you select Sitemap, then your forum’s HTML sitemap URL will be displayed near the footer as shown below:
If you select “Sitemap 1, 2, 3“, then the URL will be displayed in following numeric format:
The numbers above depends on the total number of boards you have created for your forum and the hyperlinks associated with these numbers points to individual HTML Sitemap of each board.
If you select Hide, then your sitemap will not be displayed anywhere! But, will be present in the background (useful for search engine bots and maybe direct linking).
Access URL for these Sitemaps
As soon as you install and activate the MOD, both the sitemaps will get generated instantly. The hyperlinks for them remains static and you can access them using following URL structure:
Submit Sitemap to Google and Bing
Assuming you have already verified your site with both, follow these steps:
Once you are logged in to Google Webmaster Tools, go to Sitemap Page (under Optimization) and click on Add/Test Sitemap Button located in the middle right of the page:
Here you need to enter only index.php?action=kitsitemap;xml after the trailing slash of your domain name:
Now, either click on Test Sitemap Button for testing your sitemap’s validity OR directly click on Submit Sitemap Button:
Also, there’s NO need to submit individual XML sitemaps for each and every board, as the main sitemap contains all of them and Google will automatically take them into consideration:
Submitting your forum’s XML sitemap to Bing Webmaster is same as above. All you need to do is to enter your full sitemap URL on the sitemaps page (under Configure my site):
Click on submit button and Bing bot will take your sitemap into consideration after some hours.
- The mod uses hook system of SMF, so there’s no file modification necessary before and after the installation. Just install the MOD and your sitemaps are ready.
- It is highly recommended to use default URL structure of SMF (/index.php?board=4.0, /index.php?topic=3.0 etc.) with this mod.
- The generated XML sitemap is fully compatible with 0.9 schema of sitemaps protocol.
- If you are experiencing any problem, you can ask for support here