An HTML sitemap is a file with specific information on the pages on your site and the URLs of those pages. An HTML sitemap is handy when you have a website, so it’s easier to find all the available information on your site. One of the most important reasons you need to have a sitemap is it’s a clickable source of information. You can direct your visitors to your sitemap page, and as a result, they can find everything on your website with just a click. An HTML sitemap will also help search engine spiders in indexing your website.
XML sitemap is an alternative to HTML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a file containing information used to outline the links on your site. This will allow search engines to find and index your site more easily and quickly. If you have a website, you have to have an XML sitemap because it is one of the most important things in web design.
Differences between HTML Sitemap and XML Sitemap
1. HTML sitemap contains information about the geographic location of your pages, and XML sitemap does not.
2. HTML sitemap should be published on the same server that hosts your website’s home page, and the XML sitemap can be hosted elsewhere.
3. HTML sitemap is generated using a common text editor, but XML sitemap requires special software.
4. The data in an HTML sitemap is not easily understandable by search engines, while the data in an XML Sitemap is clear to search engines and people reading it.
5. XML sitemap is more current than HTML sitemap.
6. HTML sitemap supports versioning, but XML sitemap does not.
7. The search engines can index an HTML sitemap providing that it is published on the same server, but the search engines cannot index an XML sitemap if it is not published on the same server that hosts the website’s home page.
8. HTML sitemap does not support versioning, and it has limited capacity for documentation.
When to use an HTML Sitemap
1. If you have only a small number of pages on your site
HTML Sitemap is a better option because it is straightforward to configure. You don’t need special software or a particular protocol to make it work. Just configure your HTML sitemap file to be hosted on the same server that hosts your website’s home page. It is best to publish the HTML sitemap on another server so that it doesn’t take all your site’s resources.
2. If you have a lot of images on your website
If you have a lot of images on your website, it is better that you use an XML sitemap because it will make your HTML sitemap file more accurate and complete. The more accurate your sitemap file, the more it will help search engine spiders index your website more rapidly.
3. If you want your sitemap file to be more accurate
Suppose you are publishing an HTML sitemap on the same server hosting the home page of your website. In that case, it will make your sitemap file incomplete because it will include links to images and other automatically recognized files on your site. If you want a better and more complete sitemap file, then publish it on another server to be more accurate.
When to use an XML Sitemap
If you have a lot of pages on your site
You should use an XML sitemap if you have a lot of pages on your website. It will make your site more complete, practical, and accurate. The more pages you have on your site, the better it is to use an XML sitemap, as it will make it easier for search engine spiders to index your site.
If you have a lot of links on your site
You should use an XML Sitemap if you have a lot of links on your website. The more links you have, the better it is to use an XML Sitemap. The search engines will provide a better index of your site to find all the URLs and sitemap data they need.
If you have a large site and want to improve your site’s performance
If you want to improve your site’s performance, then it would be better if you use an XML sitemap because it is completer and more accurate. A more complete and accurate XML sitemap will make it easier for search engine spiders to index your website.
In conclusion, both HTML sitemap and XML Sitemap are useful in website design. HTML sitemap serves as a good first line of defense when searching for information on your website. On the other hand, an XML sitemap is more accurate and easier to read by search engines and people.