A Visual Sitemap is a hierarchical diagram which allows people to understand the website structure, interrelationships between the pages (sections) and the navigation mechanism. It is often used as a starting point in website development.
- From scratch
The creation of a visual sitemap from scratch includes thinking over the website’s future contents, navigation, structure and its ease of use.
- Using an existing one
You can use an existing visual sitemap to upgrade or refactor it. You can do so by using instruments such as the Visual Sitemap Generator.
You can start the design by presenting the content of the homepage, and then start building the logical structure of the remaining sections from there. Or, alternatively, start by thinking through all the major sections of the website first.
Visual Sitemap Generators help visualize the existing website structure as a hierarchical diagram (visual sitemap). There are two generation ways:
- Using an existing sitemap.xml file. This method is very quick. However, in cases when the file is absent or if its contents are incomplete, the visualization may be incorrect.
- Crawling — a more complex and lengthy method, most often isn’t free. It is not dependent on the presence or completeness of the sitemap.xml file. The crawler scans the contents of each page and creates a visual sitemap. It is a great solution if there is no sitemap.xml file or if its contents are incomplete.
- Copy the website URL from the browser address bar;
- Paste the URL into the Visual Sitemap Generator above;
- Click the “Import” button. You will be redirected to Octopus.do;
- In the pop-up window select between a URL and a xml file and click import;
- Ok! Your visual sitemap is ready.
Usually, websites made with WP create good sitemap.xml files automatically. Therefore, generating visual sitemaps
from such websites is quite easy. Simply follow the steps outlined in “How to generate a visual sitemap?”.
A visual sitemap tool allows you to create an easily understandable layout of your website. It shows the hierarchy, interrelationship and interdependence of pages. The tool can help out greatly in the process of initial website structure design.
A visual sitemap template is a preset website page structure that best fits your company’s niche. It can be used as a basis for creating your own unique sitemap.
Sometimes we won't be able to generate a visual sitemap from certain websites and you will receive a “something went wrong” error. There could be various reasons for that:
- there is no sitemap.xml or access to it is restricted
- its location is unknown
- the browser cannot read and generate a sitemap for technical reasons
In this case, we recommend uploading sitemap.xml as a file
A Sitemap is a list of the website’s pages and the interrelationships between them. It can be visually represented as a hierarchical diagram or as an XML file, which helps Google, Bing and other search engines see the structure of a website.
A Sitemap XML file is usually computer-generated using a certain format (XML) from a finished visual website structure or a working website. The majority of CMS, such as Wordpress, generate the sitemap file automatically from a finished website. Another way of creating sitemaps is to use services such as the Sitemap Generator.
An XML sitemap file helps search engines like Google analyze the website by describing the hierarchy of pages and their interrelationships. This, in turn, has a positive impact on SEO. Clarity of structure description and syntax used play a vital role in XML sitemaps.
A Sitemap Generator is an online or a standalone tool that crawls the contents of the website and generates a sitemap.xml file which contains the list of the website’s pages.
Usually the sitemap.xml file is located here - example.com/sitemap.xml. However, there are cases when the file simply doesn’t exist or is located elsewhere, e.g. on another domain or under a different file name
These are optional tags of a sitemap protocol. Keep in mind that you’re only giving hints and not directions for action. It is not guaranteed that the search engines will do exactly as you have specified in these tags.
changefreq — How often the contents of the webpage may change
lastmod — The date of the latest file updates.
priority — Used to tell the search robots which pages of your website are more important than others and more desirable to be used in the search rating. Possible values vary from 0.0 to 1.0, where 0.5 is considered a default value.
You should have a ready sitemap.xml file on domain
- Sign In or Register on Google Search Console
- In the left sidebar choose Sitemaps
- Enter the URL where the sitemap file is located (e.g. yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml)
- Click Submit.
- Go to your Bing Webmaster Tools;
- Look for the Sitemaps widget in the left panel and click “Submit Sitemap”;
- Make sure your sitemap.xml (or .txt) file is present on the server;
- Copy and paste the URL of your sitemap file into the text box (e.g. www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml or www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.txt);
- Finally, click the “Submit a sitemap” button.
Make sure you have a sitemap.xml file in your project.
- Locate your robots.txt file by typing http://www.yourdomain.com/robots.txt;
- If you get a 404 error, you will have to create it the robots.txt file yourself in the top-level directory of your web server;
- Enter the following into your robots.txt file: “Sitemap: http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml” and save it.
Visualize any website structure from Internet
You can use our Free Visual Sitemap Generator to import sitemap.xml file to Visualize structure and rework UX.
Organize page content
Organize your page content by highlighting content blocks with color. Develop your color codes and apply them to your projects.
Visualize with wireframes
With low fidelity wireframes you can visualize contents of each block making it easy to understand the page layout and prepare the content fo your future project.
Export your sitemaps to PDF, PNG, TXT, XML
Have your sitemaps exported as PDF, PNG, TXT, XML. Prepare your material for printing, publishing, offline meetings or exporting. Attach time estimates when needed.
Sitemap Generator for Google
Generate sitemap XML from visual sitemap and submit it to Google, Bing and other search engines to improve your visibility and SEO.
Export visual sitemap to text file
We created a slick, clear and minimalistic TXT file with the structure from your visual sitemap. You can make a presentation with it, hang it on the wall or convert it to CSV so that you can feed it to the robots.