WordPress – Create a Sitemap
Script & Screenshots
In this video I’m going to show you how you can create a navigation sitemap for your website.
Sitemaps, as the name implies, are just a map of your website. This is a map to what the layout of your pages will be. This is an important step to help you figure out the structure of your site. It can help organize and clarify the content that needs to be on your site, as well as help you eliminate unnecessary pages and prevent duplicate content. Every website should have a goal and a purpose. Sites without these are often unfocused, hard to navigate, and present bad user experiences. You never want your visitor to be confused when navigating your website or interacting with your content.
There are many websites out there that allow you to create a sitemap for a fee. I’m going to show you how to create a free one in Microsoft Word 365. Depending on what version of Word you are using, your screen could differ from mine.
To start, click on the Layout Tab.
I’m going to change the layout of the page from Portrait to Landscape. Click on the Orientation button.
Then Click on Landscape.
Now we have more room to work with. To add a flow chart, click on the Insert tab.
Click on SmartArt.
This will open up the SmartArt options.
For the sitemaps, I like to use the Hierarchy style.
Feel free to use any of the styles. I personally like using the Organization Chart.
Once you’ve picked the style of chart, click on OK.
Click on the OK button.
On the left, in the box that says “Type your text here” is where you’re going to type in the names of your pages. Mine sitemap is going to be a simple example.
I’m going to start with the Home page, putting it at the first bullet. This first bullet will be on the top level of the navigation bar.
Then I’ll have an About page. This page I will give a brief description about my company.
Now I’d like to delete the Text fields that were automatically generated. Click on the line you want to delete and click the Backspace button.
I’m going to do the same thing for the next line, click on it and click the backspace button two times. You can also click delete to delete the bullet after it.
I’m adding a sub menu page for About. It will be the Staff page where I can have pictures and bios of my staff.
I’m going to type over the text and change it to Board. If I had Board Members, I could add photos and bios of them on this page.
To add another menu item, hit the enter key and it will take you to the next bullet point. By default, it will keep you at a sub menu level. I would like to add it to the top level. To do this, click on the Backspace key to move the bullet point back.
Hit the Enter key to add another item.
Now I’d like to go back to the Products menu and add some sub menus to it.
To do this, click on the bullet point you want to add on to and click the Enter key.
Since I want it to be a sub menu of Products, I need to hit the Tab key to indent it.
I’ll add in a couple Products that I’d like to have their own pages.
I have a ton of different types of soaps so I’d like to make it easy for my clients to find the different types. So I will create a sub menu of the Soaps page.
Click on the bullet point that you’d like to add a sub menu to, and click the Enter key.
Click the Tab key to indent it another level.
I’m going to add Liquid and Bar soaps to have their own pages.
And I’m going to add another top level page, Location. Adding a map and our address would be good for this page. After lotions I’ll click Enter, then Backspace to move it back a level.
Now I’m going to clean up the sitemap to look better. If you click on the circles in the corners or on the sides of the box surrounding the chart, you can expand it to cover more of the page.
I’m going to click on the top right corner and drag it to the edge of the page. You can drag it to where ever you’d like it.
Now I’ll drag the bottom of the box to the bottom of the page.
Now I’d like to clean up the sub menus so that it’s easier to read. Click on the top level item.
Then click on the Layout button on the Design tab.
I prefer the Right and Left Hanging options. I find that it makes it look cleaner and easier to read.
I’m going to do this for the rest of my top level pages that have sub menus.
Now I’m going to change the colors.
I’m going to choose the multicolor option so that it is obvious which pages are top level and which pages are sub menus.
Now my top menu is blue, 1st level sub menu is orange, and the 2nd level is gray. In my opinion it makes it easier to read. You can choose the colors that you like best.
Now that I have the first draft done, it would be a good idea to show the rest of your team what you have so you can go through and make any changes, if you haven’t done so already. And as your business evolves over the years, you may want to revisit this document to see if you can make any changes to keep making it better.
I’m going to make a couple of changes on mine. I think I’ll move the Location page.
I’m going to delete Location from the top menu.
I’ll move it to be a sub item of Contact by hitting Enter after Contact.
Then click the Tab key to make it a sub item. It would also be a good idea to combine the information on these pages into one to prevent duplicate content.
I’m going to add a new top level page.
A page for my Store. Now that I have a Store page, I’ll want to rethink my Products pages. I don’t want to have duplicate content on my site. So instead of adding a new page, maybe I’d want to rename Products to Store.
It may only take you one draft to get your map where you like it, or it could take you 10. If your business is pretty simple, then you’ll probably have an easy time with this exercise. The more complicated business will most likely take more time. Just know that you can change it later. The key is keeping your site easy to navigate through to find the information needed.
That’s it for this video. I’ll see you in the next one.
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