How to Create a Sitemap

Your store's sitemap is automatically generated when you first create your store. You can access a copy of your store's sitemap at http://www.yourvolusionstore.com/sitemap.xml (change yourvolusionstore to your actual domain name).

The URL can be typically used as-is when you submit your site map to a search engine such as Google or Bing.

For example, you can send the sitemap to Google by going to http://www.google.com/webmasters, logging in, and submitting your content per Google's instructions.

The path you'll follow will be similar to the following:

  • Google Webmaster Tools > Submit your content to Google
  • Google Webmaster Tools > Verify Your Site — meta tag preferred
    • Copy Google's meta tag and paste it into your Admin Area at Marketing > SEO > Globally Appended Meta Tags
  • Submit Your Sitemap

When you supply the sitemap location within your Google Webmasters account, enter "sitemap.xml" into the available textbox and click Submit Sitemap. When Google attempts to update your sitemap information, they will automatically get the most recent information.

In the special case where you require the sitemap in another format such as a text file, you can create it manually by doing the following:

  1. Go to http://www.yourvolusionstore.com/sitemap.xml to generate the sitemap.
  2. Right-click inside the browser window to bring up your browser's context menu. 
  3. Click View Source or View Page Source (depending on your browser).
  4. Copy the generated sitemap into a text editor such as Notepad.
  5. Save the file as either a text file or as an XML file (depending on your requirements).

Once you've created your sitemap text file, connect to your store's FTP and upload it to the highest level directory (the /v/ folder). Next, go to Settings > Maintenance > Manage 301 Redirects and create a redirect for the sitemap so search engines can find it. For example:

Source Path = /mysitemap.xml
Target Path = /v/sitemap.xml

Note that you cannot add a 301 redirect using "/sitemap.xml" as the Source, since "http://www.yourvolusionstore.com/sitemap.xml" is an existing page on your store. You should instead implement a 301 redirect from a Source page which does not already exist, such as "/mysitemap.xml" or "/sitemap.html".

SEO Friendly Links

Before you submit your sitemap to search engines, you will need to activate SEO-friendly links in your store. For more information, see SEO Features.

Large Sitemaps

Sitemaps that contain more than 50,000 URLs or exceed 10MB in size may fail when uploading to search engines, preventing most products in the file from being indexed. If your site contains more than 50,000 URLs or the sitemap file is larger than 10MB, you may need to create multiple sitemap files and then use a sitemap "index" file to reference them.

Google recommends that you use a sitemap index file even if you have a small site, especially if you plan on growing your business to the point where your sitemap will contain more than 50,000 URLs or exceed 10MB in size. A sitemap index file can include up to 1,000 sitemaps, and must not exceed 10MB (10,485,760 bytes). You can also use gzip to compress your Sitemaps.

See How to Submit Multiple Sitemap Files to Search Engines for instructions on creating and submitting large sitemaps.