WordPress 5.5 Update – Google Sitemap Integration
In June 2019, a new project was published that looked to introduce sitemap integration within the core WordPress package. With the introduction of WordPress 5.5, sitemaps are now implemented by default. Pascal Birchler, a programs engineer at Google, as well a contributor to WordPress, announced, “in WordPress 5.5, a new feature is being introduced that adds basic, extensible XML sitemaps functionality into WordPress core.”
Upon updating your WordPress website to version 5.5, a sitemap will generate automatically. With the ability to hold up to 50,000 sitemaps than can handle 2,000 entries each, all pages, posts/authors, post types, and taxonomies will be available in the sitemap by default.
Many WordPress users will already be using a 3rd party plugin to generate an XML sitemap for them. With over 7,000,000 active installs of popular SEO plugin Yoast, this particular feature may not be of much importance to many WordPress users. However, many other features are included in the 5.5 update. Developers are almost sure to have planned accordingly for the release of WordPress 5.5 and implemented a seamless integration with the new sitemap feature.
For users who don’t currently have an XML sitemap implemented, the update will help ensure that search engines such as Google index your website correctly. A sitemap is a list of structured pages that are crawlable by search engines. You want search engines to find every page that is important on your website. That’s all good and well; however, sometimes you’ll have a page that doesn’t have any other pages that link to it on your website. A sitemap provides Google and other search engines an easily readable hierarchical structure of your webpages.