XML sitemaps in the Yoast SEO plugin

Having an XML sitemap can be beneficial for SEO. It allows search engines to find and crawl your most important pages! The sitemap index and individual sitemaps in Yoast SEO are updated automatically as you add or remove content. What is more, they include the post types you want search engines to index. For example, Post Types marked as ‘noindex’ will not appear in the sitemap. To learn more about how to noindex see: How do I noindex URLs?

You can improve the way search engines crawl your site with the Crawl Settings in Yoast SEO Premium! They allow you to remove unnecessary URLs, so search engines can crawl your site more efficiently!

How to enable and view the XML sitemap in Yoast SEO

Follow these steps to enable and view the XML sitemaps in Yoast SEO:

  1. Log in to your WordPress website.

    When you’re logged in, you will be in your ‘Dashboard’.

  2. Click on ‘SEO’

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘SEO’

  3. Click on ‘General’.

    The ‘SEO’ settings will expand providing you with additional options. Click on ‘General’.
    Screenshot showing general tab in Yoast SEO

  4. Click on the ‘Features’ tab.

    Screenshot showing Features tab in Yoast SEO

  5. Toggle the ‘XML Sitemaps’ switch and click ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom of the screen.

    To enable the feature, toggle the switch to ‘On’.
    To disable the feature, toggle the switch to ‘Off’.

  6. To view the sitemap, click the question mark next to the XML sitemaps feature.

    A link to the XML sitemaps will appear.

  7. Click the ‘See the XML sitemap’ link.

    The XML sitemap will open in a new tab.

Limit the number of sitemap entries

You can limit the number of sitemap entries by using the filter wpseo_sitemap_entries_per_page. Here follows example code to limit the max entries to 100.

/* Limit the number of sitemap entries for Yoast SEO */
function max_entries_per_sitemap() {
    return 100;

add_filter( 'wpseo_sitemap_entries_per_page', 'max_entries_per_sitemap' );

Add an external sitemap

Want to add an external sitemap? Use this guide.

Can I change the sitemap priority?

We’ve decided to remove the priority variables from our XML sitemaps in the 3.5 version of Yoast SEO, as Google has said publicly that they don’t use them on most sites.

Are you having issues with your sitemap?

Maybe you need a different guide after enabling the sitemap. Is your sitemap not updating? Do you wonder why it shows grey links? Is your sitemap a blank page? Or are you looking for common XML sitemap errors? You can also use our search bar at the top to search for your specific issue.

If you have a sitemap that is located on example.com/sitemap.xml, your sitemap is not being generated by our Yoast SEO plugin. It is probably generated by another plugin or WordPress core itself. Please disable other sitemap plugins and remove any physical sitemap files via FTP before enabling the sitemaps in our plugin.
XML sitemaps do not need to be indexed by search engines in order to be read or parsed. Therefore, we add a x-robots-tag HTTP header (with a value of noindex, follow) to all XML sitemap responses.

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