Think of a sitemap as a note to search engine spiders, providing directions on the pages to crawl and index, says Stephanie Woods. Some people create a sitemap from scratch, while others use a XML site generator.
Woods steps through the process of creating both XML and HTML sitemaps. A checklist helps to determine the creation path to take and whether to submit the sitemap to search engines. While some believe submitting a XML sitemap to search engines is a futile exercise, at least the site gets indexed, she writes.