XML Sitemaps for XenForo

Having an XML sitemap on your XenForo forum can be helpful for SEO. It’s the quickest way for your forum content to be found by search engines like Google.

For those unfamiliar with this particular term, XML Sitemap is a file that contains the pages like forum nodes, threads, user profiles, tags, and other files on your site. The purpose of XML sitemaps is to help search engine bots (i.e., Google bots) crawl your site more intelligently and efficiently.

Furthermore, through a sitemap, Google bots can find valuable information such as “lastmod” or when the page was last updated.

How to Create a XenForo Sitemap

Follow the instructions below to enable XML Sitemap for your XenForo forum.

Step 1: Log in to your XenForo admin dashboard.

Step 2: Go to Setup and click on XML sitemap generation.

Step 3: Ensure that the checkboxes for Automatically build sitemap and Automatically submit sitemap to search engines are checked.

Step 4: Under Included sitemap content, you can choose to include/exclude certain directories of your site from the XML sitemap.

We recommend the following setting:

  • Node
  • Resource (if you have XenForo Resource Manager add-on enabled)
  • Thread

The User and Tags fields should be left alone.

Step 5: Click Save.

XenForo Sitemap Settings

What does the Automatically build sitemap option do?

If this option is enabled, the sitemap will be rebuilt automatically periodically. If this option is disabled, the sitemap will only be updated when it is rebuilt manually through Tools > Rebuild caches. The current sitemap can be accessed via sitemap.php.

What does the Automatically submit sitemap to search engines option do?

Once a sitemap is built, if this option is enabled, the updated version will be automatically submitted to the search engines specified. {$url} is replaced with your sitemap URL automatically. If this option is not enabled, search engines will only know about the sitemap if it is listed in robots.txt or if you manually submit it to them.

What does the Included sitemap content option do?

If you wish to exclude certain content types from the sitemap, that can be done here. Note that content must be guest accessible to be included in the sitemap, regardless of this setting.

What does the Extra sitemap URLs option do?

If desired, you may include additional URLs that would not otherwise be included in the sitemap. Place each URL on separate lines. Note that these URLs must match your board URL or they will not be included. Partial URLs will be converted to absolute URLs automatically.

How do I locate my XenForo XML Sitemap?

You can find your generated XML sitemap by going to your site URL forward slash sitemap.

Example: www.domain.com/sitemap.php

Submit XML Sitemap to Google

Once the XML sitemap URLs are generated, you can submit them to Google.

  1. Visit Google Search Console
  2. Under Index, click Sitemaps
  3. Enter your XenForo sitemap URL and click Submit.

Google will then process your sitemap URL and start crawling your forum pages.

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