There are two types of sitemaps:
1. XML sitemap is used for search engine robots
It is a website file to tell search engines of all your site content and pages. It helps search engine robots to read and crawl your site more effectively. More pages index by search engines means generate more search impression and traffic. XML sitemap is hard to read by human e.g. http://www.uxoom.com/sitemap.xml
2. HTML sitemap is used for humans
It is a regular web page directory, the function is similar to a book index. It helps users find and access the required content, especially a large website with many pages and subcategories e.g apple store http://www.apple.com/sitemap/.
Common questions asked by webmaste rs:
1. Is the XML sitemap path must begin with domain name + /sitemap.xml e.g. http://www.uxoom.com/sitemap.xml?
Not necessary, users can create any custom sitemap path e.g. https://poxse.com/sitemap_index.xml
2. May I create more than one XML sitemaps?
Yes, instead of put all links in one file, users can break it down to multiple files .e.g
3. The default XML sitemap is hard for human reading, may I add styling to XML sitemap?
Yes, users can add custom CSS to their sitemap and make it look nicer e.g. https://poxse.com/post-sitemap.xml. It requires some CSS and XSL knowledge, a basic guide of XML styling. In poxse, we download a XML template at https://yoast.com/xsl-stylesheet-xml-sitemap/
4. I have no technical knowledge on XML and HTML, is there any generator out there?
Yes, there are numbers of handy tools available to help users create XML sitemap. For wordpress users, we recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast, it is a SEO plugin bundle with sitemap feature. For non-CMS website or small static website, we recommend xml-sitemaps.com
5. What are the other types of sitemap?
Google explain sitemaps can be in XML sitemap, RSS, or Atom formats. The major difference, XML sitemap contain all URLs within a site while RSS or Atom feed only describe recent changes. e.g. https://poxse.com/feed