Adding a sitemap to your site benefits both your visitors and search engines: it offers an overview of the site with links to all content. Unfortunately, in February 2015 the creator of Xmap, a popular sitemap extension for Joomla, stopped the development. In this tutorial you can see how to use a free alternative to Xmap: Aimy Sitemap.

 Now that Xmap is no longer available, there are still several other free sitemap extensions for Joomla 3. I tried out two of them: Aimy Sitemap and QLUE Sitemap. Let's find out how to use Aimy Sitemap first.

Creating a Sitemap with Aimy Sitemap

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  • Install the downloaded zip file via Extensions>Upload package file.
  • Once the installation is complete, click on the button "Edit your sitemap now:

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  • You're taken to the page Aimy Sitemap: Manage URLs. To make your sitemap, click Please configure your sitemap here.
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    • You are now on the page Aimy Sitemap: Preferences. Here you can adjust various settings, but the default settings are fine to get a functioning sitemap. After having checked the settings, click Save & Close.
    • Now you are ready to let generate the sitemap. Click on the button Crawl website:

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    • On the next page, click Start Crawling:

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    Now Aimy Site will starting indexing the site:

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    In my test this took quite a long time. This is something to be aware af, especially if you've got a big site while indexing is in progress, you can't do anything else in the administration area of ​​the site.

    Once Aimy Site has indexed all the pages, you'll see a list of all URLs. Optionally you can leave out URLs that you do not want included in the sitemap: select them and click Deactivate.

    Once you have viewed the list, click on the button Write Sitemap:  

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    Create a menu link to the sitemap

    Finally, let's make a menu link to a page displaying the sitemap: an overview of links to all pages on the site. Aimy Site offers two views: as a continuous alphabetical list (List) or as a page displaying links in several columns. Here's how you make the menu link:

    • Go to Menus > Main Menu and create a new menu link. As the Menu item type, select Aimy Sitemap> HTML Sitemap:

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    • Enter a name for the menu link (a Menu Title), for example Sitemap. Under Variant, you can leave the default option (List) unchanged:

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     Below you can see what the results should look like. The sitemap page shows a long, continuous alphabetical list of links to all content indexed by Aimy:

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    Under Variant you can also choose Index. The result looks like this:

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    Another sitemap extensions for Joomla 3: QLUE Sitemap

    Another free sitemap extension for Joomla 3 is QLUE Sitemap (http://joomla-extensions.qlue.co.uk/extensions/qlue-site-map-joomla-seo-extension). It's set up quicker than Aimy Sitmap, but the results see a little limited: in my case, I got a rather messy list of links. It seemed to display the URLs, not the titles of the pages, which looks less readable:

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    Conclusion

    If you need a sitemap for your Joomla 3 site, so far it seems the best free alternative for Xmap is Aimy Sitemap. It allows you to easily generate a sitemap for Joomla 3. However, crawling the site seems to be quite slow, which could pose a problem for very large sites. Furthermore, there are limits to customizing the site map as shown on the site: you can choose from two views. However, there are sufficient options to determine what you can and can not include in the sitemap. See also the comprehensive manual of the makers http://www.aimy-extensions.com/joomla/sitemap.html#user-manual.