how to create an rss sitemap in wordpress

How to Create an RSS Sitemap in WordPress

Looking for an easy way to create an RSS sitemap in WordPress?

Google recommends using both an XML and RSS sitemap for optimal crawling.

In this article, you’ll learn an easy way to generate an RSS sitemap. And you’ll get an XML sitemap, too.

RSS Sitemaps vs. XML Sitemaps: What’s the Difference?

RSS sitemaps list content that’s recently been updated or published, whereas XML sitemaps are lists of all URLs on your site.

Because RSS sitemaps are smaller, Google can crawl them faster. These sitemaps inform search engines about modified and newly published content.

One of the easiest ways to add an RSS sitemap to your site is to use an SEO plugin like All in One SEO (AIOSEO).

This plugin will automatically generate an XML and RSS sitemap for you and keep them updated.

aioseo homepage

All in One SEO is an established plugin with thousands of 5-star ratings on Over 3 million people are currently using the plugin.

Step 1: Download and Install All in One SEO (AIOSEO)

First, download All in One SEO (AIOSEO).

(It will download as a zip file. There’s no need to open it.)

Next, log into your WordPress website.

In the left-hand navigation column, go to Plugins » Add New. (Mouseover “Plugins,” and you’ll see the “Add New” option. Click on it.)

wordpress add new plugin

Now, click the Upload Plugin button at the top.

wordpress upload plugin button

That will open a box with a Choose File button. Click that, select the zip file from your computer, then click Install Now.

The AIOSEO wizard will open and walk you through a few setup steps.

If you run into questions, consult the installation instructions.

Once All in One SEO is installed, you’ll have an XML sitemap and an RSS sitemap automatically created for you.

So, let’s see what the RSS sitemap looks like. (This is optional.)

Step 2: View RSS Sitemap

In the WordPress admin bar, click the AIOSEO icon. A drop-down menu will appear. Select Sitemaps.

aioseo sitemaps

Then click on RSS Sitemap.

aioseo rss sitemap navigation

You’ll see the sitemap’s been enabled automatically.

And there’s a big blue button for Open RSS Sitemap. Click on that to see what your RSS sitemap looks like.

aioseo open rss sitemap

Your sitemap will look similar to the one below: a list of URLs and publication dates.

example of rss sitemap
All in One SEO uses CSS code to style and format your RSS sitemap page for easier viewing.

Step 3: (Optional) Alter Default Settings

By default, your RSS sitemap has these settings, which you can alter:

  • Number of Posts: You can change the default number of 50 but keep your sitemap small.
  • Post Types: Unticking this option allows you to omit page types from the RSS sitemap.


  • The number of posts is set to 50 to keep the RSS sitemap small. It only needs to contain recently modified and published articles.
  • If you have products, movies, and other WordPress page types, those will appear as options to omit.

How to Submit Your RSS Sitemap

Once you’ve installed AIOSEO and your sitemaps have been auto-generated, you must submit your sitemap to Google.

To do this,

There’s a slightly different process to verify your site and submit your sitemap to Bing.

RSS Feed Included

Your RSS sitemap contains an RSS feed of your new content and recently modified web pages.

For those new to RSS feeds, they provide a way for people to subscribe to your content. They do this through RSS readers (also called feed readers) like:

  • Feedly
  • Inoreader and
  • NewsBlur.

Thanks to All in One SEO, your RSS feed is automatically set to NOINDEX.

RSS Feed Settings

  • Go to AIOSEO » General Settings » RSS feed to customize your settings.
  • Advanced settings are available at AIOSEO » Search Appearance » Advanced » Crawl Cleanup. Some of these relate to Atom feeds.

However, exercise caution with the advanced settings, as some can harm your SEO.

Google’s Best Practices for Sitemaps

All in One SEO uses the best practices specified by Google Search Central for XML and RSS sitemaps. So you don’t need to know HTML, PHP, or any coding language.

Here are some examples.

URL and Last Modification Time

These 2 items are Google’s most important data elements and are represented differently in XML and RSS sitemaps.

xml sitemap code lastmod
  • XML sitemaps use the <lastmod> HTML tag
  • RSS sitemaps use the <pubDate> tag.
rss sitemap code pubdate

Skip Excluded URLs

In accordance with Google’s best practices, All in One SEO only includes crawlable URLs in your sitemaps; it skips URLs disallowed by rules set in your robots.txt file.

Use Both XML and RSS Sitemaps

Google explains that when sites have both an XML and an RSS sitemap, that helps them with the indexing of those URLs.

Remember, the XML sitemap contains all indexable URLs. And the RSS sitemap differs in that it includes only recently published and modified pages.

Q&A on RSS Sitemaps

Are sitemaps still relevant for SEO?

Sitemaps are still considered a best practice in SEO, as long as Google’s guidelines for them are followed. That said, sitemaps may improve indexing, but they aren’t used to boost rankings.

Besides XML and RSS sitemaps, does AIOSEO offer other types of sitemaps?

Yes, AIOSEO provides HTML sitemaps, video sitemaps, and Google News sitemaps. The latter 2 sitemaps are available to users of the Pro version of the plugin.

An HTML sitemap is a sitemap published on your site for readers. It provides an alternative directory of your content. Video sitemaps help your video content to be indexed by search engines. And Google News sitemaps are for publishers of journalism. Using a Google News sitemap requires applying to Google for approval.

What’s Next?

You’ve learned how to use AIOSEO’s sitemap generator to get instant XML and RSS sitemaps. There’s no need to mess with APIs or learn code.

Next, learn how to add an HTML sitemap or rich snippets to your website. And don’t forget to get set up for effective lead generation.

You may also want to explore how to do an SEO analysis of your homepage and blog posts. And set up breadcrumb templates.

Follow us on social media: subscribe to our YouTube Channel for SEO tutorials. You can also follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook to stay in the loop.

Want to Try AIOSEO for Free?

Enter the URL of your WordPress website to install AIOSEO Lite.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

author avatar
Sherrie Gossett Content Writer
Sherrie is an SEO analyst based in New Hampshire in the United States. When she’s not busy researching, implementing, and writing about new SEO developments, she can be found hiking and playing guitar.

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.