Yoast’s SEO plugin for WordPress is my top choice for SEO addons. I used to rely on the inherent SEO functions available in the Thesis and Genesis frameworks, but I now prefer having the added functionality that Yoast SEO brings to the table – one of these being the handy XML Sitemap generator.
Anyway, today I went about submitting my Sitemap to my various Webmaster Tool accounts (Google, Bing, etc.) when I ran into a kooky issue. The sitemap_index.xml was returning a 404. Having never seen this issue before, I did what I often do when odd issues like this pop up…I cleared the settings, re-saved, activated the XML sitemap option, saved again and . . . BOOM!
I’m not smart enough to know what causes that glitch, but I know that these simple steps will help you get your Sitemap behaving properly.
- Click on the XML Sitemaps option in the Yoast SEO menu.
- Uncheck the box next to ‘Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality.’
- Click ‘Save Changes’
- Check the box next to ‘Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality.’
- Click ‘Save Changes’ again.
This is similar to the trick I use when WordPress starts hassling me over permalinks. Not sure why that happens either, but if ever you start experiencing random and unexpected 404 errors when viewing your site, a good first step to troubleshooting this is to go to:
Settings > Permalinks, select the ‘Default’ option, ‘Save Changes’, select ‘Custom Structure’ again (I use /%postname%), and then ‘Save Changes’ again.
Wealthy Affiliate prepackages All-In-One-SEO with their site launch feature, but in my opinion, Yoast SEO is tops.