Yes, sitemaps remain significantly relevant in web development as of the last update. Here's why:
SEO: Search engine bots use sitemaps to discover and index new pages on your website. Although modern search engines have become quite efficient at crawling and indexing web pages without a sitemap, having one ensures that all pages are found, especially for large websites and those with deep-linked pages.
Website Organization: For large websites with many pages, a sitemap acts as an organizational tool, helping you understand the structure of your site.
User Navigation: Some websites also provide a user-facing sitemap, typically linked in the footer, which can help users understand and navigate the website structure.
Although sitemaps are beneficial, they should not be seen as a replacement for good site architecture and internal linking practices. A well-structured website with correct internal links will always perform better.
Here's a basic example of how to create a XML sitemap:
In this sample XML sitemap,
loc tag indicates the page URL,
lastmod tag tells when the content was last updated,
changefreq gives an indication of how frequently the content at the location changes, and
priority indicates the importance of the page in relation to other pages on your site.
Once you have a sitemap, it is crucial to submit it to search engines like Google or Bing using their respective webmaster tools.