Blog 5
How to compare and contrast a websites’ sitemap with its navigation?
This blog will explain the definition of a website sitemap, its functionality and why it’s so important, especially when it comes to search engine optimisation. We will look at two website’s sitemaps and compare and contrast with its navigation. So let’s start from the top.

What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a document, typically located at the bottom of a website, that shares information about its pages, files, videos and imagery, and the interaction between them. Sitemaps instruct search engines which pages on the site are deemed most important. There are four main types of sitemaps;

What is web application architecture?
Web application architecture is the framework that allows multiple components of a web application to work together simultaneously, including its user interfaces, middleware systems, and databases. To understand the components of web application architecture, let’s look at how it operates performing the simple action of receiving and responding to a web request.   ​​​​​​​

1. Normal XML Sitemap: This is the most common type of sitemap. It links to different pages on your website 
2. Video Sitemap: Used specifically to help search engines understand the video content on your page including video running time, genre, and age appropriateness rating 
3. News Sitemap: Provide search engines with metadata regarding specific news content on a website. Site owner can control which content is shared to search engine news 
4. Image Sitemap: Helps search engines find all of the images included in your website including its subject matter, license and accessibility information.

Why is it important?
Search engines such as Google, Firefox, Mozilla and Bing use your sitemap to find different pages on your site. According to google “if your site's pages are properly linked, Google can usually discover most of your site. Even so, a sitemap can improve the crawling of larger or more complex sites, or more specialized files.” Take for instance an ecommerce site with millions of pages like Amazon or eBay, unless you internal/external link with great accuracy, search engines will struggle to find specific pages on your website. Site maps optimizes your SEO (search engine optimisation).

Let’s look at the sitemap of two websites in practice.
1. The Irish Independent; As mentioned above, it is important for news websites to include a sitemap in order to have a superior SEO. See image below of The Irish Independent’s website;


As you can see from the image above, it is not visually appealing, but it does serve its purpose and is robust. Each category is split into bullet points and sub bullet points and link directly to its relevant page. Categories such as Irish News, Politics and Education are organised in order of importance. 
2. Liberty Insurance; Looking at another Irish website this time an insurance company. As you can you see from the screenshot below, it’s similar to the website above in that information is presented vertically aligned and broken up into bullet points. Unlike however, it does have some navigational issues. Site map does not match the order of how the pages appear. In the sitemap, motorcycle insurance is noted before van insurance but as we can see from the home bar this is not the case.


I have briefly discussed the use of sitemaps and how they are important part of any large organisation’s business objectives. To find out more about sitemaps visit google search central
Unknown, (Unknown), Google Search Central Learn about sitemaps. Available at: (Accessed: 28 Mar 2021)
Unknown, (Unknown), Sitemaps. Available at: (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)  
Liberty Insurance, Available at: (Accessed: 28 Mar 2021)
Irish Independent, Available at:  (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)
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