How to fix the error your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead

Rebecca
Rebecca
21 Min Read
Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead Error messages in WordPress tend to be confusing and difficult to resolve, but your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead. error, fortunately, is not one of them.

If you’ve come across this problem, you’re probably wondering what this error means, what’s wrong with your sitemap being HTML, and how exactly you can fix it. And what if your sitemap is already in the correct format and you still see this error?

We’ll walk you through it all: how a sitemap works, what format it should be in, and a few different ways to solve this problem.

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Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead: What is a sitemap?

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
Do you know how search engines find your website? The answer is with a useful little bot called a web crawler, an automated tool sent by search engines to index the pages on your site.

With literally millions of pages on the web, gathering information about each site would be impossible for humans. Web crawlers surf the Internet, caching the information on every page and a half.

That seems simple enough, but Google doesn’t automatically know when you add a new page to your site, like when you publish a blog post or launch a new product on your store. They periodically send the web crawler to visit your site and see if something has changed, but the process is not instantaneous.

When you have a huge website, it is easy for the crawler to lose key pages even after multiple visits. It is primarily a concern when these pages are not linked frequently.

That’s where sitemaps come in to help crawlers. These XML files are different from a normal page on your site; they are generally unreadable to humans and should not be seen by visitors. But web crawlers can use them to make sure everything gets indexed.

The way they work is by simply listing all the pages on your site along with their hierarchy of links, plus other files on your site such as images and videos. It ensures that Google sees everything on your site and improves SEO accordingly.

If you’ve used a tool like Google Analytics or Google Search Console, you may have seen an option to link to your sitemap. Google will reference this first when they send web trackers to your site.

Read more: HTML img: How to insert an image in HTML?

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
Differences between HTML and XML sitemaps

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
So your sitemap is an HTML page, but what exactly is the problem with that? Why does Google want me to change it?

Sitemaps must be written in a particular format for web crawlers to understand. Most of the time, it should be an XML file. They can also read an RSS, Atom, KML, or text file, but XML is the most common option.

XML stands for “Extensible Markup Language”. It is a web language very similar to HTML. The difference is its use: while it is human-readable, its main function is to help machines encode documents and read data.

In this case, it helps the web crawler understand where the pages and other media on your site are and how they interact with each other.

But you may have seen the term “sitemap” used before in a very different context. HTML sitemaps do exist, but the big difference is that they are made for humans, not web crawlers.

If you’ve ever clicked on a link to a site’s navigation and found a list of site pages that can be human-interpreted and nicely laid out, this is technically known as a sitemap. But while it may be useful to your visitors, it is not what Google is looking for.

An XML sitemap will look like a mess of unreadable code or a huge wall of links to most users, so if you want to add a useful navigation page to your site, feel free to create an HTML sitemap together. to him … but you must create an XML Sitemap as well.

When you think of a sitemap, what comes to mind may be a simple list of the pages on your site. But Google uses several different types of sitemaps to catalog various information. These include:

Typically some of this information is found on your main site map. Others must have their special dedicated sitemap. And in the end, they all need to be properly formatted in XML or another supported format, not HTML.

Read more: [complete guide] What is class in HTML?

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead: How to generate an XML sitemap

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
If you have intentionally sent a link to an HTML sitemap, you will need to replace it with an XML file. If you don’t know how to make one, there are several different ways to create it with WordPress plugins and generators that you can find online.

Even if you have an XML sitemap that just doesn’t work, regenerating or submitting a different sitemap can fix the problem.

There are two easy ways to get a sitemap: use a plugin or generate one with a sitemap.

Generate a sitemap with a plugin

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
With WordPress, the easiest way to get a sitemap that is dynamically updated on your website is to download a plugin. This way, you don’t have to upload any files to your server manually.

There are quite a few plugins that will generate a sitemap:

  • Yoast SEO: The most popular SEO plugin in the repository also comes with sitemap generation. You can find the settings in SEO> General> Features and XML Sitemaps .
  • RankMath: In addition to a regular sitemap, this SEO plugin can also generate a WooCommerce sitemap and a KML geodata sitemap. Go to RankMath> Sitemap Settings .
  • XML site maps: As its name implies, XML Sitemaps will generate a map of the site. The plugin is 100% free and open-source, so there are no hidden fees.
  • XML Sitemap and Google News: This plugin generates an XML sitemap and a Google News sitemap. It is also easy to install and configure.
  • Companion sitemap generator: HTML and XML: If you want to generate an HTML sitemap together with an XML sitemap, this is the plugin for you. Both update automatically, so no manual work is required.

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page: Sitemap Builder Sites

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
Instead of a plug-in, you can use a sitemap generator such as XML-Sitemaps or XML Sitemap Generator. You can then upload it to your site.

Step 1: Generate a sitemap using one of the sites above or any generator of your choice. Download the XML document.

Step 2: Download FileZilla or (if supported) use your webserver to connect to your site via FTP.

Step 3: Put the XML file in the root folder of your site. The root is the top directory on your site, the same directory where you start when you first connect.

Unlike plugin-based sitemaps, sitemaps generated with a website are not dynamic. Static sitemaps will not update as you publish new posts and pages on your site. You will need to create a new file each time. So for blogs and other sites that update frequently, it’s not ideal.

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page: How to fix the sitemap error

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead: Sitemap error is often caused by accidentally submitting an HTML page instead of a properly formatted XML file. But if your XML sitemap still claims to be an HTML page, you may have a deeper problem.

Don’t worry – the problem usually lies in an easy-to-fix conflict in your WordPress plugins. Here are some suggestions to get your sitemap working properly again.

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Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page: Check for errors and redirects

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead: It’s a lot easier to diagnose the problem if you have to look up an explicit error code. The first thing to do is visit your sitemap page and see if there are any strange error codes.

If you see an error when you visit your sitemap, this will cause Google to believe that you are viewing an HTML page. Use this error to help you find a solution to the problem. Our list of HTTP status codes can help.

What if you notice the sitemap error intermittently, sometimes there and sometimes not? It can happen if you are dynamically generating a sitemap.

Small server errors and timeouts will read into Google as if your sitemap is suddenly an HTML page, as it displays an error message instead of an XML file. As long as the error is rare and is not continuous or frequent, it is generally not a cause for concern.

Another thing to keep in mind is redirects. If you visit your sitemap page and suddenly end up on the home page or in an infinite redirect cycle, this will also cause things to break.

If you encounter errors or redirects that don’t go away, the problem is usually a plugin conflict. Sitemap generating plugins like Yoast may cause a conflict, or a caching plugin could be the source of the problem.

But sometimes even seemingly random plugins can cause conflicts. Use the Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin to identify them.

Install it if it’s not already present, then go to Tools> Site Status> Troubleshooting Mode. It will disable all plugins temporarily without affecting your visitors.

See if the error or redirect disappeared on your site. If so, re-enable the plugins one by one until the site crashes again. Look for conflicts between multiple plugins.

You can now contact the authors of the plugin to report the bug and request help.

Disable caching

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
One of the biggest causes of conflicts is caching plugins. When a sitemap is cached, it can occasionally cause problems with Google reading it as an HTML page, as you should not cache XML files in this way.

Most caching plugins will prevent caching of a sitemap page because of this, but they can still do it by mistake, especially if you are using a unique URL for your sitemap.

Fortunately, you don’t need to disable the entire caching plugin. You can add an exception and the problem should go away automatically.

Your plugin documentation should cover this, but here’s how to do it in WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

For WP Super Cache, go to Settings> WP Super Cache. Under the Advanced tab, scroll down to Add Strings Here (not a filename) that forces a page not to be cached .

In this section, enter the partial URL of your sitemap. For example, if your sitemap is at “example-site.com/sitemap.xml”, enter “/sitemap.xml”.

For W3 Total Cache, navigate to Performance> Page Cache, then look for Advanced> Never cache the following pages. As with WP Super Cache, enter the sitemap URL.

You can also add it to Minify in Performance> Minify and Never minimize the following pages as this can cause problems.

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Check your sitemap URL

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
While this is a small suggestion, it’s always worth double-checking – did you send the correct link? It is an elementary mistake, and even a wrong character will point to the wrong place.

Check the link you have submitted, both through Google and in any SEO plugin or sitemap.

Some plugins may add a slash to the bottom of their sitemap page (“example-site.com/sitemap/” instead of “example-site.com/map”). This character can cause massive problems, especially if it causes a redirect loop.

Again, turn on troubleshooting mode in the Health Check plugin and try to find which plugin is causing this problem. Most of the time, you can trace it back to an individual plugin.

Remove additional sitemaps

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
While it usually won’t cause a problem as long as you link to the proper page, having additional sitemaps active occasionally can cause problems or confusion. Also, your server is wasting additional resources updating various unnecessary sitemaps.

Plugins can add different sitemaps, and you may not know that WordPress even generates its own. You need to check these and remove all but the one you want to use. Here are some URLs that you can try on your site:

  • /sitemap.xml – A common option for sitemaps generated in most sitemap plugins.
  • /wp-sitemap.xml – This is the default sitemap generated by WordPress since version 5.5.
  • /sitemap_index.xml – The URL of the sitemap generated by Yoast.

And if you’ve downloaded other SEO plugins or sitemaps, they may be using a completely different URL. Check the documentation and make sure to disable any sitemap features you don’t want.

Read more: How to fix the error sorry you are not allowed to access this page. wordpress

Do you need a sitemap?

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead:
Sometimes sitemaps can inexplicably be the source of a constant stream of problems. And a simple solution may not be enough to make them disappear. If you constantly come across hard-to-solve problems, you may start to wonder if a sitemap is vital to you.

In general, creating a sitemap is recommended as Google says it will never penalize your SEO for doing so. It can only help improve your SEO and make your site index faster.

But you don’t have to have one in certain situations, and Google itself suggests that some sites don’t use them.

Suppose your site has less than 500 pages and you probably never have more than that. In that case, as long as you are linked well internally (which you should do anyway) and you don’t have a lot of media files that you want to show on Google Images and Google Video, you may not need to have a sitemap at all.

On the other hand, it can help your SEO to have a sitemap, and there is nothing wrong with having one, so going ahead and fixing the problem can do nothing but good. Your site may be small now, but it probably won’t always be.

If you’re stuck, you can always turn to your host’s support to find out what might be causing the problem.

Summary

Your sitemap appears to be an HTML page. please use a supported sitemap format instead error can be annoying to pin down but is usually just the result of a malformed page or caching conflict that is easily fixed. Once you’ve discovered the problem, resolving it is just a matter of a few extra steps.

 

 

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Posted by Rebecca
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Rebecca is an Independent content writer for breldigital, She writes content on any given topic. She loves to write a case study article or reviews on a brand, Be it any topic, she nails it
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