I'm creating sitemap of a website. Should it be simple and have only one menu or include all links on the page? Here is a wireframe of a main page: main page wireframe

Simple sitemap: enter image description here

Complicated sitemap:

enter image description here

In the second sitemap I haven't included social links, also there are a lot of pages missing like "place order" page that is called when "place order button" is pressed in the cart page. Or if I include all pages I would create flow map?

What pages are required for the sitemap and what are optional?

2 Answers 2


Given the question:

What pages are required for the sitemap and what are optional?

There is no requirement, only best practice, usefulness and your goals.

Short answer: Include all pages. Keep it simple, structured (xml) and easy to update.

Long answer: Best practice varies given...

  • the goal of your sitemap (design model? task flow visualization? SEO tool?)
  • how many pages there are (10?, 1000+?);
  • the target audience for the site map (end users? search engines? clients? others?).

So, determine your site map goal:

  • Is it SEO? When buiding an XML sitemap, include all pages (not states or social links). Learn about Sitemaps (Google).
  • Is your site map intended to aid navigation and end users?
    When building an HTML site map for end users, not search engines, consider what types of pages would be useful to your user, and how easily the end user can scan your site map given the number of pages you include. Depending on the number of pages/levels you choose, I also suggest you reconsider your use of a diagram, and consider structuring the top portion of your site map using patterns found in mega-menus and mega-footers.
  • Is your site map a diagram of the information architecture or a flow for your clients and project-team members? (I would call this a use flow diagram) If you are using site map to refer to this design deliverable, then the state of the cart and the place order dialog/page is crucial to the planning and optimization process.

Read more about the The Purpose of Site Maps and Other Design Deliverables (UX matters).


A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.

Also, your sitemap can provide valuable metadata associated with the pages you list in that sitemap: Metadata is information about a webpage, such as when the page was last updated, how often the page is changed, and the importance of the page relative to other URLs in the site.

from https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184?hl=en&ref_topic=4581190

and here you can find the guidelines for creating a sitemap according to Google: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/183668?hl=en&ref_topic=4581190

My suggestion is that the 1st one that you present has too little information and the 2nd one too much. Google shouldn't know any information about personal data, favorite items, orders etc. I would suggest keeping this part of your sitemap only.

my suggestions

  • I am not sure if the category & subcategory are in the right place.
  • I don't think that floating bar should be there.
  • The cart has private information that you don't want google to see.

Lastly, depending on the CMS system - if you use one- that you use in order to create your site, there might be some extension to generate the sitemap. Maybe you could have a look at this as well.

  • I create a sitemap for the future reference as what pages to design later. This sitemap is for me, as a UX designer will simplify design process - this is the main purpose of the sitemap.
    – Peter
    Apr 14, 2017 at 14:14
  • If the sitemap is only for you, then you should keep it as detailed as you can. I guess then, if I were you, I would go for the 2nd option. Apr 14, 2017 at 14:16

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