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How to Easily Disable the Default WordPress Sitemap

The default WordPress sitemap, introduced in WordPress 5.5, automatically publishes XML sitemaps to aid search engine indexing.

However, having duplicate sitemaps and lacking advanced SEO capabilities may prompt the need to disable it.

This article explores two methods to easily disable the default WordPress sitemap.

The first method involves using an SEO plugin, while the second requires adding a code snippet.

By following the step-by-step instructions provided, users can optimize their sitemap settings and enhance their website’s SEO rankings.

Background: Introduction to WordPress Sitemap

The introduction to WordPress sitemap provides an overview of the default sitemap feature introduced in WordPress 5.5. XML sitemaps play a crucial role in SEO by helping search engines discover and index content effectively.

Optimizing sitemaps for better search engine indexing is essential for improving SEO rankings. However, duplicate sitemaps can cause confusion for search engines and negatively impact SEO rankings.

It is important to compare different WordPress SEO plugins and their sitemap features to choose the most suitable option. Following best practices for managing sitemaps in WordPress can maximize SEO benefits.

Reasons to Disable WordPress Sitemap

To disable the default WordPress sitemap, there are several reasons why it may be necessary.

One reason is that popular SEO plugins already implement sitemaps, so having duplicate sitemaps for the same page can negatively affect SEO rankings.

Additionally, advanced SEO plugins offer more features like Video Sitemap and News Sitemap, which the default sitemap lacks. Disabling the default sitemap allows for a more powerful solution.

There are alternative solutions available for managing sitemaps in WordPress, such as using SEO plugins or adding a code snippet to disable the default sitemap.

Method 1: Disable WordPress Sitemap Using SEO Plugin

Disabling the default WordPress sitemap using an SEO plugin is a straightforward and efficient method. It allows users to uninstall the default sitemap and replace it with an alternative plugin that offers more advanced SEO benefits.

Method 2: Disable WordPress Sitemap Using Code Snippet

To disable the default WordPress sitemap using a code snippet, webmasters can utilize the WPCode plugin. This plugin allows users to add custom code to their WordPress themes, providing a wide range of customization options.

Step 1: Install and Activate the AIOSEO Plugin

To disable the default WordPress sitemap, the first step is to install and activate the AIOSEO plugin.

AIOSEO is a popular SEO plugin that offers advanced features for optimizing your website’s SEO.

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you can move on to the next steps in the process of optimizing your website’s SEO.

These steps include customizing SEO settings, optimizing content for SEO, tracking and analyzing SEO performance, and staying updated with SEO best practices.

Step 2: Configure the Plugin and Review Sitemap Settings

Configure the AIOSEO plugin and carefully review the sitemap settings.

  • Review plugin features to understand all the options available for customization.
  • Customize sitemap settings to ensure it aligns with your SEO strategy and website structure.
  • Test sitemap functionality to verify that it is generating the desired XML sitemaps.
  • Troubleshoot sitemap issues if any errors or inconsistencies are detected.
  • Monitor search engine indexing to track how well your sitemap is being crawled and indexed.

Step 3: Enable Video, News, and RSS Sitemaps for Improved SEO Rankings

The plugin’s settings allow for enabling video, news, and RSS sitemaps to improve SEO rankings. By enabling these additional sitemaps, website owners can maximize their visibility and enhance their overall SEO strategy.

The image sitemap helps to optimize the inclusion of images in search results, while the XML sitemap ensures that search engines efficiently crawl and index the website’s content.

Furthermore, the video sitemap enables the proper indexing of video content, and the news sitemap helps to maximize the visibility of news articles.

Lastly, the RSS sitemap enhances the distribution and syndication of website content.

Step 4: Add the Code Snippet to Disable the Default WordPress Sitemap

To disable the default WordPress sitemap, you need to add a code snippet to your theme’s functions.php file. Here are the steps to add the code snippet for disabling the default WordPress sitemap:

  • Open your theme’s functions.php file.
  • Locate the <?php tag at the beginning of the file.
  • Add the custom code snippet to disable the default WordPress sitemap.
  • Save the functions.php file.
  • Refresh your website to see the changes take effect.

Disabling the default WordPress sitemap is an important step in sitemap optimization. It prevents duplicate sitemaps that could confuse search engines and potentially affect SEO rankings.


In conclusion, disabling the default WordPress sitemap can be beneficial for improving SEO rankings and optimizing website content.

By using an SEO plugin like AIOSEO or adding a code snippet to the functions.php file, users can easily disable the default sitemap and utilize more advanced sitemap features.

This allows for a more comprehensive solution and avoids confusion for search engines, ultimately enhancing traffic and SEO performance.

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