I needed an easy fix for a blank Yoast XML sitemap. It wasn’t always a plain white page, but when clicking on the link in WordPress SEO settings it didn’t produce a list. I searched for answers until my head was aching and my eyes were tired. I disabled each plugin one by one to try and find the culprit. Come to find out it was a very simple issue that no one else had mentioned. They suggested far more technical reasons why an XML sitemap would be blank, and just about every site mentioned the possibility of theme incompatibilities. I wasn’t about to change my WordPress theme! First of all, I had just paid for Catch Box Pro. Whatever you do, DON’T change your theme without trying my easy solution first! I don’t give up easily and eventually figured out how to fix a blank XML sitemap in Yoast.
A Super Simple Way to Fix a Blank XML Sitemap Page
If you’re searching ‘why my WordPress XML sitemap is blank‘, consider what worked for me. You won’t believe how easy it is to fix – if it’s the same issue. I wish I had figured it out long before wasting hours of my time sifting through instructions on how to fix a blank XML sitemap. All of the forums and sites I searched focused on plugin incompatibilities and other far more technical issues that I didn’t understand. Even the Yoast site didn’t suggest the simplest possible solution on how to fix a blank xml sitemap.
The XML Sitemap URL Doesn’t Redirect the Format
First of all, just because your XML sitemap link is available in Yoast doesn’t mean it’s correct. That link may be the reason for your blank XML sitemap. The URL won’t redirect if it’s in the wrong format. What do I mean? It doesn’t matter how I type my URL into my browser because it will redirect whether I add ‘www’ or not. However, you can only select one URL format when setting up your WordPress site, and that’s the URL format you must use to view and submit your sitemap to Search Console.
The Correct URL Format to View Your XML Sitemap
Follow these easy steps on where to find your XML sitemap URL:
- Go to your WP dashboard
- Hover over ‘settings’ and go to ‘general’
- Highlight and copy your website URL
- Add [ /sitemap_index.xml ] (without the brackets) after your website URL in your browser window
- Hit ‘enter’ to view your XML sitemap
Continue Reading Below
Examples of a Correct XML Sitemap URL
Your correct sitemap address may be: http://pasteyoursiteaddyhere.com/sitemap_index.xml
Or it may be: http://www.pasteyoursiteaddyhere.com/sitemap_index.xml
Like I said, if it’s not exact it won’t redirect to the correct URL format. Try both URL formats and see what happens.
My Super Easy Fix for a Blank Yoast XML Sitemap
It doesn’t seem to matter if you use ‘https’ in the XML sitemap address or not, but when you take out the ‘s’ it automatically adds the ‘www’. That ‘www’ was the problem for me. It may result in a blank or incomplete page, depending on your browser. I’m surprised that Yoast didn’t suggest this easy fix for a blank Yoast XML sitemap on their video or troubleshooting page. What may be obvious to those with advanced site building skills isn’t to those who rely on plugins and built-in site building tools.
Address Format Matters
Thankfully I found an easy fix for a blank Yoast XML sitemap. I was prepared to call my host server, and if they didn’t help I would have paid for a pro service that I didn’t really want or need. To reiterate what was wrong and how I fixed the problem, I could only see my XML sitemap after removing the ‘www’ from the XML sitemap link provided by Yoast at WordPress. The address format I chose when building my site didn’t include ‘www’, but for some reason Yoast added it to the link they provided in my WordPress dashboard. That’s why it didn’t work!
- You must submit all valid url versions of your site to Google Search Console – https://www, http://www, https://yoursite, and http://yoursite
- Don’t forget to submit your xml sitemap to each of your url site addresses listed above to Google Search Console
I know how frustrating it is, and hopefully my easy fix for a blank Yoast XML sitemap solves the problem for you. When I discovered what was wrong I had to share the solution. Let me know in the comments if my easy fix worked for you too. If not, please share what you had to do to fix it and maybe your info will help someone else. If you still can’t figure out how to fix a blank Yoast XML sitemap, leaving a comment that includes the name of your WordPress theme and any other information that may be important. Maybe someone will have another solution for a blank Yoast XML sitemap.