I think, starting today, the “Worlds Biggest Web Host” , 1&1, now offers built-in Google Site Map Tools in their Package-level domain lists, making it extremely easy to create a sitemap for any domain hosted with their services. Too Damn Easy. They’ve had such tools in their “marketing tools” before but now it’s much more “in your face” while you view your domain names in the hosting. The “standard” webmaster tool settings creates a very basic Google sitemap 0.84 schema, uploads it, and says “thank you” . Bam, it’s that easy.
You do not have to drink the Kool-Aid folks
“Enable easy discovery of your website with Google Webmaster Tools® . Create a Sitemap for your website, with Google Webmaster Tools, and enable easy discovery of all the information on your sites with Google search. Sitemaps is a free web developer tool that provides Google with up to date information to crawl your website faster and more efficiently, ultimately improving search experience of visitors to your site.”
Most sites that are hosted on 1&1 are smallish, meaning the best way to get them indexed is to create ‘em properly to begin with. Google Sitemaps on small sites is just a way to cover up structural problems and fill the Google index with garbage sites. Using Google Sitemaps in such a casual way is a lazy way to deal with crawling your site, and actually hides problems on your site that you NEED TO FIX with thoughtful design work.
I recommend you use this tool at SEOMOZ.org to test the “crawlability” of your site… and go from there. PS: You need to log in to seomoz.org. Yes, it’s worth it, and yes you should become a premium member. Once you fix it properly, you can count on Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and every engine to crawl your site regularly, cleanly and easily.
Postscript: Matt McGee did a nice wrap up of other professionals’ opinions on Site Maps.