Stop Search Engines from Indexing WordPress Site: It is a very common thing that people always want their website to be indexed by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo. However, sometimes you may also need to stop search engine indexing for your website. For example, if your site is still under development, then you may not want to make it public until it is not finished. For any such reason, if you want to stop search engine indexing for your WordPress site, follow this article.
How to Stop Search Engines from Indexing WordPress Site
There are many ways to do it. In this article, we have shown the two easiest ways to prevent search engines from indexing. The first method is by using an inbuilt WordPress feature called ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site‘ and in the second method, we have discussed how to stop search engines from indexing by using WordPress plugins. If you are a beginner we recommend you to stick with the first method.
Method-1: Stop Search Engines from Indexing Using ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ Option in WordPress Settings Dashboard
WordPress has an inbuilt feature called ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ to prevent search engine visibility. Using this feature, you can easily stop the search engine indexing for your site. Thanks to WordPress!!
Step-1: First, you need to log in to your WordPress admin account. Once you have logged into your WordPress admin account, you will arrive on your WordPress dashboard. Next, navigate to Settings >> Reading (see in the picture below).
Step-2: Next, on the WordPress ‘Reading Settings’ dashboard, you will find an option at the bottom, called the Search Engine Visibility. Check the box next to Search Engine Visibility to Discourage search engines from indexing and then click on the Save Changes button as you see in the picture below.
When you check the box next to Search Engine Visibility option, two changes will occur. One is in the header section (<meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex,follow’ />) and another is in robots.txt file (User-agent: * Disallow: /).
You may do it manually. To do it manually, you need to add the following two lines in your robots.txt file.
Important Note: Once you decide to make your site public, don’t forget to uncheck the box next to Search Engine Visibility.
Method-2: Stop Search Engines from Indexing by Making Your Entire WordPress Site Password Protected
It is also possible to stop search engines from indexing by making your entire WordPress site password protected. Once you make your site password-protected, search engines will not be able to access your site.
There are two different ways to protect your site with a password. The easiest way to do it is by installing a WordPress plugin for password protection (Password Protected, Wordfence). After installing the plugins, go to settings and set a strong password to protect your site from search engines.