Baffling ways to add a robots.txt file in WordPress
As a site owner, ensuring your privacy and security is paramount in the face of potential cyber attacks. Luckily, setting up a robots.txt file in your WordPress site can help you achieve that. Website crawlers explore your site to index the pages and content, putting you at risk of dreadful attackers. The robots.txt file serves as a fortress that keeps search engines from indexing the pages, posts, or media that you don’t necessarily want appearing in search results.
Puzzling on what a robots.txt file is and how it works
A robots.txt file is a meek text file that instructs search engine crawlers which pages and content to index and which ones to exclude. It functions as a roadmap for search engine crawlers that redirects them to crawl or not to crawl specific directories or pages. Renowned search engines like Google and Bing verify the robots.txt file before indexing any web page.
Conflicing reasons for having a robots.txt file
Having a robots.txt file helps to protect your site against unauthorized visitors, scrapers, and even hackers, among many others. It also ensures that search engines only crawl and index the pages and content that fit your website’s objectives. You can minimize search engine clutter by preventing the indexing of low-quality pages.
Adding a robots.txt file in WordPress
Now let’s talk about adding a robots.txt file to your WordPress site. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Identify which files to exclude
You can decide to exclude specific files, directories, or pages. For instance, you may opt-out of listing sensitive information like admin pages or login pages or private posts that you do not want appearing in search engine results. You can also exclude media files you don’t want showing up in search engine results.
Step 2: Create a new robots.txt file
You don’t necessarily require any specific software to create a robots.txt file. It would help if you wrote it down on a simple text editor such as Notepad or Sublime Text.
To make the file, open a text editor and write down the following code:
The above code advises the search engine robots not to crawl the directories or pages showcasing the content displayed in the list. Once you have created the new file, save it as robots.txt
Step 3: Upload the robots.txt file
Having created your robots.txt file, you must upload it to your WordPress site. Follow these steps:
-Log in to your WordPress site and navigate to your website’s root directory.
-Locate the robots.txt file you created and upload it to the root directory. If you are using an FTP client, upload the file to the public_html folder.
-You can test if the file has successfully uploaded by typing http://yoursite.com/robots.txt on your web browser.
Step 4: Test the Robots.txt file
After uploading the file, it’s essential to double-check that your robots.txt file is working correctly. To test this, use either of the following methods:
Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) is ideal for monitoring your site’s presence in Google SERP. This also includes monitoring robots.txt file. If you haven’t set up your Google search console account, now is an ideal time to do it.
To check whether the file is functioning correctly or not, follow these steps:
-Log in to your Google Search Console account
-Navigate to the Settings tab
-Click on robots.txt Tester
-Select the property you’d like to test
-Enter the path to the robots.txt file (for instance, http://yoursite.com/robots.txt)
Google will tell you if the file is blocking any URLs from being crawled by search engines. If you are experiencing any issues, click on ‘Fix it’ and follow the on-screen instructions to resolve the error.
Check your website’s robots.txt
To verify if everything is working fine, you can check your site’s robots.txt file by typing http://yoursite.com/robots.txt to your web browser. The contents of the uploaded file should now appear like the code you created in step 2.
A robots.txt file is vital in keeping the privacy, security, and search engine presence of your site in check. Adding a robots.txt file in WordPress is now a breeze following these straightforward steps. While it’s not a conclusive solution to guarantee security against attackers, it’s a definitive security measure that helps you be cautious and safeguard your site.