WP Engine UK Recognised as a Great Place to Work

Fostering a great workplace for all of our employees at WP Engine is a key strategic pillar that’s played a major role in our company’s growth.   We believe that by creating an open, accepting workplace, infused with a strong culture that promotes transparency and trust, our employees can grow to new heights and do their

FLATsite Review – Create Faster, Safer Websites in Minutes 

Today we’re going to review FLATsite, a powerful, affordable tool that promises to speed up and super-charge the security of your site in no time at all. How? By taking your dynamic WordPress website and converting it into a static site.  Why Use a Static Website instead of Dynamic WordPress? For all of the amazing […]

Read More…

The post FLATsite Review – Create Faster, Safer Websites in Minutes  appeared first on Learn WordPress with WPLift.

Building Your Business Online: WP Engine Announces New eCommerce Solution for Small/Medium Businesses

AUSTIN, Texas — March 10, 2021 — WP Engine, the world’s most trusted WordPress technology company, today announced an exciting new eCommerce solution for small and medium businesses (SMB) looking to make the leap into online sales or make more money faster with their existing eCommerce business. WP Engine’s eCommerce Solution allows SMBs to create

10 Best Website to Get Free Photos for your WordPress Blog

You decided to make your very first WordPress blog. Now what? Most experts suggest using photos in blog posts to make them more attractive to readers. It increases credibility and authority, and overall interaction with your content. A powerful image zaps right into your readers’ minds’ first bits and obtains them in the mood you […]

Read More…

The post 10 Best Website to Get Free Photos for your WordPress Blog appeared first on Learn WordPress with WPLift.

WP Engine DE{CODE} 2021 Now Available On-Demand

Following in the footsteps of last year’s inaugural event, DE{CODE} 2021 was another resounding success, kicking off last week with a full day of engaging, informative content for WordPress developers and anyone else interested in building better websites faster.   With 15 all-virtual, expert-led sessions and more than 4,400 registrants from around the world, this year’s

How to Optimize Your WordPress Robots.txt for SEO

Recently one of our readers asked us for tips on how to optimize the robots.txt file to improve SEO.

Robots.txt file tells search engines how to crawl your website which makes it an incredibly powerful SEO tool.

In this article, we will show you how to create a perfect robots.txt file for SEO.

Using WordPress robots.txt file to improve SEO

What is robots.txt file?

Robots.txt is a text file that website owners can create to tell search engine bots how to crawl and index pages on their site.

It is typically stored in the root directory, also known as the main folder, of your website. The basic format for a robots.txt file looks like this:

User-agent: [user-agent name]
Disallow: [URL string not to be crawled]

User-agent: [user-agent name]
Allow: [URL string to be crawled]

Sitemap: [URL of your XML Sitemap]

You can have multiple lines of instructions to allow or disallow specific URLs and add multiple sitemaps. If you do not disallow a URL, then search engine bots assume that they are allowed to crawl it.

Here is what a robots.txt example file can look like:

User-Agent: *
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-admin/

Sitemap: https://example.com/sitemap_index.xml

In the above robots.txt example, we have allowed search engines to crawl and index files in our WordPress uploads folder.

After that, we have disallowed search bots from crawling and indexing plugins and WordPress admin folders.

Lastly, we have provided the URL of our XML sitemap.

Do You Need a Robots.txt File for Your WordPress Site?

If you don’t have a robots.txt file, then search engines will still crawl and index your website. However, you will not be able to tell search engines which pages or folders they should not crawl.

This will not have much of an impact when you’re first starting a blog and do not have a lot of content.

However as your website grows and you have a lot of content, then you would likely want to have better control over how your website is crawled and indexed.

Here is why.

Search bots have a crawl quota for each website.

This means that they crawl a certain number of pages during a crawl session. If they don’t finish crawling all pages on your site, then they will come back and resume crawl in the next session.

This can slow down your website indexing rate.

You can fix this by disallowing search bots from attempting to crawl unnecessary pages like your WordPress admin pages, plugin files, and themes folder.

By disallowing unnecessary pages, you save your crawl quota. This helps search engines crawl even more pages on your site and index them as quickly as possible.

Another good reason to use robots.txt file is when you want to stop search engines from indexing a post or page on your website.

It is not the safest way to hide content from the general public, but it will help you prevent them from appearing in search results.

What Does an Ideal Robots.txt File Look Like?

Many popular blogs use a very simple robots.txt file. Their content may vary, depending on the needs of the specific site:

User-agent: *
Sitemap: http://www.example.com/post-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: http://www.example.com/page-sitemap.xml

This robots.txt file allows all bots to index all content and provides them a link to the website’s XML sitemaps.

For WordPress sites, we recommend the following rules in the robots.txt file:

User-Agent: *
Allow: /wp-content/uploads/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /readme.html
Disallow: /refer/

Sitemap: http://www.example.com/post-sitemap.xml
Sitemap: http://www.example.com/page-sitemap.xml

This tell search bots to index all WordPress images and files. It disallows search bots from indexing WordPress plugin files, WordPress admin area, the WordPress readme file, and affiliate links.

By adding sitemaps to robots.txt file, you make it easy for Google bots to find all the pages on your site.

Now that you know what an ideal robots.txt file look like, let’s take a look at how you can create a robots.txt file in WordPress.

How to Create a Robots.txt File in WordPress?

There are two ways to create a robots.txt file in WordPress. You can choose the method that works best for you.

Method 1: Editing Robots.txt File Using All in One SEO

All in One SEO also known as AIOSEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin in the market used by over 2 million websites.

It’s easy to use and comes with a robots.txt file generator.

If you don’t have already have the AIOSEO plugin installed, you can see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: Free version of AIOSEO is also available and has this feature.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, you can use it to create and edit your robots.txt file directly from your WordPress admin area.

Simply go to All in One SEO » Tools to edit your robots.txt file.

AIOSEO robots.txt editor

First, you’ll need to turn on the editing option, by clicking the ‘Enable Custom Robots.txt’ toggle to blue.

With this toggle on, you can create a custom robots.txt file in WordPress.

AIOSEO enable custom robots.txt

All in One SEO will show your existing robots.txt file in the ‘Robots.txt Preview’ section at the bottom of your screen.

This version will show the default rules that were added by WordPress.

Robots.txt default rules

These default rules tell the search engines not to crawl your core WordPress files, allows the bots to index all content, and provides them a link to your site’s XML sitemaps.

Now, you can add your own custom rules to improve your robots.txt for SEO.

To add a rule, enter a user agent in the ‘User Agent’ field. Using a * will apply the rule to all user agents.

Then, select whether you want to ‘Allow’ or ‘Disallow’ the search engines to crawl.

Next, enter filename or directory path in the ‘Directory Path’ field.

Add rule in robots.txt

The rule will automatically be applied to your robots.txt. To add another rule clicks the ‘Add Rule’ button.

We recommend adding rules until you create the ideal robots.txt format we shared above.

Your custom rules will look like this.

Robots.txt custom rules file

Once you’re done, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your changes.

Method 2. Edit Robots.txt file Manually Using FTP

For this method, you will need to use an FTP client to edit robots.txt file.

Simply connect to your WordPress hosting account using an FTP client.

Once inside, you will be able to see the robots.txt file in your website’s root folder.

FTP connection robots.txt

If you don’t see one, then you likely don’t have a robots.txt file.

In that case, you can just go ahead and create one.

FTP connection create robots.txt

Robots.txt is a plain text file, which means you can download it to your computer and edit it using any plain text editor like Notepad or TextEdit.

After saving your changes, you can upload it back to your website’s root folder.

How to Test Your Robots.txt File?

Once you have created your robots.txt file, it’s always a good idea to test it using a robots.txt tester tool.

There are many robots.txt tester tools out there, but we recommend using the one inside Google Search Console.

First, you’ll need to have your website linked with Google Search Console. If you haven’t done this yet, see our guide on how to add your WordPress site to Google Search Console.

Then, you can use the Google Search Console Robots Testing Tool.

Select website property robots.txt tester

Simply select your property from the dropdown list.

The tool will automatically fetch your website’s robots.txt file and highlight the errors and warnings if it found any.

Robots.txt tester results

Final Thoughts

The goal of optimizing your robots.txt file is to prevent search engines from crawling pages that are not publicly available. For example, pages in your wp-plugins folder or pages in your WordPress admin folder.

A common myth among SEO experts is that blocking WordPress category, tags, and archive pages will improve crawl rate and result in faster indexing and higher rankings.

This is not true. It’s also against Google’s webmaster guidelines.

We recommend that you follow the above robots.txt format to create a robots.txt file for your website.

We hope this article helped you learn how to optimize your WordPress robots.txt file for SEO. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide and the best WordPress SEO tools to grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Optimize Your WordPress Robots.txt for SEO appeared first on WPBeginner.

Source: WP Beginners

WP Engine Launches Atlas, the Future of Headless WordPress

AUSTIN, Texas — March 4, 2021 — WP Engine, the world’s most trusted WordPress technology company, today announced Atlas, its new Headless WordPress product line. WP Engine’s Atlas is the complete Headless WordPress platform, enabling exponentially faster dynamic sites with the flexibility and security that comes with headless solutions. Delighting both developers and content publishers,

Introducing WP Engine’s Developer Relations Team

WP Engine aspires to be the world’s most trusted WordPress technology company by powering the freedom to create amazing digital experiences with WordPress. A big part of making that vision a reality lies in the developer-centric solutions we build for WordPress, which help make the web faster, more delightful, and more effective for everyone. That’s

State of Headless CMS Technology Study Finds Adoption Surging in the Enterprise

AUSTIN, Texas—March 4, 2021— WP Engine, the world’s most trusted WordPress technology company, announced the results of a new, international research study showing headless is already pervasive in the enterprise. 64 percent of enterprise respondents already use headless, and more than 90 percent of those not currently using headless plan to evaluate headless solutions over

Don’t Miss WP Engine’s All-Virtual DE{CODE} 2021!

Born out of the idea that the best developers in the world are those who never stop learning, we’re excited to kick off WP Engine’s second-annual DE{CODE} event this Thursday, March 4th, at 10 a.m. CST! DE{CODE} is a 100% virtual, developer-focused conference aimed at helping developers build better sites with WordPress, both faster and