Why ask search engines NOT to index your WordPress siteIt’s an exciting time, you’re getting started with the design of your new WordPress site!

But while you’re designing it, you should “politely” ask search engines NOT to index it

Why should you do that?

I’m glad you asked.

By default, once your new domain name has propagated over the internet, Google and other search engines will start “crawling” it, meaning they’ll sniff around the internet and they will find it.

In general, this is a very good thing, you definitely want your new website to be found by search engines.

But, on top of the importance of a “coming soon” page, you should also do you best so search engines understand you’re building it and there’s no reason to tell the world it’s here yet.

The problem with letting search engines index it is the time it takes them to crawl your website again in the future.

Let me explain. If you’re putting a “coming soon” page or a full-size photo on your WordPress site until it’s ready to go “live”, what do you think search engines will display in terms of images and text? You got it! That image and the very little amount of text on it could be indexed and remain there for a few months until the search engines decide to crawl your website and upate the listing.

So if you’re launching in 2 months, chances are your welcome page will still display on search engines results instead of your brand new and beautiful “home” page.

How to do it

Let’s be clear here: you don’t have full control over how search engines behave and if they want to find you website, they will.

But there’s an option in WordPress under Settings>Reading that enables you to check the box to attempt to notify search engines that your WordPress site is not ready to be indexed yet (“Discourage search engines from indexing this site”).

This works a little bit like the opening of a new Apple Store, until everything is perfect inside, you’ll only see the black-covered windows.

What do you think? Do you use it? If not, why? Share your comments below!


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