Understanding the robots.txt file in WordPress is crucial for optimal website functionality, especially for search engine optimization purposes. If you have been wondering where to find the robots.txt file in WordPress, this guide will clarify all your uncertainties and allow you to successfully locate, access, and manage it.
What is a Robots.txt File?
Before we delve into the main question, you first need to understand the concept of a robots.txt file. The robots.txt file is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned.
Do I Have a Robots.txt file in WordPress?
Now, the big question is, “Does my WordPress site have a robots.txt file?” The answer is YES, every WordPress site has a virtual robots.txt file. WordPress automatically creates this virtual file for every site.
Locating the Robots.txt File in WordPress
The robots.txt file is generally found at the root of your website and can be accessed by adding “/robots.txt” at the end of your domain. So, the URL will look something like this:
How to Access and Edit the Robots.txt file
To access and edit your WordPress robots.txt file:
- Log into your site via FTP. For this, you will need an FTP client FileZilla.
- Navigate to the root directory of your site. This is typically named
- Search for the
robots.txtfile. If you don’t see it, don’t panic. Some WordPress installations may not include the robots.txt file by default. This means that you would have to create one yourself.
- To modify the file, right-click on it and select ‘Edit’ with your FTP client.
Alternately, if you are not comfortable using FTP, you can also access the robots.txt file through WordPress plugins. Yoast SEO is a credible and highly-used plugin that can help with this.
After installing the Yoast SEO plugin, follow these steps:
- Navigate to SEO -> Tools within your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on the File editor option. This will lead you to a screen where you can view and edit your
Creating a Good Robots.txt File
Now that you know where to find and how to access the
robots.txt file in WordPress, it’s time to learn what makes a good
robots.txt file. Remember, a poorly configured
robots.txt file can make your entire site unsearchable.
Here is a basic example of what a good
robots.txt file can look like:
In the configuration above, the
* symbol means “all bots”. The
/wp-admin/ is a common WordPress file path that you usually wouldn’t want a bot to spend time crawling.
However, be aware that the needs for a
robots.txt file can vary greatly from website to website. It is recommended to research your specific needs.
Knowing the location, function, and manipulation of the
robots.txt file is incredibly vital for any website owner. With this guide, you can easily locate the
robots.txt file in WordPress, understand how to access and edit it via FTP or plugins, and finally, create a well-optimized file to enhance the searchability and functionality of your website. As always with modifications, be sure to back up your website before making changes.