How to change search engine visibility in WordPress 3.5

This is only something I discovered today as I am setting up a new website.

When installing WordPress for a new site, you’ll generally opt for blocking access to it in search engines during the installation process while you get it up on running. Yoast’s SEO for WordPress plugin gives you a handy reminder that you’re blocking access in robots.txt:

Yoast Warning About Blocking Access in Robots

The warning points you towards the ‘privacy settings’ location:

The Old Privacy Settings Location


I was getting highly confused as I kept changing the setting but it would revert to “Ask search engines not to index this site.”.

What I didn’t realise was that in version 3.5, WordPress has ditched the old Privacy Settings and has added a new option to the ‘Reading’ settings:

New Search Engine Visibility Setting

Problem solved! Yoast needs to change this warning as it will confuse more people than just myself and I also don’t know why the link to the old settings still worked, WordPress will probably need to remove it in a future update.


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