I have launched a new company website, when I was setting up the wordpress install locally I believe I clicked 'do not allow search engines to index this site' despite only developing offline. Now I have taken it all online, and updated to 4.3 there is not option to allow indexing, anywhere in the settings page. There is only a radio button to 'discourage', but nothing to positively allow indexing.

Im pretty miffed about this, and now I'm worrying that the page won't be indexed and we will lose business, because the domain was used on a previous website that gets good traffic and is listed on google, but I'm thinking that the index will expire soon if wordpress is set to refuse google to index the pages?

Many Thanks in advance,

  • Welcome to WPSE. This is more of a developer and advanced admin oriented site and the right place to ask for this kind of support questions is on wordpress.org forums or the bug trac. If your question is how to enable search engine indexing with code then please edit your question to indicate this. Sep 11, 2015 at 9:50

2 Answers 2


This feature was changed in Wordpress 3.5 already and was moved from Privacy to Settings -> Reading. You where in all propability using a very old Wordpress version.

You now just have the option to discourage indexing by search engines

  • Checkbox ticked -> Search engines should not index your site, however this will not force search engines not to index the site

  • Checkbox unticked -> Search engines are allowed to index your site

So, in short, you don't have anything to worry about, your site will be indexed by default when the discourage checkbox is unticked


Now, the setting for Search engine can be found under Settings > Reading

  • For staging site: Checkbox should be ticked
  • For Live site: Checkbox should be unticked

See image

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