It has been incredible to watch WordPress grow since I started my blog ten years ago. When I first started I was actually on Typepad and then made the move over to WordPress when I realized that all the cool kids were doing it.
I also started out hosting my own WordPress sites then companies like WPEngine came along and made the whole process completely seamless. Still, there’s one little feature in WordPress that I still see plaguing new bloggers, and it’s just as hidden as it was ten years ago.
What I’m talking about is this little checkbox hidden away under Settings –> Reading:
Yes, that one little checkbox can decide whether your site is visible to the world or hidden from search engines. As you can imagine, telling WordPress that you want to “discourage search engines from indexing” your site means, take SEO and throw it out the window.
If you install a plugin like All In One SEO Pack (my personal favorite) it will give you a warning at the top of your dashboard in case you accidentally have this box checked. Either way, it’s a sneaky little option but it can mean a world of different if you have it checked, or not.