WordPress Plugin Reminds You To Check Search Engine Visibility After Migration

Sometimes, after moving a site from a development environment into a live production environment, users and developers can forget to uncheck the “Discourage Search Engines From Indexing Your Site” box located within the Reading Settings. It’s a terrible feeling to realize months after a site has gone live, that search engines failed to index the site because you forgot to change a setting. This is easily preventable using the Check Search Engine Visibility on Migration plugin.

Warning Seen If You Forget To Enable Search Engines
Warning Seen If You Forget To Enable Search Engines

Developed by Rhys Wynne, this fairly new plugin prevents users from forgetting to turn on search engines after migrating their site or changing the blog URL. When the warning is displayed, it won’t go away until you visit the Check/Set domain visibility settings page. There are other plugins that have similar functionality but this plugin forces the user to check the search engine visibility settings with no alternative way to dismiss the warning box.

As long as you don’t forget to activate this plugin on the live site, it will remind you to double-check the search engine settings when it detects the URL has changed.

Have you ever transferred a website from a development server to a production environment and forgot to enable search engines? If so, how long did it take before you discovered the error?

8 Comments


  1. D’oh! I’ve done this more than I care to admit. I hate how something that’s such a simple oversight can have such a devastating impact on a website’s success. I will definitely be kicking the tires on this new plugin, and if it works for me I’ll be including it on all future builds.

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    1. I’ve never worked in the consultant/client environment but I’d have to hit my head on a desk if I forgot to enable search engines for a site I designed that went live.

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  2. I’ve done it, and I felt awful. My clients called me many weeks after the website had gone live to say they couldn’t find it on Google. I have a check-list that includes “make sure discourage search engines is not ticked”, and somehow I missed it. I’m considering this plugin as a backup just in case I forget to remove the tick again.

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  3. Yep. I’ve done it plenty of times too, so we have checking reading settings on our site go live checklist.

    Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin also includes a warning to check the settings.

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  4. Even worse, is when people do an IP block. I’ve seen sites get launched with a block on all traffic outside of a small set of IP addresses. Then it’s taken a week for anyone to realise there was a problem.

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  5. Been there and done it.

    I used to develop sites locally before I went live.
    Now I develop live but check the discourage search engines box until the site is complete or almost complete.
    Because that’s the way I develop I have a reminder on my “to do” list to uncheck the box.

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  6. Thanks for the coverage Jeff.

    To those who say “Yoast Plugin does it as well”, well, yes it does :). Where we differ is that Yoast’s plugin (to the best of my knowledge) can be dismissed easily. This is a lot harder to remove. :)

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