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How do I hide my WordPress site from the public?

To hide your WordPress site from the public while you’re building it and ensure security, you can follow these steps:

  1. Use Maintenance Mode or Under Construction Page:
    • Consider installing a maintenance mode or under construction plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
    • Activate this plugin to display a placeholder page to visitors while you work on your site.
    • This allows you to build and customize your website privately without revealing it to the public.
  2. Enable a “Noindex” Setting:
    • While you’re in the development phase, it’s a good practice to prevent search engines from indexing your site.
    • You can achieve this by going to your WordPress Dashboard.
    • Navigate to “Settings” and then “Reading.”
    • Check the box that says “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.”
    • This setting will add a “noindex” tag to your site, instructing search engines not to crawl and index your content.
  3. Password Protect Your Site:
    • Another layer of security can be added by password-protecting your entire website.
    • You can do this through your web hosting control panel or using a security plugin.
    • Visitors will need a password to access any part of your site.
  4. Implement Security Measures:
    • While you’re working on your site, it’s essential to have security measures in place.
    • Ensure you have a security plugin installed and configured properly.
    • Keep WordPress, themes, and plugins up to date to patch any vulnerabilities.
    • Use strong, unique passwords for all accounts.
  5. Limit Access with IP Whitelisting:
    • Some security plugins allow you to restrict access to your website based on IP addresses.
    • Consider whitelisting only your IP address (and your team’s if applicable) to ensure that only authorized users can access the site.
  6. Regular Backups:
    • Always maintain regular backups of your website.
    • In case anything goes wrong during development, you can quickly restore your site to a previous state.

By following these steps, you can build your WordPress website privately, ensure security while it’s in development, and prevent it from being indexed by search engines until you’re ready to make it public.