How to Take Your WordPress Website Offline
With the development of online businesses, various methods have been created to allow people to access content on the internet even when they are offline. One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to utilize WordPress and its “SEO-friendly URL structures” to build a fully functioning website that can be accessed via a simple phone link or QR code.
In this article, we will discuss the steps required to take your WordPress website offline – how to make it inaccessible to web visitors and search engines, and how to transition your blog content to a static website.
The Anatomy Of A WordPress Website
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems used to build websites today. It was initially designed to be a simple, yet elegant solution for blogging platforms back in 2003. Since then, WordPress has grown to be a widely-used CMS that provides many features for website builders.
When visiting a WordPress website, you will see a landing page that typically contains a large preview of the blog posts on the site, as well as a search bar where visitors can enter keywords to find specific blog posts or articles. Typically, the landing page serves as the entry point into the website and contains two types of content:
- Heading – The title of the page, the description of the website, and meta tags
- Content – The content that appears on the page, including the blog posts
A WordPress website is composed of several files that are connected to each other through database tables. These files are:
- Template – Contains the bare bones of the website and its layout. The template is used as a starting point for all new sites.
- Metadata – Contains information about the website and the content published on the site. This includes the title of the page, keywords, and the date the content was published
- Content – The actual content that appears on the website. This includes blog posts, images, and any other digital media.
- Header – The header is the part of the webpage that is displayed at the top of the page. It contains copyright information, links to other pages, and often times, the logo of the website.
- Footer – The footer is the part of the webpage that is displayed at the bottom of the page. It contains copyright information, links to other pages, and often times, the logo of the website.
Apart from these database tables, WordPress stores a variety of configurable items in the wp-config file, such as the name of the blog, the theme that will be used to build the site, and the URL of the site.
How To Make Your WordPress Website Unavailable
Now that you have an idea of how a WordPress website works, let’s discuss how to make it unavailable to web visitors. To do this, you will need to do the following:
1. Delete All Blog Posts
Firstly, you will want to delete all blog posts on your site. Do this by navigating to the WordPress dashboard and clicking on the “Posts” tab. From here, you can easily find and delete all posts using the “Search” functionality at the top of the page. Remember: you cannot delete your own blog posts. To do this, you will need to login to your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Posts” tab once more. From here, you can find the “Publish” button at the top of the page. Simply click on this button to publish all your content.
2. Delete All Comments
Next, you will want to delete all comments on your site. This can be done by navigating to the WordPress dashboard and clicking on the “Comments” tab. From here, you can click on any comment to view it. You can then delete the comment by clicking on the “x” present in the upper right-hand corner of the comment.
3. Disable Trackbacks
Disableing trackbacks is very similar to deleting all blog posts. However, rather than deleting the content, you will stop the content from being replicated on other sites. To do this, navigate to the WordPress dashboard and click on the “Trackbacks” tab. From here, you can disable this feature by changing the settings to “No Trackbacks.”
4. Delete All The Rest
Finally, you will want to delete all other files and folders on your site except for the template, metadata, and content. This can be done by navigating to the WordPress dashboard and clicking on the “Files” tab. From here, you can delete all the files and folders except for the template, metadata, and content. Take care not to delete any of these files or folders as they are important for keeping your website operating smoothly.
Static Or Dynamic?
One of the first questions that people usually ask when they want to take their website offline is: “Is it better to have a static website or a dynamic one?” This is a common question since most people feel that having a static website is faster and easier to maintain than one that is dynamic.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question since it depends on your own personal preferences. What you should do is try both out to see which one works better for your needs.
Make A Backup Of All Your Files
Even if you decide to go with a static website, it is still a good idea to make a backup of all your files just in case something goes wrong.
This is especially important if you decide to go with a free blogging platform like WordPress since any content that you post on a WordPress website is considered “open-source” and can be replicated by anyone who downloads the software. In that case, it is always a good idea to make a backup of all your files just to be on the safe side.
You should make sure that you back up all your files in case you need to restore them or if something happens to them. Restoring files that are quite often updated is not always an easy task and it can sometimes cause issues for your website (mainly performance-related issues). If you are planning on taking your WordPress website offline anyway, why not just make a backup now? It will save you tons of trouble and headaches in the long run.
Make Sure That Search Engines Can’t Find Your Site
If you are taking your website offline for whatever reason, you will want to make sure that search engines like Google and Bing cannot find your site. To do this, you will need to take certain actions, some of which may require a bit of coding knowledge. Search engines like Google and Bing use a variety of techniques to find suitable websites to show in their search results. One of the most effective ways of making sure that your site does not appear in their search results is by blocking it using various techniques. Here are the steps that you can take:
1. Change The Robots.txt File
The Robots.txt file determines whether or not your site can be crawled by search engines like Google and Bing. The robots.txt file is a text file that is hosted on your site and it provides instructions to search engine robots (crawlers) on how to behave when they visit your site. Typically, search engines will follow the instructions given in the robots.txt file – allowing or preventing them from crawling your site based on the instructions contained in this text file.
If you are happy for search engines to crawl your site and you have not blocked them in your robots.txt file, you are giving them the green light to index the content that is present on your site. In order to prevent search engines from finding your site, you will need to add certain keywords to the text in the robots.txt file so that it can be identified by search engines. Consider using a keyword tool to find the right keywords for your site.