Shopify Sites Can Now Edit Their Robots.txt File

Shopify stores are now able to edit their robots.txt file, which gives owners more control over how search engines crawl their site.

Tobi Lutke, Shopify CEO, broke the news this evening on Twitter while adding that it might take until Monday for this feature to roll out to everyone.

All Shopify stores start with the same robots.txt, which the company says works for most sites, but now the file can be edited through the robots.txt.liquid theme template.

Site owners can make the following edits to the robots.txt file:

  • Allow or disallow certain URLs from being crawled
  • Add crawl-delay rules for certain crawlers
  • Add extra sitemap URLs
  • Block certain crawlers

Shopify recommends using Liquid to add or remove directives from the robots.txt.liquid template, as it preserves the ability to keep the file automatically updated.

How To Edit Robots.txt in Shopify

Here are the steps to customizing a Shopify store’s robots.txt file:

  • From your Shopify admin, go to Online Store > Themes.
  • Click , and then click Edit Code.
  • Click Add a new template, and then select robots.
  • Click Create template.
  • Make the changes that you want to make to the default template.
  • Save changes to the robots.txt.liquid file in your published theme.

Alternatively, site owners can delete the contents of the template and replace it with plain text rules, though Shopify doesn’t recommend it as it won’t be automatically updated.

ThemeKit or command line changes will preserve the robots.txt.liquid file. Uploading a theme from within the Themes section of the Shopify admin will not import robots.txt.liquid.

Shopify warns that editing the robots.txt.liquid file is an unsupported customization, which means their support team can’t help with edits.

“Incorrect use of the feature can result in loss of all traffic,” cautions Shopify. Though that’s true of the robots.txt file for any site.

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