How can I make sure my wedding website won’t show up on Google?

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For professional reasons, my sweetheart and I want to make sure that personal pictures, info, contact emails or numbers, etc. do not pop up when someone Googles our names. We want to make a wedding website to help guests with planning a trip to our location and for RSVPing, but we're concerned about the possibility of the site showing up in searches.

I know some sites have a password-protection option. Will this be enough to keep people from finding the website through searches? If not, what else can we do to keep people from finding the site?

There are really two levels of privacy you're talking about:

  • Search engine blocking (folks can't visit your website if they can't find it, but anyone who knows the URL can see it — this is sometimes called “security by obscurity”)
  • Password protection (folks can't view your website without a password)

You're right that many wedsite services (including WedSites, who we adore) offer password protection. Joy makes it easy for you to create a private wedding password that you can give to guests so they can log into your wedding website without signing up for an account. Most other commercial wedding websites offer both the ability to hide from search engines and password-protection.

If you're geeky enough to be hosting your own website instead of using a service (NERD SOLIDARITY!), you're probably geeky enough to know how to use robots.txt to prevent search engines from finding your site, and password-protect your wedding website at the directory level.

We'd love to hear from readers, though: how did you keep your wedding website private? And why?

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