Squarespace Does NOT Allow Robot.txt Editing

Squarespace Does NOT Allow Robot.txt Editing

Q) Can you fix the robot.txt settings in Squarespace and how?

A) No, Squarespace does not allow you to edit the robot.txt file.

It’s one of the many standard things you can’t do with Squarespace that’s available in a typical website.

And I'm not pointing that out to say Ah HA! LOOK SEEE SEE WHAT SQUARESPACE DOESN’T DO! ...I’m pointing it out because not having access prevented me from fixing an error in Google Console (screenshot) for a client. Those errors by themselves may not hurt the website rankings in Google but it’s been my experience that if Google took the time to show you the error, than you should probably try to fix it. Especially if your website is trying to compete in a fairly competitive market.

It also means there’s a lot more being “protected” from their users than those website owners will ever know, or want to know.

The average Squarespace user is a member because they don’t know much, if anything, about the different website platforms and how they function, which is legit. Sometimes I wish I didn’t “know” so much. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with the maddening amount of tech changes to all the systems to keep that knowledge up to date.

But in reality what I know can be important. And that is not having access to basic code and files is a whole set of problems I avoid like the plague. It’s like having a vending machine for a kitchen or Ubering instead of owning a car. Yes, Squarespace will serve the function and yes, you will get to where you are going. But your path is severely limited and out of your hands.

That’s not the foundation I would build my business on. Cheap and easy is just that.

With Great Ease, Comes A Great Lack Of Control

With a lack of control, no database access, no direct access to code and no ownership of that code, it’s difficult if not foolish to invest hundreds or thousands of hours in a system that YOU DON’T OWN. That’s right. You don’t own your website code. If you outgrow Squarespace then you part ways with all that work.

I know because I get a good bit of my business migrating or completely rebuilding websites started on Squarespace, Wix and Weebly.

It's No Secret

Squarespace acknowledges the shortcomings and sluffs it off as a non-issue. Which it could very well be in some cases, but what they're glossing over is the lack of accessibility to fundamental settings that any standard website provides. Much like how they treat their "SEO" controls as something special but it's barely the same basic controls found in every website. Simply by providing access to these bare basic functions is their version of "Advanced Features".

On A Related Note

I've got a related story about Squarespace Advanced SEO features I'll write up for another time. It's mostly about the dumbing down of web designers and internet professionals in general that are raised on these brainlessly simple cloud website platforms. 

Until then, learn to ignore the Google errors and enjoy the Squarespace koolaid of easy bliss.

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