- Contribute to projects like Calypso. With WordPress.com moving to Calypso, and the potential for self-hosted WordPress.org sites to use it, being able to understand it on a deeper level (along with the API) can help me be able to dig out bugs, submit fixes, and work towards enhancements.
- WordPress Plugins. I’ve got a couple of very niche plugins out on the main WordPress.org plugin directory. While they’re very basic, they work well for what I needed at the time, and it seems a few other folks needed them too! I would really like to work on enhancing one of them with some settings, since it enables Jetpack functionality for a theme framework that otherwise would require the user to modify their theme.
However, a number of sites are also blocking /wp-includes/. While it doesn’t seem obvious, there are a number of things that live here which would need to be accessed by users (i.e., crawlers) to render pages properly. For example, Dashicons, the small icons you generally associate with the admin side of WordPress, can often be called by themes for front-end usage. Another major thing that can hinder proper rendering by crawlers is jQuery. Sometimes, themes will enqueue a different version, but by default, it lives in the /wp-includes/ folder. If we dive even further into the issue, we’d see that the built-in emojis and comment reply handling would also be affected.
So, what can be safely blocked? At this point, here’s what a “compliant” WordPress robots.txt would look like (as far as what is safe to block). Of course, you’d want to add in your own sitemap directives and other special cases, but this is a good starting point.
Questions or comments? Leave them below!
You still have to learn more at the rate of about one a week, and remember to check the hundreds of things you know to see if they’ve been updated or broken and make sure they all still work together and that nobody fixed the bug in one of them that you exploited to do something you thought was really clever one weekend when you were drunk.
Exactly. Programming Sucks.