WebDevStudios (WDS) would like to proudly introduce you to BRAD. No, not Brad Williams, our CEO. We mean the WordPress plugin you didn’t even know you needed till now: Better Responsibility Around Discoverability, aka BRAD.

Developers Aaron Jorbin and Andrew Norcross created the BRAD plugin after our own Brad tweeted this:

Boom. Aaron and Andrew combined their talents and BRAD was born—their effort to prevent WordPress websites from accidentally excluding themselves from search engines. Learn more about how and why Aaron and Andrew developed the plugin at The Daily Jorbin.

When Brad innocently tweeted his dismay with sites launching with privacy enabled, he certainly didn’t expect to inspire the creation of a plugin, much less have one named after him.

“It’s funny because years ago Scott Basgaard and I worked on a patch for WordPress Core to make the Privacy Enabled option more obvious,” explains Brad. “It was eventually accepted into Core and looked great, but somewhere over the years, and many many releases since then, the notice was made less obvious again.” Sounds like BRAD is the solution to that.

Overall, Brad loves BRAD.

“Aaron and Andrew are both great guys, and amazing developers, so it was awesome to see them go from idea to release in less than 24 hours. You really do have to love the WordPress Community.”

But don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not as though having a WordPress plugin named after him has gone to Brad’s head. Okay. That’s a lie. Brad thinks he’s immortal now.

“I think I’m reaching Highlander status,” he declares. At the very least, Brad is grateful, and he plans to repay Aaron and Andrew through gifts of whisky and coffee.

“They know who gets what,” he says. Are you launching a new site and want to ensure that it’s not excluded from search engines? Download and install BRAD today. Use the link below.


Follow Aaron and Andrew on Twitter: @aaronjorbin and @norcross. Aside from installing BRAD, use the checklist below (created by WDS Lead Frontend Developer, Greg Rickaby) next time you launch a new website.

  • Turn off the “Block Robots” setting under Settings –> Reading
  • Check robots.txt to ensure it’s also not blocking robots
  • Manage redirects (old pages to new pages, and www -> non-www)
  • Make sure the SSL certificate is set up for both WWW and non-WWW
  • Make sure any Webhooks are set up (WooCommerce, Stripe, Gravity Forms, etc…) and pointing at the new URL
  • Optimize images
  • Check accessibility
    • Total Validator
    • WAVE extension
    • Screen Reader testing
  • Set your favicon
  • Run the site against: https://www.webpagetest.org/
  • Run the WordPress SEO (Yoast) Configuration wizard and input social media links, logos, and turn on Sitemap
  • Set up Google Analytics
  • Ensure that Website Feature Documentation is up-to-date
  • Create a screenshot for your theme
  • Set up your RSS Feed


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