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A Simple ROBOTS.TXT Handler in EPiServer

We’re moving a client from a Dreamweaver-based site to an EPiServer site.  One of the only reasons they had left to FTP into the site at any time was to manage the robots.txt file.  We wanted to eliminate that reason so we could shut FTP off completely.

This is what we did:

1. Added a Long String property on the Start Page called “RobotsTxt”.  We dumped the contents of the existing robots.txt in there.

2. Add this line to our web.config:

<add name="RobotsTxtHandler" preCondition="integratedMode" verb="*" path="robots.txt" type="Blend.EPiServer.RobotsTxtHandler, [Assembly Name]" />

3. Compiled this class into our project:

using System.Web;
using EPiServer;
using EPiServer.Core;

namespace Blend.EPiServer
{
    public class RobotsTxtHandler : IHttpHandler
    {
        public bool IsReusable { get { return true; } }

        public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)
        {
            context.Response.ContentType = "text/plain";
            context.Response.Write(DataFactory.Instance.GetPage(PageReference.StartPage).Property["RobotsTxt"].ToString());
        }
    }
}

Now, the client edits their robots.txt text in EPiServer. Calling “/robots.txt” will dump the contents of that Start Page property into the output as plain text.

(The larger principle at work here is that the Start Page is generally treated as a Singleton in EPiServer – there will only ever be one per site.  This means we tend to load it up with global properties – data you just need to store and manage in EPiServer, but will never publish as its own page.  Things like this robots.txt text, the TITLE tag suffix for the site, random Master Page text strings, etc.)

Sep 21, 2010

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