What is wlwmanifest.xml in Wordpress? Should you delete it?

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Author Arjan Schouten

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Website owners often find the /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml in an access log file. What is it and why do you see it so often in your access logs?

What is wlwmanifest.xml?

The wlwmanifest.xml is included in WordPress for integration with Windows Live Writer. The Windows Live Writer application is now discontinued. However, the wlwmanifest.xml file is still served by WordPress.

The /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml url is used by web crawlers to find WordPress websites.

Web crawlers use this file because it doesn't take time to parse the response. Is the file available then it is most likely a WordPress website and if the file is absent it is most likely not a WordPress website.

What is 404 error wlwmanifest.xml?

The /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml url is used by web crawlers to find WordPress websites.

You will find HTTP 404 Not Found errors in your access logs for the /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml file, such as:

2035/12/17 15:10:32 [error] 31#31: *1 "/var/www/wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml" is not found (2: No such file or directory)

You don't have to worry about the wlwmanifest.xml file. The wlwmanifest.xml file does not cause any harm to your WordPress website. Web servers that don't run WordPress can ignore this error in their access logs. It is not a sign of a problem with your website or web server.

Do I need to delete the wlwmanifest.xml file?

No, you don't have to delete the wlwmanifest.xml file. There are many ways to detect a WordPress website. It is more important to fix security issues with WordPress, plugins and PHP than it is to put effort in security through obscurity. Therefore, make sure to keep WordPress and its plugins up-to-date.

Should block /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml in robots.txt?

Adding /wp-includes/wlwmanifest.xml to robots.txt can stop some bots that respect robots.txt from requesting the wlwmanifest.xml. Bad bots will still request the wlwmanifest.xml file.

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