How to disable search globally?

New BL user so apologies if have missed in searches of old posts or fundamentally stupid question but…

Is it possible to disable search across an entire site i.e. not just hide individual albums from search?

Why? My use case is non commercial personal photo albums for family use and I created some password protected album sets for various bits of the family - all good so far. A lot of my photos are people coded / captioned (especially old family group shots).

Search for “a” or any other short search string and up pop all my password protected albums and photos with no protection!

I know my use case will be different from many and that I can hide the search icons but http://mysite by default has a backlight icon on it and http://mysite/backlight/search remains accessible so security by obscurity rather than security by design.

It’s not a huge issue but how or where do you disable search by default? Is there an option?

For those of you who shoot say weddings, how do you prevent once client seeing the photos for another wedding by searching “wedding” or something equally obvious?

What have I missed?

Many thanks in anticipation.


AFAIK, there is no way to disable the search page. You can hide search a bit more by hiding the search form with some custom css:

  .search-form {

You can remove that quick search icon in the Top Pallet settings of the page template under Quick Search

Beyond hiding albums, if you use the Client Response add-on and use the Client Management option, your family can see only their albums. Also, Client Response albums are excluded from search.

Not sure what you’re describing here. That Backlight icon in the footer can be removed in the page template Footer settings. If that’s not what you’re referring to, can you post a link to a non-sensitive album so we can see. Either that or a screen capture.

Just remove the menu link and disable the quick search button. Disabled by obfuscation.

Daniel, Rod and Matthew - thank you. All very helpful.

@Rod - my apologies for lack of clarity. What I was (clumsily) trying to say is that if I know someone has a backlight based site (and that’s trivially easy to determine) then I also know that there’s a search function at an easily built address. That could mean that, I could easily see content that a simple password protect on a parent album set was meant to prevent.

I thought there might be a global ability to not have a search function (or to otherwise limit it) but you’ve all confirmed that hiding it is what everyone does and that’s fine - as long as I know, I can work with that.

My security by obscurity comment was around the idea that there are two ways to secure your house - a key in your pocket and only held by you or a key hidden under the 3rd stone to the left of the door… the latter only works if your burglar doesn’t know (or can’t easily guess) that it’s there.

Many thanks again