WordPress SEO Plugin By Yoast
I have a few personal sites that I run entirely via WordPress and there’s often a few niggles that bug me as I can never seem to find easy to use plugins. I’ve used Yoast’s Robots Meta before and always been impressed by it so when I saw that he’d released a new All In One SEO plugin for WordPress I thought it was worth checking out.
I’m currently using the new WordPress SEO Plugin on my new site for aquariums and fish tanks and disabling plugins like SEO Title Tag and Robots Meta.
After activating Yoast’s SEO plugin, you’ll notice it gets its own little drop down menu box on the left hand side, which saves you from routing around trying to find it.
The first page you come across is the General Settings page, which enables you to place your Webmaster Tools code in from Google, Yahoo and Bing. Your next option gives you the ability to create Title Tag templates, but you can also create unique ones when editing your post or page or creating a new one.
Indexation is the next option on the menu, this is basically the Robots Meta plugin renamed, so you can just copy your settings straight over.
Permalinks is where it gets interesting as it enables you to strip the Category part out of the URL.
So placing a tick in the “Strip the category base (usually
/category/) from the category URL.” leaves your URL structure like the below. This not only looks better, but is a more SEO friendly url.
Internal links appears next which mainly covers Yoast’s Breadcrumb plugin, but your theme needs to either support this as default or you’ll need to insert the given code into your theme.
RSS appears next but I’ve just left all this as it comes.
Import and Export is the next section and this is where the plugin really shows its power. It enables you to import old settings from HeadSpace 2, All-in-One SEO, and the OLD All-in-One SEO. Also it allows transfers from Yoast’s plugins like Robots Meta, Yoast Breadcrumbs and RSS Footer.
The last option is Edit Files which enables you to edit your .htaccess file. *Only do this if you know what you’re doing *
So that’s the basics of the menu settings the juicy part starts below.
If you create a new post or edit an old one you’ll get this wicked little menu box like the below.
If you start writing in the SEO Title box the snippet preview changes as you type allowing you to see what your new title tag will look like in Google. It’s also counting down how many characters you have remaining that will be displayed. It will allow you to put in more characters and the “Chars left” will change to minus figures and go red.
The same happens when you’re editing your Meta Description. If you tick the “Disable date in snippet preview for posts” this will remove the date from your Meta Description.
You can also choose varying options here in the Advance Sections, like allowing you to Noindex the post or choose to not let Google Display a Cache version of your post.
My favourite bit definitely has to be the 301 redirect option. This allows you to ummm 301 redirect this page to another, without having to mess around with your .htaccess and when you’re done editing all you need to do is click update and all your changes are saved.
I’ve really only scratched the surface with this post but I love how easy the WordPress SEO plugin is to use and the fact you don’t have to place code everywhere and that its all so simple to use.
Yoast has done a great plugin here and then made it even better with the little things like “live preview” when you’re changing your Tags.