Yoast SEO

Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the Yoast SEO plugin.

Overall Rating
WordPress Rating

Yoast SEO is currently the most widely used SEO plugin for WordPress. Let’s see how it stacks up against the competition in today’s Yoast SEO review.

Functionality

Yoast SEO is probably the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress out there. Yoast SEO is currently the most popular and most downloaded WordPress plugin to date.

Yoast SEO adds different SEO fields to your WordPress content. However, it doesn’t do all of that automatically. You need to set up the plugin for the first time which can take some time depending on your setup.

Luckily Yoast provides a great first-time configuration wizard.

Plugin Report 1
Yoast Settings Wizard

Setting up Yoast can be tough for the first time but I have written an extensive Yoast SEO Setup guide to help you with that. Setting up Yoast is not this review’s main focus so if you have any questions regarding setting up – I ask you to leave comments on that post.

Even then, many people find the configuration wizard confusing. However, It doesn’t mean Yoast SEO is a bad plugin, it’s just not aimed for absolute newbies.

Yoast SEO tries to do everything regarding WordPress SEO. The plugin comes with some useful features out of the box

  • Sitemap Generation. You can also exclude/include custom taxonomies and custom post types
Enable XML Sitemap Yoast
  • Google webmaster integration. You can connect your website directly from Yoast. After a successful connection – Yoast SEO fetches all the crawl errors Googlebot encountered while crawling your site.
  • Google knowledge graph integration: If you complete setting up Yoast, it will add your website’s information with the Google knowledge graph. Knowledge Graph shows your business information when someone searches for your site on Google on the right side.
  • Yoast approved breadcrumb code. Useful for implementing breadcrumbs on your site.
  • JSON-LD support

For Developers

Yoast has a lot of actions and filters through which you can change many functionalities of Yoast. The actions and filters will help you a lot if you are working with things like CPT, ACF, etc.

For Content Writers

Yoast adds its own SEO meta box below every post. They have been a pioneer in this use case and all other plugins followed this “meta box” approach since then to handle SEO related stuff.

You can use the meta box to add/edit meta title, description and set a focus keyword for your content. This is very useful when you are writing with a focus keyword in mind.

After adding a focus keyword – Yoast SEO provides a detailed report of your content that takes into account things like the slug, title, meta title, description, readability, etc against the keyword. Also, and will assign a score regarding your writing and usage of focus keyword.

Pricing

Yoast SEO is completely free but they offer more features in the Premium version. This version has extra functionality such as:

  • You can select more than 1 keyword(important) to optimize for inside pages/posts
  • Redirect manager (301/302 redirection – good to have)
  • Advanced context detection: word forms
  • Internal linking
  • Orphaned content filter
  • Facebook/Twitter Social previews
  • Premium Support

One thing to note is that some of the premium features were available as free back in the days. However, many features are now only available in the premium version.

The premium version retails for $89 with 1 year of updates.

PriceDuration
$891 year of update & premium support

Advantages

  • A lot of features regarding SEO.
  • Sitemap
  • A lot of customization
  • Pro version for more features

Gotchas

One of the most common complaints about Yoast is the extra bloat that comes with Yoast SEO.

Yoast has been promoting its plugin for more than 10 years. Sometimes it goes the extra mile to market their product and it annoys a lot of users. For example, it adds comments to the head of your site.

Now if you are not looking at the source code – you don’t know it ever. However, the data can be used to determine whether you’re using WordPress and potentially which version of WordPress are you on based on the output of the Yoast comment. This data can be used to target your website for potential future attacks.

Plugin Report 2
Comment added by Yoast in the header

Yoast doesn’t stop there. It will add upsells to the sidebar, and when updating they show you a large update screen similar to what you see when you update your WordPress installation.

Technical Report 

LOC

Lines of code: 54783
Logical lines of code: 27620
Comment lines of code: 27161

Object-oriented Programming

Classes 394
Interface 25
Methods 2606
Methods by class 6.61
Lack of cohesion of methods 2.81

Coupling
Average afferent coupling 2.29
Average efferent coupling 3.12
Average instability 0.61
Depth of Inheritance Tree 1.11

Package
Packages 17
Average classes per package 24.65
Average distance 0.27
Average incoming class dependencies 13.35
Average outgoing class dependencies 9.47
Average incoming package dependencies 2.06
Average outgoing package dependencies 3.12

Complexity
Average Cyclomatic complexity by class 10.9
Average Weighted method count by class 16.7
Average Relative system complexity 99.47
Average Difficulty 6.39

Bugs
Average bugs by class 0.26
Average defects by class (Kan) 0.78

Violations

Plugin Report 3

Critical: 0
Error: 74
Warning: 75
Information: 32

Cyclomatic Complexity Chart

Plugin Report 4
Each file is symbolized by a circle. The size of the circle represents the Cyclomatic complexity. The color of the circle represents the Maintainability Index. Large red circles will be probably hard to maintain. Greens are easy to maintain.

#WPDrama – Regarding Yoast

Buggy Updates

Yoast pushed a buggy update back in May 2018. This update was the worst in Yoast’s history. It immediately generated a lot of controversies. Many webmasters reported instant drop on their search rankings.

Disgruntled Yoast SEO Plugin User Lost Confidence in Yoast SEO
Yoast Plugin User Lost Rankings and Thousands of Dollars

Many webmasters and SEO specialists found a drastic drop in their SEO rankings. back in 2018.

Black Friday Banner Gone Wrong

On November 28, 2019, millions of Yosat users found an animated Black Friday ad on nearly every page of their WordPress admin. The ad was not limited to users with administrative permissions. All user’s roles saw the Yoast ad in their dashboard. This immediately generated a lot of controversies

“That BlackFridayBanner was not the best idea,” wrote Marieke van de Rakt, CEO of Yoast, on Twitter. “We’re truly sorry for the annoyance and difficulties it may have caused. We did not think this through properly. If you want, you can update to a new version of our plugin without that banner.”

Verdict

Yoast SEO is arguably the most popular plugin in the WordPress ecosystem. However, it falls for some aggressive marketing reasons, If you want to use an SEO plugin that thousands of users use each day – you can rely on Yoast SEO.

  • Full control of meta titles, descriptions, & other SEO related stuff for your website.
  • Come in a handy installation wizard.
  • Visually unappealing styling. Frequently adds upsells on the sidebar(only on the free version)
  • Aggressive marketing push.

The plugin has some issues

Sorry, pal! The plugin couldn’t pass all our tests. No hard feelings, right?

Tests done by WP Hive test script Results
  • Minimal impact on memory usage The memory usage of this plugin is more than the average memory usage of other plugins on WordPress.org + 200KB
    Download Iocn
  • Minimal impact on pagespeed The impact of this plugin on PageSpeed is less than the average impact of other plugins on WordPress.org + 1000 milliseconds
    Download Iocn
  • No PHP errors, warning, notices WP Hive automated test found no PHP error while activating this plugin on our server
    Download Iocn
  • No Javascript issues WP Hive automated test found no JavaScrip error while activating this plugin on our server
    Download Iocn
  • Latest PHP 7.4.8 compatible The latest version of the plugin is compatible with the latest PHP version
    Download Iocn
  • Latest WordPress 6.0.2 compatible The latest version of the plugin is compatible with the latest PHP version
    Download Iocn
  • Optimized database footprint The plugin creates less than 50 database tables
    Download Iocn
  • No activation errors WP Hive automated test found no activation error while activating this plugin on our server
    Download Iocn
  • No resource errors WP Hive automated test found no resource error/s while trying this plugin on our server
    Download Iocn
  • Frequently updated The plugin was updated at least once in the last 90 days
    Download Iocn

All the plugins are tested on the same server with exactly same configuration via test script that automatically activates and logs the data WP Hive shows.

  • All the scripts run on a VPS with 8 CPU cores and 8 GB of RAM.
  • The test sites are hosted on Google Cloud VM instances, one site/plugin per instance. The machine type is n1-standard-1. The server is a 8 core CPU with 8GB of RAM.
  • The test sites are hosted on Apache/2 server and they are tested on PHP 7.4.8 & WordPress 6.0.2.
  • The database server is MySQL 8.0.21 and the default PHP memory limit is 256M.
Download Iocn

469M

Total Downloads

Installation Iocn

5M

Active Installation

Calendar Iocn

12 years

On WordPress

Growth Iocn

0.0%

Growth Rate

Support Iocn

399

Support Thread

Rating Iocn

27507

Ratings on WordPress

Download Iocn

00

Downloads This Week

Update Iocn

00

Ago Last Updated

About Yoast SEO

Description

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Since 2008 Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines. This WordPress SEO plugin helps you with your search engine optimization. Are you not entirely convinced? Yoast SEO is the favorite WordPress SEO plugin of millions of users worldwide! As Yoast’s mission is SEO for Everyone, the....

Read More >>

Performance

Memory Usage

  • Download Iocn Average memory usage is1777.7 KB
  • Download Iocn This is more than95%plugins

Page Speed

  • Download Iocn Average page loading time is increased by 0.11 s
  • Download Iocn This is faster than99%plugins

Speed Test Benchmark Learn more how we collect the data

  • Before plugin activation
  • After plugin activation

Pages

Benchmark

Change

Average Change
+ 0.11s
/(front page)
- 0.08s
/wp-admin/edit-comments.php
+ 0.02s
/wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=category
+ 0.06s
/wp-admin/edit.php
+ 0.11s
/wp-admin/index.php
+ 0.19s
/wp-admin/media-new.php
+ 0.07s
/wp-admin/options-discussion.php
+ 0.05s
/wp-admin/options-writing.php
- 0.07s
/wp-admin/post-new.php
+ 0.54s
/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=page
+ 0.33s
/wp-admin/upload.php
- 0s
MoreLess

Memory Usage Memory Usage Benchmark Learn more how we collect the data

  • Before plugin activation
  • After plugin activation

Pages

Benchmark

Change

Average Change
+ 1777.7KB
/ (front page)
+ 200.86KB
/wp-admin/edit-comments.php
+ 202.68KB
/wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=category
+ 207.29KB
/wp-admin/edit.php
+ 245.77KB
/wp-admin/index.php
+ 203.87KB
/wp-admin/media-new.php
+ 202.62KB
/wp-admin/options-discussion.php
+ 210.58KB
/wp-admin/options-writing.php
+ 208.09KB
/wp-admin/post-new.php
+ 285.93KB
/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=page
+ 273.99KB
/wp-admin/upload.php
+ 202.64KB
MoreLess

User Rating of Yoast SEO from WP Hive Users

5Star Icon

Overall Quality

Measures the overall quality

5Star Icon

Ease of Use

How easy it is to use?

5Star Icon

Quality of Support

Satisfied or not?

5 Star Icon

Value for Money

Is it good bang for the buck?

5Star Icon

Features

Is it feature riched?

Stats Stats

Download Statistics

Plugin Version Usage

Stats More

Database Tables

The plugin has added 5 additional options to your WordPress.

WP-Options

The plugin has added 4 additional options to your WordPress website.

Errors

Memory Usage

  • This plugin uses 1777.7KB memory on average, which is more than a plugin should use.

Read more how WP Hive determines this data.

Awards & Achievements

Downloaded

Most Downloaded of All Time

#1 in Most Downloaded of All Time

Downloaded

Most Downloaded of Last Week

#1 in Most Downloaded of last week

Show Off Your Plugin

Download Iocn

PHP 7.4.8

Powered by WP Hive

Download Iocn

WP 6.0.2

Powered by WP Hive

Download Icon

Logo

PHP 7.4.8 WP 6.0.2

Icon

Love using this plugin?

Why don’t you compare the plugin side by side
with another plugin

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Quality
5
Ease of Use
5
Quality of Support
5
Value for Money
5
Features
5

Social Reviews and Recommendations Widgets Review Write a Review

5

4

3

2

1

Icon

Are you an author
of this plugin?

Write a Review

Overall Quality

Ease of Use

Quality of Support

Value for Money

Features

Stina Gunnarsdottir
5/5
Overall
Easy of Use
Features
Quality of Support
Value for Money

Pros & Cons: This is a review from the Editorial staff of WP Hive for test purposes. We are sure the plugin made it with good heart for WordPress users and we want to encourage his/her efforts by the first review.

Overall:The plugin should be working great. Even if it does not, we respect the time and effort. If you are using this plugin - leave a review with more information.

Changelog

Please Allow Us A
Moment Before You Go

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get exclusive WordPress toturials, updates and pillar content directly in your inbox.