Yoast SEObyTeam Yoast

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F3226doGK4&list=PL4CtPfBUiliqhJxPqizUN8X5IS57BZ1lF

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.

All right sparky!

The plugin scored great on our tests. Everything looks good!

Tests done by WP Hive test script Results
  • Minimal impact on memory usage The memory usage of this plugin is less than the average memory usage of other plugins on WordPress.org + 200KB. Check FAQ for more.
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  • 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
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  • No PHP errors, warning, notices WP Hive automated test found no PHP error while activating this plugin on our server
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  • No Javascript issues WP Hive automated test found no JavaScrip error while activating this plugin on our server
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  • Latest PHP 8.1.12 compatible WP Hive automated test found the plugin fully compatible with the latest version of PHP
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  • Latest WordPress 6.1.1 compatible WP Hive automated test found the plugin fully compatible with the latest version of WordPress
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  • Optimized database footprint The plugin creates less than 50 database tables
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  • No activation errors WP Hive automated test found no activation error while activating this plugin on our server
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  • No resource errors WP Hive automated test found no resource error/s while trying this plugin on our server
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  • Frequently updated The plugin was updated at least once in the last 90 days
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  • No problems were detected during tests.
  • 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 8.1.12 & WordPress 6.1.1.
    • The database server is MySQL 10.6.10 and the default PHP memory limit is 512M.
    Download Iocn

    664M

    Total Downloads

    Installation Iocn

    5M

    Active Installation

    Calendar Iocn

    14 years

    On WordPress

    Growth Iocn

    0.0%

    Growth Rate

    Support Iocn

    280

    Support Thread

    Rating Iocn

    27698

    Ratings on WordPress

    Download Iocn

    00

    Downloads This Week

    Update Iocn

    00

    Ago Last Updated

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    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 >>

    Explore all plugins from Team Yoast

    Performance

    Memory Usage

    • Download Icon Average memory usage is111.85 KB
    • Download Icon This is more than79%plugins

    Page Speed

    • Download Icon Average page loading time is increased by 0.07 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
    + 0.07s
    /(front page)
    - 0.05s
    /wp-admin/edit-comments.php
    + 0.02s
    /wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=category
    + 0.06s
    /wp-admin/edit.php
    + 0.1s
    /wp-admin/index.php
    + 0.17s
    /wp-admin/media-new.php
    + 0.01s
    /wp-admin/options-discussion.php
    - 0.01s
    /wp-admin/options-writing.php
    + 0.02s
    /wp-admin/post-new.php
    + 0.43s
    /wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=page
    + 0.08s
    /wp-admin/upload.php
    - 0.11s
    MoreLess

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

    • Before plugin activation
    • After plugin activation

    Pages

    Benchmark

    Change

    Average Change
    + 111.85KB
    / (front page)
    + 95.69KB
    /wp-admin/edit-comments.php
    + 106.33KB
    /wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=category
    + 110.38KB
    /wp-admin/edit.php
    + 129.91KB
    /wp-admin/index.php
    + 107.17KB
    /wp-admin/media-new.php
    + 97.35KB
    /wp-admin/options-discussion.php
    + 98.31KB
    /wp-admin/options-writing.php
    + 102.42KB
    /wp-admin/post-new.php
    + 151.58KB
    /wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=page
    + 135.31KB
    /wp-admin/upload.php
    + 95.87KB
    MoreLess

    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.

    Awards & Achievements

    Downloaded

    Most Downloaded of All Time

    #1 in Most Downloaded of All Time

    Downloaded

    Most Downloaded of All Time

    #1 in Most Downloaded of last week

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    PHP 8.1.12

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    WP 6.1.1

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    PHP 8.1.12 WP 6.1.1

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