When it comes to the best SEO plugins for WordPress, there isn’t much doubt about which are the two winners: Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. They are both completely functional as a free plugin but have paid pro versions for those, who want even more. They are also compatible with the most of the premium WordPress themes. But is one of them better than the other? Let’s compare their features and see.
Looking into the options you get for on-page SEO, both plugins provide you with more or less the same functionality: editing page title and snippet, choosing keywords, choosing whether the page should be indexed and followed by search engines. In relation to indexing, All in One SEO Pack offers a bit more but the question is whether you need such additional flexibility.
It’s, however, only Yoast SEO that offers something which can be quite useful: keyword optimization check for each page and social media editor for each individual post, which allows you to customize the way your post will be shown on Facebook. A downside here is though that only Facebook customization is supported.
You surely know that it’s important to register your blog with different services in order to be able to follow its state. This is especially important when it comes to Google. Both plugins offer webmaster verification tools but for different services. All in One SEO Pack offers to help your registration with Google, Bing, and Pinterest. Yoast SEO helps with Google, Bing, Yandex, and Alexa. The tools work in exactly the same way so it’s just a question of whom you need to get registered with.
Both plugins allow you to set custom values for the way page, post, media, archive, category, tag, and other titles are composed. This means that you can choose, for example, whether your blog post titles should include date, category, the blog’s title, etc. If you, however, use Yoast SEO, you’ll also be able to choose what character will be used as a separator when displaying your titles.
Yoast SEO gives you only the opportunity to tweak default noindex settings for subpages of archives, while All in One SEO Pack offers a whole bunch of noindex, nofollow, noodp, etc. options to choose among. It’s usually not a good idea for beginner-bloggers to play too much around with such settings as the result might be that the whole blog or vital parts of it don’t get indexed or followed by search engines. If you, however, know what you’re doing, you’ll surely enjoy the freedom such flexibility gives you.
If you’re looking for optimization of your social media posts, Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack offer pretty much the same functionality. If your post is missing a featured image, you can set a default one to be used with such posts. You can also choose to add Open Graph meta data, Twitter card, or Google+ specific data to your posts. Last but not least, you can add the links to your profiles in settings to let the plugins notify Google about your social media profiles (this last function is more or less pointless though, as Google doesn’t have access to what’s happening on most social media – at least yet).
XML sitemap is a pretty standard feature so, not surprisingly, both SEO plugins create and update a sitemap for you. Both do also give you the opportunity to choose precisely what should be mapped and what should be left out. All in One SEO Pack offers though a bit more: you can set the frequency with which your different post types, pages, categories, etc. get revisited. You can also force the sitemap to include a URL to a page not yet managed by WordPress which might be a pretty cool feature if you want to, for example, temporarily include an external campaign page or shorten the time needed to migrate content.
A small thing, which in some cases can prove to be quite important, is “branding” your RSS feed to make the life of scrapers a bit more difficult. This option is only available if using Yoast SEO. The plugin helps you design your very own “messages” which can then be included before and after each post in the feed. One might argue that such a technique won’t help a lot as it can easily be discovered. However, doing something to protect your content is always better than doing nothing. At this point All in One SEO Pack doesn’t give you the opportunity to do that.
If you’re using an advanced theme with different post types or other customized content, you might need some additional flexibility of the SEO plugin you’re using in order to be able to optimize as much on your blog as at all possible. Yoast SEO doesn’t allow you to choose on which pages you get the SEO tools and on which you don’t. All in One SEO Pack does, however, let you choose freely where you’d like to use SEO functionality. Thus, you can optimize all that has to be optimized and in the same time you don’t need to worry about stuff like automatic keywords generation by the plugin on pages that simply don’t have to be optimized.
Bad Bot Blocker
As known, bad bots – or spam bots – are a big problem for bloggers, companies, and basically everyone owning a website. They might be nearly unstoppable but this only makes it a must to use whatever you got in the fight against them. It’s not many SEO plugins offering this kind of protection but All in One SEO Pack is one of them. You can choose to turn the bot filter on and off and you can edit it as you see fit. Whether this function works for you, you have to test for yourself – it depends mostly on who the major spammers in your country/industry are and how you set the filters – but in my experience it does work.
WordPress is generally a very low maintenance CMS but every now and then something goes wrong and you’ll need to fix it manually – or the specifics of your blog require some more advanced settings for robots.txt. Usually you have to access the server and create or edit the file there but what would you do, if you don’t have access or don’t dare to touch the core files? While Yoast SEO can’t give you the answer, if you use All in One SEO Pack, you can take advantage of their robots.txt editor which allows you to do pretty much what you want. It’s easy and you don’t need to use a bunch of programs to create and upload the file on the server. What’s even better, you have a robots.txt tester showing you how to optimize the rules.
Be aware though, that sometimes the error causing robots.txt malfunction might be outside of your WordPress installation and might require that your server provider resolves the issue before you’re able to edit the file.
Memory limit is a problem which you’re likely to bump into at one point. The reason is that the default values in WordPress are not high enough to support all plugins or operations. As a result, you get an error message at some point and you can’t even post anymore. Usually, you have to access your installation files, find the “invisible” ones and edit PHP.ini or .htaccess changing the default memory value from 32 MB to 64 MB. All in One SEO Pack does, however, offer a much easier and handy way to do that – by changing the values from within the Admin panel in WordPress. This feature is amazing to have – even if you don’t need it right away. Yoast SEO doesn’t offer similar solution.
Which One is the Best SEO Plugin for WordPress?
If we let the numbers talk, the score is All in One SEO Pack 6:3 Yoast SEO and 2 draws. Both plugins have even more features – some simply too small to mention and some outdated or with doubtful effect in the real world. It’s important to mention that this comparison was made based on the free versions of the plugins. Both have also paid versions but are regularly updated and perform very well as free plugins.
When deciding which plugin to install, it should be your need and preferences you take into account. If you want more flexibility and an opportunity to tweak vital settings from within the Admin Panel, All in One SEO Pack is the best SEO plugin for you. If you prefer something simpler but effective that guides you in your efforts to optimize your content, than Yoast SEO is the best one for you. You’ll especially love its function allowing you to check whether you’ve optimized for your main keyword correctly.
Don’t forget, however, that even industry-wide recognized plugins like these can cause incompatibility issues. Be sure therefore to check which one is right for your configuration.