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HomeSEOExamined: Is WordPress Good For Website positioning In 2021?

Examined: Is WordPress Good For Website positioning In 2021?

WordPress On-page SEO Check

That is the fourth put up in our collection the place we take a look at the on-page Website positioning of the world’s hottest CMS methods.

Thus far we’ve centered on hosted CMS methods (specifically Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy).

This week we’re turning our consideration to WordPress.

Learn on to find:

  • how properly setup for on-page Website positioning WordPress is out of the field,
  • how one can configure your WordPress website to rank greater in Google

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is WordPress good for Website positioning?

WordPress is the world’s hottest CMS system.

It powers all the pieces from small blogs to multi billion greenback conglomerates. Heck, even the White Home web site runs on WordPress.

wordpress website showcase

So it’s most likely no shock that, sure, WordPress is great for Website positioning.

Or at the least it may (or ought to) be.

In the end, WordPress is a instrument. And like all instrument it’s important to know use it.

For each well-optimized WordPress website, we’d wager there are dozens of poorly optimized websites. However in these instances, it’s very a lot the tradesman, fairly than the instrument that’s the difficulty.

As a result of with…

  • a number of plugins,
  • a wise theme selection,
  • correct Website positioning information,
  • and the fitting data

….there’s nothing you may’t do to totally Website positioning optimize your WordPress website.

Wordpress SEO Scoring

How we examined WordPress for Website positioning optimization

In some ways, WordPress was harder to check in isolation than the opposite CMS methods in our collection.

That’s partly as a result of we’ve been “testing” WordPress just about because it first launched in 2003. So we do have some prejudices. We all know all of the “flaws”, and we all know get round them.

wordpress 2003
how WordPress regarded in 2003 – by way of WPBeginner

However it’s additionally as a result of WordPress is self-hosted, which introduces a larger variety of variables to testing.

On a “web site constructing platform” — like Wix or Squarespace — it’s comparatively easy to check and make blanket inferences primarily based on that testing. Each Wix website is hosted on Wix. Each Wix website has the identical server configuration. Each Wix website has the identical underlying code.


With a self-hosted CMS like WordPress, you’ve obtained full entry to the underlying platform and may tinker to your coronary heart’s content material. You can too select the place to host your WordPress website, configure your server and so on, and that’s going to affect velocity, reliability, and efficiency.

However with that being mentioned, right here’s what we did:

  1. We arrange a small take a look at website on a Digital Ocean server.
  2. We added demo content material much like our Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy take a look at websites
  3. We initially put in 1 plugin, YOAST Website positioning (though there are three different plugins we advocate)
  4. We examined 3 of the preferred WordPress themes (Twenty Twenty-One, Astra, and GeneratePress)
  5. We examined 3 fashionable web page builders (Thrive Architect, Elementor, and Oxygen Builder)
  6. Checks included guide assessment, operating the location by means of our personal Website positioning audit instrument, and testing utilizing third occasion instruments akin to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

Was it truthful to put in the YOAST Website positioning plugin? Doesn’t that imply we’re not testing an “out-the-box” WordPress set up?

We’d argue sure, it’s truthful. YOAST is energetic on over 5 million WordPress websites. And it’s widespread data that an Website positioning plugin (not essentially YOAST) is required to optimize a WordPress website.

The usual model of YOAST can be free, so there’s no further price.

WordPress Website positioning: The great, the unhealthy, and the ugly

Earlier than reviewing WordPress’s management of on-page Website positioning elements, let’s run by means of among the Website positioning highlights (and lowlights) of the platform.

We’ll begin with the positives.

Good: There’s nothing you may’t do to optimize your WordPress website

It’s troublesome to pick one Website positioning “spotlight” for WordPress. As a result of the benefit of the platform is that there’s actually nothing you may’t do to optimize a WordPress website.

Positive, you’ll want a plugin or two.

However when you understand what that you must enhance (operating an Website positioning audit with Seobility can assist with that) there’s nothing you may’t go in and tweak or repair.

And in case you are having hassle optimizing a selected component? With so many websites operating on WordPress, it’s extremely more likely to be an issue that another person has encountered (and posted about) earlier than. Which signifies that the majority of time the answer to your Website positioning woes will probably be a Google search away.

wordpress google search

So WordPress’s spotlight is actually that it has all the pieces that you must optimize your website, with the cherry on high of an enormous group of customers, and piles of knowledge and steering on-line that can assist you on the best way.

Unhealthy: Many themes aren’t constructed with Website positioning in thoughts

Theme selection could make or break a WordPress web site.

We’re going to increase on this in our WordPress Website positioning guidelines. However for now, we’ll say that many market themes will not be constructed with Website positioning optimization in thoughts.

Themes that look nice will be buggy and sluggish. And in some instances, you’ll be locked in, or at the least have problem switching at a later date.

So ensure you select a quick, well-optimized theme. In spite of everything, a flowery theme gained’t be a lot use if nobody can discover your website proper?


There’s nothing let’s imagine is “ugly” about WordPress’s Website positioning.

However when you actually need to grumble…

…you could possibly argue some extra Website positioning performance ought to be in-built, fairly than requiring an exterior plugin.

However we’d most likely disagree. As when there’s a superbly good plugin (or plugins) that do the trick, isn’t their improvement time higher spent on enhancing the core performance of the CMS?

We expect so.

On-Web page Website positioning Fundamentals: How does WordPress measure up?

Now let’s flip our consideration to regulate of among the basic on-page Website positioning elements.

Does WordPress cowl all of them?

You guess! As a result of with 2-3 plugins, there’s nothing you may’t do to optimize your WordPress website.

Right here’s our abstract once more.

Wordpress SEO Scoring

Word: having management of an Website positioning rating issue is just not equal to its optimization. Website positioning audit instruments like Seobility supply recommendation on correctly optimize every component, and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your website. See our Website positioning audit information for extra info on totally optimize your web site.

Website positioning Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in WordPress: sure

Word: within the examples on this part, we’re utilizing the YOAST Website positioning plugin. You could find out why we selected YOAST within the guidelines that follows our on-page fundamentals assessment.

A web page’s title continues to be some of the necessary on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description can assist you get extra click-throughs (though Google gained’t all the time use it).

With YOAST put in, you’ll have full management over the Website positioning title and meta description of each put up and web page in your WordPress website.

And also you’ll additionally get a preview of how your snippet will look in each cell and desktop search.

yoast titles and descriptions

How about title/description templates?

Yep. YOAST will allow you to set normal codecs for each web page, put up sort, and taxonomy (classes, tags, and so on) in your website.

Right here’s a template setup for class pages (Website positioning > Search Look > Taxonomies):

title template

As you’d anticipate, setting a customized title/description for a person web page (or class) will override the default.

Be taught extra about Website positioning Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in WordPress: sure

We advocate creating brief, descriptive, 2-3 phrase slugs, together with the first key phrase (or phrase) for every web page. Use hyphens to separate phrases.

WordPress helps you to set the slug for each web page and put up in your website.


Word: when you change a URL in your website you need to arrange a 301 redirect to level the previous URL to the brand new one. To handle redirects, we advocate the free Redirection plugin.

Be taught extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in WordPress: sure

On smaller websites you most likely gained’t want to fret about this.

However if in case you have a collection of comparable pages in your website — i.e. focusing on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions if you’ll need to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

You’ll discover a discipline for setting a customized canonical URL for any put up or web page in your website underneath the “Superior” tab of the YOAST Website positioning panel.

canonical urls

Be taught extra about canonical URLs

Index management (robots meta tag)

Management in WordPress:sure

The robots meta tag instructs Google to both index (1), or to not index (2) a web page:

  • <meta title=”robots” content material=”index, observe”> – index this web page please Google
  • <meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex, observe”> – ignore this web page please Google (however observe the hyperlinks on it)

You don’t really want the primary one as (assuming your web page meets their high quality requirements) indexing is Google’s default motion. However it doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

To noindex a person web page or put up, set “Permit engines like google to point out this Submit in search outcomes” to “No” within the web page’s YOAST Website positioning panel.

noindex page

You can too set a put up sort or taxonomy to noindex by default in YOAST’s settings.

Within the instance under, we’ve set the customized put up sort of “Press Releases” to noindex by toggling “Present in search outcomes” to “Off”.

Website positioning > Search Look > Content material Varieties

noindex custom post type

Be taught extra about index management

Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 and so on)

Management in WordPress: sure

Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, and so on) assist Google perceive the construction and subject(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would typically be the principle subject (stage 1), an h2 may very well be a subtopic (stage 2), and an h3 may very well be a sub-sub subject (stage 3) and so on:

<h1>Pets</h1> (subject of the web page)

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to your goldfish</h3> (subtopic of goldfish)

<h4>Clear your fish’s tank often</h4> (subtopic of caring to your goldfish)

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to your cat</h3> (subtopic of cats)

WordPress helps the total vary of heading tags, from H1-H6.

heading tags

Be taught extra about heading tags

Structured information (aka schema)

Management in WordPress: sure

Structured information (also called schema) can assist Google perceive:

  • the kind of content material on a web page (i.e. recipe, assessment, product, article),
  • the entity behind the web site (i.e. group),
  • and may also be used to point out further search options (wealthy snippets)

When you’re not accustomed to structured information and its impression on Website positioning, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

With YOAST operating in your WordPress website, you may set a default schema sort for every put up and web page in your website.

yoast schema

And you may overwrite this default for a person web page or put up by altering the “sort” within the schema tab of the web page’s YOAST panel.

yoast overwrite schema

Even higher?

YOAST has created customized blocks for Gutenberg that make it a bit of cake to incorporate FAQ and HowTo schema in your articles.

Simply add a block, search “yoast”, then choose both “Yoast FAQ” or “Yoast How-to”.

yoast schema blocks

Right here’s how the block seems to be for FAQ schema…

faq schema

And right here’s a YOAST How-to block…

howto schema

Simply fill within the questions/steps and YOAST will generate the proper schema markup for you.


Be taught extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture Website positioning

Management in WordPress: sure

The three most necessary components of picture Website positioning are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and engines like google)
  • File measurement (smaller = sooner = higher)
  • File title (we advocate utilizing descriptive file names)

Out-the-box WordPress is properly arrange for alt textual content and file names.

You’ll be able to add alt textual content to any picture in its block settings (Gutenberg).

image alt text

And WordPress gained’t mess together with your file names if you add a picture. So so long as you save your file with an Website positioning-friendly file title earlier than you add, you’re golden.

When it comes to file measurement, we advocate utilizing a 3rd occasion plugin like Imagify (which we’ll be masking within the guidelines under) to ensure your photographs are totally compressed.

Be taught extra about picture Website positioning


Do WordPress websites run over HTTPS? sure

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2021 there’s actually no excuse for any website to nonetheless be operating over HTTP. However any Website positioning advantages, it’s unsecure.

Ensuring your WordPress website runs over HTTPS is your (or your hosts) accountability.

Be taught extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

Management in WordPress: sure

A robots.txt file means that you can cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your website.

For instance, you may need a piece with user-generated content material that you just don’t need crawled or listed by Google.

You’ll be able to both use FTP to instantly edit your robots.txt file, or set up a 3rd occasion plugin (like this one) to handle your robots.txt file within the WordPress admin space.

Be taught extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

Generated by WordPress: sure

An XML sitemap helps Google discover (and index) all of the pages in your website.

YOAST will generate sitemaps for all posts, pages, and taxonomies in your WordPress website.

And when a person web page (or assortment of pages) is about to noindex it should robotically be excluded from the location map.

Be taught extra about XML Sitemaps

Are WordPress websites cell pleasant?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your website on WordPress, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it seems to be on desktop.

However cell visitors overtook desktop visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cell model of your website for crawling and indexing.

Most WordPress themes are cell pleasant. And if yours is just not…

…then it’s time to discover a new theme!

If Google does discover any points with the cell model of your web site, they’ll let you understand in Search Console.

mobile issues - google search console

So hold an eye fixed out.

Bonus: WordPress Website positioning Optimization Guidelines

Trying to enhance the Website positioning of your WordPress website? On this subsequent part, we’re going to run by means of a guidelines of what you’ll want in place, and actions to take to totally optimize your WordPress website.

1. Select a lean, quick theme

If there’s one issue that impacts Website positioning efficiency greater than some other on a WordPress website, it’s theme selection.

Select the fitting theme and also you’ve obtained the foundations set for strong on-page Website positioning efficiency.

Select the flawed theme and also you’ll be combating Google with one hand tied behind your again.

There are actually THOUSANDS to select from.

wordpress themes

And that’s simply the free ones.

So what must you search for when selecting a theme?

Our recommendation is to decide on one which’s light-weight and customizable. Which is why we’re massive followers of GeneratePress.


It’s properly coded, has nice assist, and most significantly is tremendous quick. So out-the-box it’s going to carry out properly.

And with a well-configured WordPress website operating on GeneratePress you’ll be capable to smash Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Core Internet Vitals assessments.

Like this…

pagespeed generatepress

The core GeneratePress theme is free (and could also be ample for a lot of). However when you fork out $59 for the premium add on you’ll get hundreds extra choices for customizing your layouts.

On the lookout for different speedy themes? Right here’s a listing of the quickest WordPress themes, which you’ll observe has GeneratePress sitting on the high.

2. Keep away from WordPress web page builders (or use this one)

Web page builders make it tremendous simple to create complicated, visually interesting layouts.

A number of the hottest WordPress web page builders embody…

  • Thrive Architect
  • Elementor
  • Divi
  • Beaver Builder

…they usually all make designing cool wanting pages a breeze. So what’s the issue?

Effectively, sadly web page builders may add a ton of code bloat to your WordPress website and sluggish it down significantly. The location will look fairly, however the underlying code won’t.

Even worse?

Many WordPress web page builders take a “kitchen sink” strategy — the place the scripts and types for each single characteristic are loaded on each single web page no matter whether or not they’re truly wanted.

Not utilizing a picture carousel on this web page? Robust. We’re going to make the consumer obtain the JS and CSS for it anyway…

wordpress page builders meme

(though we observe that Thrive particularly could also be taking steps to vary that)

So if web page builders can decelerate your WordPress website, the primary query to ask is do you really want to make use of one?

In lots of instances, the reply will probably be no.

There’s lots you are able to do already with WordPress’s built-in Gutenberg editor. And there are numerous Gutenberg block plugins that may enable you to fill within the gaps.

We’ve used Final Addons for Gutenberg (free) and Qubely (premium) and would advocate them each.

Nonetheless need to use a web page builder? We’d level you in direction of this one…

oxygen builder

Technically Oxygen is definitely a theme builder, fairly than a web page builder. Which suggests it replaces your theme and allows you to management your total website (headers, footers, layouts) from inside the builder.

Why will we prefer it?

Easy. The code is tremendous clear (pretty much as good as hand-coded), and pages created in Oxygen are bloat-free. Not utilizing a script on a web page? Then Oxygen gained’t load it.

The video under provides an excellent overview of how Oxygen compares with different web page builders.

However the backside line is that Oxygen’s clear, bloat-free code makes for a brilliant quick website.

Right here’s an instance of a cell Lighthouse take a look at for a “busy” homepage that was just lately transformed from Thrive Architect to Oxygen Builder.

thrive architect vs oxygen builder

The structure remained precisely the identical, however load occasions had been considerably improved.

So if you wish to use a web page builder to your WordPress website, we’d advocate going for Oxygen.

3. Ensure that your website is indexable

Most likely goes with out saying, however we’ll say it anyway.

If Google can’t index your website…

…then you definitely’re by no means going to rank.

Click on on Settings > Studying on the WordPress admin menu, and ensure “Discourage engines like google from indexing…” is unchecked.

allow indexing wordpress

4. Use Website positioning pleasant permalinks

WordPress’s default permalink construction isn’t best for Website positioning.

Fortuitously, it’s a two second job to type.

Simply click on over to Settings > Permalinks and alter from the default format to one thing somewhat extra pleasing on the attention.

permalink structure wordpress

For a lot of websites, “put up title” will probably be good:

However if in case you have a big website with a number of sections, you would possibly need to embody classes in your URLs to maintain all the pieces neat and tidy:

Both method, you’ll need to swap from the default.

Word: that is simply setting the general format/construction for permalinks. You’ll nonetheless have to optimize particular person “slugs” (i.e. “post-name” within the instance above) for every web page.

5. Set up considered one of these free Website positioning plugins

To completely optimize a WordPress website, you’ll want to put in an Website positioning plugin.

There are a variety of free Website positioning plugins obtainable for WordPress. However there are two stand-out selections:



2. Rank Math


So which must you select?


They’re each strong picks that may will let you management many of the technical Website positioning elements that you would be able to’t configure in a contemporary WordPress set up.


…as we’re long-term YOAST customers, that’s what we ran with for the examples within the “On-Web page Website positioning Fundamentals” part of this assessment.

6. Set up a caching plugin (and observe our page-speed information)

In case your website is comparatively plain (and also you’re utilizing a quick theme) then you definitely would possibly be capable to skip this step.

As a result of out-the-box — and when not encumbered by a sluggish theme or extreme plugins/widgets — WordPress is swift.

For instance, we examined a easy web page operating on GeneratePress (textual content + one picture) and achieved a cell PageSpeed Insights rating of 100/100 with none caching or additional tweaking.

pagespeed clean wordpress install

And positive, you would possibly anticipate a easy web page like that to load shortly. There’s not a lot occurring.

However for reference, right here’s the PageSpeed rating of an analogous primary web page we created after we examined GoDaddy’s Web site Builder.

godaddy site speed

Large distinction proper?

The underside line is, WordPress is quick. It’s what we (that’s us website house owners!) add on high of it that slows it down.

And let’s be trustworthy:

We’re all suckers for shiny web site options and widgets. Which signifies that even with a quick theme load occasions can shortly ramp up.

So in case your WordPress website is beginning to creak on the seams your first step ought to be to put in a caching plugin.

Our decide?

WP Rocket.

wp rocket

In some ways calling WP Rocket a “caching plugin” is doing it a disservice. As a result of it’s way more than that. It’s jam filled with options that may assist velocity up your WordPress website.

This research from aThemes in contrast the efficiency of 9 main WordPress caching plugins. And with a 34.67% enchancment in web page load time, WP Rocket topped the chart.

wordpress caching plugins

Right here’s an in depth information to configuring WP Rocket from wpbeginner.

And for a shedload of actionable suggestions for dashing up your WordPress web site, try our web page velocity optimization information.

7. Set up a picture optimization plugin (we like this one)

Photographs are typically the “heaviest” components on a web page. Which is why it’s necessary to compress them, maintaining file sizes as small as doable.

However you’ve most likely obtained higher issues to do together with your time than going by means of your website and manually optimizing photographs.

So the excellent news is, there’s a neat WordPress plugin referred to as Imagify that may deal with it for you.

imagify optimization

Even higher?

Imagify may create (and serve) Webp variations of your photographs — a light-weight picture format that’s really helpful by Google.


Seize Imagify to your WordPress website right here.

8. Crawl your website “like Google” to determine on-page Website positioning points/alternatives

Wouldn’t or not it’s nice when you may crawl your website like Google to search out out the technical Website positioning points holding again your website?

It positive would.

And guess what? With Seobility… you may ?

Run an audit utilizing our on-page Website positioning instrument

seobility new project

…and our crawler will wizz by means of your website and analyze a whole lot of on-page rating elements.

Then we’ll let you understand precisely what that you must repair or enhance to spice up your website’s Website positioning.

seobility dashboard

Points with meta tags, headings, information (i.e. photographs and scripts), or URLs? You’ll discover them within the “Tech & Meta.” report.

tech and meta report

Issues with inside linking, sitemaps, or redirects? We’ll let you understand within the “Construction” report.

structure report

And we’ll provide the lowdown on potential content material points — for instance key phrase cannibalization, duplicate content material, and lacking key phrases — within the cunningly named “Content material” report.

content issues

To get began, join a 30 day free trial of our premium plan right here.

Then try our Website positioning audit information for a step-by-step walkthrough of discover on-page Website positioning points with Seobility… and repair them!

In conclusion: WordPress is great for Website positioning

We’re sorry if this sounds somewhat harsh. But when your WordPress web site is just not properly arrange for on-page Website positioning, then the limitation is you, not WordPress.

As a result of with a clear, quick theme, a number of plugins, and a little bit of laborious work fixing what must be fastened, there’s nothing you may’t do to optimize your WordPress website.

In fact on-page Website positioning is only one a part of the pie. And to succeed in your rating potential you’ll additionally have to create prime quality content material, construct your experience/popularity in your area of interest, and enhance your website’s authority by constructing prime quality hyperlinks.

However by selecting WordPress as your CMS, you’re properly set for future Website positioning success. And with the fitting data and a strong Website positioning technique, you’ll shortly see an enchancment in your rankings and visitors.

So right here’s what we advocate:

  • run a full Website positioning audit (you may observe this guide),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your website (the place doable),
  • focus in on creating prime quality content material that helps your customers and totally solutions their search queries,
  • construct your website’s authority by incomes prime quality backlinks (try our really helpful hyperlink constructing ways right here)

Within the closing a part of our on-page Website positioning collection we’ll be reviewing Joomla. After which we’ll be evaluating the Website positioning professionals and cons of every CMS in a roundup put up, the place we’ll additionally reveal one of the best CMS for Website positioning in 2021. Join our e-mail listing under to observe this collection, and for hundreds extra contemporary Website positioning suggestions, tutorials, and guides straight to your inbox.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for skilled Website positioning content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves Website positioning and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in Website positioning with the eagerness for instructing you guys optimize your web sites the fitting method.



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