HomeSEOExamined: Is WordPress Good For Web optimization In 2022?

Examined: Is WordPress Good For Web optimization In 2022?

WordPress On-page SEO Check

Final up to date on February 1, 2022

That is the fourth publish in our sequence the place we take a look at the on-page Web optimization of the world’s hottest CMS methods.

Up to now we’ve centered on hosted CMS methods (specifically Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy).

On this article, we’re turning our consideration to WordPress.

Learn on to find:

  • how nicely arrange for on-page Web optimization WordPress is out of the field,
  • how one can configure your WordPress web site to rank greater in Google

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is WordPress good for Web optimization?

WordPress is the world’s hottest CMS system.

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

wordpress website showcase

So it’s in all probability no shock that, sure, WordPress is great for Web optimization.

Or a minimum of it could possibly (or ought to) be.

Finally, WordPress is a instrument. And like every instrument it’s important to know tips on how to use it.

For each well-optimized WordPress web site, we’d wager there are dozens of poorly optimized websites. However in these circumstances, 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 sensible theme selection,
  • correct Web optimization information,
  • and the correct data

….there’s nothing you possibly can’t do to completely Web optimization optimize your WordPress web site.

Wordpress SEO Scoring

How we examined the Web optimization capabilities of WordPress

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

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 tips on how to get round them.

wordpress 2003
how WordPress appeared in 2003 – through WPBeginner

But it surely’s additionally as a result of WordPress is self-hosted, which introduces a better 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 based mostly on that testing. Each Wix web site is hosted on Wix. Each Wix web site has the identical server configuration. Each Wix web site has the identical underlying code.

Then again:

With a self-hosted CMS like WordPress, you’ve received full entry to the underlying platform and might tinker to your coronary heart’s content material. You may also select the place to host your WordPress web site, tips on how to configure your server and so forth, and that’s going to affect pace, reliability, and efficiency.

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

  1. We arrange a small take a look at web site on a Digital Ocean server.
  2. We added demo content material just like our Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy take a look at websites
  3. We initially put in 1 plugin, YOAST Web optimization (though there are three different plugins we suggest)
  4. We examined 3 of the preferred WordPress themes (Twenty Twenty-One, Astra, and GeneratePress)
  5. We examined 3 standard web page builders (Thrive Architect, Elementor, and Oxygen Builder)
  6. Exams included handbook evaluation, operating the positioning by our personal Web optimization audit instrument, and testing utilizing third-party instruments comparable to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

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

We might argue sure, it’s truthful. YOAST is energetic on over 5 million WordPress websites. And it’s frequent data that an Web optimization plugin (not essentially YOAST) is required to optimize a WordPress web site.

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

WordPress Web optimization: The nice, the unhealthy, and the ugly

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

We’ll begin with the positives.

Good: There’s nothing you possibly can’t do to optimize your WordPress web site

It’s tough to pick one Web optimization “spotlight” for WordPress. As a result of the benefit of the platform is that there’s actually nothing you possibly can’t do to optimize a WordPress web site.

Certain, you’ll want a plugin or two.

However when what that you must enhance (operating an Web optimization audit with Seobility may also help with that) there’s nothing you possibly can’t go in and tweak or repair.

And in case you are having bother optimizing a specific ingredient? With so many websites operating on WordPress, it’s extremely prone 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 Web optimization woes will probably be a Google search away.

wordpress google search

So WordPress’s spotlight is actually that it has all the things that you must optimize your web site, with the cherry on high of an enormous group of customers, and piles of knowledge and steerage on-line that can assist you on the way in which.

Unhealthy: Many themes aren’t constructed with Web optimization in thoughts

Theme selection could make or break a WordPress web site.

We’re going to develop on this in our WordPress Web optimization guidelines. However for now, we’ll say that many market themes usually are not constructed with Web optimization optimization in thoughts.

Themes that look nice will be buggy and gradual. And in some circumstances, you’ll be locked in, or a minimum of have problem switching at a later date.

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


There’s nothing lets say is “ugly” about WordPress’s Web optimization.

However for those who actually wish to grumble…

…you might argue some extra Web optimization performance must be inbuilt, fairly than requiring an exterior plugin.

However we’d in all probability disagree. As when there’s a wonderfully good plugin (or plugins) that do the trick, isn’t their growth time higher spent on bettering the core performance of the CMS?

We predict so.

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

Now let’s flip our consideration to manage of among the basic on-page Web optimization elements.

Does WordPress cowl all of them?

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

Right here’s our abstract once more.

Wordpress SEO Scoring

Observe: having management of an Web optimization rating issue is just not equal to its optimization. Web optimization audit instruments like Seobility provide recommendation on tips on how to correctly optimize every ingredient and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your web site. See our Web optimization audit information for extra info on tips on how to totally optimize your web site.

Web optimization Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in WordPress: sure

Observe: Within the examples on this part, we’re utilizing the YOAST Web optimization plugin. You’ll find out why we selected YOAST within the guidelines that follows our on-page fundamentals evaluation.

A web page’s title continues to be some of the essential on-page rating elements. And a well-written meta description may also help you get extra click-throughs (though Google received’t at all times use it).

With YOAST put in, you’ll have full management over the Web optimization title and meta description of each publish and web page in your WordPress web site.

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

yoast titles and descriptions

How about title/description templates?

Yep. YOAST will allow you to set customary codecs for each web page, publish kind, and taxonomy (classes, tags, and so forth) in your web site.

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

title template

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

Be taught extra about Web optimization Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in WordPress: sure

We suggest 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 allows you to set the slug for each web page and publish in your web site.


Observe: for those who change a URL in your web site you need to arrange a 301 redirect to level the previous URL to the brand new one. To handle redirects, we suggest the free Redirection plugin.

Be taught extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in WordPress: sure

On smaller websites, you in all probability received’t want to fret about this.

However when you have a sequence of comparable pages in your web site — i.e. focusing on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be instances while you’ll wish to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

You’ll discover a area for setting a customized canonical URL for any publish or web page in your web site below the “Superior” tab of the YOAST Web optimization 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 identify=”robots” content material=”index, observe”> – index this web page please Google
  • <meta identify=”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. But it surely doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

To noindex a person web page or publish, set “Permit search engines like google and yahoo to point out this Submit in search outcomes” to “No” within the web page’s YOAST Web optimization panel.

noindex page

You may also set a publish kind or taxonomy to noindex by default in YOAST’s settings.

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

Web optimization > Search Look > Content material Varieties

noindex custom post type

Be taught extra about index management

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

Management in WordPress: sure

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

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would usually be the primary matter (stage 1), an h2 could possibly be a subtopic (stage 2), and an h3 could possibly be a sub-sub matter (stage 3), and so forth:

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

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

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

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

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring in 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 (often known as schema) may also help Google perceive:

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

For those who’re not conversant in structured information and its influence on Web optimization, we suggest studying our wealthy snippets information.

With YOAST operating in your WordPress web site, you possibly can set a default schema kind for every publish and web page in your web site.

yoast schema

And you may overwrite this default for a person web page or publish by altering the “kind” 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 chunk 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 appears 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 right schema markup for you.


Be taught extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture Web optimization

Management in WordPress: sure

The three most essential components of picture Web optimization are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and search engines like google and yahoo)
  • File dimension (smaller = sooner = higher)
  • File identify (we suggest utilizing descriptive file names)

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

You may add alt textual content to any picture in its block settings (Gutenberg).

image alt text

And WordPress received’t mess along with your file names while you add a picture. So so long as you save your file with an Web optimization-friendly file identify earlier than you add, you’re golden.

When it comes to file dimension, we suggest utilizing a third-party plugin like Imagify (which we’ll be protecting within the guidelines under) to ensure your photos are totally compressed.

Be taught extra about picture Web optimization


Do WordPress websites run over HTTPS? sure

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2022 there’s actually no excuse for any web site to nonetheless be operating over HTTP. However any Web optimization advantages, it’s unsecure.

Ensuring your WordPress web site 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 lets you cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your web site.

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

You may both use FTP to immediately edit your robots.txt file, or set up a 3rd celebration 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 web site.

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

And when a person web page (or assortment of pages) is ready to noindex it’s going to routinely be excluded from the positioning map.

Be taught extra about XML Sitemaps

Are WordPress websites mobile-friendly?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your web site on WordPress, there’s a superb likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it appears on desktop.

However cellular site visitors overtook desktop site visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cellular model of your web site for crawling and indexing.

Most WordPress themes are mobile-friendly. And if yours is just not…

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

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

mobile issues - google search console

So hold an eye fixed out.

Bonus: WordPress Web optimization Guidelines

Seeking to enhance the Web optimization of your WordPress web site? On this subsequent part, we’re going to run by a guidelines of what you’ll want in place, and actions to take to completely optimize your WordPress web site.

1. Select a lean, quick theme

If there’s one issue that impacts Web optimization efficiency greater than some other on a WordPress web site, it’s theme selection.

Select the correct theme and also you’ve received the foundations set for strong on-page Web optimization efficiency.

Select the improper 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 do you have to 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 nicely coded, has nice assist, and most significantly is tremendous quick. So out-the-box it’s going to carry out nicely.

And with a well-configured WordPress web site operating on GeneratePress you’ll have the ability to smash Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Core Net Vitals checks.

Like this…

pagespeed generatepress

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

In search of different speedy themes? Right here’s a record of the quickest WordPress themes, which you’ll notice 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 advanced, visually interesting layouts.

Among the hottest WordPress web page builders embrace…

  • Thrive Architect
  • Elementor
  • Divi
  • Beaver Builder

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

Effectively, sadly, web page builders can even add a ton of code bloat to your WordPress web site and gradual it down significantly. The positioning will look fairly, however the underlying code is not going to.

Even worse?

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

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

wordpress page builders meme

(though we notice that Thrive specifically could also be taking steps to alter that)

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

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

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

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

Nonetheless wish to use a web page builder? We’d level you in the 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 complete web site (headers, footers, layouts) from throughout the builder.

Why will we prefer it?

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

The video under offers a superb 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 super-fast web site.

Right here’s an instance of a cellular Lighthouse take a look at for a “busy” homepage that was not too long ago transformed from Thrive Architect to Oxygen Builder.

thrive architect vs oxygen builder

The structure remained precisely the identical, however load instances have been considerably improved.

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

3. Be sure your web site is indexable

In all probability goes with out saying, however we’ll say it anyway.

If Google can’t index your web site…

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

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

allow indexing wordpress

4. Use Web optimization pleasant permalinks

WordPress’s default permalink construction isn’t perfect for Web optimization.

Happily, it’s a two-second job to kind.

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

permalink structure wordpress

For a lot of websites, “publish identify” will probably be good:

However when you have a big web site with a number of sections, you would possibly wish to embrace classes in your URLs to maintain all the things neat and tidy:

Both manner, you’ll wish to change from the default.

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

5. Set up one in all these free Web optimization plugins

To completely optimize a WordPress web site, you’ll want to put in an Web optimization plugin.

There are a selection of free Web optimization plugins obtainable for WordPress. However there are two stand-out selections:



2. Rank Math


So which do you have to select?


They’re each strong picks that may can help you management many of the technical Web optimization 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 Web optimization Fundamentals” part of this evaluation.

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

In case your web site is comparatively plain (and also you’re utilizing a quick theme) then you definately would possibly have the ability to skip this step.

As a result of out-the-box — and when not encumbered by a gradual 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 cellular PageSpeed Insights rating of 100/100 with none caching or additional tweaking.

pagespeed clean wordpress install

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

However for reference, right here’s the PageSpeed rating of an analogous fundamental web page we created once 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 web site homeowners!) add on high of it that slows it down.

And let’s be sincere:

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

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

Our choose?

WP Rocket.

wp rocket

In some ways calling WP Rocket a “caching plugin” is doing it a disservice. As a result of it’s rather more than that. It’s jam-packed with options that may assist pace up your WordPress web site.

This examine 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 ideas for rushing up your WordPress web site, try our web page pace 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 essential to compress them, maintaining file sizes as small as attainable.

However you’ve in all probability received higher issues to do along with your time than going by your web site and manually optimizing photos.

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 can even create (and serve) Webp variations of your photos — a light-weight picture format that’s beneficial by Google.


Seize Imagify in your WordPress web site right here.

8. Crawl your web site “like Google” to establish on-page Web optimization points/alternatives

Wouldn’t it’s nice for those who might crawl your web site like Google to search out out the technical Web optimization points holding again your web site?

It positive would.

And guess what? With Seobility… you possibly can 🙂

Run an audit utilizing our on-page Web optimization instrument

seobility new project

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

Then we’ll let precisely what that you must repair or enhance to spice up your web site’s Web optimization.

seobility dashboard

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

tech and meta report

Issues with inner linking, sitemaps, or redirects? We’ll let 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 Web optimization audit information for a step-by-step walkthrough of tips on how to discover on-page Web optimization points with Seobility… and repair them!

In conclusion: WordPress is great for Web optimization

We’re sorry if this sounds a little bit harsh. But when your WordPress web site is just not nicely arrange for on-page Web optimization, 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 mounted, there’s nothing you possibly can’t do to optimize your WordPress web site.

After all on-page Web optimization is only one a part of the pie. And to succeed in your rating potential you’ll additionally must create high-quality content material, construct your experience/status in your area of interest, and enhance your web site’s authority by constructing high-quality hyperlinks.

However by selecting WordPress as your CMS, you’re nicely set for future Web optimization success. And with the correct data and a strong Web optimization technique, you’ll rapidly see an enchancment in your rankings and site visitors.

So right here’s what we suggest:

  • run a full Web optimization audit (you possibly can observe this guide),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your web site (the place attainable),
  • focus in on creating top quality content material that helps your customers and totally solutions their search queries,
  • construct your web site’s authority by incomes top quality backlinks (try our beneficial hyperlink constructing ways right here)

Within the different elements of this sequence, we reviewed the on-page Web optimization of Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy and Joomla. And we’ve in contrast the Web optimization execs and cons of every CMS in a roundup publish, the place we additionally revealed one of the best CMS for Web optimization in 2022.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for skilled Web optimization content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves Web optimization and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in Web optimization with the eagerness for instructing you guys tips on how to optimize your web sites the correct manner.



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