Theme Tip 5 – WordPress Themes and SEO tips

05 December 2010 comment icon2 | Categories: 24ways

SEO is never far from the mind of any website owner who knows their stuff. Fortunately Google loves WordPress out of the box which is a fantastic starting point for everyone who decides to use WordPress.

However like all publishing engines, WordPress has it’s own kinks that sometimes can be further refined and improved for improved search engine performance. Many theme designers and developers try to bake SEO features right into their themes.

I’m not a big fan of that approach. No WordPress theme options area will ever be able to complete with what I consider to be the best 2 SEO plugins available; Yoast fantastic SEO plugin and the ubiquitous All in One SEO pack. If I had to pick one it would be Yoast’s plugin – it is superb.

Many themes advertise “amazing seo” etc. etc. – most of this is horse manure. As far as I’m concerned the theme designers SEO responsibilities end once they produce SEO optimised markup, css, etc. (in other words the theme build).

After that it should be the domain of plugins that controls your WordPress SEO config.

So do yourself a favour and don’t over analyse SEO – get yourself one of these bloody good plugins and let the theme do what it does best.

2 Responses to “Theme Tip 5 – WordPress Themes and SEO tips”

  1. matt on 7 December 2010 at 8:21 pm said: Permalink

    Horse manure? Have you ever used the Thesis, Headway or Genesis SEO options? I don’t think yoast’s is that much better. And, there is a limited number of things an SEO plugin can/should do all of which make more sense to be housed in a single package. He is a smart guy, but the SEO plugin market is dying.

    • Ed on 7 December 2010 at 8:28 pm said: Permalink

      Hi Matt,

      I’ve used all 3 and have done a lot of work with Genesis recently.

      Thesis and Genesis would be the exceptions to the rule – i said *most* of this is horse manure. Unfortunately most people using WordPress themes are not using Thesis or Genesis at this point – both of those are really strong.

      The majority of themes that have SEO options in their theme options meta boxes are brutal – this is from my experience anyway and many of these themes – free and premium – oversell their abilities.

      My big issue with SEO options being wrapped in a theme – what happens when I want to switch my theme?

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