SEO Framework – WP Honest Reviews – 1st Episode

black and white typewriter on white table
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I finally got my aspect ratio right. I was asked on Twitter to do a review of the SEO Framework plugin. So here it is.

Some might ask why I’m doing this. I want to give .org plugins a little more visibility. You are welcome to review my plugins, but I’d appreciate a heads up if there are any security issues. Cheers..

Questions for SEO Framework Team

  • Here are my questions for the SEO Framework team in order of importance (by me):
  1. What is autodescription? What was it? Why did you transition names?
  2. What’s the difference between your plans and Yoast’s plans?
  3. How many people are working on the plugin?
  4. Are you profitable?

Recommendations

  1. Put your .org plugin download above the fold on your website.
  2. Be more transparent with the icons. They don’t mean anything to me from a quick-skim perspective.
  3. Have your pricing probably next to the .org download. That way we know immediately you have a free and add-on services.
  4. Video at the top of your readme.
  5. Perhaps consider a collapse-all and expand-all at the top of your settings screen.

Here’s the Honest Review

And here’s the plugin…

Ronald Huereca
Ronald Huereca

Ronald Huereca

Ronald has been part of the WordPress community since 2006, starting off writing and eventually diving into WordPress plugin development and writing tutorials and opinionated pieces.

No stranger to controversy and opinionated takes on tough topics, Ronald writes honestly when he covers a topic.

1 thought on “SEO Framework – WP Honest Reviews – 1st Episode”

  1. Hi Ronald,

    Thank you so much for sharing your POV of setting up TSF. The thousands of notifications from the other plugins were a bit of a sore thumb next to the clean interface we usually have.

    Your video made it clear to me we need to move forward with the v5.0 update, where we’ll bring a new interface. The settings are overwhelming and ever-growing, and its usability bubble is close to bursting. Currently, we advise going through each meta-box, set everything to your liking under each tab, and move to the next one.

    The funky movement buttons (up/down) you played with are a new accessibility feature of WordPress 5.5. They allow users without a mouse to swap the meta-boxes’ positions. A lot of changes in WordPress translate well into our interface since we use what WordPress provides whenever possible.

    The spat you saw on the 1-star review was a (another…) disagreement with how WordPress.org is managed. I won’t go into full details here, but I’m not proud of how I handled it–it was at a bad time, too: The day before the v4.1 release!

    You found that there’s no easy way to migrate the SEO metadata within the plugin. This is because we didn’t expect users to migrate SEO plugins, but stick to the one they chose when launching the site. We recently found (recently = this week), thanks to a survey, that most of our users have moved away from other plugins to TSF. So, we need to tackle this. Until then, there’s a nifty plugin called “SEO Data Transporter” by StudioPress.

    You stumbled upon a block of debugging code in the main plugin file. They’re not used in support, nor do I recommend anyone uncommenting the code. I left it there for when I need to test changes. It’s basically a control panel that I have at arm’s length.

    If you want to take a closer look at the code, then I recommend checking out the ‘generate-*’ classes. They have some neat features and intelligence, especially the generate-description one! Just be sure to skip ‘generate-ldjson’, which is marked for a rewrite. 😉 The builder classes have a lot to discover, too.

    Let’s move to your questions!

    > “What is autodescription? What was it? Why did you transition names?”

    In the video, and here above, you were curious about the name change. Well, the plugin used to create automated descriptions only, and fill them in for the Genesis theme. Later, it became a fully-fledged SEO plugin, with a focus on making it easily extensible for other developers via a neat API framework (evidently, we make use of this framework via Extension Manager). So, I thought a name change was in order, which complements this.

    In retrospect, it’s not the best name, and there’s still too much emphasis on the plugin-slug “autodescription” in the WordPress.com managed search engine, which causes TSF to become tucked down with plugin searches in a non-default language.

    > “What’s the difference between your plans and Yoast’s plans?”

    We found that Yoast primarily offers the stripping of advertisements from their plugin, and they remove various imposed restrictions, such as that you can only use one keyword in the free version. They also charge extra for every other Premium feature (I believe they now offer a bulk-package, tucked away on their site?).

    With TSF, I never impose artificial restrictions. So, if you get a plan with us, you simply get all of its features, instead of lifting restrictions. We also offer API services, such as dictionary lookups and reverse geocoding. And, we provide solutions that go beyond SEO, such as an anti-spam honeypot that can easily replace Akismet (and work alongside it, too!). We’ll be adding more features that can replace bulky and inefficient plugins in the upcoming years.

    > “How many people are working on the plugin?”

    The plugin has many translators, and we’re open to pull requests on GitHub. So, I don’t know.
    For the company behind the plugin, currently, three people work there. I’m the founder, ‘designer’, and the theme/plugin developer. See https://theseoframework.com/humans.txt.

    > “Are you profitable?”

    Yes, but far from where we want to be, and far from where we can be. The plugin doesn’t have any advertisements (you won’t even find its name anywhere in the plugin’s interface), nor do we have affiliation programs. So turning our users into customers isn’t easy, nor is reaching the WordPress community.

    With that, I want to wholeheartedly thank you for giving TSF a spotlight 🙂 Cheers!

    P.S. My name is pronounced as “Sea-breh Why-yur” 🙂

    Reply

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