The SEO Framework

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19th May, 2018

The SEO Framework
By Sybre Waaijer

The much needed SEO Framework review is finally here!

I always wanted to try a different SEO plugin to see how the competition is stacking in this space. Let’s see how this plugin stacks against the competition.


Just like other SEO plugins, Wp SEO framework won’t work out of the box. You’ll need to configure it.

Don’t be intimidated by all these options. They are useful defaults and will work perfectly fine on an unattended WordPress installation.

Installing this plugin alongside other SEO plugins may result in a conflict. Best installed on a fresh installation.

If you’re migrating from Yoast SEO to this plugin then there’s a handy blog post to guide you through the migration. Keep in mind that this is not straightforward and you’ll still need to review all the changes made in the settings.

Feature wise it has all the tools usually found in other SEO plugins. It has a metabox on the end of the admin post page where you can individually set SEO settings for that page. You can also set it up for custom post types although that will take a bit of coding to get it running. As a bonus, you can also setup 301 page redirects from this metabox.

Wp SEO Framework
Wp SEO Framework metabox

Over to the SEO options page, we have a truckload of settings from where we can:

  • Set the site title
  • Set robots.txt settings
  • Sitemap configuration
  • Setup social media meta tags

These settings will also generate JSON-LD schema. One thing which is missing is the google search preview.

As far as SEO plugins go, this is a pretty comprehensive list, especially for a free plugin.

User interface

One thing which stands out is the user interface. Its looks clean, uncluttered and matches the WordPress design guide.

Take a look at the posts page:

Wp SEO Framework indicators
Wp SEO Framework indicators

In the SEO column, those indicators show the quality of SEO for each post. If you don’t know what that means, you can hover your mouse over each icon under SEO  for its explanation.

This UI polish is also seen on the individual post page SEO metabox from where you can set options for individual posts.


Changing from one SEO plugin to another isn’t straightforward. This is because these sort of plugins create custom tables in the database for storing SEO related metadata about pages, posts, etc.

Basically, switching SEO plugins isn’t straightforward and replacing this plugin later on isn’t straightforward. For smaller sites this shouldn’t be a problem but for a high traffic website with heaps of posts, you may want to rethink your decision of replacing your SEO plugin.

Take a look at this article if you’ve would like to switch from Yoast SEO to The SEO Framework.

For developers

The SEO framework comes with excellent documentation giving examples of actions and filters as well as grouping them based on plugin version.

Best part is – development is actively done on github so you can also submit issues as well as contribute to the development of the plugin.

Due to their open development, issues get resolved fairly quickly. They can also resolve security issues quickly. Up till now, there hasn’t been any vulnerability for The SEO Framework on the wp vulnerability database, unlike other related plugins(though they release updates for fixes fairly quickly too).


One of the best – if not the best SEO plugin for WordPress. Highly recommended.

I also recommend supporting the guys developing this plugin by buying a license which will get you the extension manager. The core plugin is still free and open source.

Also take a look at the extensions available for this plugin.

Technical Report

Lines of code 19,795
Cyclometric complexity(CC) 51.73
Code violations

(0 criticals, 40 errors) - 80 violations

Uses custom Db table? No
CC Chart

Strangely, the folder name for this plugin is ‘autodescription’. Anyways, the Cyclomatic complexity is extremely high at 51.73 and there’s almost 20,000 lines of code bundled with this plugin.

The SEO Framework doesn’t seem that well designed but it is still lightweight than other plugins in its category.

Data generated from Phpmetrics. Although the data found through our research has been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, legality or reliability of any information.


API Yes - pretty extensive for an SEO plugin
JSON-LD support Yes
Social media settings Yes - comprehensive
Robots.txt settings Yes


An excellent bloat free SEO plugin for WordPress. Worthy contender to Yoast SEO. Highly recommended.

  • Clean UI and doesn't clutter the admin UI

  • Large featureset, almost matches Yoast SEO

  • Doesn't come with an on-boarding guide on setting up SEO settings.

  • SEO Options can be overwhelming for non-technical users


Helpful disclosure

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when readers choose to purchase a plugin based our reviews.

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