I install an SEO plugin on every WordPress site that is meant for public consumption. These are three solutions varying from lightweight to full-featured.
Yoast SEO ★ – The Industry Standard
This is still probably the industry standard SEO plugin (perhaps along with Rank Math). I use it on most of my sites.
It has a good selection of features, but some say it is still a bit bloated with too many features and gets updated too often.
Some little-known but useful features include the ability to remove “/category/” from your category archive page slugs and the ability to remove unwanted metadata (in the Advanced section under Crawl optimization).
Rank Math – The Full-Featured Solution
This extremely popular SEO plugin has rabid followers online and a solid five-star rating on the repo. It’s great if you like your SEO plugin to have tons of onboard analysis tools. On Yoast, some of these features require the paid pro version.
Note that some features require creating a Rank Math account.
I personally don’t use plugin-based SEO analysis tools and prefer a lighter-weight approach to my SEO plugins, so I personally don’t use Rank Math, but others love it so it deserves to be mentioned.
The SEO Framework – A Lightweight SEO Solution
The SEO Framework is a lightweight approach to WordPress SEO which I use on some sites. It’s got a five-star rating in the WordPress repo.
One thing, though, is that if you want to eliminate the category base in your URLs, you’ll have to install a separate plugin to do that. I like Remove Category URL for that.
Please leave your questions and comments below! – Brian