The most popular SEO plugin for WordPress is certainly the All-In-One SEO Pack. It’s on just about every plugin roundup you’ll ever see. It’s free. It works well. But it’s not the only kid on the block. One of the guys from WP Engineer has a competing product: wpSEO. I’ve now used them both. I thought a head-to-head comparison would be useful for people to make their own decisions.
Let me note that this isn’t an absolutely comprehensive comparison of every single feature. For example, they both claim to be fast. I’m not techy enough to know which one is really “faster”. These are the features that are important to me as a web developer and site admin.
|Is there a free version?||Yes||No, 10 day trial||I think if you like the wpSEO feature set, you should go for it right away. Configuring your SEO one way and then ditching all that 10 days later seems counter-productive to me.|
(sometimes on sale)
|The paid version of All-In-One SEO just removes the donation links at the top of the plugin settings. The wpSEO only has a paid version.|
|Support||Various monthly plans, starting at $10/month||Included with paid plugin||If you need support, wpSEO is cheaper as it’s just included with the plugin price. I can’t vouch for either as I’ve never needed support. I gotta imagine support for both of these is unbearable. WHY AIN:T i #1 on da GOOGLe?!?!|
|Meta descriptions||Auto-create and controllable||Auto-create and controllable||This is the most valuable thing to be for both plugins. Meta descriptions are important for SEO and for quality link displays on SERPs. Both plugins will auto-generate these for you, or allow you to override them on a per-post/per-page basis.|
|Meta keywords||Auto-create and controllable||Auto-create and controllable||Keywords are far less important than descriptions, but using them doesn’t hurt. All-In-One allows you set your own or can use the posts tags and/or categories for them. wpSEO won’t automatically use tags or categories, but will intelligently use <strong> and <em> tags in your text content or mark them with specific short tags. I also like how you can turn off the keyword override on individual posts with wpSEO (less cruft to look at if you know you don’t use it).|
|Title Control||Sort of||Full||Title control is just as important as Meta descriptions. All-In-One SEO defaults to the best possible (in my opinion) format which is [Post Title] | [Site Title] and is totally configurable for different types of pages. What you can’t do is completely override a post title, which you can do with wpSEO. Both plugins are pretty equal in ability here.||Canonical tags||Yes||Yes||Canonical tags tell search engines which URL the content on this page “really” belongs to. For example, if you have paginated comments, you might have several different URLs which display the same content, which can lead to duplicate content penalties. Both plugins take care of this for you.|
Other little features
- You can disable All-In-One SEO without deactivating or uninstalling it.
- You can export and import settings with wpSEO. So if you have a specific setup you like to use, it’s easy to move that to other sites.
- wpSEO definitely has more features, but of course more isn’t always better. The settings page may be overwhelming for some.
- AIO SEO is free, and does all the things I consider vital for a SEO plugin.
- On a pure features / functions / UI standpoint, I like wpSEO better.