Well this isn’t exactly a WordPress theme but we think All In One SEO Pack is an indispensable plugin for WordPress websites so we decided to do a review on it for you. All In One SEO Pack from Semper Plugins adds some fantastic extra features to WordPress to allow you to search engine optimise(SEO) your web site. You can get the free version of All In One SEO Pack from the WordPress plugin directory, this is the version we are using for the review. You can also upgrade to the Pro version from within the plugins own settings or it can be bought on the Semper Plugins website.
All In One SEO Pack Main settings
Once you have installed All In One SEO Pack you need to activate the plugin under the Plugins menu in WordPress. After it is active you can access the plugins main settings under Settings/All in One SEO. From here you can subscribe to the mailing list for tips, tricks and WordPress secrets sent to you from Semper Plugins. You also get a free e-book called 5 SEO Tips for WordPress(worth $39) when you do sign up to the mailing list.
The next part of the settings is displayed below, firstly there is a checkbox to say if you have made a donation or not to the developer of the theme – we support this idea as this is a great free plugin. Next you have the option to have the All In One SEO Pack enabled or disabled. Then you have the controls for the Home page Title, Description and Keywords meta tags. The Home page Title and Description are quite important on page elements for SEO purposes, however Keywords are ignored by the search engines. There is no harm in still using them.
You can also enforce Canonical URLs, plus you then have options to rewrite the Page and Post Titles in the format of your choice. This is handy especially if you don’t want to have your blog name appended onto the end of each page or post title.
Working our way through the rest of the main settings for All In One SEO pack we now get to another section that allows Title adjustments for Categories, Archives, Tags and Search. These can just be left on default if you so choose, or feel free to remove the blog title from any of the options if need be.
The Description format can have extra items added to it with a vertical pipe added as a seperator. You also have the option to customise the 404 Page Title format which is handy if you don’t already have your own custom 404 page set.
One very good feature is that each of the options in the menu items are clickable – so if you’re not sure what it means or does once you click it a section expands that explains the menu option. We weren’t quite sure what Paged format was so here is the explanation we found from clicking:
This string gets appended/prepended to titles when they are for paged index pages (like home or archive pages).The following macros are supported:
%page% – The page number
We left the next two options with their default settings – Custom Post Types and Custom Post Types for SEO Column Support. The Google+ Profile setting will link your Google+ Profile URL to your site’s pages to help you with Authorship ranking. The Google Analytics ID will insert your Analytics Tracking ID into your pages, we don’t use this option as we already have it set in our Theme’s settings.
Next up in the main settings for the All In One SEO Pack plugin is the options to use Categories and Tags for Meta keywords in posts. If you have a custom Posts page set under Options/Reading then you can choose the next option to “Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page“.
The next two options should most definitely be checked in our opinion: Use noindex for Categories and Archives. This will stop the search engines indexing these sections which will help you to avoid duplicate content issues. We also suggest having the next option ticked – Use noindex for Tag Archives which also helps avoiding duplicate content on your website which search engines hate. It’s safe to leave Autogenerate Descriptions checked, however when using this plugin we always write our own Description tags.
Caiptalize Category Titles basically forces Title case on Category Titles. Exclude Pages lets you add a comma seperated list of pages you’d like excluded from All In One SEO Pack. Additional Post Headers could be quite useful as it lets you add to the header section on all post pages, so you could use it to reference stylesheets or similar.
Additional Home Headers only affects the Header section on the Home Page, you can enter whatever additional headers you want here. Additional Front Page Headers sounds like it does exactly the same thing. Having Log Important Events checked means the plugin will create a log file called all_in_one_seo_pack.log which may help debugging any issues you may come across.
Lastly there are two buttons at the bottom left – Update Options which saves any changes you have made and Reset Settings to Defaults which is self explanatory.
All In One SEO Pack Post settings
Now we have covered the main settings section for the free version of All In One SEO Pack it’s time to take a look at the extra SEO functionality it adds to posts and pages within WordPress itself. Under the main posts section in your WordPress blog you will now see three new columns called SEO Title, SEO Keywords and SEO Description as pictured below:
Once you go into an individual WordPress post you now have an added section under the main posting area called “All in One SEO Pack“. In this section you can now specify the page Title tag, Description tag and Keywords tag as shown below. You can also disable that section on any page or post with a checkbox.
All In One SEO Pack Page settings
The All in One SEO Pack settings for individual WordPress pages are only slightly different to the ones for posts. You get the same options as for normal posts but you also get to specify a Title Attribute which is the link title text for the link to the page. There is also an option called Menu Label which sets the text used for the menu item for this particular page.
This is an excellent free WordPress plugin that extends the core WordPress functionality to allow many very useful SEO settings. If your WordPress theme doesn’t add this kind of functionality already(Like Genesis Framework does) then this plugin will work well for you.