If you haven’t heard of Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin, you are either new to the WordPress scene or haven’t been paying attention. He has, arguably, the best comprehensive SEO plugin available for WordPress users. For the past several years it has been free (and still is), but now you can add an upgrade to the plugin.
Yoast announced the new premium version on his blog with much fanfare (read the comments on his post). Version 1.0 adds 2 new features that work in tandem.
A redirect module where you can manage redirects within your WordPress dashboard.
It allows you to sync of with Google Webmaster Tools, retrieve crawl errors and actually fix them immediately!
It’s one thing to be able to view and analyze your crawl errors. But being able to use a scalable solution to fix them quickly is downright neat. And by neat, I mean Neat… capital ‘N’ and the whole nine yards. The premium plugin gives you two choices when it comes to performing the redirects:
1. You can have the plugin perform the redirects for you.
2. Have the plugin write a file that you can then include in your server config files or even your .htaccess. Yoast says going this route is much faster and better option if you have a large amount of redirects to perform.
Plenty More to Come
Yoast is just getting started with the premium version of WordPress SEO. He is working on adding features as we speak and plans to be rolling the next “wave” out shortly. As of this writing, the plugin costs $89 for a single site and gives you a full year of support and upgrades (includes use of any new features). Yoast has more than proven his worth to both the SEO and WordPress community, which is why I expect this plugin to grow into a tool many people will find useful. Grow being the optimum word in the previous sentence.
Some concerns about the plugin include bloat and, well, lack of features that warrant shelling out $89. I personally have no need for the add-ons at this point and am quite satisfied with the free version of WordPress SEO. Joost has stated that this new premium version will be geared towards SEO professionals, thus many users of his free version may never find any use for it no matter how many features are added. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to monitor the growth of this premium version of on one of the most successful and popular free WordPress plugins to date.