Can well-crafted PHP codes replace your WordPress SEO plug-ins?

Posted on Posted in PHP Web Development

A lot of developers and website administrators are thinking about doing away with their WordPress plugins. SEO without plugins is something of a trending topic on the web right now. This makes us wonder what the hoopla is all about. Does SEO without plug-ins work for WordPress? Is it possible to simply include PHP codes for search engine optimization within your theme core code?

It looks like plug-ins are not altogether unnecessary for SEO. Moving away from the world of plug-ins to simple PHP codes for your WordPress site optimization is going to be disillusioning. It can only make your UX better in case your current SEO plug-in has bad codes or has a ton of bloated features. You must have already heard how having too many plugins can slow your website down and how bloated plug-ins can undo the efforts of your Philadelphia SEO agency. While that is not completely wrong, you cannot expect your website to speed up unless you had some seriously terrible plug-ins.

Can your WordPress plugins slow your site down?

Plug-ins are “extra” codes that need to load with your website, so they can potentially slow a site down. However, you cannot do away with them completely since most of your plug-ins serve significant purposes. In fact, plug-ins are the array of codes that can optimize your website for viewing, loading and search engine rankings. Since they come ready-to-use, you do not have to include new code to your site or theme manually. They provide users with an ingenious way to add codes to their themes without really demanding any knowledge of PHP or coding. Unless you are planning to use a basic site without any add-ons, your website will not experience much of a difference in loading speed.

Which are the plug-ins you need to think about again?

Plugins usually cater to a huge population of WordPress users and developers. So unless your plug-ins are presenting the following problems, you should not think about removing them altogether.

  • The plug-ins that load tons of scripts and styles.
  • Plug-ins that can add extra database queries to your web pages.
  • Complex operations that form the plug-ins regular course of action.
  • Plug-ins that send multiple remote requests, especially to external APIs.

These are the plug-ins you can think about replacing with PHP codes within the core code. Even then, you should only remove the plug-ins if you fail to stop them from loading the excess scripts. You can also try to load the necessary assets asynchronously. One of the most effective and ubiquitous plug-ins that need this frequently is the Google Analytics plug-in for WordPress.

Why is it not that smart to work with WordPress without plug-ins?

You can always substitute the actual WordPress plugins with PHP codes in the theme core. This seems like a smart alternative up until you think about changing your website theme. If you include your plug-in codes in the form of PHP codes to the theme, you have a 100% chance of losing the customizations and optimizations when you change the theme. SEO without plug-ins is not such a great idea for websites that need frequent theme changes and theme updates. Several backend security issues might arise from the use of PHP in place of plug-ins as well.

The no-plug-in trend can impair your site SEO

SEO is not something you should have to define each day. Although it should be an ongoing process, there should be a groundwork you can modify as per the Google algorithm changes and search engine ranking demands. In an age of evolving design trends and updating company profiles, it is very difficult to maintain a functional website with their SEO encoded in the core PHP theme. Additionally, loading your theme with custom functionalities including SEO can make the theme switching process significantly costlier.

First challenge: manually updated keyword lists

Have you checked out your non-plug-in WordPress SEO solutions yet? According to experts, these solutions are not as effective as most developers and website managers would like them to be. The leader of all terrible ideas is meta keywords. This entails adding meta keywords to your WP site to boost visibility. Not only is it ineffective, but it is also like taking a step back into the early years of optimization trysts with bulky codes and frilly themes. This practice needs every user to set every set of keywords for their websites individually. Upon failure to find a definite set of keywords from the site admin, the codes are going to fetch all the categories, tags and alt tags and blow them into meta keywords for your site.

Second challenge: auto-generation of all meta descriptions

Another major setback of this no-plug-in trend is the auto-generation of page descriptions for ALL posts, ALL the time. In several cases, WordPress admins have reported the generation of duplicate descriptions that their CMS engine has pulled from their global site admin settings. Meta descriptions determine a huge portion of your site’s visibility and its search engine readiness. It is not something you would want to auto-generate via your CMS engine that has a dubious grasp of language and grammar. Hand-crafting each description is the best way to retain your visibility and your repute. Auto-generation of meta descriptions is most likely going just to hurt your SEO measures instead of automating them.

Losing your plug-ins to shed the extra weight off your site is not a smart way to tackle your SEO problems or site loading problems. Site speed is often a factor of some properties that just begins at plug-ins. Not having optimized images, heavy videos and improper hosting options affect site speed more significantly that PHP plug-ins. In fact, while installing and activating a plug-in to your website, you can always check their reviews and ratings. Great, lightweight and multi-faceted plug-ins do not pose any threat to your website’s loading speed, rankings, and organic traffic. Therefore, before you can hop on the no-plug-in WordPress site bandwagon, give your on-site and off-site SEO strategy a second thought.