The SEO plugin competition is starting to heat up (finally!)

Disclaimer: This article uses an affiliate link for SEOPress. This does not change our opinion on the plugin, but we do get a small amount of commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link in this article. View our advertising & affiliate policy.

There’s finally some competition for the popular plugins Yoast SEO and the All In One SEO Pack. We’ve picked the best two.

For a long time Yoast SEO and the All In One SEO Pack (AIOSEO) have ruled the roost when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO) plugins. Whilst these plugins are packed with some great features and are regularly updated, they both have some issues which have made us look for alternatives. This article comes from the angle of an agency, building sites for clients. This is important, as a lot of the drawbacks of these plugins can be easily forgiven by developers, but when you are having to also support a client the issues can be a deal breaker. This is not designed to be a like for like features comparison. Issues include:

Intrusive advertising in the WordPress admin

This is more of an issue with Yoast, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this more in AIOSEO with its recent acquisition. The advertising and nag message intrusion can easily confuse clients and ultimately looks unprofessional. It’s no surprise that a plugin exists to remove Yoast SEO bloat, but it really shouldn’t be necessary. There’s nothing wrong with making money from premium plugins, but we firmly believe the way of doing so shouldn’t be intrusive. Let’s also not forget the WordPress admin hijack on Black Friday.

Pro plans get expensive

This is a big factor when you are supporting a large number of sites.

Yoast SEO

  • Single Site: $89
  • Five Sites: $400.50
  • Ten Sites: $756.50

Yoast has no available ‘unlimited’ option. Pro does not include other Yoast addons such as Video, Local. News and WooCommerce SEO.


  • Single Site: $79
  • Ten Sites: $139
  • Unlimited Sites: $699

All of the above prices are per year and correct as of 1st April 2020. They do not include any promotion discounts available.

The Alternatives

Fortunately, in the last few years some viable alternatives have become available, and they’re very good.

The SEO Framework

We’ve used this on a number of client sites and have found the features in the free version to be excellent, it also has no obvious up-sells to their paid versions. It’s almost fully white-label straight of the box, which makes it super client friendly.

It doesn’t come with a way to migrate from competitor plugins out of the box, but the SEO Data Transporter plugin makes this very easy.

Our favourite things about The SEO Framework

  • It’s white-labeled by default. No obvious upsells or nag messages. This is super important if you are building client sites.
  • It follows Google’s guidelines. It doesn’t claim to do anything magic. It simply follows Google’s guidelines.
  • You get a lot of features for free. The free version is feature packed. It has all of the standard sitemaps, primary category selection and custom meta, but also some more advanced features such as breadcrumbs, basic 301 redirects and markup.
  • They take security very seriously. They make the bold claim that they are the “only SEO plugin with a security track-record that is in mint condition”.
  • Good coding practices. The code seems very lean and well thought out. They claim to be 12x faster than some competitors.
A nice, simple interface.

To learn more about the features, we’d highly recommend taking a look at their website. At the time of writing they also have an average rating of 5 stars (228 out of 236 are 5*) on the repository, with 100,000+ active installs.

The SEO Framework does also have some paid plans:

  • Essentials (two sites): $49 a year. Comes with advanced focus key words, article SEO and spam comment protection.
  • Premium (four sites): $99 per year. Comes with everything from essential but also includes local SEO, website monitoring and more advanced focus key words.
  • Professional (ten sites): $299 per year. Includes everything from essentials and premius, but includes more sites and a higher usage allowance of the advanced keyword focus tool.
  • Enterprise packages are also available, but this pricing wasn’t available at time of publication.

For most sites, the free version of The SEO Framework is going to be more than enough. It truly is a pleasure to use.

Buy The SEO Framework | Get the free version


SEOPress is a relative newcomer; It has both a free version and a premium version. However, the free version of SEOPress isn’t exactly feature packed. It gives you the basics such as:

  • Custom meta
  • Sitemaps
  • Simple wizard to import from competitor plugins and get set up.
  • White labelling through hook (code knowledge required)
  • Great on-boarding experience – probably the best we’ve experienced from an SEO plugin.
  • Modular architecture. Turn features on and off very easily from the WordPress admin.
  • Excellent admin interface.
Easily turn features on and off

But it also lacks a few things you might expect, such as breadcrumbs and redirection (these are premium features). If you are looking for a free plugin then you are far better off going with The SEO Framework – it simply gives you more. However, the premium version is where SEOPress really starts to shine. It contains SO many advanced features at a very low price (currently $39 per year for unlimited sites).

These features include:

  • Local SEO. This is super important for most small businesses.
  • Fully white labelled. Easily configurable from the WordPress admin.
  • markup. Easily add metadata to your site.
  • WooCommerce SEO. Adds extra markup.
  • Redirect Manager. Redirection without another plugin. Can import redirects from many popular redirect plugins.
  • Broken link scanner. Easily find broken links.
  • Video SEO. Create a video sitemap.
  • Google Analytics. No extra plugin required.

There’s a lot more, which you can see over at their website. You might think all of these features comes with a huge price tag, but it doesn’t. SEOPress Pro is currently only $39 per year for an unlimited number of sites. Our only concern is whether this price point is sustainable long term. It’s possible that this price will go up in the future (and it probably should), but the website states that this is the lifetime price for current purchases.

Buy SEOPress | Get the free version

Summing it up

It’s quite simple. We’re definitely not saying that Yoast or AIOSEO are bad plugins, but if you are looking for an alternative then The SEO Framework and SEOPress are both very good, and above all, client-friendly. If you have no budget to play with, then The SEO Framework will give you the most for free, but if you are after some of the premium features then SEOPress is simply a no brainer.

There’s a few plugins not mentioned here. Most notably, RankMath. We may well cover this plugin at some point in the near future.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Disclaimer: This article uses an affiliate link for SEOPress. This does not change our opinion on the plugin, but we do get a small amount of commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link in this article. View our advertising & affiliate policy.