Greg's High Performance SEO


NOTE: Please do NOT use the WordPress forums to seek support for this plugin. Support for GHPSEO is handled on our own site.

My complete portfolio of 50 plugins, including this one, and also including the new Faster Cache for WordPress is now available for adoption!

New in This Version

  • Minor changes to admin panel formatting


WordPress SEO plugins have been done before, but never like this.

Offering direct control over more than 100 separate on-page characteristics important for SEO, while loading only around 700 lines of code for each ordinary page view and playing nicely with other plugins, this plugin has been designed from the ground up for performance and compatibility.

This plugin is intended for anyone who wants to help search engines find their material: it’s not just for professional marketers, it’s not just for those who make their living via the web, and it’s certainly not only for developers or full-time settings tweakers.

Having said that, this plugin is very definitely not for everybody. However, if you can answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the question below, then it might be for you.

  • Do you want high performance SEO, but you don’t want output buffering hacks?

  • Do you want enough configurable options to be able to do something different than what everybody else is doing?

  • Do you want an SEO plugin to be something other than a platform for advertising or cross promotion?

  • Do you want a plugin that comes with extensive documentation about SEO, written by someone who has been earning a living entirely online since around 2003?

Should You Even Use an SEO Plugin?

It’s no secret that for years, most SEO professionals have recommended against plugins for any kind of serious WordPress SEO. While fine for ‘casual’ use, up until now plugins have been unable to compete with bespoke program logic and extensive manual theme integration for flexibility, completeness, performance and scalability.

Greg’s High Performance SEO now offers to everyone the kinds of benefits previously available only to those willing to invest in expensive bespoke coding and extensively hand modified themes.

The plugin will help you to leverage the built-in capabilities of WordPress — which is already a semi-decent SEO platform right out the box — by taking important content and meta-content that would otherwise not be included on the page and making it visible and useful to humans and machines alike. This is not automatic: it will take a little effort on your part. (Genuine SEO is never automatic.) But this plugin is designed to provide a sufficiently rich palette of tools that optimizing your site as it grows can become second nature to you.

To help with that, in addition to extensive inline explanations for each of its over 100 separate settings, Greg’s High Performance SEO also includes a detailed 6000-word usage guide and introduction to WordPress SEO. So you’ll never be left in the dark as to what on Earth a particular setting should or could be used for.

What Can You Do With Greg’s High Performance SEO Plugin?

This plugin enables you to configure several important SEO characteristics in each of these five areas:

  • Main title
  • Head section: description, keywords, robots indexing and following instructions, canonical URLs
  • Secondary title, visible in the page body
  • Secondary description, visible in the page body
  • Paged comments and duplicate content

(Greg’s High Performance SEO focuses exhaustively and exclusively on genuine SEO characteristics, so if you want something to fix the coffee or insert your ad code, you’ll need a different plugin for that.)

The full set of SEO characteristics can be configured for each of the following types of output:

  • Home page
  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Paged comments
  • Tag archives (including support for the tag descriptions introduced in WordPress 2.8)
  • Author archives
  • Category archives
  • Search results
  • 404 page (irrelevant to SEO but helpful to site visitors)

The plugin provides configurable additions for the Post and Page writing and editing screens, as well as for the Dashboard’s QuickPress feature. All writing and editing additions can be restricted so that only contributors authorized to publish posts can use them.

Automatic Conflict Checker

A built-in conflict checker will let you know if it detects that other plugins may be using output buffering hacks that can interfere with your SEO preferences.

Support for Legacy SEO Plugins

Greg’s High Performance SEO also provides built-in support for titles and keywords left behind by alternative SEO and other legacy plugins such as:

  • All in One SEO Pack
  • Autometa
  • HeadMeta
  • Headspace
  • Platinum SEO
  • Related Posts
  • SEO Title Tags
  • SEO Ultimate
  • wpSEO

WordPress itself seamlessly imports legacy data from several plugins, providing automatic support for the following additional plugins:

  • Jerome’s Keywords
  • Simple Tagging
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior


Support is provided at the main information site for the plugin: Greg’s Plugins


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.


  • The first of seven main configuration screens, showing expert mode enabled
  • Paged comments configuration screen
  • Extensive usage guide and introduction to SEO


NOTE: Please do NOT use the WordPress forums to seek support for this plugin. Support for GHPSEO is handled on our own site.

  1. Unzip the plugin archive
  2. Upload the entire folder gregs-high-performance-seo to your plugins folder (usually /wp-content/plugins/)
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  4. Go to Settings -> High Performance SEO to configure your preferences
  5. Optionally, update your theme with new template tags that provide enhanced functionality, as described on the ‘Instructions’ page of your High Performance SEO settings


The plugin includes an extensive usage guide and introduction to SEO, which details each aspect of the plugin’s operation.

Deactivating and Uninstalling

This plugin fully supports the standard WordPress uninstall interface, available from your plugins page. The uninstallation routine removes all settings for this plugin but leaves intact any additional information you have specified on a per-post or per-page basis.


NOTE: Please do NOT use the WordPress forums to seek support for this plugin. Support for GHPSEO is handled on our own site.

A FAQ is provided at the site, where the list can be updated independently of new releases.


Question of long term support

Once the plugin is activated, you get this message on the plugin setting screen:
Complete portfolio of 50 plugins, including this one, now available for adoption!

This is a tell take sign the author is looking for retirement and probably slow down on future development support.

Read all 7 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Greg's High Performance SEO” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.



1.7.1, 13 November 2015

  • Minor changes to admin panel formatting

1.7, 22 October 2015

  • Added support for the wp_get_document_title() function introduced in WordPress 4.4; now that the title tag functionality first introduced in WordPress 4.1 can be filtered by plugins, GHPSEO will automatically work with themes that have enabled support for WordPress-generated title tags.

1.6.4, 2 May 2015

  • Fix for default secondary title handling

1.6.3, 5 March 2015

  • Updates to documentation and code improvements
  • Note on portfolion of plugins now available for adoption

1.6.2, 10 January 2015

  • Fixed potential XSS vulnerability which could affect administrators who are logged in using an old browser and who visit a maliciously crafted URL on their own site. Thanks to Kacper Szurek for responsible disclosure.

1.6.1, 19 December 2014

  • Note on WordPress 4.1 compatibility.

1.6, 8 October 2014

  • Fixed edge case where secondary title was not delivered correctly on a static front page.

1.5.9, 21 August 2014

  • New options allow fine-tuning of whether SSL or non-SSL URLs should be indexed.

1.5.8, 23 April 2014

  • Noted compatibility with WordPress 3.9.

1.5.7, 22 November 2013

  • Dropped compatibility with very old versions of PHP no longer supported by WordPress.

1.5.6, 7 November 2013

  • Improved delivery of the on-page secondary description to better match documented behaviour
  • Noted compatibility with latest WordPress version

1.5.5, 21 September 2013

  • Documentation tweak plus updated WordPress compatibility version.

1.5.4, 30 December 2012

  • Further workarounds for bugs in WordPress’s plugin_basename() function.

1.5.3, 29 December 2012

  • Under-the-hood improvements to title handling on 404 pages.

1.5.2, 15 December 2012

  • Replaced some ancient admin page code to enable loading the plugin through a symbolic link.
  • Restored link to support and information site, which had been removed accidentally.

1.5.1, 10 November 2012

  • Re-confirmed compatibility with WordPress 3.5.
  • Documentation updates.

1.5, 7 December 2011

  • Supports SEO writing/editing additions for custom post types: enable via ‘Writing and Editing Additions’ on the main configuration page., 26 November 2011

  • Removed code following threats that the plugin would be expelled from the plugin repository for using the code to display sponsorship messages, 27 October 2011

  • Documentation updates, 5 October 2011

  • Minor code cleanups, 3 October 2011

  • Minor code cleanups, 12 May 2011

  • Optionally, force canonical URL information always to refer to non-SSL
  • Optionally, set SSL content to noindex, 23 April 2011

  • Indexing exclusions for archives can now be set for a specified depth (e.g., beginning setting noindex for tag archives only after the first three pages)

1.4.9, 28 March 2011

  • Bugfix for head description modifications on multi-page single posts

1.4.8, 18 February 2011

  • Enhanced handling of head description
  • Testing with WP 3.1 Release Candidate 4

1.4.7, 24 January 2011

  • Enhanced handling of canonical URLs to better deal with WordPress’s inability to detect paging past the end of a multi-page post
  • Testing with WP 3.1 Release Candidate 3

1.4.6, 20 January 2011

  • Minor code cleanup
  • Testing with WP 3.1 Release Candidate 2

1.4.5, 30 December 2010

  • Further testing with 3.1 Release Candidate 1
  • Minor code cleanup
  • Removed SEO additions for Dashboard QuickPress

1.4.4, 18 December 2010

  • Minor code cleanup and speedup

1.4.3, 24 June 2010

  • Better workaround for WordPress 3.0’s problems initialising plugins properly under multisite

1.4.2, 24 June 2010

  • Workaround for rare problem where WordPress interferes with a newly activated plugin’s ability to add options when using multisite/network mode

1.4.1, 12 June 2010

  • More efficient code for handling keywords — thanks to Aaron for the suggestion

1.4, 1 June 2010

  • Major reduction in database footprint in preparation for WordPress 3.0

1.3.8, 6 May 2010

  • When user disables robots meta tag modifications, that preference will now be respected even when using Sledgehammer Mode

1.3.7, 3 May 2010

  • Blog description is now properly texturized when used in the on-page secondary description (working around the fact that WordPress converts plain quotes in the blog description into plain quote entities, without texturizing)
  • Improved handling of SEO fields on post/page editing screens will overcome an obscure problem created if a user manually enters multiple fields with identical keys using the regular WordPress ‘Add Custom Field’ button – Thanks to Jason

1.3.6, 20 April 2010

  • Minor code cleanups

1.3.5, 6 April 2010

  • Enhanced admin pages now support user-configurable section boxes which can be re-ordered or closed

1.3.4, 24 March 2010

  • To enhance support for e-commerce environments, other plugins can now modify the output of this plugin’s canonical URL feature

1.3.3, 15 March 2010

  • Improved handling of titles, secondary titles, and descriptions for manually paged posts and pages
  • Increased support for data left behind by other SEO plugins

1.3.2, 10 December 2009

  • Support for disabling the automatic but flawed insertion of canonical URL information under WordPress 2.9

1.3.1, 2 December 2009

  • Support for excluding attachment pages from indexing
  • Tested with WordPress 2.9 beta 2

1.3, 30 November 2009

  • In support of the WordPress 2.9 post type API, this plugin can now be set to enable other plugins to modify the output it provides for main post title, secondary title, and secondary description. A section under the plugin’s Instructions tab provides a coding example for plugin authors who are creating new post types.

1.2, 26 November 2009 (Thanksgiving Edition)

  • Significant changes under the hood provide much more robust support for configurations which take advantage of WordPress’s static front page/posts options

1.1, 24 November 2009

  • Tested with WordPress 2.9 beta 1
  • Enhanced title support for static posts page — thanks to Shaun for the catch

1.0.9, 11 November 2009

  • Clean up WordPress shortcode litter from descriptions — thanks to Rocky for the catch

1.0.8, 10 November 2009

  • Minor update to configuration pages
  • Fully tested with 2.8.5 (no changes)

1.0.7, 7 October 2009

  • Fixed a minor problem which arose under certain circumstances while using Sledgehammer Mode

1.0.6, 14 September 2009

  • Author’s biographical information can now be displayed in the secondary description for author archives
  • Independent testing by our community of users indicates that this plugin is fully compatible with the current version of WPMU (WordPress Multiuser)
  • Updated list of plugins using output buffering hacks

1.0.5, 18 August 2009

  • Additional support for old data left by All in One SEO Pack

1.0.4, 18 August 2009

  • Support for old data left by wpSEO
  • Tweak for canonical URL support for posts and pages
  • Updated list of plugins using output buffering hacks

1.0.3, 17 August 2009

  • Canonical URL support for posts and pages
  • Updated included SEO guide to discuss limiting canonical URLs strictly to posts and pages
  • Updated list of plugins using output buffering hacks
  • Full testing with WordPress 2.8.4 (no changes)

1.0.2, 11 August 2009

  • Updated list of plugins which, due to their use of output buffering hacks, may interfere with other plugins such as this one that keep to the standard APIs
  • Full testing with WordPress 2.8.3 (no changes)

1.0.1, 31 July 2009

  • Whoops, screenshot names misspelled

1.0, 23 July 2009

  • Initial public release