Support » Plugin: The SEO Framework » Aspects I don’t understand

  • Resolved unklee


    I am looking to install an SEO plugin, but I want to understand how they work and the effects they will have on my site. I am asking the same questions of several products. Are you able to tell me please:

    1. Does SEO Framework require extra code to be loaded when visitors visit my site? Why is this? (I would have expected SEO to be done in the background or when I am writing a post, not when a visitor loads a page, but I don’t know much!)

    2. Does my use of SEO Framework mean either I or my visitors have to access your servers in any way once I have installed the plugin?


Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer



    The SEO Framework (TSF) outputs various meta tags and scripts for search engines, social network aggregators, and even apps like Discord and Whatsapp to consume.

    When you make changes to your website, other networks (like Google) don’t instantly know what you’ve changed. Instead, they must access your site (also known as crawling), so they can then obtain all information. This happens in the background, but the information must be present at the time of crawling.

    The information relayed can take many forms. For instance, the title is in a <title> tag, the description is in a <meta> tag, the canonical URL is in a <link> tag, and advanced structured data can be in a <script> tag.

    It is up to the aggregator to pick up on and use these tags; but, they may choose to ignore them.

    Some browsers can also use these tags. For instance, you can see the <title> tag’s contents in the browser-tab on top. You may also see the favicon displayed there.

    With that out of the way, here’s my answer to your questions.

    1. Does TSF require extra code to be loaded when visitors visit my site?
    Yes, The SEO Framework needs to be active on all pages to output meta tags and scripts, adjust the title tags, and see if it must display the sitemap file.

    2. Does TSF require a connection to TSF servers?
    No. The SEO Framework has no connection to any service other than Google and Bing for sitemap pinging. When doing so, only the public URL of the sitemap is sent directly from your website.

    The SEO Framework may output person-identifying information in meta tags, like your linked Facebook and Twitter profile URLs, for enhanced social sharing. This can’t happen automatically, and it is at your discretion only. See

    I hope this clears things up! Feel free to follow up for more details–we’re completely transparent, but we won’t share our passwords šŸ˜‰

    Thanks so much for going to that trouble to explain it to me.

    Plugin Support Pierre LeBaux


    Since you are here unklee, please consider rating our plugin. Takes 1 minute, makes us happy and helps us grow and maintain quality. Thank you!

    In any case, have a nice day.
    Cheers, Pierre.

    Hi Pierre,

    I haven’t definitely decided to use it yet, though I think I will. But if/when I do, I will definitely rate it.

    Plugin Support Pierre LeBaux


    Well, that is certainly embarrassing for me. Whatever you pick, I wish you do well in search engine results. Cheers!

    No need to be embarrassed. I am trialling your plugin and one other, separately, to help me understand them better. (I am a slow learner! šŸ™‚ ) Thanks again for your help.

    Plugin Support Pierre LeBaux


    I assume the other one is Rank Math. I’m curious what you will end up with. We have pretty different approaches to SEO 惄

    Hey Pierre, I am still thinking about this, and you have been so helpful, I wonder if you’d mind if I asked you another question please? First, some background.

    I am not a professional, just a blogger, but my website has suffered a significant drop in Google since Google started indexing via mobile. So I am totally revising my website using a minimalist, fast-loading theme. I am stripping out plugins where I can, and in some cases writing the same functionality into my own child theme. (This stretches me, but there is enough code on the web that I can cut and paste.) So I am trying to better understand what an SEO plugin actually does behind the scenes where I cannot see. (And yes, I am also considering Rank Math, and am interested in the differences in approach you hint at.)

    It seems to me that as well as working away in the background, SEO plugins may add tables to the DB, load extra files when the site is visited, make calls on their own server or on Google, leave files or code behind if they are deactivated and/or make changes to my Google account if I grant them access to it. I simply don’t know, and I don’t think I understand well enough to even ask the right questions.

    So my question is, what does SEO Framework do, what changes to my site does it make? I think this should be documented very clearly, so simple users like me know what we are opening ourselves up to. Yours and Sybre’s helpful comments have partially answered these questions, but I still feel like I would not be really in control of my own site.

    Are you able to assist me please? (I will probably ask the same questions of Rank Math.)

    Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer



    I extrapolated this response by Rank Math on the same question, so it’s easier for you to compare. It’s a bit facetiously of me, but what am I to do šŸ˜‰

    At its core, The SEO Framework helps you add additional information to your pages. This information helps search engines like Google to understand your website better.

    1. The SEO Framework adds a title to your pages (essential)
    2. The SEO Framework adds a meta description to your pages (essential)
    3. The SEO Framework adds information to your pages (optional)
    4. The SEO Framework adds webmaster tools verification code & OG tags to your pages (optional)

    Now, here’s what The SEO Framework does behind the scenes:

    1. It does not create DB tables. But it does create new rows via WordPress’s meta and options APIs, so all the needed information is added properly (compulsory)
    2. It does not track your visitors and pollutes your database with logs that won’t help you (performance)
    3. It helps you create redirects and records them in the DB (optional)
    4. It does not connect to third-party services, so you have complete control over your privacy (moral)
    5. All this will create no unnecessary DB queries both in the frontend and the backend. If you have a decent server or respectable shared server ā€“ you won’t notice more than 1ms to 3ms of lag (it is from 2.3x to 30x worse with other SEO plugins). You can test that yourself.

    Moreover, we do not attempt to make fake promises that are a waste of your time. WordPress is SEO friendly out of the box. If your website is accessible, loads quickly, and is somewhat attractive, I’m sure you’ll gain visitors over time. The biggest issue you will face is having competing websites in the same market. An SEO plugin should help you fill out the basics (title, description, robots-tags), and direct search engines to the right pages. Then, your main goal should be obtaining high-quality (and not bought) backlinks, and maintaining engagement with your visitors by blogging and via social media.

    The ‘P.S.’ from Rank Math in your other post encapsulates our view on SEO precisely. Don’t overthink this, use whatever you think is most useful šŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Sybre Waaijer. Reason: bbPress markup bug

    Thanks you so much for taking the time and trouble to advise me, I appreciate your explanation (and the facetiousness! šŸ™‚ ).

    I hope I can choose now and I certainly hope I won’t need to bother you any more. Thanks again.



    <i>”Iā€™m curious what you will end up with.”</i>

    Hi Pierre. I hate to leave you curious. I chose SEO Framework and the Essentials extensions. So far so good, except I have a question about the Honeypot extension.

    For years I have use the WP-Captche-Free plugin for my spam filtering, and it was very good. It used an approach that (I think) isn’t all that different to Honeypot, of automatically checking for behaviour characteristic of a bot rather than a human – “validating a hash based on time (and some other parameters) using AJAX when the form is posted. Comments posted via automated means will not have a hash or will have an expired hash and will be rejected.” But the plugin is no longer supported and finally stopped working properly.

    But Honeypot seems to operate differently, and hence my question. In my rather poor understanding, a spam filter can move a comment to Trash, Spam or a moderation queue. Trash & Spam don’t require any action on my part, whereas Moderation requires I choose what to do – safer but more work.

    Honeypot doesn’t allow spam through, but it seems to me that I have more spam in my moderation queue now. Is this the way Honeypot is designed to work? Is there some setting I need to tweak?

    I also use the Hummingbird Caching plugin, and I note that this changes how Honeypot operates slightly, but I presume this doesn’t affect the matter I am asking about.

    Sorry to trouble you again, but I am inquisitive.

    Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer



    Pierre is (or rather, recently was) at WordCamp Prague, so he’s currently unavailable.

    Honeypot only catches automated comment-spammers, aka bots. The commenters aren’t checked against a database of known abusers.

    The plugin “WP Captcha Free” boasts one feature. It’s alike Honeypot’s, and that’d be the “nonce” feature, yet it uses a different algorithm. Moreover, their plugin halts the comment altogether, where Honeypot puts marks it as ‘spam’, so it’ll land in your spam folder.

    It is indeed correct that caching methods are automatically detected, and when found, the methods used are more lenient. This should still halt comment spammers with the same techniques, but bypassing Honeypot is a tad easier since timed nonce rotations are replaced with static nonces.

    If your moderation queue is filling up, then that means spammers are manually filling in the forms with spam. This is something Honeypot can’t stop. For this, we recommend using an authoritative comment plugin like Akismet. We’re considering setting up such a system as well, but that comes with GDPR and other legislatorial requirements, for which we require hiring an (expensive) international lawyer.

    If you have any more questions, let me know! Please note that we’re not allowed to support paid-for features on these forums. It’d be best to contact us privately. Thank you!

    OK, thanks. I appreciate the time you have given me. I didn’t realise the restriction on paid-for features.

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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