Support » Plugin: WordPress SEO Plugin - Rank Math » Aspects I don’t understand

  • Resolved unklee

    (@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 Rank Math 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 Rank Math mean either I or my visitors have to access your servers in any way once I have installed the plugin?

    Thanks.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • (Sorry to hijack; I am not affiliated with Rank Math or MTS – I’m just a user)

    1. You don’t need to add any additional code yourself (though you have the option if you are a programmer), however, Rank Math does inject hidden elements necessary for SEO (which you can see by viewing the page’s source), such as OpenGraph/Twitter meta data, rich snippets, and some other modifications/helper script(s) (which varies based on how you configure it). These elements are necessary, else search engines and robots won’t be able to retrieve the information. It will not affect the appearance of your page in any way – it is all “hidden” meta data. Everything is controlled via settings, so no programming experience is needed to use it.
    2. This question is a bit ambiguous, but the plugin is very secure (and patched quickly if a vulnerability was to be found). You and your visitors will have no more or less access to your server or those used by Rank Math than they do without the plugin.

    If you don’t like the plugin, you can always deactivate and remove it. If you do enjoy it’s benefits, there is a rather active group on Facebook that you can join. I’m not going to post the link here in case it violates some Automattic policy, but you can Google “Facebook rankmathseopluginwordpress” to find it.

    It should be noted that there are a lot of features in this plugin. It may seem a bit overwhelming if you’re new to SEO, but there is a very nice setup wizard and you can disable all features except the basics until you’re ready to venture further.

    In my personal opinion, it is very similar to Yoast Premium and its Local and WooCommerce add-ons (hopefully news sitemap coming soon!), except it’s completely free. It does require that you register an account at rankmath.com in order to activate the plugin, but the account is free, and so far they haven’t tried to sell me anything (I have been using it since it was in pre-release/beta).

    Happy SEO’ing!

    Plugin Author Rank Math

    (@rankmath)

    Hello @unklee

    Thank you for contacting the support.

    1. You do not need to install any script on your website to make the plugin work.

    Here’s a detailed guide on how to use the Rank Math completely and set it up correctly:
    https://www.wpmediamastery.com/rank-math-seo/

    2. You do not need to access files manually. Installing the plugin should handle most of the things for you.

    Please feel free to let us know if you need any further assistance. We are here to help.

    Thanks for your answer. I wasn’t asking about what I had to do manually, but what happens automatically without my knowing.

    (1) How much extra code does Rank Math have to load when a page is loaded, and thus how much does it slow the page load down?

    (2) Does Rank Math’s operation require calls on your servers in addition to mine and Google?

    Thanks.

    Plugin Author Rank Math

    (@rankmath)

    Hello @unklee

    Sorry for the confusion.

    1. Rank Math adds the following code to your frontpage:
    https://i.rankmath.com/X3hxNj (similar code will be added)
    It should have a marginal effect on the loading. It could be minimized by using a caching plugin like WP Rocket.

    Also, you can use a plugin like Query Monitor to calculate the impact of any plugin/theme on your website.

    2. Unless you do not connect your RankMath.com account inside the Rank Math plugin, our server is not called. This tool is built inside Rank Math:
    https://rankmath.com/tools/seo-analyzer/
    and for accessing that from inside the Rank Math plugin, one needs to connect their Rank Math account.
    Also, for getting Google suggestions when typing in focus keywords, our server is called.
    Please stay advised these 2 things are completely optional and do not hinder the working of the plugin.

    When the code gets loaded on the frontend, the Rank Math servers are not called and just like any other plugin, the DataBase on your website is accessed to print the necessary information on the frontend for the search engines.

    Hope that helps. Please let us know if you need any further information.

    We are here to help.

    Rank Math, Daniel,

    Thanks so much for all that info. I am trying to make a choice between several what appear to be really good products, and I wanted to know a little more about these things that weren’t obvious to me. You have helped, thanks.

    FYI @unklee re: #1 above – If you have a development/staging site, you can try enabling/disabling each plugin, viewing the source of the page source (right click > “View Page Source” in Chrome), and then use a tool like Diffchecker to compare the before-and-after differences to see what was changed in the HTML code (obviously, this doesn’t apply to your second question, only the first).

    You may already know how to do this, but in case someone else stumbles across this thread and it is helpful. Cheers!

    Thanks. I didn’t know that, and it is helful.

    Hi Daniel & Rank Math,

    I am still thinking about this, and you have been helpful, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask 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.

    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 Rank Math do, what are all the changes it makes to my site? I think this should be documented very clearly, so simple users like me know what we are opening ourselves up to. Both your 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?

    Plugin Author Rank Math

    (@rankmath)

    Hello @unklee

    Thank you for the follow-up. We would love to help you clarify what Rank Math does.

    At its core, Rank Math helps you add additional information to your pages. This information helps search engines like Google to understand your content better.
    1. Rank Math adds an SEO title to your posts/pages (essential)
    2. Rank Math adds an SEO description to your posts/pages (essential)
    3. Rank Math adds Schema information to your page (optional)
    4. Rank Math adds webmaster tools verification code & OG tags to your pages (optional)

    This is everything that Rank Math adds to your pages and you can see all this in your page source. Example:
    https://i.rankmath.com/2k0zf9

    Now, here’s what Rank Math does behind the scenes
    1. Create DB tables, new rows, more information to current tables so all the needed information is added properly (compulsory)
    2. Records your 404 logs (optional)
    3. Helps you create redirects and records them in the DB (optional)
    4. Grabs your Google Search Console data and stores that in the DB (optional)
    5. All this will create additional DB queries both in the frontend and the backend. If you have a decent server or respectable shared server – you won’t notice more than 20ms of lag (it is far worse with other SEO plugins). You can test that yourself.

    Here’s what Rank Math does not do:
    1. Load ANY JS files for your visitors (non-logged in users)
    2. Load ANY CSS files for your visitors.

    With that said, we all would love to have a barebone website that loads blazing fast with 10MB of RAM but we have to make sacrifices. If you do not use an SEO plugin, your website might load that 20-50ms faster but is that worth losing out on all those visitors you could be gaining if your website were SEO friendly?

    We hope that clears the confusion you have.

    Please feel free to ask any further questions you might have.

    P.S. Sorry, but the key to success lies in taking actions and implementing things faster. In our honest opinion, you are over-thinking. You can choose any SEO plugin and get started. Probably so many other things you could be working on than worrying about that in all honesty.

    Thanks for that detailed explanation, it is much clearer to me now. I don’t think I’ll have any more questions.

    Yes, you are probably correct, I maybe am over-thinking. But I like to understand these things as best I can. Thanks again.

    Plugin Author Rank Math

    (@rankmath)

    Hello @unklee

    Happy to help!

    Please feel free to reach out to us in case you have any further questions. We are happy to help and just a new support topic away.

    Good luck with your project!

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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