What Makes WordPress the Best Platform for SEO?

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What Makes WordPress the Best Platform for SEO?

WordPress sure has a come a long way since it’s initial release in 2003, hasn’t it? What started out as a simple blogging tool has become arguably the leading content management system in the world.

In fact, WordPress is now used by 23.8% of all websites in the world.

Sites powered by WordPress include brands ranging from NASA, CNN, Forbes, The New York Times, TechCrunch, IZOD, Best Buy, GM, eBay, and even Jay Z’s LifeandTimes.com, to name just a few. Even Google’s Matt Cutts is a fan of WordPress, calling it “a fantastic piece of software.”


Image Source: Pixabay

If you’re a WordPress user, it’s easy to realize why WordPress is such a powerful platform. It’s easy to use, it’s free, and has more than enough plugins/add-ons to help customize your site or blog to fit your needs.

That’s not to say that other content management systems – such as Joomla or Drupal – aren’t worthy options, it’s just that WordPress is pretty exceptional, especially when it comes to SEO.

Whether you’ve used WordPress in the past, or want to start using it for your business or personal blog, here’s a breakdown of why WordPress is the absolute best platform to use as the foundation of your SEO success story.

Optimized Websites in 5 Minutes or One Click

Creating a website can be a daunting task if you’re new to the development world. A decade ago finding a complex content management system that could handle all of the many tasks that WordPress can offer would have cost you an arm and a leg to get started with, and that’s before even trying to figure out how to use it.

First and foremost, WordPress is free to download. With a little help from the famous “5-Minute Install” method, you only need to be a little tech-savvy to get WordPress up and running on a typical hosting provider. Unzip, fill out the WP-Config file (you’ll need to set up a database first which is also as easy as point-and-click), upload the files, and you should be good to go.

Even over the last few years, most major web hosting providers have dumbed this process down even further by offering a one-click installation. That’s right – you just sign up for hosting, login, click one button, and you can start the process right in your browser. No touching any of the core PHP files!

Open Source Customization

Another important factor is that WordPress is open-source. This is the real reason that WordPress is such a powerful CMS – any developer in the world can create a theme or plugin (more on this soon!) and contribute it to the WordPress community.

Looking for a well-designed theme that’s also designed with current SEO standards? There are literally thousands of them to choose from (both free and paid).

Need your WordPress site to perform a specific SEO function? There are thousands of those, too. The capabilities of your WordPress site are nearly endless, and it’s all because of the open source nature of the community. This allows you to easily update your site to stay on top of Google’s suggested best practices, instead of an alternative proprietary CMS which may take months or years playing catch up.

Basic SEO Out-of-the-Box

One of the many reasons why WordPress is often chosen over its competition is because of its ability to manage on-page SEO fairly well out of the box. We could argue that SEO is a complex practice consisting of hundreds of factors, but at the end of the day a simple WordPress installation will allow you to easily manage the basics without any coding knowledge whatsoever.


After installation, the first thing you’ll want to do is head over to the settings tab and click the drop-down menu, where you’ll find a section called “Permalinks”. There you’ll find the default permalink setting which displays URLs based on a few odd characters and numbers (grabbing the id number of the database entry where your page or post is being stored).

Below you’ll find several other options, the most preferred being the “post name” option (for most installations this is the best option). That’s all you have to do to make sure your URL structure is going to be optimized, with the ability to customize the actual words once you starting editing a blog post or page.

Title Tags & Headings

This takes us to the next set of basic SEO needs, found in the content editor. Once you’re ready to add content, simply head over to “add page/post”, and begin adding your content. First you’ll want to add the title, which typically is coded as an H1 or H2 tag depending on the theme you’re using, which will also act as your web page’s title tag. Under that, you’ll see your URL structure, which again, is easily editable without having to touch a line of code.

Optimized Content

Next, you have the actual content area, where the Visual Rich Text editor allows you to bold and underline words, hyperlink to other internal or external web pages, add additional heading tags, upload images (where you can add image alt tags), but more importantly as a whole, ADD CONTENT, which will easily be crawlable by search engine spiders. All those basic SEO elements are built right in to any default WordPress installation.

Site Speed

Earlier we mentioned using alternative paid or proprietary platforms could be a detriment to your SEO needs, and addressing site speed is a great example of how you could run into such a problem. Over the last few years Google has been making it very well-known that it’s taking your website’s load times as an important factor in your on-page optimization.

What happens when your old, out-dated CMS doesn’t hold up to the big G’s standards?

That’s not a problem with WordPress out-of-the box. A basic installation and standard themes load quickly and efficiently. Now, it is true that the user can slow a site own depending on what types of content they add or what themes they pick (for example, loading web pages with tons of videos or using themes that are image heavy, having too many scripts running on one page, etc), but luckily there are plenty of plugins like Autoptimze and WP Super Cache (as well as other actions you can take) to keep your sites zooming along.

Mobile Optimization

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few months, you know in April Google set a deadline for websites to have some sort of mobile optimization in place. That’s right, Google flat-out told the world that if your website wasn’t optimized for smartphones or tablets (in other words, using a responsive design that made the experience of your website better for mobile users), there was a strong possibility that your website would lose high placements for mobile searches.

As with any announcement of this nature, everyone started to freak out, with the exception of most WordPress users. So why weren’t they feeling the heat?

That’s because for most simple WordPress websites, all they had to do was install the popular Jetpack plugin and in just a few minutes were able to comply with Google’s mobile website standards. On the other side of the fence are those WordPress sites using premium, paid themes from marketplaces like Envato, and those users surely weren’t scared because the premium theme marketplace has been cranking out themes that already have built-in responsive capabilities for years! This is perhaps one of the greatest arguments for why WordPress simply is an SEO’s dream come true.

The Versatility of Themes and Plugins

Many times when others argue about their favorite CMS (usually die-hard fanboys of a specific platform arguing their point to a WordPress user), they argue that their CMS is just as customizable as the next. That’s great if you’re a seasoned developer, but for us who want to focus on our SEO skills, we need something easy to develop at the drop of a hat.

Luckily, with thousands of WordPress developers out there, there is a ridiculous number of options to customize your WordPress site, and usually there is a theme or plugin already out there for any feature you can dream up.

Optimized Themes for Any Kind of Website

First, let’s talk about WordPress themes. We’ve already mentioned the basic “twenty” themes that come pre-installed with WordPress, and those are great if you’re just looking to get some optimized blog content out on the web. But what if you’re looking to build something more?

Many people today think WordPress is only good for blogging, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

You can build any kind of website with WordPress, and you can find a theme that completely transforms your installation and allows you to build it – and do so well for optimized for search! Want to build an optimized E-commerce site? No problem. Directory site? That’s easy. Forums, social networks, the list goes on and on.

Did We Mention Plugins?

So we’ve mentioned it a bagillion times so far, but we need to discuss the concept of plugins once and for all to really drive home what makes WordPress so great. Advanced users who started reading this article were probably laughing when we discussed title tags and hyperlinks as reasons why WordPress is such a great CMS for SEO, knowing very well that in your experience, it takes much more to get WordPress SEO just right.

And that’s exactly the point – WordPress isn’t only this super-sophisticated platform that only SEO rockstars can use to rank for highly competitive keywords. The basics could be all a blog needs if what they’re discussing is long tail enough, which is a very powerful thing.

Giving anyone the ability to create a blog with the basics may be all the SEO they need if it were to say, go viral and get tons of highly authoritative links and social signals!

Yet not all of us will get so lucky, and in order to fight the good fight, we need every optimization technique in place. Luckily for us ,the SEO gods have granted us a wealth of plugins to use to our advantage – many of which are free.

There’s the obvious Yoast SEO plugin that allows us to optimize really technical stuff like our Robots.txt file, canonicalization issues, XML sitemaps – stuff a non-developer couldn’t even begin to understand. Then there’s tools like the Broken Link Checker, Redirection plugins, SEO tool widget plugins – really, the list of awesome SEO plugins that you can use to supercharge your SEO is endless.

The point is, whatever your specific SEO plugin needs are, either now or in the future, the WordPress community has your back.


Over the last decade WordPress has taken over the web development world as the platform of choice for many designers, developers, and SEO professionals. With its core installation, its community of open-source plugin and theme developers, and the ease of use for non-programmers, there is no doubt that WordPress will continue to be the dominant CMS in the SEO community for many decades to come.

If you’re a WordPress user, are there any additional reasons we forgot to mention that make WordPress the best platform for SEO?


Featured Image: “The Art of WordPress” via mkhmarketing/Flickr

Albert Costill
Albert Costill is a co-founder of evolvor.com and a freelance writer who has written for brands like ForRent.com and Search Engine Journal. When he’s not... Read Full Bio
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  • R.Rogerson

    It’s a shame.
    When WP was first gaining ground – there were other platforms out there far better.
    But they failed to market themselves properly.
    They also didn’t focus development on the “general user” and instead focused on the far fewer “web” folk.
    So they all fell behind … some are gone, others are almost in the grave.
    And its a shame – because they were leagues ahead of WP at the time (And were so until a couple of years ago).

    The thing that made WP so powerful is it was built “for idiots”.
    That’s not saying people that use it are – but that it was designed to work quickly and easily.
    Personally, I still wouldn’t touch it with your webhost, let alone mine … but there is a big lesson there for those paying attention.
    Understand your market, target the right audience – and even if you suck, you can beat your superior competitors!

    • Albert Costill

      What platform do you recommend R. Rogerson?

      • R.Rogerson

        That’s a tough question.

        The truth of the matter is – for many … WP is the only option.
        They don’t have the technical skills or knowledge for more advanced options, or the time for the learning curve.

        That said – Drupal is always a good bet.
        It’s not the most flexible system – but it is robust and fairly well supported.
        Or Joomla (though it was weaker than Drupal).
        My personal preference is a CMF called Xaraya and Xarigama – but these are more of a framework than a system (that said, you can have pages and articles up and running in minutes out the box).

        The major advantage for WP is the wealth of themes and various plugins.
        It’s also the major down side … as many of those themes are bloated and slow, and some of the plugins are poorly constructed and not properly vetted for security.

        The best advice I can give is no matter what platform you opt for,
        either invest in the time to learn the system and a bit of programming,
        or higher someone who knows what they are doing.
        10 minutes twiddling with a template can save you 1+ seconds of load time.
        20 minutes of a knowledgeable persons time could speed up and lighten your DB queries too.
        (And that applies no matter what CMS you opt for)

    • Albert Costill

      Thanks for your input R. Rogerson. I really like your suggestion on taking the time to learn the platform, WP or not, or hiring someone who does.

      • R.Rogerson

        To be honest, in this day and age, half the things we have to do are things we shouldn’t need to.
        Things like canonical URLs, fixing the first URL in a pager, being able to add title attributes to menu links, combine CSS files…
        … developers and themes should be building those things in.

        It shows the big seo/us/cro gap in developer knowledge (much like proper http response codes 4+ years ago).
        So we are forced to learn and do things ourselves 🙁

  • Blue

    Unfortunately it is also the most hacked platform out there. It’s just too easy to hack if site owners and plugins developers aren’t 100% on the ball, which they are not. Look at how the SERPS are littered with hacked WP blogs. Some niches are getting destroyed by smart hackers who even automate the search and hack process..

    That is the very, very ugly side of OpenSource. Nobody is ultimately responsible for security.

    WordPress wash their hands, plugin developers are slack, and site owners are often unaware that they have been hacked for weeks.

    • Albert Costill

      Which platform provides the best security in your opinion Blue?

  • adriana

    I agree with you, WordPress is the best for SEO!
    Easy to use, quick results!

  • Vikas Singh Gusain

    I fully agree with you and your opinion. Can you explain, “How to Optimized Websites in 5 Minutes or One Click”. Because I have not understood this method. Can you explain it in more detail or provide me some helpful link.

    • Albert Costill

      Vikas, I suggest that you review the following links for detailed information on installing WordPress:



  • Shelba

    After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any manner you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

    • Kelsey Jones

      We are looking into it right now! Thanks Shelba!

  • Craig

    I have tried numerous platforms and nothing compares to WordPress. It is beneficial to clients as it is A LOT cheaper that custom coded websites and also has the added benefit that anyone can work on the site down the line should a client switch service providers. In terms of SEO you also get a lot more options and direction.

  • Chandan Kumar

    We agree with the author when he mentioned that “WordPress will continue to be the dominant CMS in the SEO community” as every day we find the ease of working on a WordPress platform for a smooth optimization on search and this benefits in highlighting not only blog content but also helps to develop a technical edge thanks to the wonderful plugins.

  • Hemang Rindani

    WordPress is an effortless enterprise Content Management System that helps a developer to do anything as required. It comes with number of themes and plugins that can make digital dream a reality.
    The features extends from developing a basic site to highly dynamic websites in multiple languages with number of users and unlimited functionalities. Considering the importance of a website, it is necessary to have an optimized and updated content that makes a website visible on search engines. To improve rankings WordPress comes with some useful SEO plugins that help a developer or a marketer to identify the key SEO constraints and address them painlessly. It is advisable to use WP’s Native plugins to enhance the overall security. WP’s Yoast SEO plugin takes care of technical optimization and helps to write a better content. It helps to choose a focus keyword and ensures that you use that everywhere as required.