SEO Pros & Cons of Using WordPress

It’s important to consider SEO friendliness and functionality when evaluating a content management (CMS) for your website. There’s definitely pros and cons for SEO to what you use to build your website. Using certain frameworks and platforms will bring inherit SEO challenges. But most CMs platforms offer SEO features, settings and options. Here’s some of the advantages and disadvantages of using WordPress I’ve noticed as an SEO over the years.

First here’s a TL;DR breakdown:

WordPress SEO Pros:

  • Popularity
  • Free SEO Plugins
  • Easy to create content
  • Sever-side rendering (SSR)

WordPress SEO Cons:

  • Limited functionality out of the box
  • Plugin dependency
  • Duplicate content
  • Page load performance

Now let’s start with the good stuff!

SEO Advantages of using WordPress

The popularity of WordPress is actually an advantage for SEO all by itself. According to W3Techs, 43.2% of all websites use WordPress. BuiltWith also shows WordPress with a commanding lead in market share over competing platforms (screenshot below).

The point here is that with so many websites using WordPress, Google and other search engines have to ensure they can crawl, index and rank them effectively. This doesn’t necessarily mean that using WordPress is a guaranteed win for SEO. But knowing that Google

WordPress SEO Plugins

Another SEO win for WordPress is the number of free SEO plugins available. WordPress doesn’t have a lot of SEO features out of the box and it’s strongly encouraged to use a plugin to optimize your website. I personally prefer Yoast, which is often consider the top WordPress SEO plugin. Some of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins include:

  • Yoast SEO (5+ million active installations & 5 star rating)
  • Rank Math SEO (2+ million active installations & 5 star rating)
  • All in One SEO (3+ million active installations & 4.5 star rating)

And I’ll save you another “content is king” sermon. But suffice to say content is important for SEO. And as such, the ease of creating content is an important SEO consideration when choosing a CMS. And WordPress makes it really easy to publish content and create new pages. It’s remained the top blogging platform in the world for years for a good reason – it’s beginner friendly and scalable.

CMS usage for top 1 millions site from BuiltWith

One last simple nerdy reason I like WordPress for SEO

Now this part might be a little technical and boring, but another SEO advantage of WordPress is server-side rendering (SSR). Some modern web frameworks (such as ReactJS and AngularJS) use what’s known as client-side rendering (basically the opposite of SSR) to dynamically create and modify pages. Client-side rendering (CSR) is great for apps like Gmail. But search engines like Google and Bing have historically had a difficult time crawling content that uses CSR. In short, using a CMS for your website that uses SSR to serve static pages will make your life easier as an SEO.

OK, now that we’ve covered the reasons WordPress is helpful for SEO, let’s get into the not so good stuff.

SEO Disadvantages of using WordPress

One of the major SEO disadvantages to using WordPress is the limited functionality of out the box. By default, WordPress doesn’t allow you to edit meta data, like title tags and meta descriptions, for individual pages. You can set a title in the settings, but it will be used across your entire site. One of the easiest ways to get started in SEO is to optimize your meta data, so this is particularly frustrating.

You can easily overcome the first disadvantage with plugins. But this brings me to the second SEO downside of using WordPress – plugin decencies. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say WordPress is useless without plugins. You need them for everything, including SEO. The problem is if your favorite SEO plugin breaks – so does your website’s SEO.

Another one of the SEO cons of using WordPress is duplicate content. Using tags and categories for your WordPress blog creates additional pages with snippets of articles. Site search URLs and RSS feeds can cause similar duplicate (and thin) content issues as well. Thankfully many of these duplicate content challenges can be easily overcome through settings.

The last SEO challenge of using WordPress I want to touch on is page load performance. WordPress isn’t necessarily a slow CMS. But if you’re not careful your WordPress website can get really slow really quick. One of the most common issues I’ve seen if plugin pandemonium. If you’re website is held together with the help of a hundred plugins, it’s going to hurt performance. Other things to consider with WordPress page load speed are:


I hope you found this article help with weighing the SEO pros and cons of using WordPress as your website’s CMS. There’s really not a “perfect” CMS for SEO, but WordPress is pretty good on the whole. From experience WordPress built sites can rank just as well as any other platform. Which makes sense when you remember that they make up almost half of the internet.

Decided to go with WordPress for your website? Make sure to check out these 3 ways to setup Google Analytics for your WordPress site!

Scroll to Top