Gutenberg is coming. It’s a really big thing in the world of WordPress. At Yoast, we are really busy making sure our Yoast SEO plugin integrates nicely with the new editor. So we talk and think and a lot about Gutenberg. But as a writer, I didn’t really use Gutenberg yet. And this made me wonder: What is it like to use Gutenberg? Does writing with Gutenberg feel any different? Is it easier? Will I have more fun? Is it a good writing experience? In this post, I’ll share my thoughts on the new editor from a writer’s perspective. 

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What is Gutenberg?

Gutenberg will become the new default editor of WordPress. The biggest change from the current editor is the introduction of blocks. In the new editor a paragraph, a title or a picture will be a block. You can add a new block, choose what kind of block it will be, and easily edit it the way you want to. Blocks are flexible and can be shifted dynamically around the page.

With the plus sign you can add a new block in the Gutenberg editor

Read more about the Gutenberg project on WordPress.org. The Gutenberg editor is going to be released in the 5.0 update of WordPress. It is not clear when exactly this update will appear, but it should happen somewhere in Spring 2018.

Starting out as a skeptic

I have to be honest. I was rather skeptical about Gutenberg. Prejudiced even. But, I installed the Gutenberg plugin on my personal website and started writing a blog post. Trying to be as open minded as possible. And, I can’t deny: it was really easy. I even forgot for a moment I was testing out a new editor. It didn’t feel weird or new to me at all. Main conclusion: I’m really enthusiastic about Gutenberg.

Intuitive and easy to use

The Gutenberg editor has an intuitive design. For me. And if it’s intuitive for me, it basically is intuitive for everyone. I am not that savvy. It didn’t take much effort to find out how to choose a new heading. It took me just a little bit of clicking to figure out how to insert a picture in my blog post. I could do all the things I do while writing a blog post, just as fast as I always do. At the same time, my screen was rather empty. I liked that. There was little distraction.

Some great advantages over the old editor

The Gutenberg editor has some great assets that could genuinely help people to write better texts. I like that every time you hit enter, a new block emerges. If you go on typing, you’ll create a new paragraph. In my opinion, most writers do not think enough about why they start a new paragraph. They just put whitespaces in when they feel like it. Hitting enter in Gutenberg will create a new block. I believe this will help people to think more about the structure of their text.

Hit enter and Gutenberg will create a new paragraph.

I also love the fact that the editing options are not hidden away at the top of your post. If I want to add a link in my text in the old editor, I have to go all the way to the top of my blog post. That’s a lot of scrolling.  I think I will add much more links to my text when using Gutenberg. Because it is so much easier. And adding (internal) links to your blog posts is important for SEO. Inserting pictures has become much easier too. 

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Some downsides…

I understand why dynamic blocks are appealing. And I do think the flexibility of the blocks will come in handy to get the correct place for a picture or a quote. However, I do not like the fact that it’s so easy to dynamically shift paragraphs and headings. I’m a bit scared that people then feel free to shift their paragraphs while writing. And, from my point of view, the best texts are written after the author carefully established the structure of his or her argumentation. No dragging and dropping there.

Another downside was my experience as I tried to copy and paste a text from Google docs in the Gutenberg editor. In the current editor it takes a lot of work to get the formatting of your article right. That did not work perfectly in Gutenberg either. It does strip out the superfluous HTML code though. Other things went well, like transferring headings, but some paragraphs were transformed in a single block, while other paragraphs were merged together in one block. I could not figure out why. As lots of writers won’t write in the WordPress backend, but in another editor, this experience should be really smooth. A flawless experience would be a tremendous improvement compared to the current editor.

Conclusion

For me, writing with Gutenberg was not all that different from writing in the old editor. And, scrolling down gave me the Yoast SEO meta box, with suggestions to improve my writing and SEO. Yoast SEO already works. The Gutenberg editor offer lots of chances to improve our plugin. We’re working on awesome redesigns to make the writing experience even more awesome. So stay tuned!

Read more: ‘User-testing Gutenberg’ »

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Team Yoast often attends WordCamps and other conferences. We’d like to keep you updated on the highlights of these events and share the knowledge we gained and the fun we had there. In March we went, for example, to WordCamp Oslo, WordCamp AntwerpWordCamp RotterdamWordCamp Kathmandu and The Social Conference. We’ve picked some of the highlights for you. Read on!

Want to meet us and know which events we’ll be going to soon? Check out our events page

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WordCamp Oslo

Remkus de Vries, our remote colleague from the north of the Netherlands, went even higher up north to Norway to join WordCamp Oslo. Of the presentations he watched, the very first one by Magne Ilsaas was the one that stood out the most for him:

“Magne talked about Gutenberg, the printing press, and how it sparked a revolution some 500 years ago. But of course, he also talked about Gutenberg as the new editing experience expected to ship with WordPress 5.0 and the opportunities and possibilities it brings. It’s a presentation that sparked a lot of conversations the rest of the day. I couldn’t agree with him more: Gutenberg will, indeed, revolutionize how we’re using WordPress.”

Want to know more about Gutenberg? Follow the knowledgeable Gut Guys on YouTube. We will be publishing about Gutenberg a lot more in the coming weeks, starting with Marieke. She will publish a post on content writing with Gutenberg soon!

WordCamp Antwerp

While Remkus was traveling north, other Yoasters went south to WordCamp Antwerp in Belgium. That’s where our sales superstar Anneloes found out everyone can contribute on a contributor day, no need to be a developer! She joined the WP Marketing team – an initiative which our marketing team had already joined on WordCamp Noord Nederland – and was thrilled by the friendly and helpful atmosphere she encountered.

karin

Our awesome Karin volunteering at WordCamp Antwerp

At WordCamp Antwerp, our Research Team Lead Annelieke gave a presentation on Multilingual SEO, not the easiest of topics. She guided visitors with international websites through the Multilingual and Multiregional forest to help them make the right sites rank in the right countries. She discussed hreflang, multilingual copywriting for SEO and more. Check the highlights of her presentation on this Twitter thread.

WordCamp Rotterdam

At Yoast we not only like sustainable SEO, we care about environmental sustainability too. And that’s the first thing we loved about WordCamp Rotterdam. It was held at the awesome venue BlueCity, the old swimming pool Tropicana, now a hotspot for environmentally-friendly entrepreneurs. There was no printed schedule, cookies were made from yesterday’s bread, and badges were recyclable and filled with plant seeds. Awesome!

A lot of Yoasters in Rotterdam!

At this event, Monique Dubbelman gave a live demo of Gutenberg, which is always good to increase awareness. The talk by Andree Lange on style tiles was of particular interest to the design team, offering a low barrier way to create a library of design elements for a project without having to spec out every little detail from the start. And Jules Ernst shared some illuminating examples of accessibility problems and how you can already improve your website’s accessibility a lot with a little bit of work.

The Yoast team organized the closing session of the event doing some live site reviews. Michelle, Annelieke, Tim and Judith scrutinized some of the visitors’ websites and sent them home with lots of practical tips to improve their SEO and sites in general. You can check the full session (in Dutch) on our Facebook page.

WordCamp Kathmandu

Our support engineer Suwash went to WordCamp Kathmandu in Nepal. He found the presentation of Chandan Goopta one of the most interesting:

“The talk focused on how we can optimize the server, use server commands, and add our custom scripts to monitor bottlenecks on site and fix those issues: sometimes external tools don’t exactly give the cause of why a site is acting slow. He talked not only about the optimized performance of a site but also enhanced page load time (less than 2 seconds load time) and more.”

Contributor day was the first in the history of WordPress Nepal community and there were around 115 attendees. Fond of giving support, Suwash joined as a Team Lead for Support focusing on encouraging attendees to contribute by answering support questions on the WordPress.org support forum.

Support engineer Suwash at WordCamp Kathmandu

The Social Conference

Dushanthi and Siobhan of Team Marketing also visited Amsterdam for The Social Conference, a day full of talks about different social media and how to use them. KLM kicked off with an awesome talk on using social media to give customers the best possible experience. They’re very advanced in using chatbots and providing relevant information through the most convenient channel. Another talk our team was pretty impressed by, was by outdoor gear brand Patagonia, on doing business in unconventional ways. More so: using your business as a tool for environmental activism. This talk hit home as their community building was so like our belief in Open Source.

A lot of the other talks were about changing algorithms like Facebook’s. As no-one knew anything other to say than ‘create engaging content’, we’re even more convinced of our message: as Facebook’s algorithm changes, SEO becomes crucial. The most important takeaway for us this day: if all else changes, your website is still in your control!

Go to WordCamps

We’ve had an awesome time at these conferences. We would encourage you to visit WordCamps as well. It as great oppurtunity to meet likeminded people, to contribute to WordPress and to learn a great deal from the talks. You can find WordCamps all over the world. Hope to meet you there!

Want to meet us at future events? Keep an eye on our events page

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Tags and categories help us structure our content. You can often find these in the visual metadata at for instance blog posts, or in a list of clickable links in the sidebar of a website. Tags are sometimes represented as a tag cloud, although most websites refrain from using that element these days. There is a clear difference between tags and categories, but a lot of users mix them up. Now in most cases, that won’t matter for the end user. But for instance, in WordPress, there are some benefits by using categories for certain segmentations and tags for others. Here, I’d like to explain the difference between tags and categories.

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WordPress taxonomies

WordPress uses taxonomies for content grouping. The most common, default taxonomies in WordPress are categories and tags, but it’s also possible to create a custom taxonomy. We have written about these custom taxonomies before, so for background information, please read the post “What are custom taxonomies?

A taxonomy can be defined as “orderly classification” (Source: Merriam Webster). This indicates some hierarchy or structure, which often goes into categories. In WordPress, categories can be parents or children of each other. Often, tags in WordPress don’t have that structure and are often used quite randomly. If you don’t control how you add tags to posts, you will probably end up with a huge number of tags on your website. The downside of this is that a lot of tags are used only once, which makes the tag page the same as the post where you added the tag. This may create duplicate content or at least thin content.

The difference between tags and categories

Back to our original questions: what’s the difference? In an ideal world, we would use categories to group the content on your website into — say — eight to ten global segments. On our blog, these segments are for instance Analytics, Content SEO, eCommerce and Technical SEO. By maintaining a limited set of categories, you can keep your website, and your content focused. Now, of course, you can dissect the content even further, going to more particular groupings. For that, you should use tags.

WordPress describes the difference exactly like that:

  • Categories allowed for a broad grouping of post topics.
  • Tags are used to describe your post in more detail.

The fact that categories can be hierarchical means that there’s a bit more content structure to be made with just categories if that’s what you are looking for. You can have a group of posts about trees, and have a child category or subgroup about elms. Makes sense, right? It also means that you can have URLs like /category/trees/elms, which displays that structure right in the URL already. You can’t do this with tags. The tag in this example could be “Boston”. It’s unrelated to the tree’s characteristics but could indicate where for instance a photo of an elm in that post is located.

At least one category per post is required

There is one more difference between tags and categories in WordPress: you need to add at least one category to a post. If you forget to do so, the post will be added to the default category. That would be “Uncategorized” unless you set a default category in WordPress at Settings > Writing:

tags and categories: set a default post category

Please do so, as you will understand the default “Uncategorized” makes no sense to your readers. It looks like poor maintenance, right? With tags, you don’t have this issue, as tags are not obligated at all. You could even decide to refrain from using tags until you need them and even then perhaps use a custom taxonomy instead. In that case, you will have that second layer of segmentation without the limitation of tags. I hope that clarifies the difference between tags and categories!

Read more: ‘SEO basics: (The importance of) site structure’ »

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Yesterday we released a new add-on to Yoast SEO: Fact check for Yoast SEO 1.4. Were you getting excited to use it already? Then we’re very sorry to disappoint you, but it’s an April Fools’ joke. Or is it…? Our dear colleagues Danny and Irene genuinely built this plugin. Read this short interview and learn why and how they did that!

Is the Fact Check plugin a joke?

Yes. We’ve created Fact Check as an April Fools’ joke. The plugin is not to be taken seriously, except when you are planning on writing posts about conspiracy theories.

Irene and Danny, working on our Fact Check add-on

Irene and Danny, doing some daily fact checking

Why did Yoast make this plugin?

A couple of years ago, when we were writing the code for the Yoast SEO readability analysis, we thought of all the cool things we could do with the text analysis. Almost all the building blocks we needed for this April Fools’ plugin were already there in our library. We even came up with almost all of the current conspiracy checks back then. However, we’d never built it. Until now. We thought it was a fun idea for an April Fools’ joke. Besides, it gave us the possibility to learn some things about Webpack, Grunt and Babel and extending the existing Yoast SEO plugin.

Will the plugin do my website or my SEO any harm?

No, not at all. The added checks in Fact Check for Yoast SEO only add some bullets with feedback. As long as you don’t actually add conspiracies in your texts, having this plugin in your WordPress install will not change a thing.

How could we have known that this is a joke?

The plugin was released on April 1st. That should be a dead giveaway. Furthermore, the version is 1.4. Also, in the release video we’ve put a couple of hints. The most visible hint was the ‘I want to believe’ wallpaper on the computer in the background. Next to that, there was a Beatles record on the table. The cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is rumored to contain a number of hints that confirm that Paul McCartney is dead. We’ve also put a subliminal message on one of the screens. In the shots of the screen of the notebook, you can read ‘Don’t let Google fool you, buy Yoast SEO Premium!’ if you pause the video at the right moment. Finally, the outro of the video contains a number of beeps. These beeps are morse code, and spell out “April 1”.

Can I still trust Yoast?

Of course you can. We like the occasional joke, but we understand a lot of people use our software daily and rely on our feedback in Yoast SEO or Yoast SEO Premium. That is why we created a separate plugin for this joke, instead of interfering with the workings of Yoast SEO itself.

What can I use this plugin and its code for?

The Fact Check plugin is a nice example of how easy it is to extend the Yoast SEO plugin. The plugin is, like most of our software, open source, and everyone who would like to know how it works, can take a look at the code, or fork it into a new project. You can find the code on GitHub.

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While developing and benchmarking for new releases of Yoast SEO, we keep a keen eye on requests made by users. An issue that consistently raises concerns is the uprise of fake news. So today, we present Fact Check for Yoast SEO 1.4 Beta, a free add-on for our Yoast SEO plugin.

Download Fact Check for Yoast SEO 1.4 Beta»

Why this add-on?

Fake news is on the rise and it’s a world-wide problem. People and companies are losing grip on on the authenticity of sources and the trustworthiness of their message. What sources are authentic? What makes a source reliable? And more importantly: how do you decide for yourself?

Currently, the Yoast SEO plugin runs several checks on your content. Readability, the use of keywords and internal linking: we help you optimize your text. Today, we’re launching an add-on that adds multiple new checks to the original ones: so-called fact checks.

At Yoast we believe that you should be the best result. And the best result has to be true. Fact Check for Yoast SEO integrates seamlessly with Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO Premium. This plugin scans your text and gives you feedback about the stated facts. This will allow you to only write believable content.

Test our beta!

Please help us test this beta, so we can publish it on the WordPress repository soon. If you find a bug or would like to help improve this plugin, you can leave your feedback by creating an issue hereLike Yoast SEO, the Fact Check add-on is open source. The source code can be found on GitHub.

Download Fact Check for Yoast SEO 1.4 Beta »

Installation instructions

1. Download the zip above.
2. In the WordPress backend, go to Plugins > Add new > Upload plugin.
3. Click ‘Choose file’ or ‘Browse’ (depending on your browser).
4. Select the zip and click ‘Install now’.
5. Click ‘Activate plugin’, and you’re ready to go.

The post Get our new free plugin: Fact Check for Yoast SEO 1.4 Beta appeared first on Yoast.

On March 6, we released a major update of our Yoast SEO plugin. This update was aimed at making SEO easier and more understandable for our users. We removed quite a few settings and options. In other cases, we changed the names of settings making them easier to understand for non-technical users. All in all, the reactions on this update were rather positive. We received some questions as well, mostly about why we removed certain settings and options. In this post, I’ll explain why we chose to remove those settings. 

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If there’s a button, people want to click it

The main reason why we deleted settings is because in 99% of the cases it should not be altered. But if you give people a toggle or a button, generally they’ll think they have to do something with that toggle or button. Totally understandable. If I have a new watch and it has many fancy buttons, I’d also want to know what they’ll do. By offering all those settings, we gave the impression that our users needed to do something with these settings.

The things we removed were the things people should not worry about: the things that didn’t make much of a difference in their chance of ranking in the search engines. These buttons and toggles were rather useless anyway.

More agreement on proper SEO settings

Working on our new online Yoast SEO plugin training helped us to make the plugin more understandable for a large audience. We had to really make an effort when explaining the settings in videos and text. And we noticed we had a hard time explaining some of the things. It made us question and reassess our decisions. That process lead to a lot of the changes made in the plugin release of March 6.

On top of that, there was another reason why we decided to remove quite a few settings from our plugin. For a long time, the SEO community had strong and opposing opinions about the need of, for example, XML sitemaps. Because of these different opinions, we always offered different options, allowing people to make their own SEO choices. As the profession of SEO matured, SEOs reached more consensus on what things were important to rank high in the search engines. As those influences are rather clear nowadays, we were able to make those changes in the plugin. Important changes, because now, the ease of use of our plugin is improved.

SEO for everyone

The mission of Yoast is SEO for everyone. We believe the web will benefit from all people having an equal chance in the search results. Not only those big international companies with large marketing budgets, but also that small online shop with handmade toys. We believe every idea should get a fair chance in the search results.

When developing our plugin, we always keep our mission in mind. And that’s the reason why we recently decided to make some big changes in our plugin. We really hope that more people will be able to benefit from our plugin. If you really want to know all the ins and outs of Yoast SEO, I would strongly advice you to buy and follow our online plugin course. It will help you to get the most out of our plugin. Because, although we deleted quite a few settings, we still have a lot of toggles, settings and choices left :-) Good luck!

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Today we released our new Yoast SEO for WordPress training. This online course will help you use Yoast SEO to its fullest potential. In this course we’ll train you on how to use all of the functionalities of our plugin best. And the most exciting news is, we decided to reduce the price of this online course! The old version was $99 a year and this new course will only be $39. Here I’ll explain why we decided to reduce it so drastically.

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SEO for everyone

The mission of Yoast is SEO for everyone. We believe the web will benefit from all people having an equal chance in the search results. Great ideas don’t always come from large companies but are created everywhere around the world. That’s why we believe that every idea should have a fair chance in the search results.

When developing our products, we always keep our mission in mind. That’s why we recently decided to make some big changes in our plugin. We noticed that some settings in Yoast SEO were hard to explain to a non-tech audience. In the 7.0 update of Yoast SEO we tried to make the plugin more user-friendly for everyone.

Creating high quality SEO courses

The Yoast SEO plugin covers most of the technical SEO challenges of a website. But to seriously compete with the large players, every website owner still faces numerous challenges. Our online courses are designed to help people conquer those problems. They’ll teach you everything there is to know about SEO and provide practice to improve your skills.

We are currently updating and improving all of our online courses. We’ve hired an amazing team that’s working full time on creating videos, texts and assignments that’ll help you understand SEO. The new course is suitable for everyone. We’ll start out with the very basics of the plugin and gradually explain everything you need to know.

Reduced prices

Using the Yoast SEO plugin to its full potential will allow everyone to have a fair chance in the search results. That’s what ‘SEO for everyone’ is all about. But not everyone will have enough money to buy an expensive plugin training. That’s the reason why we reduced the price of this one. We hope more people will be able to buy it and profit from it. We would love to give it away for free, but the salaries of our Academy team just need to be paid as well. The training will get regular updates. As the interface of the plugin changes, we’ll record new videos. (We’re already dreading the Gutenberg update, as that’ll really have some impact on the number of videos we’ll need to record).

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Conclusion

We reduced the price of our plugin training because it will allow more people to use Yoast SEO to its full extent. For the exact same reason, we improved the course, making it suitable for everyone to understand the ins and outs of our plugin.

And we’ve got some more news for you. We’re currently working on a new FREE online course. It will be an introductory course to SEO and we’re planning to release it somewhere in May of this year.

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Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day. And, as we are celebrating, we offer a 11% discount on all of our products! In this post, I’ll first explain the importance of International Women’s Day. After that, I’d like to invite you all to celebrate International Women’s Day with us. Share your story about a WordPress woman who inspired you. You can leave your story in the comments or share  it on social #awesomeWPwomen.

So everyone, go grab your 11% discount today

We’ve come a long way!

When my grandmother was born, in 1917, women weren’t allowed to vote in the Netherlands. When my mother was born in 1952, married women weren’t allowed to work. But when I was born in 1981, I had all the same rights and opportunities my older brother had. Within three generations, the legal position of women in the Netherlands had changed tremendously. This was the work of lots of powerful feminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Wilhelmina Drucker and many many others. That’s why today, we should celebrate the progress of women’s rights we’ve made so far!

But still…A long way to go

Although a lot has improved for many women across the world, inequality between gender remains. Women still face sexual violence and gender discrimination. We’ve come a long way, but at the same time, we still have a long way to go. It remains important to strive for total equality. The best results will be achieved when the best, most qualified people are hired for the most important positions, regardless of their gender. Intelligence, perseverance, discipline, and capabilities instead of gender should decide who gets that one important job.

Women in tech

Gender inequality is especially persistent in the tech community. If you Google ‘Women in Tech statistics’ you’ll not find much to celebrate. Women are really, really underrepresented in the tech sector, especially in executive functions and management roles. They earn less, face sexual harassment and quit much more often. 

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What about WordPress?

The WordPress community is also a tech community. Nevertheless, it feels really open, really friendly towards women. At least that’s my experience. There are much more women at WordCamps than at other tech conferences. At WordCamps, at least 25% of the visitors are female. That’s a lot, compared to other tech conferences (yes, I know that’s sad). Some WordCamps even get a 50/50 rate for male and female speakers at their event. Still, there’s a lot of room for improvement, also in the WordPress community.

We need powerful role models

Solving the problem of gender inequality is not going to happen overnight. The causes for it lie within societal and cultural factors that are really hard to change. What we CAN do is to raise awareness of the inequality and the necessity to change it. At the same time, we should celebrate all of the successful women out there. We need powerful role models. We need to know and see women we can look up to.

A few weeks ago, my 8-year old daughter came home from her first lessons in coding. I asked her what she liked best. She started telling me about CSS and about what Irene – one of our developers at Yoast who was teaching the course – told her about it. And, that she wanted to learn to write code and be a developer just like Irene. For her, Irene was a role model. Somebody she could identify with. My daughter said: ‘I like Irene best, of course, because she is a girl. And because we have the same hair.’ 

Inspiring role models are always people we can identify with. Gender is a really important aspect of identifying. Let’s give our daughters those inspiring role models. Let’s give those female developers, female CEO’s and female presidents a big stage. That’s why international women’s day is important. That’s why it’s important to give a stage to as many women as possible on those tech conferences, on WordCamps. And that’s why I want a round of applause for some of the women from the WordPress community that serve as role models and inspirations (at least for me).

A big hooray for some of my big inspirations:

I am a very big fan of Julliette Reinders Folmer, who’s a consultant, developer, public speaker, a major contributor to WordPress and basically an all-round superhero. Thank you Julliette, for your leading role in the WordPress community and for being such an inspiration for me. You inspired and helped me to take the stage (on WordCamps) myself.

And, my daughter isn’t the only one who is very impressed by Yoast’s Irene Strikkers. Irene is a big inspiration for me too. Irene came to work at Yoast only two years ago and did not know how to write code. What she learned within those two years is so amazing. And I am totally sure she’s going to do many more amazing things in the years to come. Irene, you are an awesome WP woman!

Within the WordPress Community, we have so many more women to look up to. For example: Heather Brunner, Helen Hou-Sandi, Tammie Lister, Heather Burns, Rian Rietveld and Mika Epstein. But there are many, so many more. Which WordPress woman was an inspiration to you? And why? Please share your story in the comments or on social #awesomeWPwomen. Let’s give those awesome WP women that stage today!

My all-time biggest inspiration was born 8 years ago. My daughter Wende. She’s the brightest, most talented, most beautiful and funniest girl alive. She doesn’t understand gender inequality. And I don’t want her to ever understand.

Now, go grab your 11% discount!

Read more: ‘3 reasons why Open Source is awesome’ »

The post Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day! appeared first on Yoast.

Joost de Valk founded Yoast. For a long time, Joost was the only developer working on Yoast SEO. He came up with all the features and implemented all the code; he did everything. As the company grew, we created a large development team. Joost always remained part of the development team and came up with most of the new features, but he did not write much code himself anymore. Until this release. Joost de Valk wrote most of the code of the Yoast SEO 7.0 release himself. So why is that? And what makes this release so very special? Time to ask Joost de Valk some questions about Yoast SEO 7.0.

Why did you do the coding for this release yourself?

“I had promised myself to get more involved with the product again. The growth of the company had me preoccupied with other things, and I wanted to get back to the core business of Yoast SEO again. I enjoy writing code. It makes me happy.”

And, as you started out, you just decided to make it the biggest release in years?

“Well, as I was diving into the code we were also updating our online course on the plugin. So I was making all kinds of videos and screencasts explaining the plugin. I noticed so many things that were outdated or just not user-friendly. So many things were tough to explain. That process of making our online course gave me many ideas for improvements. And once I started improving, I came up with even more ideas. One thing led to the next… and the next…” 

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What did you like best about your coding adventure?

“I was in awe of the progress our development team has made. Working with them was great fun. Back in the days, it was just me and my computer. Now, somebody gets to review my code, and someone else does the acceptance test. That’s a great system. That process has made me a better developer. I learned so much in just these last few weeks. The team has become so much better.”

What thing in this release are you most proud of?

“We made solid progress in UX here. We had so many options and toggles in Yoast SEO. Most of the questions were asked in such a difficult way. They were so very technical, aimed at SEOs like I was myself when I first built the plugin. I think this release takes us a step closer to our mission: SEO for everyone. Our plugin isn’t just for SEOs and developers. Everyone should be able to use it. I feel we made it a lot more user-friendly with the new changes. That’s what I’m most proud of.”

What will the reactions of our users be? Were you nervous?

“No, I wasn’t nervous at all. We tested with users and the first responses were really positive. Everybody is enthusiastic. I do understand that some people will miss some old features and toggles. Some people might need to re-do some screenshots, I know we certainly have to. But overall, I don’t expect people to be upset by this release. It’ll make Yoast SEO so much easier to set up.”

Read more: ‘Yoast SEO 7.0: Making SEO easier for everyone’ »

The post The journey towards Yoast SEO 7.0 appeared first on Yoast.

Before a search engine can rank a page or a post it needs to index it. A crawler must discover a piece of content before it can evaluate if it is a valuable addition to its index. One of the ways crawlers discover pages, is by crawling XML sitemaps. After a page has been indexed, a search engine can rank the piece of content if it fits the users search query best. Yoast SEO makes it easy for you to determine what should be indexable.

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This is part of the new Yoast SEO 7.0 release »

Show x in search results?

Determining what has to be indexed by crawlers and what not tends to be hard to understand and it’s easy to make a mistake. You wouldn’t be the first to have unknowingly set a whole post type to noindex, making it unavailable to search engines. We’ve thought long and hard about this and drastically simplified this process for you. Now it all boils down to asking you a straightforward question: Do you want x to appear in search engines?

show in search results xml sitemaps

You can find the individual settings for making your content available for indexing in the corresponding parts of Yoast SEO. You’ll find the setings for posts and pages in the Content Types part of the Search Appearance tab. Taxonomies like categories and tags can be found in the Taxonomies tab.

By saying Yes to the ‘Show Posts in search results’ question in the post settings, for instance, you make sure that your posts will appear in the XML sitemap and, therefore, in the search results.

If you want to exclude something, you can switch this toggle to No, and the taxonomy or post type will not appear in the XML sitemap. Because of that, it will not appear in the search results. Whenever you set something to not appear in search engines, it will be noindexed and kept from the XML sitemap.

We’ve taken away a lot of the confusion around indexing content and XML sitemaps by simplifying things. But, most importantly, it is now so much easier to determine what should and should not appear in search results.

More on XML sitemaps

XML sitemaps are a kind of treasure map for search engine robots. They crawl them to discover new or updated content on your site. Every site benefits from a sitemap. Your rankings won’t soar if you add one, but it does help the crawlers to discover your content that much easier. If you need more information about the use of XML sitemaps on your site, we have some further reading for you:

Read more: ‘What is an XML sitemap and why should you have one?’ »

Keep reading: ‘The sense and nonsense of an XML sitemap’ »

The post Indexing in Yoast SEO: Show x in search results? appeared first on Yoast.