Whether WordPress themes affect SEO optimization

Recently, many netizens have been consulting or discussing whether the WordPress theme will affect SEO optimization. It’s not hard to figure out what SEO is all about, and what parts of it have to do with WordPress themes. This article will talk about what aspects of a topic affect SEO.

Since WordPress themes have nothing to do with content, originality, writing quality, and expertise are not discussed in this article, although these are the most important factors affecting search engine inclusion and ranking.

There are several ways that WordPress themes affect SEO effectiveness

  1. SEO tags
  2. Structured data
  3. Page loading speed
  4. Page rendering speed
  5. Error free web code

1、SEO tags

Many topics will come with some SEO tags, generally including the following:

Robots META tags

<meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />

The tags above tell search engines to allow crawling of this page and to allow tracking of links.

  1. inindex,follow:Allow fetching this page, allow tracking links.
  2. index,nofollow:Fetching this page is allowed, but tracing links is prohibited.
  3. noindex,follow:Scraping this page is disallowed, but tracing links is allowed.
  4. noindex,nofllow:Do not crawl this page, and do not follow links in this page.


Examples of applications on this page:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.xxx.com/2634.html" />

Back in February 2009, three search engines, Google, Yahoo and Live Search, announced support for Canonical, a new attribute for Link. It is mainly to help search engines solve the existence of multiple versions of website content, to develop normative links, to prevent the same content is repeated.

This tag is very important in WordPress because WordPress may have pseudo-static urls with default? P =123 is a URL, or some other parameter suffix, but their content is exactly the same, avoiding double inclusion with the rel= “canonical” tag, which is now supported by all major search engines.

description META tags

The sample:

<meta name="description" content="Web page description, usually no more than 120 characters" />

The description tag, as its name suggests, is a simple description/excerpt of a web page, allowing search engines to quickly grasp the basic content of a web page. There used to be keywords tags (defining keywords), but they are being phased out.

title tags

The sample:

<title>Whether WordPress themes affect SEO results</title>

For SEO, the most important is the title tag, each page must have one, and only one. This tag defines the title of the page. It is also the most important tag for SEO. It is best to reflect the keywords or key phrases of the page. But do not abuse the title tag, if not the title, the search engine may be regarded as cheating.


2、Structured data

Structured data simply means that in addition to title, URL and description, web pages can submit more information to search engines, display more information in search results pages and obtain better rankings.

There are three types of structured data codes: JSON-LD, microdata, and RDFa. Both Google and Baidu recommend using JSON-LD.

WordPress themes don’t automatically generate structured data unless you add your own code or use SEO plugins. Using Yoast SEO or Rank Math SEO to generate normative structured data is highly recommended. Rank Math PRO can customize the structured data content, so that in addition to the Schema.org structured data, you can also add the structured data code favored by Baidu. Or add the following code in the article page template, you can also add Baidu structured data.

<script type="application/ld+json">
"@context": "https://ziyuan.baidu.com/contexts/cambrian.jsonld",
"@id": "<?php echo get_permalink(); ?>",
"title": "<?php echo esc_html( get_the_title() ); ?>",
"images": [
"<?php echo get_the_post_thumbnail_url(); ?>"
"description":"<?php echo mb_substr(strip_tags(get_the_content()),0,119,'utf-8'); ?>",
"pubDate": "<?php the_time('Y-m-d\TH:i:s'); ?>",
"upDate":"<?php the_modified_time('Y-m-d\TH:i:s'); ?>"

Note: Schema.org is Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! The results of the cooperation have been supported by almost all major search engines, including Baidu. However, Baidu currently prefers the above example of structured data, and may change this view in the future.

3、Page loading speed

For any search engine, the loading speed of web pages and related static resources is critical. The impact of WordPress themes on this aspect is divided into two parts: dynamic loading speed and static cache loading speed.

Dynamic loading speed

For web pages without static cache, the coding quality of program code, server performance, server running environment, network bandwidth, network status and other factors will affect the dynamic loading speed. Because each time a web page is visited, the PHP program generates the front-end web page at the back end and delivers it to the browser, the whole process is relatively slow.

There are many different static caching schemes for WordPress, but some situations are not suitable for caching, such as a WooCommerce store, a web page that requires dynamic display, and an interactive web page.

Among the factors mentioned above that affect the speed of dynamic loading, the main topic is the quality of the program code. This topic is large, not one or two sentences can be fully explained, but there are several principles for everyone to refer to, so as to facilitate the selection of high-quality topics.

  • Complies with WordPress coding specifications:WordPress has a lot of functionality and extensibility. It comes with a lot of hooks, functions, interfaces, etc. A good theme writer should make sure to use the hooks, functions, and interfaces of WordPress as much as possible when writing code, rather than writing extra PHP code. The benefits of this are efficient execution, compatibility, friendliness for future WordPress iterations, etc.
  • WordPress theme version iteration and timely maintenance:WordPress releases new versions from time to time, as well as new versions of PHP and MYSQL programs. WordPress themes should be constantly iterated to adapt to the latest environment and add new features. If you’re not fully compatible with PHP 8 themes by now, you should drop them.
  • The theme itself should not incorporate too much functionality:Many WordPress themes now incorporate a lot of extra functionality, which is great for the user, but the downside is more obvious. First of all, the execution efficiency of the program will become worse. In addition, the website will be very dependent on the theme and can not easily switch to other themes. A large number of custom fields and data will make the webmaster helpless and even cause the website to crash. Some sites have less than a thousand articles, while the database volume has reached hundreds of megabytes…

Static cache post loading speed

WordPress does not support static caching, but there are many plugins that can implement static caching of web pages. For example, WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WP Super Cache.

After static cache processing, when users visit web pages, they do not need to temporarily generate front-end pages at the back end like dynamic web pages, especially the three cache plug-ins mentioned above, whether Nginx or Apache can directly call the cached content delivery, without PHP processing. PS: WP Rocket requires an additional rocket-Nginx installation in Nginx environments.

As a result, statically cached web pages load much faster, largely depending on network bandwidth, network conditions, and the concurrency of the server’s static resources. In other words, for WordPress themes, you can get good loading speed as long as you don’t load too many, too large static resources.

The general conclusion is that most topics do not have much effect on loading speed as long as they are statically cached. After statically caching, this is unlikely to be a condition that affects SEO.

4、Page rendering speed

Web page rendering speed and loading speed are different, loading is not equal to rendering. By default, browsers load the static resources of a web page sequentially, delaying page rendering until all CSS files referenced in the page have been loaded, parsed, and executed. Take a look at what is critical Path CSS? The article.

There are also JS files that block the page rendering process, but can be optimized for asynchronous loading.

The impact of web rendering speed on SEO is also very big, but the impact of Baidu search is slightly less, because Baidu is still using crawler mechanism, and GoogleSpider has been adjusted, that is to say, Google will not only grab the content presented after the end of web rendering, but also analyze the process and speed of web rendering

Although Baidu is slightly behind in this respect, but it is only a matter of time, because Baidu’s mobile crawl has a great adjustment.

Foreign topics tend to handle this well, as developers tend to use PageSpeed Insights scores as a yardstick.

5、Error free web code

This is a basic requirement. If there are code errors or 404 resource calls on the page, it will have a serious impact on SEO. Slightly mature WordPress themes will not have this problem, but it needs to be reminded that some foreign themes may load some resources that cannot be normally accessed in the mainland, such as Google Font, Google front-end public library, etc., which will still be not conducive to SEO.


If you read this far, does WordPress theme have an impact on SEO? What are the implications? The verdict is in.

Areas 1 and 2 can be addressed with additional SEO plugins. Point 3 can be optimized with static caching, point 4 takes some work to polish, and there are many plugins that can optimize PageSpeed Insights scores. Finally, fifth, when using foreign themes, it is recommended to carefully check whether there are any Google public resources loaded. It is recommended to comment out the Google public library and Google Fonts, or disable them through plug-ins.

Content is king, other means only play a supporting role, so advise us not to put the cart before the horse, do a good job of user needs content and enhance user experience is the most important SEO optimization.

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