WP Meta Generators

I was going to submit this site to the search engine when I realized that — yikes! — I haven’t META’d my pages! So I frantically searched for the closest hyperlink I can get my mouse to click on (WordPress Codex is truly a lifesaver), and ended up testing two META makers:

  • AutoMeta 0.8: It could be the staying up til the wee hours of the morning, but amongst all the plugins I have installed, this one has to be the most tricky. When I unzipped it, it opens into one file named autometa.php and a folder named stoplist. My immediate thought was that both should be saved into wp-content/plugins/autometa/, but I was wrong as it should be under wp-content/plugins/. This is one caveat for me; I believe that if you have two or more files and folders that belong together, they should be put under the same main folder. Otherwise, once I’m done installing a gazillion other plugins and need to delete a few out for space’s sake, I wouldn’t know which one’s with which and I shouldn’t be expected to remember all of my plugin contents — I mean, a well-designed app has to make sense.
    Anyway, I managed to figure them out and had AutoMeta appear in my plugins list. Activated it. A few seconds later, I went to check my index page. No keyword or description meta. Read the instruction page again — oh no, it doesn’t index the main page. Fine. Checked the single pages. Still no desc or kwords. Fine. Let’s wait a few hours. So I did, and checked again. Nada. Zilch.
    I surrendered. AutoMeta 0.8 <– scrapped off my plugin list. It’s time to try out…
  • Add-Meta-Tags v.0.9: Has just one file, indexes both the main page and content, has customizable METAs, but doesn’t index Pages which is still okay to me. Short, simple and, most importantly, working. It has just enough of what I was looking for. Thank God.

I’m sticking to Add-Meta-Tags until I have a need for more complex META tags. Otherwise if there isn’t a META generator that fits my need, I might want to get my hands wet in WP plugin development, chewah!

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Posted on 30 January, 2007 under Discovering WordPress


  1. Rich Boakes says:

    Hmmm… food for thought.

    The idea of the zip file is that you should just be able to extract the content to your plugins folder; within the zip is an autometa folder, and within that is the stoplist folder (note, there was a bad version of the zip where the structure got duplicated somehow, but that was fixed a long time back – it’s possible you had that version, if so, my apologies) – everything should be contained under the one autometa folder, as you prefer.

    As for adding meta tags to the main page, this is somehting I’ve purposefully not done, early versions did it, and the result was less than brilliant… here’s the 5 line version of why… AutoMeta indexes articles. If it were to put article meta tags on the index page then this would not help readers because the index page changes regularly (so search engine arrivals would be looking for things that had dropped to a lower index page).

    Your index page meta tags are better off being static descriptions of the site, so plugins like Add-Meta-Tags” work fine for that – it’s a capability I’ve been asked to add in a future version.

    Finally – AutoMeta is designed to index your posts when you write and publish them. A facility to index old posts will be added in a future version, but for now, if you want to index previous entries, just edit the entry in question and AutoMeta will generate the tags, then you can finish them off by hand.

    The by-hand bit is important. No machine generated tags will be as good as human generated ones, so I’ve tried to find a middle ground where the human can have the last word, but for this to work, the human has to be present.

    This has given me some ideas for how to simplify some future releases so thanks for the feedback!

    1. Lorna says:

      Rich, I look forward to your improved version of this plugin. Thanks for your explanation.

  2. Wahlau.NET says:

    nice plugin, as a lot of people using wordpress are not familiar with editing the templates. As there is no meta tag for keyword and description by default on wordpress.

    1. Lorna says:

      I agree, Wahlau. And being the lazya** that I am, I don’t think I’m ever going to bother using the custom fields in the Write Posts section any time soon just to add my METAs.

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