Allow editing of page title and meta description (SEO)

The ability to edit the page title and meta description is a fundamental aspect of SEO. Both of these elements combined help with search engine ranking and click through rate. At present, it is only possible to edit these two key elements by installing a plugin.

However, as they are so important to SEO, I feel it would be of great benefit to all if the ability to edit the page title and meta description was made part of the CP core. In my view, this should be an essential feature of any business-focused CMS.

If this feature were to be implemented, the SEO page title could default to the ClassicPress page title + site title and the meta description to the first 155-160 characters of the page content or excerpt.

There could also be a setting and/or filter to globally disable this feature as and when required (e.g. if installing a SEO plugin).

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Author: 1stepforward

Vote count: 22

Status: open


I think SEO should be left to plugins, they can do a better job at this. However, I wanted to share one possible option that could help all websites using CP with minimal code and satisfy this petition to an extent. This is just a proposal, to see what others think.

This petition asks to manage two things: the title and the meta description.

The title can already be managed by default using the built-in title. Nothing to do here. SEO plugins can provide more control over the title.

I’d like to focus on the meta description here. A meta description is important to have for SEO, but it’s also important for social media sharing as the description is used in previews. Making it work by default would tremendously benefit all websites and make CP a lot more SEO/social media-friendly than WP.

The idea is, let’s automatically generate a meta description based on either the excerpt or truncated the_content. There’s nothing to store in the database unless we want to use transients to cache them.

We would add a new filter/function, something like the_meta_description. This would output the meta description:

  1. If the filter is set to false, it would be disabled.
  2. If a theme or plugin chooses to use it, it would output whatever the theme/plugin outputs for it.
  3. If the excerpt exists, use the excerpt for the description.
  4. If the excerpt doesn’t exist, use a truncated version of the_content. (150 characters or so).

The use of the page/post title as the <title> is a precedent that should allow us to implement this. The meta description goes along with <title>, so we should consider implementing this. The code should be rather minimal, plus helps standardize how meta description is added.

We will encourage theme developers to include it in the header.php of their themes, just like the <title>. If users want, they can disable it using a filter.

1 Like

The theme should not be involved with things in the <head> section (besides enqueuing their styles or scripts), because you can always switch themes, even on every page.

As far as my reading of the above, it seems better to let the search engine decide what to show in their listing. (They do anyway. See several sites in this search.)
As for social media sites, they each have their own way of scraping a preview, and the big ones have specific tags they use. I doubt the <meta> description is used much in these. There are also other options such as JSON-LD

1 Like

I vote to close this one. There are many ways in you can use CP to generate content.

What if I want a custom post type for recipes, does it use a seo title too?

What if I want a custom post type without seo title?

This sounds like super Plugin Territory.

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