The SEO Framework vs Yoast SEO.

Comparing The SEO Framework and Yoast SEO may seem challenging. The reason being is because they are two of the most popular search engine optimization (SEO) plugins for WordPress. Millions of users rely on them. Plus, if you’ve been doing SEO for a while, you may have a bias toward one or the other.

But, if you’re still on the fence about which SEO plugin to use, this article will help you make an informed decision. Once you know what each option has to offer, you’ll be better equipped to decide how you want to tackle SEO (and which tool can best help you with that).

📚 In this article, we’ll compare The SEO Framework vs Yoast SEO in terms of on-page optimization, readability suggestions, ease of use, and more.

Let’s get to it!

An overview of The SEO Framework and Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is probably the most popular SEO plugin on the market (here’s our full Yoast SEO review if you’re interested). It boasts over five million active installations and it’s the only tool a lot of WordPress users know when it comes to SEO.

This plugin has set the tone for the experience that most WordPress SEO tools offer. With Yoast SEO, you get access to suggestions on how to optimize each page both for SEO and readability. These suggestions come in the form of checklists that help you meet best practices.

The SEO Framework is not as popular as Yoast SEO, but it’s also much newer to the market. This is a more modular plugin than Yoast SEO. The free version of The SEO Framework focuses on tools that will help you generate meta tags for your content:

The SEO Framework can automatically generate titles and descriptions for your content that meet Google Search Essentials guidelines. You can also use free and premium extensions that add more features to the plugin, including guidelines for keyword optimization (similar to Yoast). This way, you can pick and choose what features you want access to.

Overall, the free version of The SEO Framework does less than the free version of Yoast SEO, at least out of the box. Yoast SEO is designed to hold your hand with on-page optimization, whereas The SEO Framework is a better fit for users who don’t require guidance when it comes to using keywords. 🧑‍💻

Key features compared

By now, you have a basic idea of how The SEO Framework compares with Yoast SEO. In this next section, we’ll dig into the core tools and features both plugins offer. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what using each one is like.

1. On-page optimization ⚙️

On-page optimization tools are probably the defining feature for most SEO plugins. Many websites rely on Yoast SEO optimization “scores” to determine if they’re using keywords correctly and if their content is well-written [1].

Yoast SEO enables you to do this by including an SEO checklist in every post and page. You can set a “focus keyphrase” for your content and use that checklist to determine if you’re optimizing your content properly:

Yoast SEO analysis.

It’s important to understand that following these guidelines doesn’t ensure your content will rank well for a keyword. They’re there to provide a reminder of best practices. They can be incredibly useful if you work with content creators that need guidance when it comes to SEO.

If you’re well-versed in the basics of SEO, you can mostly ignore these guidelines. At least that’s the approach The SEO Framework takes. The plugin only includes tools to help you optimize titles and meta descriptions for pages out-of-the-box:

Using The SEO Framework.

As we mentioned, you can also expand the plugin’s base functionality by using free or premium extensions. This makes The SEO Framework much more customizable than Yoast SEO.

As an example, the Focus extension adds on-page keyword optimization and readability checklists. This is very similarly to how Yoast SEO does it.

However, Focus is a premium extension. If you want access to all the tool’s extensions plans start at $84 per year.

Comparing The SEO Framework vs Yoast SEO in terms of on-page optimization.

When you compare the on-page optimization suggestions both plugins make, you’ll notice that Yoast SEO focuses more on small details.

Meanwhile, The SEO Framework provides a shorter checklist of suggestions to follow, but it gives you greater control over how many keywords to optimize for. However, you can optimize for multiple keywords using the premium version of Yoast SEO.

The premium plan costs $99 per year, which is a bit more expensive than The SEO Framework’s starting premium plan.

We’ll talk about The SEO Framework and Yoast SEO pricing in more depth later on.

2. Readability suggestions 💡

When comparing The SEO Framework and Yoast SEO in terms of readability options, we’re dealing with a similar scenario as with on-page optimizations. Yoast SEO offers readability improvement checklists with every page and post:

Readability suggestions from Yoast SEO.

Additionally, if you click on the Insights tab in your right-hand panel, Yoast provides you with another type of reading rating:

The Flesch reading ease score in Yoast SEO.

This is called the Flesch reading ease score. This scoring system measures things like sentence length, number of syllables in words, etc. It takes a more holistic approach when assessing readability. You’ll want this score to be above a 60.

Although both of these readability features are popular and highly useful, it’s important to understand that readability doesn’t directly impact SEO [2]. The more “readable” or easy to understand your content is, the better engagement it tends to get. In theory, that translates to a lower bounce rate, more potential clicks on internal links, and a happier audience.

If you’re very confident in your writing skills, you might want to ignore readability scores and suggestions from Yoast SEO. Once again, The SEO Framework outright doesn’t include this type of checklist in its base version.

However, its Focus extension provides a built-in dictionary you can use to look up synonyms if you’re stuck while writing:

Synonym suggestions from The SEO Framework.

If you want a greater degree of writing aid while working on content, Yoast SEO might be a better fit due to its readability checklist. In our experience, following checklist guidelines often results in content that is easier to understand.

On the other hand, if you want to focus on SEO and not get distracted with readability scores, The SEO Framework might be a better fit.

3. Advanced SEO tools 🧰

SEO plugins shouldn’t just focus on on-page optimization and readability suggestions. A great plugin will also offer advanced options to work on other aspects of your site’s SEO.

To give an example, you can use both Yoast SEO and The SEO Framework to generate XML sitemaps for your WordPress website. Both plugins do this automatically. However, The SEO Framework provides a greater degree of control over how you generate the sitemap:

The SEO Framework sitemap settings.

Yoast SEO doesn’t lack advanced tools, though. It can be a very in-depth plugin if you actually take the time to dig into its settings.

For instance, if you navigate to the plugin’s settings, you can connect your website with most search engine webmaster tools by inputting the right verification code:

Connecting Yoast with search engine webmaster tools.

You can also optimize how search engines crawl your site by choosing what elements the robots should ignore. That includes options such as REST API links, information about plugins, and more:

Crawl optimization settings for Yoast SEO.

The plugin also empowers you to configure breadcrumbs for your site and to enable them for your active theme. In comparison, The SEO Framework gives you a lot less control over how breadcrumbs appear:

Enabling breadcrumbs in The SEO Framework.

But, connecting search engine webmaster tools with your website using The SEO Framework is just as easy as with Yoast SEO. All you have to do is enter a verification code and that’s it:

Connecting The SEO Framework with webmaster tools.

Yoast SEO also enables you to define schema markup for your content without leaving the editor. The plugin includes a decent selection of schema markup options out of the box:

Adding schema markup using Yoast SEO.

In comparison, The SEO framework also supports schema markup, but you’ll need extensions to add it to your content.

Overall, both offer extensive advanced SEO tools. Yoast SEO gives you access to more configuration settings (in most cases). Meanwhile, The SEO Framework focuses more on core settings and it keeps configuration options simple.

4. Ease of use 🖱️

Comparing them in terms of ease of use is difficult because these plugins aren’t necessarily aimed at the same type of user.

If you’re new to WordPress and to SEO in general, you’ll probably benefit more from using Yoast SEO. This is because the plugin is designed to work even if you don’t take the time to tinker with its configuration. For a lot of users, the Yoast SEO experience begins and ends with the on-page SEO and readability suggestions.

Once you start digging into Yoast SEO’s settings, it becomes a whole different beast. The plugin offers a staggering amount of configuration options and integrations, but they’re clearly geared toward more advanced users.

In terms of usability, it’s worth noting that Yoast SEO has a tendency to send users a lot of notifications, which some might find annoying. For example, if you have orphaned content, it might constantly remind you about it.

And, when you’re using the premium versions of Yoast SEO, you might run into a lot of advertisements. Even if you use the premium tool, you’ll be regularly prompted to sign up for paid trainings or other SEO programs.

The SEO Framework offers more of a “minimalistic” experience. Plus, it’ll never bombard you with ads and it won’t bloat your site the way that Yoast SEO can.

It’s intended for developers and users that are experienced with SEO. The plugin doesn’t hold your hand with keyword optimization suggestions, but that can be a good thing if you know what you’re doing.

Overall, Yoast SEO is a more beginner-friendly option for most users. However, The SEO Framework is easy to pick up as well if you have more SEO experience.

5. Pricing 💳

Both Yoast SEO and The SEO Framework offer free versions at And, for most “regular” sites, the free version of either plugin will probably be all you need.

However, if you do need premium functionality, the SEO Framework vs Yoast SEO pricing gap is a pretty big detail in The SEO Framework’s favor.

Yoast SEO offers one core Yoast SEO Premium plugin, as well as separate add-ons for specific SEO focuses such as video SEO, local SEO, news SEO, and WooCommerce SEO.

Yoast SEO Premium costs $99 and the various extensions cost $79.

But here’s the thing about Yoast SEO’s paid licensing – you need to purchase a license for every single site that you want to use the plugins on. There are no multi-site or unlimited site licenses.

Yoast SEO does give you a discount if you purchase licenses in bulk. However, this can still make Yoast SEO very expensive if you need to use it on multiple sites.

For example, purchasing ten licenses of Yoast SEO Premium will cost you $841.50 per year!

👍 The SEO Framework has three big pricing advantages:

  • All of the paid plans give you access to every single premium extension – there’s no need to purchase extensions separately like you have to with Yoast SEO.
  • The SEO Framework is a little cheaper for a single site. You’ll pay $84 to use the plugin on up to two sites.
  • The SEO Framework is a lot cheaper for use on lots of sites. You can pay $204 to use it on up to 20 sites or $324 to use it on up to 200 sites. In comparison, Yoast SEO would cost $1,584 to use it on 20 sites and $9,900 to use it on 200 sites.

Conclusion 🏁

Both The SEO Framework and Yoast SEO are fantastic SEO plugins. They’re not geared toward the same kind of user and they offer very distinct experiences. That means your choice will largely come down to how much help you want with on-page optimization and what extra features you’d like access to.

When comparing The SEO Framework vs Yoast SEO, Yoast SEO is a much more comprehensive and beginner-friendly option. This is the plugin we recommend for most users as it will steer you in the right direction in terms of SEO best practices.

However, The SEO Framework is an excellent Yoast alternative if you’re more experienced when it comes to SEO and you want a more lightweight plugin. Plus, it’s a bit more streamlined and less invasive in terms of notifications and ads.

If you need the premium features, The SEO Framework is also significantly cheaper than Yoast SEO, especially if you have multiple websites. ⌛

Do you have any questions about The SEO Framework vs Yoast SEO? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!

Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!