For some years now, we have been using Yoast’s excellent SEO for WordPress plugins on websites for ourselves and our clients.
Recognising the value of the plugin, we subscribed to the premium version four years ago and have been using it on all websites ever since, taking advantage of the multi-site license and absorbing the reasonable cost within the website development and management fees paid by our clients.
Unfortunately, we now find ourselves having to reconsider our support for this package.
Well, in their wisdom, Yoast have decided to increase our annual subscription renewal from an affordable and justifiable $97 to a whopping $300.
Furthermore, Yoast did not send us notice of any change in pricing structure or, even, send us notice of renewal, as they have done in previous years.
We did question the increase; how could anyone ask for a 3x price increase? However, it was true; Yoast sent us a ‘like it or lump it’ reply, citing reasons which they obviously believe justify the increase, including exchange rate variations.
Frankly, Joost de Valk, they don’t wash!
Obviously, this leaves us with a decision to be made; can we justify asking our clients for an additional $100 or so per year for the comfort of using SEO Premium?
For our clients, the answer will almost certainly be ‘no’.
Whilst we have found SEO Premium to be useful, it has mainly been used as a handy comfort blanket at the time of compiling content, confirming that the content we create for ourselves and our clients is on the right tracks when it comes to optimisation.
It is simply one of a number of SEO tools and techniques that we use and its omission from our armoury will go virtually unnoticed.
The free version of WordPress SEO is still available, and if we are honest, this will do most of what we were using Premium for. Any gaps can be filled by other plugins and utilities.
How long Yoast continues to offer a free version is anybody’s guess, but if their latest efforts are anything to go by, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it disappear soon, or certainly be available on subscription.