Add-Meta-Tags WordPress Plugin

This plugin adds XHTML META tags to your WordPress blog. The addition of the META tags is fully automatic, but it also includes all those features a SEO-concerned publisher would need in order to have total control over those meta tags.

The features at a glance

The following list outlines how and where META tags are added to a WordPress blog by this plugin. Please note that this list does not provide all the details you need to know about how to customize the added metatags. Its purpose is to provide a general idea of what this plugin supports. For detailed info, proceed to the next section.

  • Front Page
    • Automatically.
    • Customization is possible from the plugin’s configuration panel.
  • Single Posts
    • Automatically. (On WordPress v2.3 or newer tags are also used in addition to the post’s categories)
    • Customization of the “description” META tag:
      • either via custom excerpt
      • or via custom field (note that this overrides the custom excerpt).
    • Customization of the “keywords” META tag via custom field only.
  • Static Pages
    • No automatic generation of meta tags.
    • Customization is possible with custom fields like it can be done in posts.
  • Category Archive Pages
    • The description of the category, if set, is used for the description META tag. The name of the category is always used at the keywords metatag.
  • META Tags on all pages
    • It is now possible to set any other META tag, which does not require any computation, to be added to all blog pages.

Here follow all the details about how this plugin works.

Features – How to use it

The simplest way to use this plugin is to activate it in the WordPress administration panel and forget about it. At this basic level of usage, it automatically adds the “description” and “keywords” META tags to the front page and to single post view, which, of course, can be customized in the ways outlined below.

META Tags on the Front Page

By default, the blog’s tagline (Options->General) and all the used categories are being used automatically as description and keywords for the meta tags on the front page. These can be overridden by setting a custom description and keywords for the front page in the plugin’s configuration panel (Options->MetaTags).

The description and keywords defined in the plugin’s configuration panel have higher priority and, if any of them is set, it will be used instead of the automatically calculated respective metatag.

META Tags in Single Posts

In single post view, the post’s excerpt and its categories and tags (tags are supported in WordPress 2.3 or newer) are automatically used as description and keywords. While editing a post, it is possible to define a custom excerpt. If this excerpt is not set, then the description is calculated from the post itself. This calculation is based on the following:

  1. the plugin tries to use the first complete sentences of the post, if possible.
  2. it also tries to keep the calculated excerpt at a length around 250 characters. As you can guess, this cannot be always achieved, so I’d say that the calculated description will be about 150-350 characters.

This automatic behaviour can also be overridden, by adding custom fields to the post. Note that the custom fields have the higher priority and, if set, their values are used in the META tags.

The contents of a custom field named description will be used in the description META tag instead of the post’s excerpt.

Contrariwise, a custom field named keywords can contain a comma-delimited list of keywords, which will be used in the keywords META tag instead of the post’s categories and tags. It is still possible though to quickly include the post’s categories and tags to this list by using the words %cats% and %tags%, which are replaced by the post’s categories and tags respectively when the page is displayed in a browser.

For example, when the post’s categories are not enough and tags are not enough for you, you can add a custom keywords field to the post, and add the extra keywords you want together with %cats% and/or %tags% :

keyword1, keyword2, %cats%, %tags%

This makes it possible to adjust and optimize the post’s keywords without having to create a huge number of blog categories and tags.

META Tags in Pages

It is possible to add the description and keywords meta tags in WordPress Pages by assigning custom fields to each page as it was discussed previously for posts. Pages do not belong to categories in WordPress, so metatags will not be added automatically without using custom fields. Also, the tag %cats%, if used in the keyword list, will not be replaced by any categories.

META Tags in Category Archives

Finally, META tags are automatically added to category archive pages, for example when viewing all posts that belong to a specific category. In this case, if you have set a description for that category, then this description is added to a “description” META tag.

Furthermore, a “keywords” META tag – containing only the category’s name – is always added when viewing category archives.


Extract the compressed package in a temporary directory and copy the add-meta-tags.php file in your /wp-content/plugins/ directory and activate the plugin in your administration panel (Options->Meta Tags).

As it has been mentioned, no configuration is required for the plugin to function. It will add meta tags automatically to the front page and to each post in single post view.

The administration page (Options->Meta Tags) contains all the information that was mentioned in the previous section, so you can access it quickly.


Add-Meta-Tags is an open-source project, released as Free Software under the terms of the Apache License version 2.

Downloads, Issue Tracking, Support

For the latest releases of Add-Meta-Tags please visit the Add-Meta-Tags development web site.

This plugin is also available at the WordPress Plugin Repository from where you can automatically receive the updated releases.

The development website also hosts an issue tracking facility, where you can check the currently open issues and feature requests. Regarding support, please check the available documentation on the Wiki of the development web site and, also, the integrated help within the plugin’s admin interface.

Other Info

This page had become the heaviest page on this web site (>120kb), so some sections have been removed to save some space and bandwidth.

The list of contributors has become too big for this page, so it has been moved inside the distribution package (file THANKS).

The changelog has been removed and is included inside the distribution package (file ChangeLog).


Since the day this page had been initially written the plugin has undergone several major changes and its functionality has been enhanced in many ways. This page will shortly be updated with more up to date information.

Development Status

This plugin has been discontinued. The design and implementation of it should now be considered outdated. Since the release of v.2.11.0 it is no longer recommended to use it in production. Please look for other more modern and better maintained plugins.

Add-Meta-Tags WordPress Plugin by George Notaras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Copyright © 2006 - Some Rights Reserved