Yoast SEO is a powerful plugin for WordPress websites, but it can be frustrating and time consuming to go through the default configuration steps every time you setup the plugin on a different site. This quick step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make your process more efficient by creating a reusable file to use as a template so you can avoid jumping through the same hoops over and over again during initial configuration.
STEP 1: Export the File
In WordPress, hover over the SEO tab in your Dashboard and click on Tools in the pop-up menu. Within the Tools section, click on the Import and Export link to get the transfer process started. It doesn’t matter which WordPress site you choose for this; you’ll be deleting any site-specific information later.
Next, click on the Export Settings tab and tick the Include Taxonomy Metadata box if you want that information included in the file. If that information isn’t important, you can leave that box unticket and go to straight to the Export Your SEO Settings button within the Export Settings tab. Your settings will download as a .zip file.
STEP 2: Unzip the File
Locate the file in your default browser’s download directory and open to unzip. The resulting unzipped file will have a generic filename such as import.ini that is automatically assigned by the plugin.
STEP 3: Delete Site-Specific Information From the Code
Open the .ini file using a code editor; any editor that can handle .ini files will work. You should see a list of settings on individual lines with names like company_name, company_logo and environment type.
Some of these settings lines, like version, are for general information that will pertain to any site you want to use Yoast for. Other settings, like company_logo, company_name and person_name should be changed for each new site you want to optimize with the Yoast SEO plugin. To make the file useful for the plugins on any site, you’ll want to delete all of this specific information to leave it blank so you can fill it in with different information for each individual site you optimize with the plugin. Some of these settings, like company_name or person_name, can stay unchanged and filled in if all of the work you do is for one specific company or person. Otherwise, you’ll want to delete everything that’s specific to one individual client or project, especially brand identity and social media settings.
STEP 4: Import Your Yoast SEO Settings Template
Test your new template by importing it into Yoast SEO. You’ll want to re-compress your new template file by turning it into a .zip file before importing. First, it may be helpful to change your .ini file name to something like template.ini or settings.ini to make your new template easy to find and import into Yoast plugin whenever you need to start fresh. Do this before compressing.
After you’ve created a new .zip file for your template, you can skip the plugins setup wizard and go straight to the Import Settings tab, then click Choose File and select your new template .zip file. Click the Import Settings button to complete the import.