See the quick and safe way to update to the latest Yoast SEO 14.0.x version
Yoast SEO 14.0 was a major rewrite of the core code of the plugin.
The purpose was to dramatically speed up the functions of the plugin on the admin side, meaning when you are logged in.
The Yoast SEO plugin has never, and will never, contribute to slow page load on the front side of your site and I have the test data to prove it.
If you have test data to prove otherwise, show it to me and I’ll show you the inaccuracies in how you run speed tests.
A Few Issues with the Update on Edge Cases
To make this speedup on the backside possible. Yoast had to change the way it handles database tables.
There were a few problems with that on a few edge case sites.
There were also a few problems with folks running insanely old version of PHP, like 5.6.
You should be on at least PHP 7.3 as of May 2020.
Also, if you have more than 10,000 records that need updating, you may need to use WP-CLI to help with the update. You’d likely have an enterprise level site to need to do this.
And if any hiccup with Yoast SEO makes you want to leave it for another SEO plugin, all I have to say is bye-bye.
This plugin gives us more leading-edge help than any other, and Joost de Valk is who WordPress and Google called on when they got in a room to see how best to bring XML sitemap to WP core.
Don’t even think about using this article as a whipping post or to promote which other SEO plugin you’ve switched to. It will be deleted. I have zero time for haters.
Any theme, plugin, or WP itself, that goes through a major core update is bound to have issues in the general public. There’s no way to test for every edge case.
How to Safely Update
Step 1 – Get a Full Backup
Ensure that you take a fresh backup that gets everything you need to restore your site.
Don’t know if you have a truly “full” backup?
READ: Backup Checklist and ensure that you have it all.
Step 2 – Install WP Rollback
The WP Rollback plugin allows you to revert to a previous version of any plugin in the WP repository.
This only works for free plugins in the WP repository!
Premium plugins cannot be rolled back using this method.
READ: How to use WP Rollback and follow the full method every time you do plugin updates.
Step 3 – Update Yoast SEO
Update the Yoast SEO plugin using the method above, with both the Plugins and Updates pages open in different tabs.
After the update is complete, while still in the Updates page, click the link to return to the Updates page, or go to any other admin page, like your Dashboard.
Step 4 – Click to Speed Up Your Site
This Yoast SEO update comes in two parts.
You should now see a message at the top of your admin pages with a button to click.
It looks like this:
Once you click the button, the database changes will begin to take effect.
You’ll see a progress bar like this one:
Step 5 – Check Your Site
Use the tab you are already in to start poking around your site to ensure all is well.
If anything is broken, switch to the Plugins page tab you still have open and roll back the Yoast SEO plugin.
You may get an email from your site saying there is a critical issue. It’s just because you did a rollback.
Check the plugin forum for issues, or to submit your issues.
No support is available from BlogAid.
Step 6 – Purge Cache
Purge your local caching plugin, CDN, and open a new incognito browser tab.
READ: How to Delete Cache Everywhere for more.
Check your site again.
Try to make a page or post and save as draft or do other typical functions.
If you encounter issues, you may need to rollback.
If no issues, super, you’re all done!