Very Simple Meta Description

Description

About

This is a lightweight plugin to add a meta description to your WordPress website.

Search engines such as Google and Bing use the meta description when listing search results.

You can use the post and page “Excerpt” and the post category “Description” as meta description.

This plugin also supports WooCommerce.

How to use

After installation go to Settings > Meta Description and set your meta description.

The recommended length is roughly between 120 and 160 characters.

Post and page excerpt

An excerpt is a summary of your post or page content.

The excerpt is already available for posts and this plugin will activate it for pages as well.

While adding a post or page you can set an excerpt by using the “Excerpt” box.

The “Excerpt” can be used as meta description for that post or page.

Static page as homepage

If you have set a static page as homepage, and you have activated the excerpt feature, the excerpt of that page will override the meta description from settingspage.

So only if this page has no excerpt, the meta description from settingspage will be used.

Post category description

While adding a category you can set a description by using the “Description” box.

The “Description” can be used as meta description for that category page.

WooCommerce

This plugin also supports WooCommerce.

While adding a WooCommerce product you can set an excerpt by using the “Product short description” box.

The “Product short description” can be used as meta description for that product.

While adding a category you can set a description by using the “Description” box.

The “Description” can be used as meta description for that category page.

Question?

Please take a look at the FAQ section.

Translation

Not included but plugin supports WordPress language packs.

More translations are very welcome!

Credits

Without the WordPress codex and help from the WordPress community I was not able to develop this plugin, so: thank you!

Enjoy!

Screenshots

  • Very Simple Meta Description (dashboard).
  • Very Simple Meta Description (dashboard).
  • Very Simple Meta Description (page excerpt classic editor).
  • Very Simple Meta Description (page excerpt block editor).
  • Very Simple Meta Description (category description).
  • Very Simple Meta Description (WooCommerce product excerpt).

Installation

Please check Description section for installation info.

FAQ

How do I set plugin language?

Plugin will use the website language, set in Settings > General.

If plugin isn’t translated into this language, language fallback will be English.

Why a recommended meta description length?

Because Google and Bing recommend a length roughly between 120 and 160 characters.

This way your meta description will be listed properly in all commonly used devices.

Why does Google or Bing not use my meta description?

After setting a meta description it can take up to a week before Google or Bing have indexed your site again.

But they can also decide not to use it, when your meta description does not match their requirements.

Why no excerpt box in the editor?

When using the block editor, click the tools and options button and select “Options”.

When using the classic editor, click the “Screen Options” tab.

Probably the checkbox to display the relevant box in the editor is not checked.

Why no product section on settings page?

This section is only available if WooCommerce is installed and active.

Where are the Open Graph and Twitter Cards settings?

I have removed both features in version 4.1 of this plugin.

Can I use this plugin with other SEO plugins?

If you have an active plugin (or theme) that also contains a meta description feature, don’t activate or use this feature.

Why no Semantic versioning?

At time of initial plugin release I wasn’t aware of the Semantic versioning (sequence of three digits).

How can I make a donation?

You like my plugin and you’re willing to make a donation? Nice! There’s a PayPal donate link at my website.

Other question or comment?

Please open a topic in plugin forum.

Reviews

28 March 2020
All I wanted was the ability to make the manually-typed Excerpt show up in the Description, for the likes of Facebook and Google. This plugin does that. The best plugins provide functionality that really ought to have been included OOTB…this one fills yet another essential niche. KUDOS to Guido for making this.
11 December 2018
The plugin works perfectly, it is extremely small (8kb zipped), which is a big plus, and the developer is super nice, very responsive and simply awesome. Thanks a million, Nick.
21 March 2017
Great for adding a site description quickly. However, Excerpt or Open Graph option seems not working. Although I turned them on, my post/pages had empty og:descriptions and meta-description.
3 November 2016
Simple plugin doing exactly what it is supposed to without bloat. Maybe a button could be added to the Default Open Graph Image field, to select the image directly from the library instead of pasting its URL.
Read all 9 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Very Simple Meta Description” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“Very Simple Meta Description” has been translated into 11 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Very Simple Meta Description” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Change log

Version 5.7

  • New: the description of the post or product category can be used as meta description for that category page

Version 5.6

  • Added file vsmd-options
  • Relocated code of the settingspage to this file
  • Minor changes in code

Version 5.5

  • Fix: character counter

Version 5.4

  • Updated the character counter
  • Minor changes in code

Version 5.3

  • Fix: remove line breaks from manual excerpt
  • Fix: updated register_setting()
  • Because of fix above plugin now requires at least WP 4.7
  • Added, removed and changed escaping and sanitizing of many items

For all versions please check file change log.