Why we all have to enable All in One SEO Pack with each update

Plugin developers always have to contend with questions that start with “why.” It’s no different here, with All In One SEO Pack, and I’m here to give everyone a small peek into the decision-making process that goes into why the plugin behaves the way it does. We’re familiar with the complaint: “Another update? Now I have to go spend fifteen seconds of my precious time to re-enable the plugin in the configuration screen… Again?” But has anyone bothered to ask, “why?” I won’t wait. Here’s why:

A few months ago, an update to AIO was released. By then WordPress had one-click plugin upgrades available, so a blogger from Quick Online Tips did so. They attributed a dip to their pagerank to the upgrade, and wrote about it on their blog. The culprit, they claimed, was that the “Use Canonical URLs” option which was a new option that was checked by default. (Let’s set aside the veracity of that claim as we know that their dip in PR has nothing to do with that setting being turned on.)

The developers of All in One SEO Pack decided that the best way to avoid this kind of problem is to force the users to review their settings after upgrading the plugin instead of being automatically implemented. This is no different from having to review your lease agreement with your landlord should you renew your lease for another year. That way, whatever happens to a site’s rankings after the admin clicks the “enable” radio button and the “save changes” button is entirely the site admin’s responsibility.

So if you are ever left wondering why AIO needs to be re-enabled with every update, it’s so you get a chance to review everything before committing to any (if any) changes.

Jayvie Canono is a hybrid designer-developer who's been using WordPress since it used to be b2. He's been blogging as One Fine Jay for the past six years and will blog the end of the world.