Are you serious about search engine optimisation for your WordPress site? Wouldn’t be really cool to be able to get your SEO keywords linked internally within the copy of your WordPress Posts and Pages? Imagine if it was possible to do that. Easily.

Guess what? It is… (or will be very soon!) :)

Knowledge Constructs has recently been working with NLP World Limited (yes, we also build sites!) and apart from them being an excellent NLP training company they now have probably the best online NLP Glossary using Knowledge Constructs new WordPress plugin.

Okay – so there are still a few issues with the plugin as we’re still testing this. On the whole, we’d like to think it’s pretty good for what it is…

So what does it do that makes a really cool plugin for SEO? Well, here’s a list:

  • Easily generate glossary index pages for terms with links to separate definition Pages.
  • Creates a link to the definition for the first instance of each keyword found in a Post or a Page.
  • Associates related keywords and definitions.
  • Automatically creates the reverse relationship between associated terms.
  • Provides an image indicating keyword terms.
  • Provides a short definition for use on a mouse hover event.
  • Page & Post caching – to enable faster render times for your users.
  • Export your terms and definitions to CSV file format.
  • Import terms and definitions from a CSV.
  • “Clear Database” facility for clean plugin removal.

So what does this all mean in real terms?

To answer that, let’s have a look at what the plugin actually does.

Firstly, let’s imagine you have a site and it’s within a specialised niche and you’re looking to get new users interested in your content. Perhaps you’re a scientist or maybe even run a religious site – whatever the case, there’s usually a need to explain common terms you use in your specialised area to people who are new to it.

At the moment, the only way to do this in WordPress is to create a Page for each definition and an index page. Each time you add a term, it would mean a new Page as well as updating your index page. As you can already see this can be very time consuming.

Which is where the Knowledge Constructs WordPress Glossary plugin comes in.

Similar to our WordPress FAQ-Tastic plugin, there is a very simple way of adding terms using a text area where you can add 1) the Term, 2) the Definition and 3) the Short Definition. The Term is the keyword that you want to explain; the Definition is the explanation and the Short Definition is used when a user hovers over a linked term in your copy (useful if they have a vague idea but don’t want to click away from what they’re reading!).

Once added, the WordPress Glossary plugin automatically creates the pages that it needs. Let’s have a look at the NLP World site as an example. Here we have an NLP glossary index page listed alphabetically, an NLP glossary sub-index page for each letter definition as well as a Page for the definition itself (e.g. NLP definition for Anchoring).

After the terms and definitions have been added, the Glossary plugin also looks for the first word that it finds on any Page or Post in a site, checks the database for any matches with the terms it holds and then automatically creates a link. Here’s another example from NLP World’s 14 Day NLP Master Practitioner training course Page. All of the links with the question marks are generated by the new Glossary plugin. That’s a lot of linked terms, right? And hovering over the icons provide a quick way to refresh your memory without needing to click through to the definition. Cool, huh? :)

Okay, that’s all well and good so far but from a technical perspective both John (Urban Giraffe plugins) and I were very concerned about one aspect from the start – load issues for the database and server. Basically, each time someone views a page, the plugin would need to “read” the page then check against the database for any matches. The more terms entered would mean more searches as would the amount of users viewing pages. For small sites, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue – but what happens if you have a large site with lots of terms? It could mean that it would take a really long time for pages to be rendered properly. In the worst case scenario… well, I wouldn’t like to think about how bad it could really be!

Thankfully, again, John had another genius idea and set about implementing a cache function. This is a different one to the version used in WordPress 2.1 (as he said he had issues with the way it worked… blah blah blah or something :P ). So he set about making a new one that would mean when the first user viewed the Page, it would get stored and subsequent users would view this version instead of triggering the plugin. (Did I mention he creates Heaven Sent Plugins?)

So anyway, looking at the NLP definition of “Chaining” on the NLP World site, you might notice at the bottom there’s a related link to the NLP definition of Anchoring. Within the plugin is the functionality to enable associations to be made very quickly between terms – it’s a dropdown menu that you can just pick the related term from. Even better than this, we made sure that there’s a reciprocal link from the associated term (i.e. from term A to B and then back from term B to A). So you only have to make associations once!

With the inclusion of the CSV export and import functions, it’s also possible to save all the added terms in a format that can be used elsewhere.

Finally, I noticed that during testing WordPress plugins do not properly clear themselves from the database once deactivated. The data is still stored in the event of the plugin being re-activated, however there doesn’t seem to be an option to properly clean out the database – so we added one. It’s pretty destructive but will definitely clean your DB and remove all traces of the Glossary plugin. Fast. Warning: Use this functionality with extreme care!

So… where can you get this new WordPress Glossary plugin?

You can’t.

Well. Not yet anyway. We’re still testing it but we thought let you all know about it now because we still need some more testers. We will be giving all users who have signed up to our Newsletters the first chance to test the plugin. On Friday 18th, we will be sending out an Newsletter email asking for testers. 20 randomly selected users who respond, expressing an interest, will be given a chance to try out the plugin and give us some feedback. This is so that we can ensure that the plugin will be of the highest quality when we release it properly.

Oh… and we’ll probably be looking to create a Free & Pro version of this plugin. So the 20 randomly selected users will get to keep the full Pro version after it’s properly developed as our way of saying “Thanks for helping us out”.

Are you serious about search engine optimisation for your WordPress site? At Knowledge Constructs, we are. And we’re definitely going to be building more SEO plugins in the future.

Stay tuned.