WordPress for beginners:

WordPress plugin not working? Check these 5 things

You’ve installed a WordPress plugin and you’re waiting for the magic to happen. But what if what you see doesn’t match your expectations? What could be wrong if the plugin doesn’t seem to work? Here’s a checklist to get to the root of the problem and to determine the appropriate action to take!


1. Did you activate it?

At the risk of stating the obvious: Did you activate the plugin? After installing a plugin you’re not done yet. You have to click on ‘Plugins’ in your WordPress dashboard and hit ‘Activate’ to turn it on. If you’re not sure how to do this, you might want to check out how to install a plugin or perhaps take a look at our free WordPress training.

In case you’ve purchased one of our premium plugins, e.g. Yoast SEO Premium, it’s good to know you should separately install it, and subsequently, activate it in MyYoast to get it working on your site. Check out how to connect a premium plugin to your site in MyYoast here.

2. Check for conflicts with other plugins/themes

Some plugins and themes are not so happy together. The code of the theme and/or plugin might be interfering with each other, causing a so-called conflict. This might prevent a plugin from working well. Here’s a guide to check for conflicts with Yoast SEO and other plugins.

3. Check the changelog or release notes

Does a feature look different than it used to? Don’t fret, it could be an update; a new version of the plugin might show a reworked or enhanced feature. Most plugins keep up a changelog on the development tab of their WordPress.org plugin page. Using Yoast SEO (Premium)? You can also check out the latest enhancements in the release posts on our SEO blog

4. Do your expectations match reality?

Do you have the right expectations of the plugin? For instance, by installing and setting the Yoast SEO plugin, your site won’t start to rank immediately, there are some more things you need to do first. Also, all green bullets won’t send a post to the top of the search results right away; there are more factors at play, as you can read here. So make sure to read up on what a plugin does exactly, before buying or installing it.

5. Check if it’s a known bug

Did you check if it’s a known bug? Most plugins have GitHub repositories where you’ll find known issues and their statuses. Here’s Yoast SEO’s GitHub repository. If you’re an advanced WordPress user, you might even have a GitHub account. This allows you to create a bug report in the repository of the plugin. Read how to create a good bug report here.

A support team on your side

Perhaps you’d like one of our friendly and helpful support engineers to take a look when our plugin doesn’t seem to work? If you get Yoast SEO Premium our support team will be there to help you out. Our support engineers are located all around the globe, so we’re always on to provide support for Premium users.

Or check out the other reasons to upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium.

Yoast’s Knowledge Base

Are you feeling a bit lost in one of our plugins? We have an extensive Knowledge Base, which deals with a lot of common questions you might have when you start using one of our plugins. You’ll find the answers to questions like: “How do I noindex a URL?”, “How do I implement breadcrumbs?” or “Why doesn’t Google display my meta description?” Find the answer to your question here.

The Yoast SEO for WordPress training

If you really want to master Yoast SEO (Premium), the FREE Yoast SEO for WordPress training is there for you. Learn all about our plugin, its settings, and functionalities and get tips and tricks to use it best for your type of site. These training videos and quizzes are at your exposal, for free! Get all the details of this online training here.

WordPress for beginners series

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