[SmartCrawl Pro] SmartCrawl Pro Better than YoastSeo

Hi WPMU Dev Staff / James Farmer James Farmer

I just want to start by saying good job to the developers of SmartCrawl! If anyone reading is debating whether to switch from YoastSeo, I would suggest you definetly give it a try. I liked YoastSeo (still do), but it has become too bulky and with so much advertising everywhere to upgrade to Pro. This is more of an issue on Multisite and if you are on Multisite definetly give SmartCrawl ago! Yoast's 1 license per subsite means Pro pricing is not feasible, and with all the advertising means super admins will need an additional plugin to hide it all (if we don't, some clients will end up buying a license which they can't use, or they will moan about losing some features on the free version :disappointed: ).

Saying that, there is still a few minor issues/bugs will SmartCrawl that I would like to draw attention to and hope the devs will fix soon.

When - Sitewide mode (network level changes only) - is ACTIVATED
1) When Sitewide mode is activated the subsite loses the ability to connect social media accounts. Neither the subsite admin nor the super admin can set this up for a subsite.

My suggestion would be to allow both "Sitewide mode (network level changes only)" and "Social" to be actiavted under "Site Owner Permissions" on the super admin settings page. If Social is deactivated then only let the super admin see the social page when viewing a subsite. If you don't want it all together than just turn off the Social plugin module.

2) Similar to 1 above, there is no way to add meta tags to verify search engines on subsites. As this is on the settings page.

My suggestion would be to put the search engine meta tag verification stuff on its own settings page and then add it to the "Site Owner Permissions" section so super admins can turn it on or off for subsites as they require. It also means the super admins don't need to allow the subsite admins access to the settings page.

3) Subite admins / super admins cannot access the import/export settings page for a subsite. Therefore when a new site is added to the network they cannot import YoastSeo etc settings. This is a big issue as makes it very difficult to change SEO plugins.

My suggestion put it on its own settings page and add it to "Site Owner Permissions" section. If the option is deactivated then still allow the super admin to access it for the subsite admin.

When - Sitewide mode (network level changes only) - is DE-ACTIVATED
4) It seems like it doesn't use the network settings as defaut settings. This is a shame because most networks are setup to use the same plugins across all subsites. For example YoastSEO or SmartCrawl. Can't imagine many networks allowing both. So in terms of SmartCrawl if one subsite uses SmartCrawl sitemaps it is likely the super admin won't install another sitemap plugin.

My suggestion, when a new subsite is created use SmartCrawls network settings. Then the super admin can still hide some settings pages. Or if they allow subsites admins access to those settings the subsite admin can change the defaults. By doing this it can for example avoid super admins from having to give subsite admins access to the Sitemap settings just so the subsite admin can click a button saying "Activate Sitemap".

5) The SmartCrawl settings Dashboard on subsites displays all plugin modules even when they have been disabled by the super admin. This means the subsite admins can still click buttons like "Activate" / "Conifgure" but the buttons don't do anything.

My suggestion, if the plugin module is deactivated in the network settings, then don't display that feture on the subsite settings dashboard

6) Can't hide the SmartCrawl subsite settings dashboard.

My suggestion, add a dashboard option to the "Site Owner Permissions" on the super admin settings page. This way it can be completely hidden from subsite admins if it won't add any value and will therefore make their dashboard more clutter free.

Last Suggestion

Being one of WPMU Dev's Top Plugins and with it starting to look quite good now, why not add it to the Quick Setup?

Really hope these issues will be taken care of so I can use all SmartCrawl Pro features on my multisites.

Thanks,
Dean

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi Dean,

    Glad to hear you like SmartCrawl so far and thanks for the reports, however, I'm not sure to understand all of them so let me go through them one by one so we can discuss it further :slight_smile:

    So let me start with #, #2 and #3 titled:

    When - Sitewide mode (network level changes only) - is ACTIVATED

    Sitewide mode is supposed to hide all the options on subsites and allow only network changes, so the options you are referring to are supposed to be hidden and in order to use SmartCrawl per subsite you should disable Sitewide mode option.

    If I understand this correctly, you're looking to add more control over subsites and enable some specific options in subsites even though Sitewide mode is active, is that correct?

    4) It seems like it doesn't use the network settings as defaut settings. This is a shame because most networks are setup to use the same plugins across all subsites. For example YoastSEO or SmartCrawl. Can't imagine many networks allowing both. So in terms of SmartCrawl if one subsite uses SmartCrawl sitemaps it is likely the super admin won't install another sitemap plugin.

    With Sitewide mode disabled all subsites can be configured on their own, but if I'm getting this request correctly you're looking to configure some default values to be applied on each subsite, right?

    5) The SmartCrawl settings Dashboard on subsites displays all plugin modules even when they have been disabled by the super admin. This means the subsite admins can still click buttons like "Activate" / "Conifgure" but the buttons don't do anything.

    This is actually something our developers are already looking into and I've included more details to the existing report.

    6) Can't hide the SmartCrawl subsite settings dashboard.

    I'll pass this suggestion over to our developers so they can consider adding this option in future :slight_smile:

    Being one of WPMU Dev's Top Plugins and with it starting to look quite good now, why not add it to the Quick Setup?

    I believe that this is already something on the to-do list but I've pinged Hub team about this to double check when someone comes online :slight_smile:

    Best regards,
    Predrag

    • Dean

      Hi Predrag Dubajic / James Farmer James Farmer

      Sorry its a little difficult to explain, but let me try again.

      Regarding points 1, 2 and 3. I realise that when "Sitewide mode (network level changes only)" is activated that it hides the SmartCrawl menu from the subsite admin and everything is then setup by the super admin. Actually I really like that feature.

      But the point I am making is when the "Sitewide mode (network level changes only)" option is activated neither the subsite admin nor super admin are able to connect social media accounts to a subsite, verify a subsite with search engines using the meta tags, or import YoastSeo settings for a subsite. Basically when Sitewide mode is activated these 3 functionalities are lost altogether for subsites (not just settings pages hidden from subsite admin). Neither the subsite admin nor super admin can implement them for a subsite.

      I think the easiest way to understand what I mean is by doing this. Install SmartCrawl on a multisite. Activate Sitewide mode. Now try to connect the Facebook page "https://www.facebook.com/site2" to a subsite (e.g. site2.network.com). It's no longer possible. The functionality is lost. Please see my suggestions above. Hopefully they will make more sense now :wink:.

      Regarding point 4, what I mean is a super admin may wish to hide the sitemap settings from the subsite admin, but that doesn't mean they don't want the subsite to have a sitemap. I think the subsite should start with network default settings set by the super admin and then if the subsite admin has been given access to settings pages they can change the defaults set by the super admin.

      In terms of managing our networks we go with the approach that if a client doesn't need access to something, its best to hide it from them to make their dashboard cleaner and easier to use and also to stop them from accidentally breaking their site e.g. Permalinks. Permalinks should be set once and never changed. If a subsite admin wants to change this and has a valid reason they can create a support request and I can do it for them, but it is unlikely this will ever need changing on our networks.

      In terms of SmartCrawl what we are trying to achieve (and I think many will have a similar need), is to setup as much as possible on super admin side and then hide those settings. However, the subsite admin will still need access to some settings e.g. Social page to connect the social media accounts, Verify search engines via meta tags and in post SEO options. Other functionality like importing YoastSEO settings is not necessary for the subsite admin to see, but as a super admin I still need to be able to import Yoast settings for a particular subsite.

      Hope my explanations make sense. Its hard to expain without screencasting :disappointed:.

      Thanks,
      Dean

      PS: Thank you for additional info on points 5 and 6. Will keep an eye out for those.

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi Dean,

    Thanks for the additional info, I do understand it properly now, I think :slight_smile:
    As I first thought, you're looking to have more options on how SC is handled on multisite installations, so it's not either all network or all subsite, but to actually have an option to choose what can be configured by subsite admins and what will be available only for super-admins.

    I've pinged our devs and project managers with your suggestions so they can discuss it further :slight_smile:

    And just to followup on this:

    Being one of WPMU Dev's Top Plugins and with it starting to look quite good now, why not add it to the Quick Setup?

    This is indeed on the to-do list and SC will be added to Quick Setup.

    Best regards,
    Predrag

  • Dean

    Hi Predrag Dubajic

    I have been experiencing a timeout and have now determined that it is being caused by Smartcrawl Pro.

    All I am doing is going to WPAdmin->Appearance->Menus and editing a label of a menu item. When I click on the "Save" button the page takes forever and then times out. When I deactivate Smartcrawl Pro and try the exact same process again everything works fine. Then after activating Smartcrawl Pro once more the timeout issue reappears, so definitely being caused by SmartcrawlPro.

    Here is what I see in my cpanel error logs:
    Timeout waiting for output from CGI script /path/public_html/wp-admin/nav-menus.php, referer: https://subdomain.my-network.com/wp-admin/nav-menus.php

    Not sure if this error was present before or after the recent update, as I am still new to Smartcrawl.

    If it helps my host is SiteGround and SmartcrawlPro is setup on a subdomain WPMS installation.

    Please can you get the devs to address this bug asap.

    Thank you,
    Dean

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