NGFB / WPSSO – Improved Schema Support

NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) version 8.9 and WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) version 3.9 have been released. These latest versions include a new “Theme Integration” tab on the Advanced settings page to help provide better Schema markup support for Developers and/or power-users. By default, Schema itemprop / itemtype markup is added to the <html> element in webpages, but a better location for this markup would be in the <head> element. Unfortunately, WordPress does not have a standard filter for the <head> element (like it does for the <html> element attributes). If your theme provides a filter for the <head> element attributes, and/or you feel confident enough to edit your theme’s header.php template, you will find the settings under the “Theme Integration” tab very useful.

If your theme template uses a simple <head> element, you can easily move the Schema markup to its proper location by removing the “Header <head> Attribute Filter” in the Advanced settings (important) and modifying your header.php template to replace the <head> element with the following (example using WPSSO’s function):

The default Schema itemtype for index / singular pages has also been changed from Blog / Article to WebSite / WebPage in order to comply with trending pseudo-standard SEO values. Two additional filters have been added to customize the post types and Schema itemtype relationship, and/or to return specific Schema itemtype URL values (see the Changelog and/or the filters.txt file).

In previous versions, caption-type paragraphs were prefixed with “Caption:” in the meta tag descriptions, and image alt text (when used) was prefixed with “Image:”. Two additional options on the Advanced settings page can now be used to modify and/or remove that text completely.

What’s the difference between NGFB and WPSSO?

WordPress Social Sharing Optimization (WPSSO) is a fork (aka child) of the NextGEN Facebook (NGFB) plugin. They have the same author, many of the same excellent features, but WPSSO is distributed without the sharing buttons and their related features. As a result, WPSSO is 25% smaller and is often preferred for websites that already have (or don’t need) a set of sharing buttons. WPSSO also provides several extension plugins to enhance the core plugin with additional features.

Review the simple NGFB to WPSSO migration instructions if you would like to switch from NGFB to WPSSO.