Optimal Title Plugin No Longer Needed In WordPress

Every time I see an article with a title like 5 Essential WordPress Plugins, or 10 WordPress Plugins That You Can’t Live Without, the Optimal Title plugin is always in the list.

What this plugin did was move the separator so that your blog title would appear after the title of your blog post. This is good practice in the pseudo scientific world of writing with SEO in mind. Have a look at the title bar of your browser right now. See how the title of this post comes first, and the blog name (Big Fat Ostrich) comes second? Search engines like that, and the search results are clearer to the person obtaining them.


I only recently discovered that WordPress has actually had this functionality since WordPress 2.5, or from around 2008! When anyone decides to put together a website using WordPress, they’ll invariably run a search for “best WordPress plugins“, and end up using a list of plugins from 5 years ago. This is why it’s important to check on the development status of any given plugin. Here at BFO, we’ve learned this lesson as well. However, if you look at the download stats for Optimal Title, you’ll see that it’s still being downloaded on a regular basis. You’ll also see that it hasn’t been updated since 2007.

Optimal Title was actually an excellent plugin that filled a need that WordPress couldn’t pre version 2.5. Since WordPress now has the separator argument built in to the wp_title() function found in header.php, you just need to make a small change in your header.php file.

It may depend on which WordPress theme you’re using, but the format below works for us. Many new themes actually use the search optimized title formatted correctly so you won’t need to do anything.

<title><?php wp_title(‘&raquo;’,TRUE,’right’); ?><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></title>


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