This is not a sponsored review, it’s a rant. I just spent 25 EURO ($30) for a premium plugin that promised images optimization for SEO – adding alt tags and renaming the file to make it SEO friendly. Sounds like a dream, considering my blog is 15 years old and naturally, I have tons of broken images and images with missing alt tags.
I just flashed $30 down the toilet.
And it’s non-refundable.
I installed the plugin and decided to buy the premium version based on multiple positive reviews. Social validation, you know…
It’s been ages since I wanted to update all my images, make my website somewhat SEO friendly, and fix those outdated posts from December 2006… I never had the time.
Now, Image SEO WordPress plugin comes along and promised to take care of everything, their AI technology would even take the keywords out of my Yoast plugin and use in the file name. Still sounds like a dream, right?
It really is awesome in theory, BUT…
Here comes the big “but”. The guys behind Image SEO WordPress Plugin charge you per image processed. So, in my case, I had 900+ images with missing alt tags, and I needed the 25 euro plan that covers 1000 images per month.
First problem: no PayPal subscription.
They only accept subscriptions created directly by credit card, which should have raised a flag right away, but I kept thinking that all those positive reviews cannot be wrong. I even emailed them asking if there is an option to create a PayPal subscription but they never replied. And no, that didn’t raise a red flag either. I just went ahead and purchased it.
Now they have my business credit card on file and can charge me whenever they want. Which they will do next month. It’s not like there is an admin panel to manage your subscription. I cannot even wipe my credit card from the account.
Second problem: You pay for adding ‘Alt Tags’ to broken images
That’s actually the biggest problem.
Obviously, from 2006, not only I had missing alt tags on the gazillion of images I uploaded over the years, that moved with me from one host to another – I also had missing images.
Broken images that were lost due to moving to a new hosting, restoring or compressing the database or whatever other reason, simply put, I had tons of broken images.
Once I have launched the AI-powered bulk image updater, I have seen that my credit count started dropping with each proceed image.
It goes down fast…
I put the settings on “manual validation“, which meant that I had to manually confirm whether I wanted to change the alt tag (in my case – add a missing one) or edit it before it changed.
However, I quickly noticed that I have tons (hundreds!) of broken images, which AI-powered Image SEO machine “could not add an alt tag” to, yet removed 1 credit for EACH broken image it processed and DID NOT add an alt tag to.
Unfortunately, I stopped the “bulk” processing too late. Even though I did not “approve” the changes on broken images (thanks to the fact I had it set on manual validation) – it charged credits for “suggesting” the alt tag to a broken image anyway.
The image wasn’t even on the server. It was just a broken path on one of the posts.
One of the many posts, in my case.
So, I used up most of my credits so I can see a suggestion for adding a SEO-friendly alt tag to a non-existing image. That’s not a bad cheap-thrill for my 25 EUROs.
What now? Purchases by card through their own merchant portal are non-refundable.
If you use CND – ImageSEO is useless
Also as a side warning, if you are using a Content Delivery Network (who doesn’t??), this plugin is useless. It does change the file name of the photos on your server to an SEO-friendly descriptive one, BUT…
Yes, another “but”!
It changes the images (only) on your server. If you use CND, the file will still be pulled from your website from the CDN server and the file name remains the same (yes, I have checked). Having an SEO-friendly file name on my server that is not going to over show on the website it kind of useless, don’t you think?
Last Problem: it adds Alt Tags to Everything
It doesn’t matter if the image is live in a post or was “just” uploaded to the blog and never used – Image SEO WordPress plugin will STILL add an alt tag and charge you for it. There is no option to NOT add alt tags to images that are not live.
Am I the only one, who isn’t happy? No!
Actually, if you head over to WordPress.org and check their profile, it’s kind of obvious, more people stumbled into a problem.
Considering that only 1000 people around the world have downloaded this plugin, and 1/4 of them wasn’t even happy, I realized that the eager reviews about Image SEO Optimizer plugin being “the best” are obviously either:
- Contain affiliate links
Image SEO Optimizer WordPress Plugin – Bottom line:
It’s very expensive (at euro 0.05 per image, either broken or never published), the plugin is definitely costly.
You will have to run it a few times, because on top of ALL THAT, it’s also buggy, and bulk processing froze a few times (while still charging credits).
And by the way, while writing this blog post, I added al tags to these images myself, because I see no point it paying nearly a dime for “automatic alt tag” generation. In any case, the alt tags are generated automatically (unless you root out the plugin altogether), and to be honest, I am not impressed with the AI alt tag generation… Here is an example from this very post:
If you have a few spare dollars to throw away – by all means, this plugin is highly recommended, but if you value your hard earned cash – rather buy yourself a cup of coffee, it will be more useful.
Bottom line – Image SEO Optimizer WordPress plugin – don’t download and don’t buy.