REST API - Head Tags

Description

This plugin adds all the tags in the <head> section of a site to WordPress REST API responses. You can download it here.

It is perfect if you are using WordPress for a headless set-up and you would like to add the meta tags generated by your WordPress SEO plugin (like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO Pack) to the WordPress REST API output.

Requisites

This package depends on the PHP DOM library. It looks like not all PHP servers include it by default, so make sure you have it installed before using this plugin

If you get some errors regarding this dependency have a look a this threadโ€‹

Compatibility

This plugin is compatible and works out of the box with most popular WordPress SEO plugins. These are the ones that we have tested:

  • Yoast SEO

  • All in One SEO Pack

Are you using a different SEO plugin and want to know if it's compatible? Feel free to ask in our community forum. If you tested any other plugin, please let us know as well so we can update the list.

How to use this plugin

Entities with head tags

The plugin has been developed to include the head_tags field to the REST API response of most of the WordPress core entities:

  • Posts, pages, attachments and custom post types

  • Post types: for archive pages

  • Categories, tags and custom taxonomies

  • Authors

In a Frontity project

In this case, you just have to install the @frontity/head-tags package and it'll work automatically.

In a different project

You need to understand better how it works and add the data manually.

How to fetch the head_tags field manually

You have to get each entity from its respective REST API endpoint.

For example, for fetching the posts you should go to /wp-json/wp/v2/posts&id=123 endpoint, for fetching the categories you have to go to wp-json/wp/v2/categories&id=123, and for custom post types or custom taxonomies would be a different URL in each case.

In the case of the homepage, it could be less intuitive and you should go to /wp-json/wp/v2/types/post. As previously said, each entity has a different endpoint so if you aren't familiar with this, you should check the WordPress REST API reference for more info.

Inside each endpoint, it will be a new field named head_tags , which will be an array of objects representing the tags that WordPress would normally include inside the HTML head element. These objects have the properties tag, attributes and content.

For example for these HTML tags:

<title>Hello wordl! - My Site</title>
<meta name="robots" content="max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1">
<link rel="canonical" href="<http://mysite.com/hello-world/>" />

This would be the content of the head_tags field:

"head_tags": [
{
"tag": "title",
"content": "Hello world! - My Site"
},
{
"tag": "meta",
"attributes": {
"name": "robots",
"content": "max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1"
}
},
{
"tag": "link",
"attributes": {
"rel": "canonical",
"href": "<http://mysite.com/hello-world/>"
}
}
]

Settings

The settings of this plugin are really simple.

Purge cache

In order to not affect the performance of your web, the head_tags field is cached for all your responses, but we've added a button to purge this cache in case something changes.

Enable output

By default, the head_tags field is included in the common endpoint of each entity. You can configure it so it doesn't appear by default and to be shown when you include the head_tags=true query.

For example, with the output disabled, https://mysite.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts won't show the head_tags field unless you have the query ? head_tags=true at the end.

Skip cache

In case you want to skip the cache, you can do so by adding to the query the parameter skip_cache.

There are some cache plugins for the REST API that also use the same parameter. In case you want to ignore the cache for the REST API call but not for the head tags, you can use skip_cache&head_tags_skip_cache=false.

WordPress installation

  1. First of all you have to install the plugin. You can do it:

    • Automatic: from within WordPress dashboard go to Plugins, click Add New button, search for REST API - Head Tags (by Frontity) and click Install Now

    • Manual: this method requires to download the plugin and upload it to your web server via FTP.

      For a more detailed explanation, WordPress explains how to do this on this guideโ€‹

  2. Once installed, you have to activate it and it will be running!

    The head_tags field is cached and enabled by default, but you can purge the cache or disable the output as explained on the Settings section

Troubleshooting

The REST API returns an HTML response or it shows an error

  • This could happen with some plugins and themes that add hooks to the wp_head action.

    What the REST API - Head Tags plugin does is to call the wp_head action for every entity contained in the REST API response and transform the generated HTML code into a JSON object. That means, any hook registered to that action could be causing the problem if it:

    • generates invalid HTML

    • unexpectedly ends the PHP execution

    • throws an exception

    You can check these topics in the community for specific cases that might help you.

  • Another reason why it could return an error is when you make a request to a custom post type endpoint that is not expected to have the head_tags field (like the menu-items endpoint).

    The solution is just disable the REST API - Head Tags plugin output when making those requests, simply adding head_tags=false to the query, as explained in REST API - Head Tags plugin not working with WordPress REST API Menus Endpoints.

Missing tags inside head_tags field

  • One possibility is that the WordPress theme or plugin generates those fields in a different action than wp_head. This is not easy to solve, you would have to find what hooks add the missing fields and attach them to wp_head, or write those hooks yourself.

    A known case for this is the NewsPaper theme, wich adds the <title> tag in header.php directly - without using the wp_head action. You can take a look at REST API - Head Tags Plugin error with NewsPaper theme for a specific solution if you are using this theme.

  • This problem could also happen if there is no theme at all in your WordPress site, because themes are normally what add those tags inside <head>. You can try using one that comes with WordPress by default to fix this.

  • Also, if you are using a plugin or any other system to cache the REST API responses you can try also clearing the cache.

Unexpected or outdated head_tags field

Still have questions? Ask the community! We are here to help ๐Ÿ˜Š