Before you setup Rank Math, it’s good to check if your server is compatible with Rank Math or not. While most websites will never have a compatibility issue with Rank Math, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are the various technical requirements that your website should qualify on.
Rank Math needs a fairly modern version of PHP to work. It doesn’t have to be the bleeding edge latest release, but a very old version won’t cut it. Specifically, PHP 5.6 and older are not compatible with RankMath. So, if you’re running PHP 5.6 or older, you’ll see an error screen.
If you’re on PHP 5.6 or below, then the best solution is to update to a newer version. If you don’t know how to update, the easiest way to achieve that is to ask your hosting company.
The reasons we are asking you to update rather support an older version are many. First, PHP 5.6 is no longer supported by the PHP development team – they’ve stopped working on security fixes and performance tweaks. It’s a relic of the past – so if you’re still using it, it’s time to update.
Later versions of PHP are more secure and run faster. PHP 7, in particular, is designed for very high performance, even under heavy traffic loads. You will easily double the performance of your website by switching to PHP 7 from PHP 5. Even WordPress themselves recommend that you use PHP 7.2 at-least.
If you have an out-of-date version of WordPress, you’ll have to update before continuing with the process. Fortunately, it’s very easy to update WordPress through the wp-admin panel. It’s a painless one-click process, and it’s the first option you see when you log on to the dashboard. If you want to check for an update manually, check the Dashboard -> Updates.
Keeping your WordPress installation up-to-date allows you to enjoy the latest plugins and performance optimizations. It’s also extremely important from a security angle.
Outdated WordPress sites are hacked every day, so make sure you update your site regularly!
Besides an up-to-date WordPress installation, the other requirements are PHP modules. Just as WordPress can have additional functionality via the use of plugins, even PHP can have additional functionality using PHP modules. While most of the required modules should already be installed on your server by your hosting company, it doesn’t hurt to be sure.
If your server is missing any required PHP modules, you’ll see a message like this:
As we mentioned, PHP modules add extra abilities to the PHP programming language – such as the ability to efficiently process XML files, or process images.
If you’re using a dedicated server, it’s usually quite easy to install new PHP modules.
If you’re on shared hosting, you probably won’t be able to add these modules on your own. You’ll need to contact your hosting company’s support team and ask them to activate them for you.
Just copy the names of the missing modules into an email or chat message, and explain you need them to be activated on your account.
Some plugins are known to conflict with Rank Math. This includes other SEO plugins that do similar tasks as Rank Math. You could imagine how confusing it would be if you had two or three plugins asking you for the same info every time you published a post!
Rank math will check for any known conflicts. If it finds any, it will display them like this:
You can disable the offending plugin by clicking the “Deactivate Plugin” button. The deactivate button doesn’t delete anything from your server – it just switches the plugin off. The good news is that Rank Math has a built-in feature to import your SEO settings from the most popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, AIO SEO Pack, and more. That means that you can safely disable other SEO plugins without worrying about your website’s SEO.
All the settings and data from other plugins will be imported in the next step. For now, we encourage you to disable any conflicting plugins to avoid issues.
If your server meets the requirements, you’re ready to move on to the next step! Click the “Start Wizard” button.