HELP! I'm being attacked by zombie titles! It's a NIGHTMARE! I generally avoid CMS's precisely because of issues such as this but the client has a pretty elaborate site in WP, and Christmas is coming up so I need every single cent I can get my hands on, so I said OK, sure, I'll edit your WP site, how hard can it be? Big mistake! I've been reduced to an ashen-faced wreck - I found just enough strength to post this, after which I will return to the fetal position and moan softly until daybreak.
Problem: My client was using the "All In One SEO" plugin made by some ex-military dude, and in typical military fashion this inserts the key phrase into the title of every single page on the site. Like so " Blue Widgets - (actual page title here)" (Assuming Blue Widgets is the key phrase.) Now, I don't know WP but I obviously do know SEO better than most and SEO-wise this is bad, bad, bad! You can't optimize for a key phrase if you're carpet bombing the entire site. So I deactivate AIOSEO.
Problem continues: The title is now just "Blue Widgets" irrespective of what I type into the title box of the edit page form.
Problem continues further: I try editing pages, publishing brand new pages - no change. Even if I type "Murderous Monkeys" into the title and publish, the title is "Blue Widgets".
I disable caching. No change, title is still "Blue Widgets". Needless to say I try publishing brand new pages just in case old pages are being cached, and hit ctrl+F5 as if's an elevator button for "Lobby" during a building fire. Still no change.
I change the "Site Title" under "Settings" / "General Settings" to a blank. This has GOT to be it. But no, I still get all page titles being called "Blue Widgets."
I conclude this must be a problem with the custom theme. Whoever made the custom theme must have hard-coded "Blue Widgets" into the title of the theme. How was AIOSEO able to override it and attach the actual titles? I have no idea. I need HELP! I tried to find the template but all I see is a morass of PHP files.
This is something so incredibly basic - the TITLE of the page just won't conform to what you type in the TITLE input box. If this were 50 years ago my problem would be INK WON'T COME OUT OF MY PEN. Someone please help. I have carefully checked all of the client's plugins and there are none active that would have anything to do with the title tag of a page. Do things like this happen a lot? I promised my client I wouldn't, but I am VERY VERY VERY tempted to spend the next 365 days coding an alternative to WP, which would be a massive waste of time because WP is so well-established and if I get any traction at all Matt would send wranglers after me and have me lynched.