Many food lovers blog about their culinary adventures these days. In fact, the trend has become so popular that Google has created a dedicated recipe search just for that purpose. If you are using WordPress as a platform for your blog and want to start posting recipes, there are several things you need to keep in mind to become successful at it.
You will have to make sure that your recipes are easy to read, well formatted and visually appealing. And just as it works with any other types of blog post, optimizing the recipes for search engines is another major factor. While many bloggers nowadays possess at least some basic SEO knowledge, you don’t have to be starting from scratch. Many of the WordPress recipe plugins are designed with SEO in mind, which can make your life as a food blogger a lot easier.
Besides SEO optimization, other useful features you should be looking for in a good recipe plugin include a print button, customizable layout, ability to add pictures, clean recipe design and a variety of templates to be able to change things around every now and then. Read on for some of the most popular and user friendly WordPress recipe plugins out there, listed in no particular order.
The EasyRecipe plugin provides convenient formatting features and it has in-built SEO optimization tools. It adds a new icon to your blog editor’s toolbar. When clicked, it brings up a recipe screen that allows you to add your instructions. The feature is very straightforward and easy to use, just as its name suggests. It has separate fields for cooking and prep time, serving size and other types of notes. The print button displayed in its top right-hand corner allows your readers to quickly take your recipe to the kitchen with them. The ability to convert any old, plain-text recipes into their properly formatted versions is another great feature that’s unique to this plugin.
While the basic plugin is free, the EasyRecipe Plus version costs $24.95 and includes additional customization options, a year’s worth of free updates and “VIP customer support.”
ReciPress is another popular plugin among many food bloggers. It is currently available for free, with the $10 premium version being beta tested. After installing the plugin, you see a box at the end of any blog post offering you to add a recipe. It has several useful options, such as the ability to categorize your recipes by cuisine, meal type and the skill level required to prepare them.
The downsides include the absence of a print button and the fact that each ingredient has to be entered into its individual line, which takes more time than if you were to simply paste the entire list into one field.
Another SEO friendly plugin, GetMeCooking not only lets you format your recipes and display them on your own blog, but it also adds them to the recipe listing at getmecooking.com. More than that, it links back to the place in your blog where the recipe was originally posted. You just need to create a profile on the website in order to synchronize it with your blog.
The plugin is highly customizable, allowing you to use CSS to edit its layout. After the installation, a GetMeCooking icon appears on your content editor toolbar, which can be used to create a new recipe. The convenient print button allows one to print the recipe with or without the pictures. You can either get a free version of the plugin or pay $44.99 for its premium version.
Similarly to the ReciPress setup, each ingredient has to be typed in its own line. In addition to this, there are separate lines for each ingredient’s quantity and notes, and switching between so many lines can get somewhat frustrating. GetMeCooking does not have as attractive of an interface as ReciPress, but it wins when it comes to providing exposure for your recipes outside of your blog.
This free WordPress plugin promises to do all the SEO work for you. ZipList is very similar to an older plugin no longer supported by its developers, hRecipe, except for it has a lot of additional features that the other plugin lacked. Its interface is user-friendly, and its design is stylish and simple. The instructions and list of ingredients look clean and easily readable, and the print button is highlighted for extra visibility. The picture is removed when the reader chooses to print the recipe, providing a text-only copy.
The plugin’s main drawback is that it only allows adding an image to your recipe as a URL. You can’t upload it from your computer, but have to put it up on an image hosting site before you can use it in your blog’s recipe. This is a step that takes extra time and effort, turning some users away from the plugin.
5. Recipe Card
Developed by YumPrint, Recipe Card is a newer plugin that is currently available for free. It has a range of templates to choose from and a lot of layout options. Its colors, backgrounds and fonts are all customizable, making for an attractive interface. Recipe Card also has a unique feature not used by any of the previously listed recipe plugins – it automatically calculates the nutritional value of the ingredients that you enter.
Similarly to the GetMeCooking model, you have to register on the plugin developer’s website to be able to use Recipe Card, which might be seen as time-consuming and unnecessary by some users. Another drawback is that your recipes will include a promotional link back to the developer’s product page.
Another relatively new WordPress plugin, KitchenBug takes a user-friendly approach to recipe design. Similarly to Recipe Card, it has several templates to choose from and, just like Recipe Card, it automatically calculates your meal’s nutritional value. The plugin analyzes your recipe and adds tags to it, claiming to do some behind-the-scenes SEO work that will result in a better ranking.
Once again, you have to sign up for an account to be able to use it. Another downside is that you get an error message if the plugin doesn’t recognize a certain ingredient. And while you can skip over it, it might still interfere with your work flow.
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