The Best WordPress Plugins for Food Bloggers

Plugins for Food Bloggers

The Best WordPress Plugins for Food Bloggers

Plugins can be a confusing part of building a wordpress blog. Which wordpress plugins are good, which ones aren’t? What plugin is that blogger using for {insert anything here}. The point is, it’s all a jumbled mess when you’re first starting out and even after you’ve been doing it for any length of time it can still be just as challenging.

Not all wordpress plugins play well together either. Sometimes you won’t know until you’ve installed them. This is by no means a complete list, however it should get you started with some of the best. Please pay close attention to any notes I have made about a few of them (a few you can only use one or the other)

Here are my favorite (and the best) plugins for food bloggers. (just for the record, most of them will work for any blog whether you’re part of the food bloggers or you’re in a completely different niche)

Also, I try to keep using plugins to a minimum for the sheer fact that a lot of plugins slow down the loading of your website. This ticks Google off and can cause your site to be penalized and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that.

  • All In One SEO Pack - I don’t actually use this plugin but I used to. My template comes with a plugin that does what this one does which is in a very simple way make your site as SEO friendly as possible. You definitely need this. Don’t use this plugin if you already use WordPress SEO by Yoast (you only need one)
  • Akismet  - Every blog in the world needs this little plugin that helps to get rid of spam. It is a must.
  • Broken Link Checker – Checks your links out of your blog to make sure you don’t have any broken links. This is helpful because Google wants to see links that work, not a bunch that don’t go anywhere. This is more important for SEO than you realize.
  • CommentLuv - This is a wonderful little plugin that goes with your comments that allows your commenter to link back to their most recent post. It’s just a really nice, non-obtrusive way to give back.
  • Easy Recipe – Built by a Food blogger’s husband, this really is the best recipe plugin for SEO purposes and formatting purposes. It has far more capabilities than most recipe plugins just in it’s free version. There is also a paid version and it’s totally worth the upgrade for the customization options alone. It is one of the only plugins on the market that plays nicely with Ziplists Save recipe feature, allowing you to switch seamlessly from Ziplist to Easy Recipe with no trouble. It is also the ONLY recipe plugin that provides a feature to convert older recipes that were already created with another recipe plugin. It’s awesome.
  • Google Analytics - I get the stats right on my dashboard so I don’t have to always sign into GA. It’s wonderful.
  • Google XML Sitemaps - This builds a complete sitemap of your entire site. It’s wonderful for Search Engine robots to crawl. Not just Google.
  • Jetpack  - I actually prefer this over GA, I love the fact that it’s all in one place and there are all kinds of other little add on’s that are part of this plugin. It’s got a lot.
  • nrelate – Related Content is a blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related posts from your blog archive. This one is much better than the one that many bloggers use called LinkWithin.
  • Pinterest ‘Pin It’ Button - Probably self explanatory – adds a pin it button to the top or bottom of all of your posts.
  • Simple Feed Copyright and WP Easy Copyright are two plug-ins designed to help protect your recipes and posts. You need both. One will protect your feed and helps to keep it from being scraped – when it does get scraped it will send a message back to your dashboard and you’ll be notified so you can do whatever you need. WP Easy Copyright protects your site from being copied.
  • Tweet old post - is a plugin designed to tweet your older posts to get more traffic.
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast - This plugin is written from the ground up byWordPress SEO consultant and WordPress developer Joost de Valk to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this WordPress SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, more on that below, it first and foremost helps you write better content. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. Do not use WordPress SEO if you already use All in One SEO pack. You only need to choose ONE of them, otherwise they will conflict with each other.
  • Ziplist – Ziplist is a great recipe plugin for beginners or those that need simple & basic. With Ziplist, you can also create a partnered recipe box and shopping list for your readers to enjoy. It allows for customization, but you do need to have some coding knowledge to be able to do that. Otherwise it pretty much looks the same as anyone else using it.

So do you use any wordpress plugins I don’t have listed here? Tell me what they are below in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    Some of these are new to me! Thanks for the great roundup. I’m at about 17 plugins right now and can’t part with any of them. A designer told me to keep it under 20 so I always worry about adding more. I love the ZipList recipe plugin. I started using ZipList recently for meal planning and it makes life a lot easier! I also love Limit Logon Attempts. It’s scary how many people try to hack sites.

    • says

      Jen, I’m glad I told you about some you hadn’t heard of.

      I’m with you on the not parting with the ones you have.

      I loved limit logon attempts but I’ve never really had an issue with that, so I don’t use it anymore.
      Ziplist was what I used until I found Easy Recipe. Now I’m converting them all (with one button – love it!) to Easy Recipe because it’s just better. Also, you can use it with your zip list recipe box. :)

  2. says

    Interesting ! I just installed a couple of ‘Get me cooking’recipe template so may look into easy recipe. I like jet pak too. Very convenient.I will prolly look into line breaker & tweet old post & the copy right one. Thanks for sharing ! I also like V slider because it helps me create slide shows. But I use it mainly for my nutrition health posts.

  3. says

    That’s a great list of plugins. I like the nrelate one and am surprised I have never seen that one before. It is much better than link within or outbrain. Good tip on the Copyright plugins too. Must add that to my blog.

  4. says

    The first plugin I install on all client sites is one that changes the wordpress admin menu from a left side vertical menu to a more traditional menu that runs horizontal across the top with dropdowns for secondary menu items. It is SO much more convenient and it also opens up more landscape on the screen for everything else.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ozh-admin-drop-down-menu/

    Second on my list is one to automatically backup the WordPress database. Yes, some hosts do this but many that are entry level fees do not necessarily do it every day and I want that. I’ve set mine to send me a copy daily and is then configured to automatically be filed in a folder in Outlook. Easy, non-intrusive and definitely some blog insurance!

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/

    You’ve listed two SEO plugins and I’ve seen some folks use more than one thinking that might improve their ranking. It won’t; pick one and stick to it. I could give a class on basic SEO, I think many food bloggers find it a bit overwhelming. I don’t bother with structuring my content around any specifics except to talk about what it is I’m featuring…but I do make sure to craft a good title, description and yes, I still include keywords!

    Nice list and agree with trying to keep them lean. Often the first issue I resolve for new clients who have complained about their site being sluggish is to get them away from using 30 plugins! :)

  5. says

    Nicole

    Thank you for this list. I am happy to see that I use many of these for my site but there are a couple I am going to switch out based on your list. I have been using Ziplist but don’t like the way it doesn’t show up in my feed. I’m curious of what happens to all the recipes that are formatted with Ziplist if I was to switch over to Easy Recipe.

  6. Gina says

    I really need to try the recipe plugin. I don’t do them all the time- usually on Monday’s. Also, the checking for broken links is an awesome idea! Thanks for the list!

  7. says

    Thank you so much for including us, Nicole! We were away at the Human Brochure campaign in Canberra and I just got back from Eat Drink Blog in Adelaide. Life’s been busy for us but I want to say how much what you said about John means to me. He works really hard and always goes the extra step to ensure that everyone is happy.

    Wait til you see some of the new things he’s coming up with!

    • says

      You are totally welcome Maureen – I honestly was so blown away by all the time that John took with me when my blog template was being less than cooperative – he did NOT have to do that. He went above and beyond what I would have ever expected. In fact, he could have simply told me “It’s your template not our plugin, buzz off” but he didn’t. He duplicated my template to see why the coding was causing a problem for the plugin and then changed the plugin to work with my template. Nobody does that. Honestly, just simply brilliant. You both are such dear people with the patience of saints.

      I cannot WAIT to see what is coming. All I know is that I know you have a few things on your blog that are NOT available to the public but that I want!! LOL

  8. Ray Corkran says

    Thanks for sharing, like others I have some of these but not all. I forgot about the WordPress SEO by Yoast, that’s a great one.

  9. Gail Hart says

    Hi, thanks for the info, have already added some of the plugins. Have you come across and food bloggers shopping cart plugin which will fit with the Ziplist or Yumprint? I have been scouring the internet to find one that will link the ingredients in the recipe directly to my shop so I can sell the ingredients too my client as well.

    Do you know of any which can do this?

    Tks so much, Gail

  10. says

    Thanks so much for these suggestions. I am planning to migrate my blog from TypePad to WordPress.com and just wanted to make sure that the plugins you mention are available to the free site in addition to the WordPress.org users. I don’t think I have the technical ability to self-host so wanted to take the easier route at first — thanks! cathy

    • says

      Actually, no. Not all the plugins are available to the free wordpress site. I think you will be able to use some that I mentioned, but in order to have full control over what plugins you use, you have to actually have a self-hosted wordpress site. Hope that helps! :)

  11. says

    Hi Nicole!

    This is a super helpful article for me, as I am new to WP. Thanks so much for posting it. I have a question: how many plugins is too many? My site is already slow. :)

    Thanks in advance,

    Alaiyo

    • says

      Alaiyo, you’ll get a different answer from anyone you ask that to. I have 34, which is TONS more than the “experts” say, but I think it really just depends on your template (because some of those are uber slow) and also making sure you USE all the plugins you have installed. If you notice it gets worse, see what you can live without. My problem is, many of my plugins go with my template (Genesis) so I have to have them. haha

  12. says

    Hi Nicole,

    I just recently started blogging and found your post here via google as I was searching for a good WP plugin for a recipe index/archive. May I ask what you use for your Recipe Index? It’s very organized and I love the drop-down and search option. I would so appreciate any help! Thanks so much!

    Jen

    • says

      Hi Jen,
      I’m so glad you found my site and that you found it helpful. I get this question a lot about my recipe index. The answer isn’t so easy. The Recipe Index is actually built into my template and is not a standalone plugin. I have also recoded how it works somewhat so that what you see now is a little different than what was originally offered.
      There are some great tutorials for building your own Recipe Index if you are on wordpress (which is looks like you are). Try this one: http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2013/04/17/how-to-create-an-automatic-recipe-index-for-wordpress-blogs/ My friend Carla figured out how to create an awesome recipe index using a category plugin. I can attest to it working as it was what I had until I had my site redesigned and I loved it and had no issues. It’s not even difficult to do, just takes a bit of time and organization. Let me know how it works for you. Sorry I couldn’t give you an easy answer :)

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