Spoiler alert: "Launching" a food blog is a myth.
There is no reason at all to have your website in "maintenance mode" or password-protected when you're starting a food blog.
Your first 6 months
Your only job during the first 6 months of running your food blog is to get a new recipe put out every week. Do not underestimate how difficult this is.
You need a minimum of 20 high quality, unique pieces of content (recipes) before search engines even consider you anything other than a spammer.
This process of finding a recipe to make, making the recipe, writing the post, editing the pictures, and putting it all together has to become second nature before you start playing with the unimportant parts of your blog, like "branding" and making it look unique.
By the end of the first 6 months you should have 24 high quality recipes.
Your next 6 months
What's the most important thing after your content? Networking and promotion.
Keep the pace of a new recipe every week going, and now that you've become more efficient at pushing these out, start networking with your fellow food bloggers, participating in recipe round ups, and asking question on their blogs.
The two key components to a successful food blogs are high quality content and backlinks. You have to nail these two things if you're going to get anywhere.
You've now hit 12 months, and should have almost 50 high quality recipes.
Get over your fears
The most common reason people have for not going live immediately is that they're afraid of how it will be perceived by others.
It's a myth that anybody except you cares about your blog and how it looks.
Nobody (relatively speaking) is going to see or remember your food blog during the first 6 months of its existence.
If you're lucky, you'll get 1,000 visitors, who are looking for your content (your recipes), not your unique web design flare.
They're not trying to be inspired by the amazing, customized job you did modifying your website. Our themes are designed to get you started with zero customization - you've paid for a professionally designed theme and more likely than not, the changes you make are going to make it worse, not better.
Those initial visitors are insignificant compared to the millions you'll hopefully receive over the years.
Kaizen was popularized by Toyota, and is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. It doesn't matter where you start, as long as you continuously work on and improve your blog.
Rather than inwardly focus on what you think is important, keep focused on what your readers are responding to, and what they think is important. Your job is to evolve over time to best serve them. Focus your writing style, recipes, and site design and layout around your reader's expectations.
Feast Design Co.'s food blog themes are built following the Kaizen philosophy. They incorporate industry-leading best practices, and continuously evolve over time in response to support tickets from food bloggers, and feedback and metrics we see from visitors to those food blogs.
Thousands of hours have been poured into building and maintaining the themes, and they're set up such a way that any changes you make as an newbie is more likely to hurt your chances of success, than increase it. This is what you paid for.
Over time, you'll become an expert in your own blog and will want to (and should) make changes, and that's great. But give yourself a year to learn the ropes first, and always ask yourself: why am I making this change?
Get started now
So how do you launch a food blog? Get it live ASAP by following the tutorials, and start cranking out recipes.