As of 2018, we recommend either:
MediaVine also entered the market in 2018 with their MediaVine "Create" plugin. If you're on MediaVine then it may be worth looking into, but at this time we're unfamiliar with them and can't vouch for it.
From crafting something tasty (and all the recipe tweaking involved) to shooting gorgeous photos and writing easy to follow recipe instructions, food bloggers put so much time and effort into creating their recipes. All of that work goes to waste if you don't have a way to present the recipes so they get the attention they deserve.
Any recipe plugin worth its salt will make sure your recipes displayed on your blog beautifully, easy to read, and super easy to update so you can focus on the good food, not on complicated formatting. While there are a variety of WordPress recipe plugins out there, you want to make sure that yours is doing your recipes justice.
Here are five things your wordpress recipe plugin should do:
#1. Publishing your recipes is super simple.
First and foremost, publishing your recipe shouldn't take you hours upon hours of complicated formatting. Your recipe plugin should be built around simplicity so that getting your recipe formatted for online consumption is almost as easy as boiling water. You want to focus on the content, and your recipe plugin should ensure that you can do that.
A good recipe plugin is a partner in promoting your work, rather than an obstacle you have to overcome every time you want to share one of your brilliant creations.
#2. It's internationally accessible.
It doesn't matter where you are or what language you speak; your recipe plugin should provide tools that make it easy to display recipes in your chosen language. You shouldn't have to do complicated flip flops to upload a recipe in the language that best suits you and your audience. Running an active and thriving blog means your to-do list is already a mile long, and you want the tools you use to help you save valuable time, rather than lose it.
A recipe plugin that is internationally accessible and has multilingual functionality means you have options. Not only can you upload recipes in your own language easily, but if you choose to provide recipes in another language, you can upload those without issue, too.
#3. More eyes on your recipes.
Some plugins that aren't built well can just bog down your site speed. Some plugins aren't built to be indexed on Google. You want a recipe plugin that will keep your site loading quickly for an impatient audience, as well as boost your site ranking.
The right plugin will be built to boost attention to your recipes and your blog by making it super easy for your keywords to get picked up by search engines - without forcing you to do the heavy lifting.
The key here is structured data. Make sure your recipe formats the content properly using schema.org's recipe format.
As of 2018, modern recipe plugins (WP Recipe Maker, WP Tasty) use JSON-LD (instead of schema) for the structured data per Google's recommendations.
#4. A gorgeous recipe display and style is effortless.
Every food blogger already knows the importance of aesthetics. We know it too, which is why we've already covered ways you can make your blog photography more Pinterest-worthy and tips for making the most of your iPhone camera . Visuals are everything, especially when it comes to food. Why would anyone want to make your recipe if the photos don't make their mouths water?
Photography is only half the battle, though. You've spent time cultivating a specific aesthetic for your blog overall--not just through photography, but with your design. Your recipe plugin should match the rest of your blog's minimalist style in order to accentuate the content, with fonts, sizes, and colors that match your theme.
An excellent recipe plugin will also be easy to customize via CSS in the default WordPress editor, if needed. Your aesthetic experience should not be interrupted, and your recipe plugin should provide a seamless design experience.
#5. No compromises on mobile responsive recipes.
According to StatCounter, mobile beat out desktop usage for the first time in 2016. And it's still growing quickly. That means people are increasingly using their phones to access the internet - and not just locally. That's worldwide. Since most people aren't dragging their computers into the kitchen, the likelihood of your audience accessing your recipes through their phone or tablet is extremely high - and that means your recipe plugin needs to be device agnostic.
A recipe plugin that is device agnostic ensures that your recipes are easily accessible and look great regardless of whether your audience is using an iPhone, a tablet, or their laptop. This means that it should be designed to be mobile-first, with the content using the full-width of whatever screen it's being displayed on.
Your recipe plugin absolutely needs to be compatible across mobile formats in order to keep your audience engaged and from getting frustrated. If it's not easy to use, the time and energy you've put into sharing your wonderful dishes may get lost in the void.
Update: As of 2018, the top food blogs are seeing 75%-80% of their traffic from mobile. Our themes are being developed for a mobile-first world going forward.
Make sure the recipes aren't stored in an encrypted, proprietary format that locks you into that specific plugin forever. Your recipes are your proprietary intellectual property, and the recipe plugin is a tool. Developers come and go, and sometimes plugins fall out of date. It happens. So make sure your recipes can be salvaged and transferred when or if it becomes necessary.
What does the output of a recipe look like?
Recipe plugins typically work by forcing you to fill in a number of fields, which are then wrapped with metadata using JSON-LD and schema.org markup. This allows search engines (and other crawlers) to understand what parts of your recipe are describing what properties.
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Recipe">
<span itemprop="name">Mom's World Famous Banana Bread</span>
By <span itemprop="author">John Smith</span>,
<meta itemprop="datePublished" content="2009-05-08">May 8, 2009
<img itemprop="image" src="bananabread.jpg"
alt="Banana bread on a plate" />
<span itemprop="description">This classic banana bread recipe comes
from my mom -- the walnuts add a nice texture and flavor to the banana
Prep Time: <meta itemprop="prepTime" content="PT15M">15 minutes
Cook time: <meta itemprop="cookTime" content="PT1H">1 hour
Yield: <span itemprop="recipeYield">1 loaf</span>
Tags: <link itemprop="suitableForDiet" href="http://schema.org/LowFatDiet" />Low fat
<span itemprop="calories">240 calories</span>,
<span itemprop="fatContent">9 grams fat</span>
- <span itemprop="recipeIngredient">3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed</span>
- <span itemprop="recipeIngredient">1 egg</span>
- <span itemprop="recipeIngredient">3/4 cup of sugar</span>
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix in the ingredients in a bowl. Add
the flour last. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and bake for one hour.
<div itemprop="interactionStatistic" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/InteractionCounter">
<meta itemprop="interactionType" content="http://schema.org/CommentAction" />
<meta itemprop="userInteractionCount" content="140" />
The key parts here are the HTML tags with the "itemprop" property that are wrapped around specific elements, which tells Google (and other crawlers) what part of the recipe belong where. In search engines, we see the "aggregateRating", "cookTime" and "calories" itemprop right in the search result, for example:
You're putting a massive amount of work into making these recipes worth sharing and building up your blog. Running a successful blog requires strategy, but it doesn't mean you have to do it all on your own. There is no more strategic move than using tools that raise the quality of your work, rather than reduce it. Try a recipe plugin that actually works like you do, and make sure your recipes are getting the kind of attention they deserve.