Welcome to my top 10 WordPress Plugins that you must use on your food blog.
Let’s get technical…….When you start a food blog you can be overwhelmed with all the different technical elements. Needing WordPress Plugins is one of those moments. You’re told that you need Plugins to run a successful food blog, but with so many of them to choose from you have no idea where to start.
I decided the best thing would be for me to share the 10 Plugins that we personally use on Recipe This that way you can go out and get them and it will save you looking around everywhere for ones yourself.
Please also note that these are all in line with using StudioPress on your blog. So if you are using a different blog theme then adjust accordingly.
I really love Easy Recipe Plugin and it is used by a lot of food bloggers. There is a free and a paid version and depending on what you need it for you can choose either the paid or free option.
We personally have the paid option and it allows you to insert all your recipe details and then the code is entered into your food blog post. It will then have a print feature so that people that have read your recipe and want to try it out themselves can easily print it out.
On top of this there is also lots of SEO, social media and recipe sharing benefits to it.
Here it is in action on our beef stew recipe post:
We have come across other recipe plugins but they have never matched this one for ease of use.
There are plenty of SEO plugins out there. But none of them match up to the features of All In One SEO and it is totally free.
Firstly, it allows you to set your title, description and meta tags for your site.
You can see ours here:
Then you also have a little section for each blog post that you can fill in as you publish your blog post.
For example on our beef stew post this is what our All In One SEO looks like:
It is important that you fill in the title, description and tags. I often copy and paste over from the title, first sentence/paragraph and tags. I have often timed myself and it has often taken me less than 60 seconds to set up for each blog post, when you think of the benefits of SEO this makes it well worth it.
It is very important that you have Google sitemaps set up on your food blog. SEO will pay a vital role in your traffic and the more you help out your SEO positions the better the traffic will be.
Setting up sitemaps is done so that they can easily index all your blog pages and posts. You set it up once and can then forget about it and simply follow the instructions as it is very easy!
We personally love WP Rocket and have used it for a few years now on different sites that we have owned. It is $35 a year and it a cache plugin that is used alongside Max CDN to speed up our site.
If you see blogs with 90% bounce rate it is because their images are taking too long to load and that the site runs slow. They could fix this problem by reducing image size and by adding the WP Rocket plugin.
We learnt the hard way as far as our contact page on our blog was concerned. We wanted to be available to anyone that wanted us and we posted our email address on our contact page.
What we didn’t realise was that this resulted in the email address being crawled by spammers and resulted in a lot of spam emails.
However by changing it so that we have a contact form instead, it means that people only find out our email address if we reply to an email they have sent us. Just by doing this we reduced our spam emails by about 70%.
There are a lot of content forms out there but this was the only one that worked properly and that was free.
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We love this and have used this for many years and it was one of the first plugins we had on our first blog. It simply adds the tags to your blog posts. This is particularly good if you want your readers to be able to search by your tags or by your category tags.
You simply copy and paste your tags as you publish your listing and then simple tags does the rest for you.
You can also add a simple tags cloud to a widget area on your blog, just like you can see in the screenshot below that is taken from our footer:
Another thing I really love about this, is that it encourages people to search your site and go through your old posts, this then results in more page views per visitor.
This does the pretty boxes at the bottom of our blog posts that encourage social sharing:
We used to have a much smaller selection of social boxes on a previous theme and it looked awful and was way too small that most people missed it. With this it is like a call of action when people have finished reading a post.
It was a small nightmare before this plugin came along. We tried several and they never seemed to work correctly or didn’t do what they were supposed to. The nail in the coffin came when we were heavily promoting a post and the Pinterest button failed to work!!!
Then we found the Pinterest Pinit Button and we have loved it ever since. It adds a pin it button to each image making it very easy to pin to Pinterest.
This is another great plugin for your blog and I would consider this as essential if you want to grow your social readership and to encourage social media shares.
Basically you are writing a Tweet in advance and you have an in post section that allows people to tweet what you have written. I suppose it is like the Pinterest share it button but for Twitter.
You can see it in action below on our beef stew post:
This is a fantastic plugin and if was made for any type of site it would have to be for food bloggers. It is $5 a month for 500mb of images and it basically downsizes them so that your images don’t affect your bounce rate and give readers a good experience without pages feel like they take all week to load.
What you should look for in a Plugin:
There are millions of bloggers out there and there are thousands and thousands of food bloggers. At the same time there is a lot of competition out there offering their products to you. If a plugin doesn’t work then move on and find another one. We have switched plugins many times until we have found the ones that we have been happy with.
Try not to get tied into paying for one in advance such as yearly plugins unless you feel like they are really worth paying for in the long term. I have ended up paying for yearly plugins and then been forced to change without getting my money back.
Also don’t be afraid to pay for plugins as they can really help with the day to day running of your blog. At the same time don’t pay for too many and try and strike a balance.