Just the way you need all the right ingredients to make a perfect dish, you need a LOT to make a drool-worthy “recipe blog post” for your WordPress food blog. How else will your blog compete with those glossy food magazines?
Look at the recipe blog post below to get an idea. Notice how it uses beautiful, breathy sections for the recipe’s ingredients, equipment, instructions, and more — just the way you’d find it in a premium food magazine:
Now, WordPress doesn’t offer such custom formatting by default. These come from a WordPress recipe plugin (like WP Recipe Maker).
A good WordPress recipe plugin doesn’t just help you post beautiful recipes quickly but also helps you meet your blog’s real goals, from earning affiliate income and ad revenue to building a community or selling cooking courses. Depending on your food blog’s goals, you might prefer one WordPress recipe plugin over the other. So let’s see how you can choose a WordPress recipe plugin for your blog that best matches your needs.
But before we get to that and explore a few great free and paid WordPress recipe plugin options, let’s look at the essentials that a recipe plugin for WordPress must support.
What makes a great WordPress recipe plugin?
A great WordPress recipe plugin does three things for you:
- It makes publishing beautiful recipes easy.
- It helps more people find your food blog via search engines (think Google searches) and social media networks (so your business can grow).
- It helps you meet your blog’s goals.
To be able to do the above, it must be built a certain way and cover certain features.
A good recipe plugin for WordPress must be easy to set up.
It must also come with gorgeous, ready-to-use recipe post templates. You shouldn’t have to learn HTML or CSS to tweak things on the backend like your recipe card’s color, margins, border, etc., to make your recipe cards your own. Styling should be easy.
Plus, a WordPress recipe plugin must support videos and photos in any section of the recipe card right out-of-the-box.
In short: it should support a simple recipe posting workflow and you should be able to use it with zero coding skills.
A good recipe plugin for WordPress must offer compatibility with both the WordPress Classic Editor and the new Gutenberg Editor.
Not just that, it should play well with page builders like Elementor as well, just in case you want to switch later on.
It should work nicely with your theme too.
If you use schema markups or structured data to post your recipes or cooking tutorials, search engines can easily understand the different parts of your recipe content like its reviews, preparation time, ingredients, image, and more. This marking-up helps search engines to understand what the recipe is all about, and it also shows it in the search results with rich previews. Below, you can see how Google displays rich snippets for the Margarita recipe search query:
The key SEO feature that makes this possible is the latest JSON-LD support for recipe metadata. So check your WordPress recipe plugin and ensure it’s there. This feature simply means that your plugin adheres to the guidelines on schema.org and can mark up your recipe content for you.
We can’t stress this enough.
In its digital cooking trends research, Google found that most millennials refer to recipes on their smartphones and tablets:
Not just that, their most common question is: “Where do I put my phone so I don’t spill on it?”
So naturally, you want a WordPress recipe plugin that offers mobile-friendly recipes that adjust seamlessly to the device they’re being viewed on.
Search engines, too, need your content to be mobile-friendly.
The same Google research also found that people over 35 are more likely to print out a recipe…
So your recipe plugin for WordPress should offer the Print feature. Note, though, that not all Print-ready recipe cards look great when printed. Make sure the plugin offers a rich print preview feature too.
To save printing costs and be eco-friendly, some readers might want to print just the text recipe and not the images or video thumbnails. For enabling this, the plugin must have a disabling option.
Interactive serving size adjustments can also come in handy on this page.
Social media friendly
Another important feature you’d want to look for in your WordPress recipe plugin is how well it integrates with social media — especially Pinterest.
Because it’s the go-to place for millions of people for their meal planning needs. So look for a nice “Pin” button feature to help Pinterest users find your new and latest recipes.
Pinterest also offers a feature called “Recipe Rich Pins” that can read your recipe and format it nicely as a pin. Your WordPress recipe plugin should support this feature too. It’s good for both your user experience and Pinterest SEO.
One of the primary goals for most recipe blogs is to earn a full-time or at least a respectable side income. For many, this revenue comes from affiliate commissions and ad revenue.
For example, you could link your recipe’s ingredients to Amazon’s product pages and get a commission each time someone purchased using your link. Ads, too, work similarly and give you a cut for each impression or click.
Your WordPress recipe plugin must come with monetization features to allow this.
Upgrades and additional features
In addition to the above features, your WordPress recipe plugin should also ideally come with higher-tier premium versions so you can upgrade and access more features as the need arises.
If you’re already using a recipe plugin, another feature you might want to look for in your recipe plugin for WordPress is its import or migration feature (which will let you import your recipes automagically!).
Let’s now take a quick look at WP Recipe Maker and why it’s a good choice for new food blogs.
Why WP Recipe Maker is a great WordPress recipe plugin for first-time food bloggers
To start with, WP Recipe Maker from the Bootstrapped Ventures family includes every feature from above and more:
- Adding recipes is super-easy and customizations are effortless.
- SEO-friendliness, social sharing, and monetization options are baked right into it.
- Seamless integration with most WordPress themes and both the WordPress editors and page builders is there, right out-of-the-box.
But there’s more.
The free version is packed with all the features you need to post beautiful recipes on your food blog. You can use WP Recipe Maker’s free plugin to post recipes that 1) have neat, breathy sections for ingredients, instructions, images, and more; 2) look great on mobiles; and 3) can be printed easily.
In addition, you get detailed documentation and access to support. And if you happen to disable the plugin for any reason, WP Recipe Maker will show your fallback recipe, so your users will still see it.
With more than 200 four and five-star reviews, WP Recipe Maker is the most installed and loved free WordPress recipe plugin.
Once you outgrow the free plan, you can upgrade to WP Recipe Maker’s paid plans that unlock more features:
- WP Recipe Maker’s Premium plan: WP Recipe Maker’s very accessible $49/year plan unlocks powerful features like flexible serving options, ratings, interactive checkboxes for ingredients and instructions, affiliate link placements in the ingredients and equipment sections, nutrition facts, and more.
- WP Recipe Maker’s Pro plan: The Pro version offers features like custom recipe fields, unit conversion (so users can switch between Metric and US Imperial units), custom nutrients, a nutrition API to automatically build nutrition labels, and more.
- WP Recipe Maker’s Elite plan: The Elite version comes with features for letting your users save recipes, create recipe collections, and submit their own recipes.
See WP Recipe Maker in action on the WPRM Demo site.
If you’re looking for a free WordPress recipe plugin, we’d (obviously) recommend WP Recipe Maker to you. We’d do so not just because it’s ours but also because 50,000+ users trust the free version for delivering beautiful recipes on their food blogs.
That said, if you’re looking for an alternative, check these out.
A few awesome free WordPress recipe plugins for your food blog
Create by Mediavine is a free WordPress recipe plugin that comes with five sleek recipe card templates and lets you post SEO-friendly recipes. This plugin is also mobile-friendly and Gutenberg-ready.
Since this plugin comes from an ad management business (Mediavine), the focus is naturally on ad placements. You don’t have to be a Mediavine publisher to use the plugin, but there may be features that get released in the future that are only for the network’s own publishers.
Cooked is another free WordPress recipe plugin that comes with a drag-and-drop recipe builder. It supports structured data, fields for prep and cooking times, nutrition labels, difficulty level, and more. The print option is available too.
A few users seem to have concerns around SEO and support availability. So check out some reviews before installing.
You can also consider the following premium options.
A few awesome premium WordPress recipe plugins for your food blog
Tasty Recipes is a popular premium WordPress recipe plugin that offers a bunch of elegant recipe card templates and makes posting recipes effortless. It’s SEO-friendly, supports images and videos, and offers good integration with Instagram and Pinterest.
Options like printing recipes and saving them, too, are available.
Note, however, that Tasty Recipes works best when you buy both Tasty Recipes ($79) and Tasty Links (another premium plugin that costs $49). It’s only with the combo that you’ll be able to truly leverage this plugin’s affiliate link prowess.
Also, Tasty Recipes doesn’t offer a free version.
Zip Recipes Premium is another popular WordPress recipe plugin. It does just one thing — help you post recipes — but it does it well. You get six slick recipe card templates, two good recipe gallery views, and options like printing and Pinning. You also get dozens of options to customize the look and feel and of your recipe cards.
Features like links for ingredients and equipment or ad slots, though, are missing here.
If you’re just starting, consider using a free recipe plugin.
Free WordPress recipe options like WP Recipe Maker offer all that food blogs need to begin with.
Upgrade as soon as your food blog outgrows the free version, for example, when you’ve built some traffic — like 500 visitors/mo — and would like to start with affiliate marketing.
That way, you won’t just get the chance to try the plugin and learn what it can do for you but also upgrade without any hassles of migrating.
Wrapping It Up
Once you find a WordPress recipe plugin that appears to offer all the features, don’t rush to buy it just yet.
There are three more things to review. The first is checking the plugin’s update frequency. The free ones often don’t update for years and can break your WordPress website, offer broken functionality, or make it more vulnerable to hacking. Also, they go on for years without getting any new features.
Next, you’d want to read “enough” real-user reviews of the WordPress recipe plugin you’re considering as they share first-hand (unbiased) accounts. If you look at WP Recipe Maker’s free listing page, you’ll see it has 200+ high star ratings from food bloggers just like you.
And lastly, check out the demo. The demo shows you how your recipes will look like on the front end when the plugin is live on your blog (assuming that you don’t have any coding or customization skills). At this point, you could look at other food blogs to get a sense of what a good recipe layout looks like and how yours compares.
Once you’ve completed evaluating a WordPress recipe plugin using this exhaustive framework, you’re ready to buy. Fast-track this process and take WP Recipe Maker for a spin now. You can either start with the free version or grab the $49 Premium bundle and start adding affiliate links right away. You’re backed by our 30-day 100% money-back guarantee, which means trying the premium plugin is risk-free. Sign up now and take your food blogging to the next level!