Finding a good recipe plugin can be as confusing and frustrating as finding a good hosting company. With so many to choose from, they all tend to blur together and seem to have the same functions.
But as someone who has been food blogging for 8 years and who has gone through several recipe plugins, more than I care to remember, I must say it’s been hard to find a good one.
It took years before I finally found one I was truly happy with, and that’s why I decided to write a little post about it.
I figured that if it was this difficult for me to find a good recipe plugin, then you might also be in the same position.
What is a Recipe Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. In the case of a recipe plugin, it adds a recipe card to your posts where you input your ingredients, directions and any additional information pertaining to the recipe.
To Pay or Not To Pay
If you follow my blogging adventures, you know that I always encourage bloggers to invest a little money from the get-go because those extra dollars really pay off in the end.
I spent the first two years of my blogging career trying to do it for free and I wish I hadn’t done that.
By refusing to upgrade certain plugins, I didn’t have access to features that would have helped my blog stand out and look more professional. Also, I missed out on amazing online courses teaching bloggers how to increase their traffic and make more sales. I was convinced that all the useful tools and blogging information were available for free if I did enough research.
Don’t do what I did.
Believe me, set a few hundred bucks aside and start on the right foot!
Take online courses, find a good hosting company and a good recipe plugin. It will save you months of hard work down the road which is worth so much more than a few saved dollars.
So, to pay or not to pay for a recipe plugin?
If you are serious about food blogging and want to make money from it -> Pay.
The thing with recipe plugins is that free ones are very limiting and may not be structured in a way that can help you grow your traffic.
How Much Does A Recipe Plugin Cost?
Anywhere between $50-$100 a year. It’s not a one time purchase, you must renew it yearly.
By buying the plugin, the hope is that it will deliver on its promise. And because of that I recommend doing some digging around before committing to one for a whole year.
In this post, I’m going to share the three most recent recipe plugins I have used. As I previously mentioned, I used a lot more than that but considering the fact that I cannot remember most of their names, I’m going to deem them forgettable.
What is Structured Data?
Before we begin, let me quickly explain what structured data is and why it matters for seo (search engine optimization) since I will be talking about it a lot throughout this post.
When data from a web page is formatted into HTML code, it can be difficult for search engines to effectively interpret this information. Some of the coding can be hard to decipher and that’s when structured data comes in to help. Structured data like Schema.org and JSON-LD adds extra information that allows search engines to truly understand what your blog is about. That information is then used to improve search result listings.
For example, a recipe plugin that has sections where you can add keywords, type of cuisine, category, cooking method, and nutritional facts, is optimized with structured data.
Structured data makes it immediately clear what all the different parts of a page mean so search engines can better understand your posts.
Easy Recipe – 3/10
Easy Recipe was the first plugin I paid for and used for about three years. At first I was quite happy with it, but the lack of customer support and updates made it so I had to leave, if I wanted to stay up to date.
While other plugins were implementing structured data, Easy Recipe ignored it. Structured data is extremely important in order for search engines to be able to read recipes. Without it, it can be difficult for them to decipher.
My verdict? Don’t bother with it. From what I can tell by reading the comments online, it looks like Easy Recipe hasn’t updated their plugin since 2016, and the customer support is virtually non existent. I’m also not sure if the plugin is optimized for data structuring since I’m not seeing any information regarding that on their page.
WP Ultimate Recipes – 5/10
At first, WP Ultimate Recipes seemed like the best recipe plugin ever, but it didn’t take long before the cracks started to show. First of all, this plugin will mess your WP dashboard because it creates an entire new section called Recipes.
Let me explain this better – you know how you usually go inside WP and go in the Post section to create a new post? Well, with WP Ultimate Recipes you no longer use the Post section and instead create recipe posts under Recipes.
Why is this so frustrating you ask?
Plugins end up losing some of their functions and the interface is not very user friendly. There’s nothing simple about using WP Ultimate Recipes, I always wondered if I was doing something wrong.
Another big downside to this plugin is the option of adding the slug /recipe/ within your URL (don’t do it!), which initially sounds like a great idea for seo purposes. But this becomes a major problem if you decide to upgrade or no longer use their plugin because the slug suddenly disappears.
So your links go from https://pickledplum.com/recipe/vegan-shepherds-pie/ to https://pickledplum.com/vegan-shepherds-pie/.
This means you need to use a redirect plugin to make sure your old links point to the new links, otherwise you could lose all your backlinks. This could kill your traffic since strong backlinks are what makes your blog rank high or low in search engines.
Forgetting to redirect can be a serious detriment to the success of your blog.
Is it seo friendly? It wasn’t for me.
After testing a few links in Google Search Console I noticed that most of my recipes couldn’t be read by Google. There were yellow highlighted lines everywhere on all of my recipes and I suddenly came to the realization that my traffic might be decreasing because of this plugin.
I kept this plugin for 1 year and my traffic stalled.
As far as customer service is concerned, it can be either excellent or non existent. I’ve had times when I was blown away by how quickly I would receive a detailed answer to my problem. Other times I would get a short, curt reply that made me feel like I was bothering them. And another couple of times I got radio silence.
My verdict? I don’t like this recipe plugin at all. I also think it can be dangerous for beginner food bloggers to use, who aren’t familiar with backlinks and redirects (should they decided to eventually stop using it). It’s simply not well thought out.
WP Recipe Maker – N/A
This is the updated version of WP Ultimate Recipe and it looks like they fixed a lot of their issues. They got rid of the Recipes section so you can now create your posts from the Post section! Also, they switched from Schema to JSON-LD structured data which makes recipes easier to read for search engines.
Is it good?
I don’t know, I only used it to unsubscribe to WP Ultimate Recipe. I had to upgrade to Recipe Maker (for free) to be able to revert my recipes in the Recipes section, back to the Post section.
My verdict? They lost my trust with WP Ultimate Recipe, so even if WP Recipe Maker happens to be outstanding, I would never go back to using any of their products.
WP Tasty Recipes – 9.5/10
Finally, the only recipe plugin I will recommend getting because it was built by food bloggers. Let’s face it, food bloggers are the only ones who truly know what a recipe plugin needs in order to function properly.
WP Tasty Recipes rocks because it checks all the boxes.
The first thing I noticed just one week after installing WP Tasty was an increase in traffic. I don’t know for sure but I think it might be because Google can now read my recipes and see the ingredients and steps clearly displayed.
I then went to Google Search Console to test my links and lo and behold – no more yellow lines! Everything looks like it’s working the way it should be!
Built by Bjork and Lindsay, owners of the super successful food blog Pinch of Yum, they created the plugin with a few specific things in mind:
- Ease of use for both the user and the reader.
- Easy for search engines to read. WP Tasty Recipes uses JSON-LD structured data to provide an in-depth view of your recipe to search engines, including both Pinterest and Google.
- Flexible formatting so you can write recipes the way you like it, and make the recipe card look the way you want it to.
- Video integration. Since video is the wave of the future, the plugin allows video embedding so you can show how the recipe is made right next to the ingredients!
I’ve been following Lindsay and Bjork’s food blogging journey for longer than I’ve had a blog.
In fact, they are the ones who inspired me to start a food blog because I saw them go from making $72/month, to well over $20,000/month in the span of just 3 years!
Bjork and Lindsay are an established source of information for all things related to food blogging. They own Food Blogger Pro, a website packed with video tutorials on how to start, grow and monetize a food blog.
I was with Food Blogger Pro for 2 years and gobbled up all of their videos because they are actually full of information and useful. Also, the chat rooms alone are worth the money because they are filled with helpful food bloggers from around the world.
So when I saw that they had launched a recipe plugin, I was overjoyed!
WP Tasty Recipes delivers on all fronts – it’s solid, easy to use (the interface is almost the same as if you were creating a new post in WP), the style of the recipe cards are polished, and the customer support consistently good.
The verdict? I gave it 9.5 out of 10 because their customer service can take a little too long to reply at times. But other than that, WP Tasty Recipe is a wonderful plugin you will thoroughly enjoy using.
If you are new to blogging, check out these helpful posts:
- How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost
- How To Come Up With A Blog Name
- How To Write Your First Blog Post
- Food Blogging For Beginners