So you’re interested in creating a food blog but you do not know where to start. Maybe you have a vague idea of domains, hosting and platforms. However, with so many options, it is difficult to know which one to choose.
That’s why we have compiled this simple guide, which explains how to create a food blog.
domain: Blogger or WordPress?
No doubt, a self-hosted WordPress site is a good start. WordPress offers many more features and customizations. You have more control over the design, appearance and content that you can publish, which allows you to create a much more professional site. You can easily add new features to your blog with the thousands of free plugins available.
With WordPress, unlike Blogger, you own your content, you can always keep the copyright and are free to move your site wherever and whenever you want. If you think about monetizing your blog, the platform that offers maximum flexibility, the possibility of growing with you in the long term and with a professional aspect, then this is your best option.
After choosing your domain, now you need a place on the internet where your blog can live. Choosing a hosting service could be one of the most difficult decisions you would make when creating your food blog. This is because there are many options, prices and it is difficult to understand the jargon when you have just started.
While there are many hosting sites you can choose, some of the best ones you can opt for and which we recommend are BlueHost and SiteGround.
Choose your theme for WordPress
Now you need to choose a design for your new blog. This is another great decision, with thousands of options. What do you want your blog to look like? How could you organize your food recipes making it easier for your visitors to navigate and find what they are looking for?
Now, WordPress has thousands of free themes to choose from. Some are not bad but there are a few optimized for cooking blogs, for example, that include an index for recipes. But a free theme is fine to start if you do not want to spend money. You can always change it later.
One of the best WordPress the new you can go for is Foodie Pro. This theme was designed especially for kitchen blogs. It is clean and minimalist to highlight your photographs. Foodie Pro offers an index for recipes that is configurable and makes it easy for your visitors to find what they are looking for without problems. In addition, it is an adaptable design, that is, your site adapts in the most appropriate way to the device in which it is being viewed: be it pc, tablet or mobile. This is really important for Google SEO and will help you get better in searches.
Foodie Pro works with the Genesis framework. A framework is a basic structure that developers use when creating a new theme. Most of the programming of the basic features of your site is in the frame, while the design of your site is in the theme. Since the functionality and design of your site are separate, modifying your page is much easier and you have access to updates without losing your personalizations.
Plugins add design, functionality and security elements to your site. Some are free, others are paid. Here is a list of some of the plugins that you can use for your cooking blog:
- Easy Recipe: This plugin formats the recipe on each page. It also adds data to each entry that points to Google and it shows a photo in the searches. Using a recipe plugin will help you get better in searches.
- VaultPress: This is a backup system. VaultPress makes a daily copy of your blog and saves it on its servers. If something happens to your site, you can easily access the copy of the files and upload them back to your hosting.
- Wordfence: This free plugin is a security measure to protect your site from hackers. You can also block them by using their IP addresses.
- Yoast: This plugin helps you improve your content so you can optimize your SEO and get better in Google searches. It also creates a sitemap (a list of all the content of your blog) so that Google knows what your blog is about and make it serve in searches.
- SumoMe: SumoMe adds the sharing buttons to each entry so that visitors can share the content on the social network they want. It also creates pop-ups. You can add a variety of pop-ups to your site so that visitors can sign up for your email list or follow you on your social networks.
Here are other products and services that you can use to maintain and grow your cooking blog.
- MailChimp: MailChimp is the email marketing program that you can use to send a weekly email of the newly published recipes. You can use the form to sign up for the newsletter and connect to SumoMe to add the emails collected by the pop-ups. You can have it scheduled to automatically send the newsletter every Monday at 4:00, for example.
- Tailwind: If you have visitors coming to the blog from Pinterest, for instance, this may be useful. Tailwind is an app that allows you to program a large volume of pins in each of your boards on Pinterest, in specific day and time.
- Cloudflare CDN: A CDN is a network of content delivery and is a system that allows your site to open faster. It also improves the speed of your page in general. Basically, the copies of your photos are stored on servers around the world. When someone visits your blog, it makes use of one of these copies instead of accessing your main server constantly. The result is a faster site which Google loves and allows you to upload in searches. Cloudflare is included in a SiteGround hosting plan, something that the other hostings do not offer, and one of the main reasons why we are recommending it for your hosting.
- Google Analytics: It is a free tool used by all professional blogs to track visitors and statistics. If you plan to create a professional blog and monetize it, you will need Google Analytics since the companies that will sponsor you will demand to see your statistics.