If you're new to food blogging and don't know where to start with plugins and tools for bloggers, no sweat! In this blogging for beginners post, we'll go over the five plugins I think every food blogger should start with.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products included in this post and recommend them because they are products I personally love and trust.
There's a lot that goes into blogging. And I mean A LOT.
There's writing the content, taking and editing photos (and/or video), promoting your posts... and before you can even do any of that stuff, you have all the prep work that goes into making and researching what you're doing. It can be pretty time consuming.
Now, this is not me trying to complain; it may be time consuming, but I love the whole process (ok, maybe not the whole process but certainly most of the process...). Rather, the point I'm trying to make is that there are a lot of ins and outs to blogging, and it's SO easy to overlook little things that could make your life a whole lot easier.
Blog plugins can be one of those things, but don't let them be! They can make blogging so much easier, and can improve your readers' experiences.
That being said, there are SO many blog plugins out there! You could literally spend days trying to wade through everything available. Yes, literal days. But ain't nobody got time for that!
So to make your (blogging) life a little easier, here are the top 5 blog plugins I think you should be using for your food blog.
SEO is one of those blog buzzwords. If you're not already familiar with it, it stands for "search engine optimization" and, in a nutshell, has to do with how search engines "read" and categorize our blogs for searches.
This has to do with how we've named our images, keywords that appear often in the post, page url, etc. If this sounds like something complicated and that you'd rather avoid, no sweat! WordPress SEO by Yoast makes it easy! Simply assign a keyword to your post, and this plugin will help identify where your post is strong and weak in terms of SEO.
Every recipe post should have a recipe card. Why? There are many reasons, but a few important ones include indicating to Google that your post is a recipe and having easily identifiable recipe information for social media sites like Pinterest to pull.
Personally, I like, use and recommend Tasty Recipes (affiliate link). It's SEO (search engine optimization) and user friendly, has beautiful built-in themes and a great support time.
Food blogs tend to be image heavy, and rightly so! But loading all of those images can slow down your page load times, leaving your readers hanging and dragging down your ranking with Google.
Using an image optimizer like ShortPixel (affiliate link) can help. This kind of plugin reduces the file size of your photos, speeding up your load times without sacrificing so much quality that your images no longer look good.
This may be my new favorite plugin. As I've started writing longer guides to basic baking concepts like my ultimate guide to royal icing or how to make sugar cookies like a pro, it's become increasingly obvious that these posts really should have a table of contents at the top to help my readers find exactly what they're looking for.
Enter LuckyWP Table of Contents.
This slick little app allows you to add a table of contents by post, add basic styling elements to match your blog, and choose which headers appear in the table.
You put a lot of time into your blog. So naturally you want to make sure no matter what happens, your precious content is backed up somewhere.
Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've had published, well-established posts disappear on me out of thin air (without my site being hacked or anything like that). And I can't imagine what I would have done if I had had to rewrite all of that content from scratch.
Luckily, backing up your content is easy with apps like this. If you don't already have one on your site, go. Download. One. Now.
We all like fast loading websites, right? What am I saying, of course we do! No one wants to go back to the days of dial up where page loading could take several (or in some cases, 10… 15…) minutes.
If you’re running a blog, slow loading pages can kill your traffic and really hurt your readership. Ain’t nobody got time to wait for pages to load!
Luckily, there are plugins like W3 Total Cache. This plugin is, admittedly, a little on the technical side, but it’s absolutely worth taking some time to sit down and figure out how to use it. The pay off: a fast loading website!
So I've talked about my top 5 blog plugins that every blogger should be using, but what's your opinion? What's one plugin you couldn't live without, or one you've been dying to try? Join the conversation in the comments!
Update Notes: This post was originally published in August of 2014 but was republished with updated plugins in February 2022.