If you're interested in starting a food blog, but you don't know where to start, know that you're not alone. There are a lot of things to consider before starting a blog, so it can be easy to feel overwhelmed from the get-go.
The good news is that you don't need very many tools to get a site up and running. Today, we're rounding up the resources and tools you'll need to start your very own food blog. ? Let's get started!
Domain & Host ?
Before you start taking pictures or publishing blog posts, you'll need to set up the backbone of your WordPress recipe site. That starts with your domain and host!
Your domain is essentially the name of your website—think pinchofyum.com or wptasty.com. It's the brand that you're putting out to the world, so make sure to take the time to come up with a domain that you're 100% happy with before purchasing it!
Here are some examples of domain registrars:
Be sure to consider the price and read up on the reviews of whichever service you're looking to go with to ensure that your experience is nothing but smooth sailing. ⛵
Once you've landed on the perfect name for your site, go ahead and purchase the domain and give yourself a pat on the back. You're one step closer to launching your food blog!
Now, you'll need to pick a host to, er, host your site! Hosting providers allocate space on a web server for your site, so it's safe to say that there can be no site without a web host.
Below are some examples of hosting providers:
Some hosting providers and domain registrars, like Bluehost and Namecheap, offer domain name registration and web hosting in one package, which can be pretty convenient!
With a domain and host in tow, it's official: you have a website. Now it's time to get into the nitty-gritty of blogging, yay! ?
But wait! You can't blog without having a content management system (CMS) in place. And that's where WordPress comes in.
We recommend WordPress for all food bloggers out there because it gives you full control over your site and there are so many resources and plugins out there for WordPress. Looking to add a Pinterest widget to your site? Or a recipe card that also gives you structured data benefits? There's a plugin for that.
Okay okay. Now that you're all set up with WordPress, here comes the fun part: picking out your theme! Themes set up the groundwork for the layout of your entire site, from the location of your site logo to your fonts.
You want a theme that will make your blog easy to navigate for yourself and your readers, and one that is customizable, so be sure to shop around and test out different themes!
Some of the most popular food blog themes come from the great minds over at Feast Design Co.—they come with a bevy of customizations and are specifically geared towards food bloggers, so if you're stuck on themes, this is a great place to start!
Note that their themes do require that you have the Genesis Framework installed on your site, which sets up the foundation of your site and allows your theme to run smoothly.
WordPress itself also has a seemingly endless supply of themes for you to choose from as well, if none of the ones from Feast Design Co. float your boat!
Recipe plugin ?
Now we're finally getting to content creation! ? WordPress recipe plugins are a must for food bloggers because they: 1) make your recipes look dang good and 2) mark up your recipes with structured data, ensuring your recipes get found by Google (and thereby, the world)!
There are so many great options out there, like Tasty Recipes (our personal favorite ? ), WP Recipe Maker, Create by Mediavine, Easy Recipe—just to name a few!
Looking to learn more about the role recipe plugins play in a food blog? Check out our blog post on that below!
Why Food Bloggers Need a Recipe Plugin
Is a food blog without pictures even a food blog? ? We think not. Readers shop with their eyes and will often rely on photos to make the decision on a recipe to make, so a camera is a must for all food bloggers.
Whether you're using a smartphone or you're opting for a DSLR to get that creamy bokeh in your photos, make sure you have a camera handy! You'll want to get up close and personal with your subject matter (the yummy food, of course) and portray it in the best possible light to attract visitors to your recipes.
Feel free to check out Pinch of Yum's Food Photography Tools resource page for Lindsay's recommendations for food bloggers!
Email list ?
Now that you're starting to publish content on your site, you'll want to provide your readers with a way to subscribe to your content. The easiest way to do that is to set up an email list.
Below are some examples of popular email marketing platforms:
- Constant Contact
- Email Octopus
With an email list up and running, you can send out newsletters to your subscribers about your new content or even educational content if you'd like! The world is your oyster. ?
Site backup & CDN
Now that you have your food blog all set up (go you!), there are a couple of optional, though very useful, tools you can add to your blogging arsenal: site backups and a CDN (content delivery network).
Site backups allow you to create a copy of your entire website so that in the rare (knock on wood) event that something happens to your site, you can quickly recover it and get everything back up and running. Think of it as an insurance policy for your site!
Below are some examples of plugins/tools you can use to back up your site:
CDNs, on the other hand, focus more on your site's performance. A CDN is made up of a network of servers all over the world. The server closest to your visitor’s location will be the one to deliver the content to that visitor, ensuring that your site performs more efficiently. It's a win-win for everyone! ?
Interested in learning more about CDNs? We've got the scoop for you in our blog post below!
What is a CDN? Should I be using one?
Phew, that was a lot of information that we packed in! Starting a food blog from scratch can seem a little daunting at first, but we hope you feel more confident to do so after reading this post! With just a handful of tools at your disposal, you'll hit the ground running in no time. ✨