You want a WordPress recipe plugin that best fits your needs. Don’t waste hours browsing plugins. I have tested 3 common free recipe plugins for you!
You want to share your recipes with the world and you have created that awesome WordPress blog. Now, how do your readers use your precious recipes? Mark, copy and paste into a file to print out? Put the cell phone next to the pot with boiling water?
No one has tolerance for that as there are myriads of fantastic food blogs to choose from. They let people adjust recipes or print them with one click.
If you are a blogger and you want to post a recipe at least occasionally you will want to have a recipe plugin. The perfect recipe plugin might help your blog grow with built-in SEO features or create a library of recipes on your blog.
However, once you start looking for an appropriate plugin you will find thousands of recipe plugins to choose from. Not so easy to find the one for your blog.
Instead of sifting through hundreds of recipe plugins and testing some just take a minute or two to read this post. I have been there and made the test.
Do you want a free guide on how to write great recipes your readers will love? Sign up at the bottom of this post and download your free recipe writing guide!
Task: Select a WordPress Recipe Plugin – or 3
When it came to selecting recipe plugins to test I set some preconditions. I decided to test only three live and then stick with one. It had to have a free version (to get me started without investing money), be regularly updated (for security reasons), compatible with my version of WordPress, used by many other bloggers and rated very good. (That is why I did not test Easy Recipe, the recipe plugin that is recommended in the Elite Blog Academy list of blogging resources.)
I wanted to make sure to get a WordPress recipe plugin that doesn’t ask readers for their email address or anything before they can download or print a recipe.
If you do have a favorite food blog then go ahead and ask for their recommendation for a WordPress recipe plugin. I’m sure they will be more than glad to help.
The recipe plugins I tested are:
You can click on each to find out more about them on the developers’ websites. They all offer some tutorials and support to their users which I have not tested so far. Bootstrapped Ventures which developed WP Ultimate Recipe and Recipe Maker, also offer a free email course for food bloggers.
After installation and activation, you will find each plugin in your WordPress Dashboard menu. Each plugin has a “settings” submenu where you can make adjustments. In your WP text editor you find the button to create a new or add an existing recipe. However, with the WP Ultimate Recipe button you can only add a recipe you have written before. More on that later.
Finally, I have created three posts of the same recipe, each using one of the plugins for the recipe box at the bottom of the post. You will find the links to those at the end of this post.
Testing the most popular Recipe Plugin
The most sophisticated plugin of the three is definitely WP Ultimate Recipe, the most popular recipe plugin for WordPress. It comes with a lot of different features and is available in many languages. Therefore, it is somewhat complex but with a little bit of time invested you can set your recipes up just the way you like them. For example, I changed the highlight color to match my website design. The plugin will automatically create a recipe archive and readers can browse recipes by ingredients and more.
What I don’t like is that you create a recipe like a post and they will have their own list that you find in your WP dashboard. They will not appear in the “All Posts” listing and you have to take care of two separate registers if you write normal posts, too. I do and only occasionally post recipes.
You can, however, add a recipe you have written before to a normal post. You will have to create the recipe first and then write a post and add a recipe box. To me, this is too inconvenient. I like to write a post and add my recipe to the post without too much fuzz. And as I am not a food blogger but a blogger that sometimes posts recipes I don’t need a plugin with that much features.
Also, the developers published a new recipe plugin: WP Recipe Maker. They say they will continue to support and update WP Ultimate Recipe “for the foreseeable future” and users do not have to switch to Recipe Maker YET. That leaves me with the odd feeling that maybe some years into using Ultimate Recipe they might discontinue it.
Two WordPress Recipe plugins that integrate with a post
With WP Recipe Maker and Zip Recipes, you can add a recipe to any post you like. After installing and activating the plugin there will be a button right in your WP editor where you write your post. If you click this button a window will open up with the recipe editor. BOTH plugins: are SEO-friendly, use recipe boxes, are simple to use, allow readers to print a recipe, come in different languages, have premium upgrades and give you options to change the recipes’ appearance.
The editor of Zip Recipes is somewhat simpler and you basically add text here. This is great if you want to enter different measuring units at the same time, for example, “250 g (2 cups) of flour”. You can add a recipe image that is featured at the top of the recipe box and an introduction.
With Zip Recipes, you have the link to the recipe post automatically added at the bottom of the printed recipe. Also, you can add a custom copyright statement if you like that appears on the printed recipe. I also chose the option to not have images printed out. If you want to format your recipe you have to use simple (!) codes. You can find the codes in this instruction guide for Zip Recipes. That way you can add links, images, bold text, subheadings, etc.
UPDATE: When I tried to use the formatting codes the format I desired wouldn’t show up in the recipe. And because I found you can easily type a custom recipe in WP Recipe Maker so I stopped using ZIP Recipes and deleted the plugin!
WP Recipe Maker
With WP Recipe Maker you have much more control about how a recipe looks like, for example, change fonts and colors. You can add an image to each instruction step if you like. (In the example below I put some sample images there). These are not printed out.
In WP Recipe Maker you fill in different spaces that will format your recipe. This is a bit more work and you have to decide to give cups OR gram, but it will give your recipes a consistent layout. You can change this format using templates in the settings section.
Some templates have the option for readers to rate a recipe.
The plugin allows you to import recipes from other websites or use a text recipe. You copy a recipe text (for example your text from the post), then you paste it in the section “Import from text” and follow the steps to create a recipe. Check the layout. Done.
This has become my standard way of writing a recipe post. I create a post with a recipe and then, in the WordPress editor, I can easily create a recipe in WP Recipe Maker to add to the post so that readers can easily print the recipe.
After publishing some recipes, you can add existing recipes in a new post. (Click the WP Recipe Maker button, then choose “Insert Recipe” on the left, enter a keyword and choose the recipe from the list.)
This is great if you want to write a post with several recipes, for examples “3 great cakes to bring to a summer party”. These two features are not available in Zip Recipes.
WP Recipe Maker creates metadata automatically that help you rank with google or create a Pinterest Rich Pin. You can add a “print credit” that will show at the bottom of prints which I left empty. If you want to see all your recipes at a glance, you go to WP Recipe Maker > Manage and you will find a list of all your recipes.
Unfortunately, adding links to recipes is only available in WP Recipe Maker Premium. So, no affiliate links here.
Have a look: WordPress Recipe Plugins in action
Finally, I have created three sample posts, one for each plugin. Click your way through but keep in mind that a recipe does not have to look like that. You can customize recipes with each of the plugins as I said.
Then, I printed each recipe to compare the layout on paper. The Ultimate Recipe print has a wide-stretched layout that takes 2 sheets of paper. But have a look yourself. I marked some features in each print-out.
First, here are the three print-out as pdf-file with no comments. This is how a print out would look like.
Second, the recipe print out with some comments I added. Please click on an image to see it in full size.
I decided to not use WP Ultimate Recipe. It may be a great choice for food bloggers, though, and for anyone who is very ambitious about creating a well-assorted recipe compilation.
If you want an easy to use plugin that allows you to just “write down” your recipe you will be fine with Zip Recipes.
However, if you want your recipe boxes to look unique then WP Recipe Maker is right for you. It gives you way more options to customize or work on your recipes.
WP Recipe Maker is the recipe plugin of my choice. Especially, I love the idea of putting together compendium posts with some of my older recipes without typing them again (once I have a little recipe archive on my hand).
UPDATE: I have stopped using ZIP Recipes and deleted the plugin. I found it easier and more consistent to type recipes in the text of the post. Then I select the text, copy it and use the WP Recipe Maker to create a recipe from that text. It’s very easy to get used to and I don’t have a bunch of plugins hanging around the blog. 😉
With a great free WordPress Recipe Plugin your readers can now adjust recipes or print with a click. No more cell phones in the kitchen steam!
Do you already use a recipe plugin? I would love to read your experience with it! Please share in the comments!
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