How to Start a Recipes Website with WordPress?
To make a good and outstanding recipes website with WordPress you need a lot of work and creativity. Also in this case you need to have a good sense of taste. Creating a perfect niche website such as a recipes website with WordPress requires knowledge in different areas of expertise like:
- Some IT knowledge
- Journalism, writing skills
1. Need of Minimal IT knowledge
In order to create any website, you need some IT knowledge. In this tutorial I will show you how to build a WordPress recipes website with no or minimal IT knowledge.
First of all, you need to find a reliable hosting company and register a good domain name. For this project we will be using the most popular content management system: WordPress. It is very easy to install and to get started with. However if you are not comfortable on setting up your site, you can hire a web developer who will do it for you.
Getting Web Hosting and Domain Name
For the start you won’t need an expensive hosting plan. You can go with a budget web host that offers you a 99.9% uptime, great website speed and customer support. You will be able to register your domain with your webhost as well. Some hosting providers offer a free domain if you buy hosting from them. A little creativity is needed when choosing a domain name. You can choose a keyword domain, but you can also go with self branding. If your name is Danny, you could go with Danny’s Kitchen. So you will register the dannys-kitchen.com domain.
Here are 3 reliable and inexpensive hosting providers that will offer you a free domain:
$1.99 / mo
$3.95 / mo
$3.49 / mo
Installing and setting WordPress
After choosing the proper hosting and domain name, you need to install WordPress. The above mentioned web hosts offer one-click WordPress installation tool, which means, that you don’t need to manually upload files and create database to your server. Every step is automated, you only provide the login information and email address for your site and the system will install WordPress for you.
Also read: our detailed guide on how to set up a website with WordPress and publish your first article.
After WordPress has been installed to your site, you will need to do some adjustments. In the above mentioned article, you can find more information on each adjustment you have to do. Basically you will need to access the dashboard of your WordPress site and configure the URL structure, install couple plugins, change theme, configure discussion and reading settings, etc.
Installing a Theme and Necessary Plugins
To fully customize your recipes website you need a nice theme and some useful plugins.
To see some gourmet themes you can go to the official WordPress website at https://wordpress.org/themes/search/food/ where you will find the theme Food Recipes that I recommend. This theme has the proper design for a gourmet website and also useful features: custom background, custom header, custom menu, editor style, featured images, fluid layout, full width template, left sidebar, one column, post formats, responsive layout, right sidebar, sticky post, theme options, translation ready, two columns.
Some of the plugins needed to increase both the performance and the number of users and therefore their pleasure to enter the website are: Akismet – to block spam, All in one Seo Pack – for SEO, Google Xml Sitemaps – for Google, Jetpack by WordPress.com – for stats, similar articles and other, Recent Posts Slider – for slideshow with images from the lasts posts, Contact Form 7 + Flamingo – for contact form and contact book and Share Buttons by AddToAny for social media buttons.
If you have a larger budget for building your site, I recommend using a premium WordPress theme. This way you can be sure that you will get a properly coded and high quality theme that includes lots of features. By using a commercial theme you will not need to use a high number of third party plugins, because all features that are necessary for a recipe website are already part of the theme. Here are 3 recipe and food themes for WordPress that I like and recommend:
How to Maintain Your Website?
The last step in this category is the maintenance of the recipes website. You need to update periodically with new features, but also with new releases of plugins, themes and WordPress that you already have. The plugin Wp Updates Notifier notifies you about new versions of themes, plugins and core of WordPress through your e-mail. The maintenance can be executed by anyone, but if you need some detailed customization you can hire a web programmer.
2. Journalism Knowledge and Writing Skills
For content writing you need a lot of imagination, dexterity and some journalism knowledge. You will improve your writing skills over time by creating more and more content.
When you write an article use simple words and try to make the article original as possible. Also try to use keywords that define your website and your article. If you write about a food with some ingredients then write more often about those ingredients using them in different context. A good idea is to write the ingredients together with the specific quantities and then to write the recipes where you explain how the food is prepared.
You need to be yourself and to be creative. Try to think out of the box. For example use multiple types of articles: guides, reviews of food you ate in different restaurants, diets, how to, tips and tricks and of course recipes. The idea is to be as creative as possible so you can write more and then you will have much more visitors.
Don’t forget to write correct, to be friendly and respectful. You can make some jokes and use different expressions and figures of speech. The WordPress editor has proofreading and you can use it to correct yourself exactly like in Word.
3. Photography knowledge
The word photography has at his origin two words from Greek. The first one: “φῶς (phōs)”, that translates “light” and “γραφις (graphis)” that translates into the verb “to write”. So the full translation could be “writing in light”.
With WordPress, you can install different plugins for photo effects such as Responsive Lightbox Lite. Also you can use the gallery options to put multiple photos in a slide or grouped in a grid. At each post you can put a photo as featured image.
You don’t need an expensive photo camera, but you will need a a good light source to be able to catch great images. You will also need a photo editing software to resize and adjust the images. The images taken with your professional or semi-professional camera can have anywhere between 2MB-15MB. You don’t want to upload images of these size to your website. Not only because these images will load forever, but you will also consuming a lot of bandwidth and server resources. You will also annoy your readers by making them wait for the photos to load.
A photo is like a thousand words, especially if you cook extremely tasty food that also looks amazing and then you can see the steam raising.
4. Gastronomy knowledge
Gastronomy is the study of the relationship between culture and food. It is often mistaken considering that the term gastronomy refers exclusively to the art of cooking.
The word “gastronomy” comes from the Greek words, “γαστήρ (gastér)“ meaning “stomach” and “νόμος (nómos)” – “knowledge”.
In the case you don’t write reviews about what food you cook, you don’t really need this step. Else you need to know when to put salt, how much ingredients to use and so on. If you have gastronomy knowledge you can write a detailed article and to make photos at everything you do in your kitchen, in your own and original way. Don’t forget that people tend to do their food in your way so please take care when you cook.
Wrapping up my WordPress Recipes Website Building Tutorial
If creativity really hits you, then you should use it properly. So you can combine cooking with singing or with other hobbies you have. A nice idea is to have a video at every written article together with photos of the food you wrote about.
In the end, I can only say Bon Appetite!