Find Awesome Tools To Use For Your Food Blog
Have you just decided to start a food blog but don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you already have a food blog but don’t know how to make it successful? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
Food blogging has become one of the most popular blog niches on the market. There are thousands of food blogs all over the world. Since the interest in food blogging has grown so much, we are now able to use plenty of tools and resources to have the best food blogs possible.
I decided to put together this resources page where I’ll show you all the tools and services I use to run my food blog. I have included some of the more cost effective options that I used when I first started vs the more professional and high-end ones I use now. I will also let you know why I switched from one to the other.
Everyone is at different stages in their business so feel free to browse around and find what's best according to your needs. From web hosting to themes, plugins, email marketing, and camera equipment, you’ll find the most useful resources to get your food blog up and running. So let’s get started!
To get your food blog live on the Internet, you need to find fast and reliable web hosting. I recommend choosing one that optimizes WordPress.
Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and companies to host a website online. There are a lot of web hosting options to choose from, but not all of them are secure.
The following services are considered the most reliable web hosts for a WordPress food blog. When choosing a web host, just don't sacrifice quality for one that is cheap. You'll probably end up having to switch to a new host like I did.
If you’re a beginner blogger that is just starting their food blog and looking for hosting that fits your budget, I recommend SiteGround. It’s a popular web hosting provider that offers different hosting options so you can find one that fits your needs. And it's much more reliable than BlueHost.
The most important thing for a food blogger is to find a powerful web host because of all the high-quality images that will be published on the site. SiteGround can make this possible. SiteGround will also automatically install WordPress for you, or migrate your site from another platform.
The web hosting services that SiteGround provides deliver top-notch speed, 24/7 expert support, and a high level of security. SiteGround is trusted by millions of bloggers and offers the full package you need to launch your blog.
If you’re a more professional blogger that has been present in the food blogging world for some time or even if you're new and have a little more money to spend for a higher quality host, check out WP Engine. WP Engine is one of the very best hosting services for WordPress blogs.
WP Engine uses its own caching system and has excellent uptime. When using WP Engine, your food blog will be hosted on the Google Cloud Platform. This means that the blog will load fast, regardless of what device you’re accessing it from.
The best thing about WP Engine is that their plans include access to ALL 35+ StudioPress premium themes powered by the Genesis Framework for FREE and you can use them on multiple sites. Just one StudioPress theme with the Genesis Framework is about $130 and the Framework alone is about $60, if you have to purchase them for different hosts.
Once you’ve chosen your web host, it’s time to make your food blog look beautiful and make sure it is fully optimized for search engines. For that purpose, there are a lot of different WordPress themes available online, so you don’t have to spend your time coding.
Having a great-looking site is very important, especially for a food blog. You'll also want one that is fast and optimized for SEO. Food blogs have a lot of pictures and recipes which can slow down the site making it frustrating for users. For that reason, carefully think about which theme you’ll be using.
You'll want a light theme that is simple and user-friendly. Stay away from the ones that are heavily designed. While those ones are attractive with all the pretty fonts, they WILL slow down your site. Your food images should take center stage anyway!
Here are some of the greatest themes for a food blog.
WPZOOM themes are one of the most popular themes on the market. It is what I used when I first started my food blog. I purchased the All Themes Package which was only $20 more than a single theme and it included 36 different themes to choose from. I also had other blogs in different niches so I was able to use different themes on all of them. If you only have one blog though, then you can definitely purchase just one of their themes.. just make sure to choose the best one.
All WPZOOM themes look beautiful on every device so you don’t have to worry about how visitors are accessing your blog. The themes are built by professionals who use the latest standards to ensure your blog is SEO-friendly, readable, and secure. Furthermore, WPZOOM themes work great with many plugins and page builders to simplify the process of customization.
When it comes to food blogging, the best WPZOOM themes include Foodica Pro, Cookely, and Gourmand. I was able to try out all of them but the one I liked the most and used in the beginning stages of my blog was Foodica Pro.
Genesis Framework Powered Themes
All StudioPress themes are powered with the Genesis Framework and are fast and secure. If you select WP Engine as your web host, then you will have access to their premium theme selection.
Feast Design Co is a third party theme creator you can find through them and they have such beautiful and minimal designs. I truly believe they have the most professional looking and powerful WordPress themes for food blogs.
I switched from WPZOOM's Foodica Pro theme to Feast Design Co's Foodie Pro theme and I wish I had done it from the start! Feast Design Co themes are built with clean, optimized code and smart design architecture to suit every blogger’s preferences.
Moreover, the themes are all mobile and SEO-friendly to help you achieve the best rankings possible. They also teach you how to optimize your food blog for SEO on their site and offer many helpful tutorials.
One of the biggest advantages of having a WordPress food blog is the ability to integrate plugins. Plugins help you add different features to your food blog and make it more optimized.
You can install a plugin for literally anything you can think of. Plugins will help you improve the functionality of your blog and increase your audience. But don’t go overboard because too many unnecessary plugins will slow down your site.
Here are my recommendations for plugins that are most suitable for food bloggers.
Recipe Card Blocks by WPZOOM
Apart from themes, WPZOOM also offers different plugins to help you design the best food blog. One of these plugins is Recipe Card Blocks, which is included if you purchase one of their food blog themes. It helps you to create beautiful recipes and provides a very clean, minimal design.
Recipe Card Blocks has a creative and user-friendly layout that allows you to easily add ingredients, cooking steps, photos, and even videos. WPZOOM has integrated plenty of styles for recipe cards so you can create unique designs for all your recipes.
I may have switched to a different theme but I still use WPZOOM's Recipe Card Blocks Pro for my site. It's been very easy to use and I love the design and customization options, along with the Schema Markup.
Another amazing option to check out is the WP Recipe Maker plugin which was recommended by my new theme. They're more well known but also a little pricier. I haven't felt like I needed to make a switch yet.. but you can check it out and make the comparisons yourself.
As a food blogger, you need to have insights into the performance of your posts so that you know what's popular and what recipes to create next. For that reason, you need an analytics tool and my recommendation is MonsterInsights Pro. It’s the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
Instead of spending time on Google Analytics and searching for the right reports, you can install MonsterInsights Pro and keep track of your posts directly in your WordPress dashboard. MonsterInsights simplifies the reporting process and shows only the most important reports to you.
MonsterInsights Pro has a wide range of features that help you find the most valuable data for your food blog. You can easily discover your top-performing recipes and posts your readers love the most.
If you work with affiliate marketing to make money from your food blog, I recommend you install the ThirstyAffiliates plugin. This plugin allows you to manage all your affiliate links in one place.
By having all affiliate links in a unified dashboard, you can easily monitor your commissions. In addition, you can organize your affiliate links into categories and integrate reports to check how they perform.
ThirstyAffiliates is used by millions of bloggers worldwide. It’s mostly popular because it allows you to use your domain name in the affiliate links. Therefore, the links will look more secure and users will trust them. I don't know about you.. but I never click on the random links that end with something like 348ybfd7y.
WP Cerber Security
WP Cerber Security is a WordPress plugin for keeping your blog secure. It’s a fast and reliable plugin that protects all blogs from hacker attacks, spam, and malware.
WP Cerber Security does a prompt check on all files and automatically blocks IP addresses of suspicious users and malicious activities, leaving no room for hackers.
With WP Cerber Security, you can add anti-spam for all forms on your blog and protect registration, lost password, and login forms. The plugin also cleans up all spam comments and does scheduled scans on an hourly and daily basis.
If you want to give your food blog a custom design and revamp your theme, one of the best plugins is Elementor Pro. Using a drag-and-drop builder, Elementor Pro allows you to customize any part of your blog and make it stand out.
Elementor provides you with an all-in-one solution for building food blogs. It allows you to create unique posts and pages without having any coding skills. With Elementor Pro, everything is done through a user-friendly interface.
The plugin shows you what you have built right away so you can check how the public is going to see your posts. And the best thing about Elementor Pro is that it works perfectly with all WordPress themes, so you can keep your current theme and still take advantage of Elementor’s features.
Alternative Solution: As an alternative to Elementor Pro, check out the Beaver Builder plugin. It’s another reliable WordPress plugin for building pages and is able to create top-notch sites thanks to its user-friendly features, great support, and regular updates.
Among the things you need to take care of when running a food blog is the speed. For that reason, you should install a plugin that will improve the speed of your site. My recommendation is WP Rocket, considering its powerful features and customer support.
WP Rocket is one of the best plugins that deliver quick solutions to keep your blog fast and optimized. It will improve the loading time of your blog right upon activation.
Simple Author Box Pro
I've had bloggers ask me about how I get my author box to look the way it does and show the author's websites and social icons. Well, I use a plugin for it - Simple Author Box Pro.
This is definitely an EXTRA design feature and most food bloggers probably won't care for it. I have it on this blog because I have other blogs that use it to make working with guest bloggers easier. Plus, I already paid for it, so why not!
Simple Author Box Pro allows you to customize your author boxes, add over 50 different social icons, and lets you add multiple authors and contributors to your site with ease. So for those who are curious, that is what it is. Can your food blog live without it? Yes! So don't feel like you need to go get it because it's on this page.
To increase your audience and directly send them recipes & special offers, you’ll need to use an email marketing service. Email Marketing is the best way to communicate with your audience and keep them engaged.
Email Marketing allows you to promote your food blog by sending emails to everyone who left their email address in your form. In that way, you can directly promote products or services to your audience and inform them about the new recipes on your blog.
I recommend going for ConvertKit if you’re a beginner blogger that’s just starting out and growing their email list. ConvertKit is free up to 1,000 subscribers and is a simple and user-friendly platform.
Besides emails, ConvertKit allows you to design landing pages and sign-up forms to collect subscribers. Its advanced reporting will provide you with details on the performance of your emails so you’ll know what's working and what's not.
Alternative Solution: Constant Contact is recommended for professionals and growing businesses that need a more advanced platform for email marketing. It is the most diverse platform that allows you to create emails and landing pages, as well as surveys, custom deals, coupons, and more. The platform has a wide range of features and templates to create unique emails. It's a little pricier so I only recommend it for established blogs that already have subscribers and are generating income.
Online Course Creation
As a food blogger, creating online courses is one of the best ways to make money from your blog. If you’re interested in making money through online courses, you can create your own cooking course or a food styling or photography course!
Here are the best platforms where you can create online courses and sell them on your food blog.
Teachable is a user-friendly online course creation platform. It’s considered the most popular platform for bloggers that want to create online courses. With Teachable, you can easily create a course with text lectures, as well as videos. Plus, you can add quizzes at the end of each lecture to ask your students what they’ve learned so far.
Teachable handles all aspects of creating an online course, from making the course to payments and marketing. It’s an ideal platform for both new and experienced food bloggers. When you register at Teachable, you’ll receive detailed instructions and guides on how to create your online courses.
Alternative Solution: Another well-established online course creation platform perfect for food bloggers is Thinkific. With Thinkific, you can create courses and add text, video, audio, PDF, downloadable files, and more things to them. Thinkific offers many of the same features as Teachable, so you'll have to compare them on your own to see what stands out to you.
Being a food blogger requires a lot of photos for which you’re going to need design tools. You need to have the proper tools in order to make eye-catching photos from your recipes. This can help attract more users on your blog and potentially more sales.
If you’re looking for a design tool to create things like Pinterest Pins or other social media posts, I recommend you to check out Canva Pro. It is also great for designing your logo and site headers. It’s one of the most popular design tools that also comes with a wide selection of Stock Photos.
At Canva, you can design standard photos, social media posts, postcards, business cards, brochures, posters, and more. You can further customize your designs by changing the colors, fonts, adding your logo, etc. On top of that, Canva Pro allows you to build videos, presentations, and infographics.
Today, Canva Pro is used by millions of food bloggers and offers them over hundreds of different social media templates to choose from. It helps with making designing a breeze! They also have a free plan so you can design content with their basic features and download it.
Social Media Scheduler
Regularly posting on multiple social media platforms can be overwhelming and time consuming. We just don’t have that much time to prepare new posts and publish them every day. For that reason, I started using a social media scheduler tool.
Here are the best social media scheduler tools that can help you prepare your posts in advance and focus on other things related to your food blog.
If you use Pinterest and/or Instagram to promote your food blog, I recommend you to start using Tailwind. It’s the best social media scheduler tool for Pinterest and Instagram. Tailwind allows you to upload your posts and set the time and date you want them to be published.
Furthermore, Tailwind helps you to find content ideas for your blog and track the performance of your published posts. Thanks to its powerful features, you can measure results in real-time and decide what posts to publish next.
Tailwind also has a great community, called Tailwind Communities, where you can be in a group of other food bloggers and support each other by sharing each other's content. This is definitely what helped my Pinterest Pins being shared in the beginning stages of my blog.
Alternative Solution: If you need a social media scheduler tool where you can schedule posts for more social networks, not just Pinterest and Instagram, then consider CrowdFire. It is another well-known tool among food bloggers. It allows you to schedule posts on other popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
Legal Pages Every Blog Needs
To run a successful food blog, you need to comply with some legal requirements and include legal pages on your site. Your food blog is your business so it’s natural that you want to protect your recipes and any kind of content you share.
Amira’s Legal Bundle Templates
Without doubts, Amira’s Legal Bundle is the best package with legal templates on the market. The Legal Bundle consists of the most important legal templates you need for your food blog. The templates are designed by Amira, a professional lawyer who is a blogger herself, at ASelfGuru.com.
You’ll get your Legal Bundle the moment you make the purchase. You just need to include your personal details like your food blog’s name, contact info, and more. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete and get your legal pages up.
Camera & Equipment
As a food blogger, you must pay special attention to food photography. Nowadays, most smartphone cameras have advanced features and modes to help you take beautiful photos but they can never replace a quality camera.
Professional food photos can help you build a brand that stands out from the crowd. High quality food photos can help you increase sales and get more traffic to your site. Who wouldn’t want to buy a certain product or try a recipe when it is photographed well and looks so delicious?
For food photography, here are some of the kits used on this site:
• Canon 6D and 50mm f1.8 lens;
• Canon 60D and 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.
These pieces of camera equipment are a little older and have been present in the food blogging world for years making them more affordable and suitable for beginners. In the future, we’d love to upgrade to a Canon EOS R and 24-70mm f 2.8 lens.
And that is my list of the most useful tools for food bloggers. Here you’ll find resources for any aspect of managing a food blog. From choosing a web hosting provider to food photography, you have everything you need to grow and run a successful food blog.
From my experience, the above-mentioned tools have proven to be effective and have led me to more audience, more traffic, and more sales. So why not try them? Carefully check all tools and find the ones that apply to your purposes. Good luck!
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Hi! I'm the founder of Speak Veggie To Me, a fun health and food blog where I share my favorite mouthwatering vegan and vegetarian recipes.