Are you a food blogger, or interested in starting your own food blog? I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that food bloggers can use to see the products and services that I use with my blog. The list will continue to evolve as I find different resources that are worth mentioning, so be sure to check back often!
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you. For more information, read my disclosure policy. I only recommend products that I have actually used and love. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below. Thank you for supporting Marsha’s Baking Addiction.
STARTING A FOOD BLOG
DOMAIN NAME & HOSTING
Choosing the name of your website, and hosting. Web hosting is like renting your little space on the internet to put your blog! Here are my recommendations.
TSOHost – TSOHost had been my hosting company since I started my blog in January 2015 (I’m now with BigScoots), and I believe that they are the best UK hosting company when it comes to pricing and customer support. I highly recommend them if you are just starting out.
Wpopt – I was with Wpopt from May 2017 to November 2019, and they have been amazing. Their customer service is awesome, and they are super helpful with everything (from troubleshooting to assisting with plugin configuration and setup). I highly recommend them if you are looking to move to a better host from your first.
BigScoots – My current host. BigScoots is a fully Managed WordPress Hosting environment that is built for speed, and is a huge upgrade from my last host (Wpopt). Customer service and management is excellent with fast responses 24/7. They offer free daily backups, and guaranteed uptime delivered year after year without exception.
MAKING IT LOOK PRETTY
Themes are a little like an outfit for your blog. They each have their own layout, and you can choose which layout you like best. Here are my recommendations.
Bluchic – Bluchic has the most beautiful, feminine themes for your blog. These are not free themes, but they are professional, fully customisable, responsive, and SEO friendly. Bluchic also has a Documentation and Support page to help you set up your theme just like the demos.
Restored 316 – Another site where you can purchase beautiful and feminine premium themes for your blog. This is where I purchased my first ever premium theme.
SoloPine – SoloPine has a collection of beautifully laid out themes. I purchased Sprout & Spoon and used that as my theme before changing to Soledad.
Soledad – Soledad is a powerful and flexible theme that is super easy to customise and make it your own. It helps you create unique and professional websites for any purpose. This is the theme I am currently using.
Looking for a custom-made theme for your site? I highly recommend Purr Design who specialises in designing food blog themes.
Here are a few plugins I use on my blog, and which I highly recommend.
Grow by Mediavine – My social sharing buttons that appear on my blog posts. These buttons are fully customisable, and you can make them suit your blog design perfectly. They load in fast, and don’t slow down my site at all.
WP Recipe Maker – I previously used WP Recipe Maker for the recipe cards on my posts, but I still highly recommend it. WP Recipe Maker includes the latest SEO standards, they stay on top of the latest developments and were the first to switch to the new JSON-LD structured data standard. You can even upgrade from the free plan to include a Unit Conversion, and Nutrition Facts in your recipe card for your readers. Last but not least, their customer support is awesome!
Create by Mediavine – Create is the recipe card plugin I am using now. Whether you write recipes, DIY posts, or how-to’s, this plugin is for you. Create crafts multiple Google Schema.org types using just one plugin. It also automatically calculates nutritional data for your recipes. Create is lightweight, optimised for SEO, easy to use, has multiple themes to choose from, and fully responsive for mobile. And it’s free!
EasyIndex Pro – I used to use this plugin to create my Recipe Index, and I still recommend it if your current theme does not include its own index/category page. This plugin lets you create beautiful indexes to suit your style.
Imagify – Imagify is what I use to compress my images. It improves site performance by reducing image size, resulting in faster page loading, and a better SEO ranking. Resulted smaller images are no different in quality from the original.
WP Rocket – This is the caching plugin I’m using to speed up my site. It is by far the BEST caching plugin I’ve tried, and has given me excellent results. It’s super quick and easy to set up, and is very affordable on a yearly subscription.
Akismet – Akismet stops those pesky spam comments from getting through to your site. You won’t have to worry about spam again!
Yoast SEO – The all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search engine-friendly as possible.
Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR Camera – This is the first and only DSLR camera that I’ve ever purchased, and is what I’m currently using for my blog. I used the lens that came with the kit up until December 2015. I highly recommend this camera to any beginner interested in taking food photography more seriously. It’s an excellent, inexpensive option for beginners!
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 Lens – This is the lens I use on my blog as of January 2016, and is the first and only camera lens that I’ve ever purchased (besides the one that came with the kit). This is a great quality lens for the price, and I highly recommend it as a first lens for food photographers.
Adobe Lightroom 4 – I use Lightroom 4 to edit my photos before posting them onto my blog.
BUILDING SITE TRAFFIC
MailChimp – MailChimp is the email marketing software I currently use to send out recipe post updates via email to my subscribers. With their free option, it allows you to store up to 2,000 subscribers, and send up to 12,000 emails per month! They even have beautiful, fully customisable email templates, too.
Tailwind – Pinterest scheduling tool. I use Tailwind to schedule my own pins as well as other bloggers’ pins, too. Tailwind gives you unlimited pin scheduling, best times to pin, a powerful analytics of your pins’ performances, and profile and board metrics. If you’re looking to get serious about growing your Pinterest following, Tailwind is your best friend. Tailwind is also an official Pinterest Marketing Developer Partner for Content Publishing!
FOOD SUBMISSION SITES
Here is a list of the food photo submission sites that I use to drive more traffic to my blog. There are SO many out there, but the ones listed here are just the ones that I submit to.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED LIST:
Here is a list of everything I have recommended throughout this post!
- TSOHost (a previous hosting company)
- Wpopt (my previous hosting company)
- BigScoots (my current hosting company)
- Canon 1200D (my current camera)
- Canon 50mm f/1.8 (my current lens)
- Adobe Lightroom 4 (my photo editing software)
- Adobe Lightroom 4 Tutorial
- Photoshop (where I create my long pins for Pinterest)
- Photoshop: How to Create a Long Pin Tuturial
- The Food Photography Book by Nagi @ RecipeTin Eats
- The Complete SEO Guide for Food Bloggers by Hurry The Food Up
- Bluchic Themes
- Restored316Design Themes
- SoloPine Themes
- Soledad (my current theme)
- Grow by Mediavine (my social sharing buttons plugin)
- WP Recipe Maker (my previous recipe card plugin)
- Create by Mediavine (my current recipe card plugin)
- EasyIndex Pro (a plugin to create beautiful index pages)
- Imagify (image optimization)
- WP Rocket (my caching plugin)
- MailChimp (email marketing software)
- Tailwind (Pinterest scheduling tool)
- Akismet (keeps spam comments under control)
- Yoast SEO (all-in-one SEO plugin for WordPress)