6 of the Best WordPress Recipe Plugins to Help Your Site Get Cooking

November 22, 2015

When it comes to food blogging, having Master Chef skills is helpful but it’s not all you’ll need. You’ve got to get those five-star recipes to the people – your fans don’t just want to know what you made, they want to know how you made it, and more importantly, how they can make it too. If WordPress is your platform, then a recipe plugin is the best way you can serve those dishes up to your audience.

Three things to keep in mind when choosing a recipe plugin are convenience, search engine optimization, and user experience. After spending all day in the kitchen perfecting a recipe, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend all night uploading it to your site. Plugins that provide a recipe template, especially an easy-to-use copy and paste one are key here.

When it comes to publishing recipes online, your search engine optimization needs to be set up a specific way in order to ensure that they are indexed properly with services like Google. This then makes them more easily searchable, helping more people find your kitchen creations. Plugins that are Schema.org or hRecipe compliant are your best choice for increasing the visibility of your content in the search engines. .

Once your target audience can find your recipe, you’ll build loyalty by making it easy for them to read, print, and save to their device or bookmark. All the plugins on our list have plenty of options in this department. It just depends on the needs of your particular readers, and whether they use recipe database sites like Yummly, BigOven, Yumprint, or the any of the other many options available.

So let’s get started and explore six of the best WordPress recipes plugins that can help you get the job done right.

Recipe Card by Yumprint

Recipe Card by Yumprint is the bread and butter of recipe plugins. It has the most active installs by nearly twice the number of any other plugin on this list, and for good reason. It’s absolutely solid with a 4-star rating. It’s also completely free, but some reviewers feel like there is a hidden cost.

Recipe Card offers over 100 mix and match options to make your recipe template all your own. The recipe entry workflow was modeled after WordPress’ own post editor, making it familiar to use. Instead of putting each ingredient in its own field, they can simply be entered as a list in the text box. Recipe Card will also let you add as many recipes per post as you would like.

This free food plugin makes your recipes visible to search engines using both schema.org and hRecipe formats. If you include a photo, the recipe will also be available in Google Recipe Search, giving your target audience another opportunity to find your site and its content.

Your readers will appreciate the recipe printing options, as well as the ability to rate the recipe and add reviews. There is also a handy save to recipe box feature to help your visitors build up a cache of recipes they can turn to over time. The Recipe Card plugin also provides nutritional facts, although this is only available in the beta version so proceed with caution.

All recipes added through Recipe Card are also shown on Yumprint.com, a public access online database similar to Pinterest. Through Yumprint, users can set up their own accounts and save and search recipe entries. Critics are mixed on whether that is a good or bad thing because it takes people away from your site – but Yumprint does state that the recipe files remain on your server. You cannot, however, disable the Yumprint search options.

Yumprint also offers email support for users of this plugin so you’re not alone if you do choose this option for your food blog or WordPress-powered recipe site.

WP Ultimate Recipe

Although WP Ultimate Recipe has only about half the active installs of Recipe Card, it holds a higher rating: 4.7 stars out of 5. This is pretty impressive and is a good indicator of the quality of this option. The basic version of WP Ultimate Recipe is free to use and offers a variety of features.

Publishing your recipes takes place after clicking on the “Insert Recipe” button or by using one of the convenient shortcodes. Multiple recipes can be added to any post or page, and photos can be added to each step of the recipe if you wish.

Ingredients and directions can be broken down into groups for multipart recipes like salads with a homemade dressing. Recipe Indexes can be added to any post or page as well, making it easier for your visitors to click through to another dish on your site, rather than exiting and going elsewhere for inspiration. All these features are wonderful for experienced WordPress users, but newbies may feel a bit overwhelmed due to the workflow and user interface.

Recipes are optimized for Google Recipe Search using only schema.org. Once input, recipes are also fully text searchable to help your visitors find a dish that contains a specific ingredient or method of cooking. The plugin integrates with BigOven, Food Fanatic, and Chicory in order to give you extra flexibility.

Your readers will appreciate the print option that excludes pictures, saving them plenty of printer ink and paper in the process. As this free plugin is fully responsive, you can be sure your recipes will look great on whatever device they are being viewed on, especially an iPad or another type of tablet that is being used to display your recipes in the kitchen. One really nice feature is the facility that is in place that allows site visitors to adjust ingredient quantities for more or fewer servings. If your visitors like what you’ve published, the plugin makes it easy for them to share your recipes on the top social media networks.

The premium version of WP Ultimate Recipe costs $74.99 for one site or $299.99 for unlimited sites. By upgrading to the commercial version, you will be able to customize the template editor and make use of additional import options, including sites like EasyRecipe, ReciPress, Ziplist, and others. Nutritional info can be auto-retrieved if you decide to upgrade.

Visitors to your site will be able to rate and review recipes, helping to add a community element to your food blog. Menus and shopping lists can be created right from your recipe pages too, which is a hugely convenient feature, and if you give them the option, your readers can even submit their own recipes to your site.

If you want to start out with a free plugin that gives you more than enough to get started with, but also provides plenty of room for expansion in the future, you shouldn’t have any reservations about taking WP Ultimate Recipe for a test drive.

Zip Recipes

Zip Recipes is a replacement for the ZipList Recipe plugin. Zip Recipes is simple to use but is lacking in a lot of features compared to the other options in this category. Recipe template design options are limited to bold and italicized styling and the ability to add a picture. This would be a great plugin for beginners or, perhaps, blogs that do more than just publish recipes and therefore, might not need as much additional functionality. However, those with more advanced needs will probably be better served elsewhere

Adding recipes to your WordPress blog is lightning quick thanks to the easy to use interface. The plugin helps to boost the SEO rating of your content by making use of the schema.org recipe markup. As mentioned earlier, this does a great job of increasing the visibility of your recipes in the search engines, by making your content more searchable. Zip Recipes also has the ability to automatically insert the post name into the recipe and pictures, saving you a bit of time in the process.

The free Zip Recipe plugin prides itself on being easy and intuitive to use, but nevertheless, there are step by step tutorials and email support available in case you ever get stuck – impressive for a free plugin.

GetMeCooking Recipe Template

The free version of GetMeCooking Recipe Template is like a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. No frills but a favorite none-the-less. It is SEO-ready to ensure your recipes are listed in the right places online, but unfortunately, you will find little in the way of template customization options.

Only two features really stand out for this free plugin. Readers can specify if they would like to print the recipe with all photos, just the main photo, or with no photos at all. In addition to that, when adding a dish, you can specify if the recipe contains ingredients known to be allergens or trigger food intolerance issues.

The premium version of GetMeCooking Recipe Template costs $99.99 per site and adds a few more features including the latest recipe slideshow. Other less exciting options are a recipe index page, category listing, and nutritional info.

GetMeCooking Recipe Template could well be the right choice for your project. However, with more competitive options available, if this plugin has caught your eye it’s still worth carrying out a thorough comparison before making a final decision.

Recipe Hero Plugin Suite

This open source, three plugin suite starts with the Recipe Hero plugin. Recipe Hero allows you to easily add recipes to your WordPress site. Just create a new article using the recipe custom post type that comes with this plugin and your dish will be published using the purpose built template.

Thanks to this approach, your recipes can be added to your blog in minutes, while also ensuring they are easily kept separate from your regular blog posts and the other types of content on your site. To help you check off the SEO box on your plugin evaluation sheet, Recipe Hero will ensure your dishes are fully optimized for the search engines.

Your mobile visitors are well catered for with the Recipe Hero plugin and they will relish following your recipes on their smartphones and tablets. To help make your content a little more interactive, your readers can rate the recipes on your site as well as leave reviews. This gives them the ability to provide feedback for you and the other visitors to your WordPress food blog.

When it comes to upgrade options, the Recipe Hero BigOven plugin is an add-on that allows you to add a  “Save Recipe to BigOven” button to your site – an added convenience for visitors who are using this service.

Labels can also be added to your recipes by using the Recipe Hero Labels add-on. Labels include how many portions the base recipe consists of, the equipment needed, prep time, cook time, type of cuisine, and which course the meal is typically used for.

Recipe Hero is another free option that provides you with some useful upgrade options as your needs grow.

Yummly Rich Recipes

Yummly Rich Recipes is another WordPress plugin that is ZipList compatible. This free plugin has limited template options, but it does support copying and pasting of ingredients for a speedy upload. Multiple picture options are available, such photos that are inserted into the instructions section of the recipe for extra clarity.

SEO features for Yummly Rich include both schema.org’s and hRecipe’s guidelines, not to mention the auto-populate recipe name feature which is said to dramatically improve the optimization rating of your content.

Yummly Rich has improved their printing options. Now you can easily ensure that a URL or copyright statement is added to each printout automatically. This then makes it easy for your visitors to return to your site for more great dishes the next time they are looking for culinary inspiration. You will also find a “Yum” button that allows site visitors to add your recipes directly to their Yummly recipe box.

Wrap Up

So there you have it, the best WordPress recipe plugins available today. While Recipe Card and WP Ultimate Recipe are at the head of the pack in terms of sheer numbers (active installs and numbers of reviews), Zip Recipes and GetMeCooking Recipe Template boast great reviews, indicating that they too have a loyal fan base.

On the other hand, when it comes to Recipe Hero and Yummly, they don’t have as many features. This may make them easier to use for newbies, who can always upgrade to a richer-featured plugin down the road. That said, it’s often easier to grow into a plugin than it is to switch to a new one in the future. Migration is rarely an easy process, especially if it means updating or revising hundreds of recipes.

As with all plugin choices, it’s best to weigh your current needs, your budget, and the preferences of your audience before proceeding. Is there a specific recipe database site that your readers use most, and if not would they appreciate using one if you added the option to your site?

Food bloggers just starting out will want to pay special attention to the more robust SEO features on offer, as being indexed and ranked by Google is often the first step towards building an audience.


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