How to Start a Food Blog: Step by Step

Do you obsess with food looking and tasting at it’s best? You also want to share it with the world and don’t know where to start?

I am going to show you how you can create your very own recipe blog depending on the budget you have.

Set aside 1 hour of uninterrupted work and by the end of it, you will have your very own recipe website that looks pretty much like this one.

Following this tutorial will get you a recipe blog just like this one here with a pagespeed of 92:

http://test.ramonascuisine.com/wp-recipe-maker-recipe/

  1. Find a domain name
  2. Get a hosting account
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Get an SSL
  5. Get a theme
  6. Plugins
  7. Settings
  8. CDN
  9. Security
  10. Image editing and alternatives
  11. Analytics

1. How to choose a domain name  – you can choose a domain name that is niche specific or one that has your name in it like mine does.

Also, it is better that you get one that has a country-specific domain ending. For example: .co.uk, .pl, .de, or if it is global audience you are targeting search for a .com domain (preferred but not necessary).

The next step is to get some ideas for your blog and you can do that by searching GoDaddy name generator using you niche specific term:

maybe it is vegan, maybe you would like to only share pasta recipes, or maybe only special cuisines around the world. (at the moment at this posting they have a £0.99 offer for a domain name) :
godaddy.co.uk (AFF LINK TBD) Here is an example on how it would look like

Get your own unique domain name

Here are a few registrars with good features where you can get your domain name after you decide features and pricing:
bluehost – recomended as well
godaddy.com
namecheap.com
dreamhost.com – free privacy

2. How to choose a host

When first starting you will not be needing much, so I recommend you save some money and you will upgrade as you grow.

Momentarily I use GoDaddy – but I will be switching hosts soon to Bluehost (cloud service) or Siteground as they seem a much better option, with more features.

For starters any host with a good background will do, so you can choose any host as transferring from one host to another is not as scary as people try to make it:

Any of the listed below are good enough:

BlueHost – I recommend you start with them as i will be switching to them soon.
Siteground: very good host to start as well, secure and fast and they have a trial period to change your mind (will test it as well)
Dreamhost – very good host for domains
Godaddy: I am with currently but I will be switching from them

Web Hosting

3. Get SSL for your website – you can leave this as the very last step

You need an SSL (secure sockets layer) for your website. Google puts huge emphasis on having it and Chrome gives warning if you do not have it. Fortunately hosting services like Siteground offer them for free with Let’s Encrypt (A free service that issues SSL certificates) or you can get them really cheap from cyberssl.com

They are not that difficult to install on GoDaddy but it does involve quite a few steps and if you are really new to all this I would opt for one of the two versions:

  1. Get it automatically with a host that supports the free SSL version;
  2. Get it from Google Cloudflare with a free plugin (step 7)

You can leave this as the last step as it will not affect anything and it is better that you see the results of your work and you won’t feel demotivated. If you would like a tutorial for this please let me know.

3. Install WordPress on your hosting account

I will show you how to do it on GoDaddy but it will be relatively the same everywhere else.

Login to your account and click manage and click on Instalatron

After that you search the application wordpress in application browser and click on install


After it is installed, login with your username and password and go to Settings/Discussion and check the boxes like are shown here in the screenshot. You can tick/ untick comment box cookies depending on where you live.

Then go to settings/ Permalinks and click Post Name

5. How to select a good theme

Here is what you should be looking for in a wordpress theme:

1. It is mobile first (70%-80% of the traffic is mobile now)
2. SEO friendly
3. Loads very fast
4. Looks professional
5. Has a great support
6. Has great user experience

I initially bought a theme that I didn’t need because the recipe plugin basically does everything.

I use a professional theme called Brunch Pro now and I highly recommend it.

Could I have a great looking website with a free theme? Absolutely! Is it worth paying for a theme to have peace of mind in the future?
Yes!
But I would still start with a free theme.

For example this time I selected “GeneratePress” after I searched for it and activated it.

After you click add new, search for “GeneratePress” and you will find it “. Click Install and Activate, and you are done.

It has a Google pagespeed of 93% on a shared hosting.

The website is minimal and based on the settings I have done here I will improve my main website. It was a good exercise of what to do and how to do it, as you can get lost along the way by adding more features and lose website speed.


6. Plugins

The plugins that you will need are for security, anti-spam, performance, and to be able to add recipes to the blog.

You will install them the same as you do with themes: search, install and activate.
Any plugin that you don’t use please delete it as it might affect performance in some cases.

Here is the minimum that you need:

1. Akismet Anti-Spam
2. Yuzo related posts – or any other compatible with your theme
3. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore
4. WP Recipe Maker
5. Yoast SEO
6. W3 Total Cache – performance plugin
7. Cloudflare Flexibile SSL – this plugin is necessary for the free SSL from Cloudflare.

I recommend WP Recipe Maker as the developer is amazing, the support is very fast, and the updates are often. You can get the premium version here that will allow you to add unit conversion, nutrition label plus a whole lot of cool features.

But until then, start with the free version but you may have to go back and add features to your previous recipes…just make a note when you upgrade to go back and adjust them.

7. Settings – WP recipe settings 

You can adjust basically everything, like fonts, and borders, and you can even design your own template if you are good at coding, but the free ones they have are enough.

8. CDN – Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network will help speed your website for users across the globe. This is something to keep in mind as you grow but it is not something that you need when you start. You can add it if you can afford it as it is really cheap. $10/month for 1TB traffic which should be more than enough.

Link Here

9. Security – iThemes security

Install iThemes security plugin from wordpress so you can protect your website from malicious users and bots.

10. Photoshop and alternatives

Now that you have a website setup you need a software to edit photos. The most used one is photoshop and it is not free but it is the best out there.

Here are some alternatives:

https://www.gimp.org/
https://www.getpaint.net/

There is a lot to talk about editing images, but the basics are:

– images should be under 150 KB or as small as possible.
– the width of the actual image should be 900-1200 pixels

I will be switching to lower resolution as the default size now for my photos are 1200×1600 or 1000×1333 on my blog.

I may switch to 600-700 width very soon. Start with those sizes and see how it looks as you can have a higher quality photo.

I have seen some bloggers uploading their full image just as it is from their phone. If you do that you will slow down your website and your visitors will just go to another site as it takes a lot of time to load and your SEO(search engine optimization) will be affected as well.

11. Analytics

In order for you to see the traffic that is coming to your website and see where is it coming from, you should install Google Analytics as it is the most popular and it is free.

Here is the link to it:
https://analytics.google.com

How this is not overwhelming and if you get stuck anywhere leave me a message and I will help you.

If and when I will change hosts I will let you know and I will update this guide.

Other Delicious Recipes

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