Choosing a recipe plugin for your food blog can be a challenge. What's the best recipe plugin for WordPress? Which recipe plugin has the best features? Will it convert my existing recipes? Which one will do all the things I want it to do? There's lot of questions to consider.
Editor's note: the original content of this post has been updated and is current as of April 2018.
Do you know about the benefits of using a recipe plugin for your food blog? If you're a new blogger you may not. If you're a seasoned food blogger you probably do but, like most of us, you've probably wondered if you're using the best plug-in for your wordpress site.
When deciding on a recipe plugin, the questions can be a little overwhelming, so we’re here to help you make the choice that’s best for you and your blog. We’re taking a look at the most popular recipe card plugins for WordPress, and a few other details, to help you with your decision.
Note: If you’re on Blogger, Squarespace, or the free WordPress.com, the recipe plugins listed here will not be compatible with your website.
Before we jump into the details about the best recipe plugins, let’s first discuss what a recipe plugin is and why it’s beneficial to have one for your blog.
What is a Recipe Plugin?
In a nutshell, a recipe plugin takes your recipe ingredients and directions and formats them into a “recipe card” so it’s more reader and search engine friendly.
With most plugins, you have several options on how the recipe will be displayed and the recipe card will also display a print button. All of this is done within the the plugin options, so there’s no playing around with code necessary!
There are also technical benefits to installing a recipe plugin on your blog. A good recipe plugin plays a role in how your recipe displays in search engine results by “marking it up” so it can be properly indexed and display properly in search results. A recipe plugin is also essential for rich pins on Pinterest.
Now that you understand what a recipe plugin is and why it’s important to have one for your food blog, here are some important things to think about before making a final decision on which plugin to get.
What to Look For In a Recipe Plugin
1. Does the developer offer a premium/pro (paid) version?
You can expect longevity from a developer who receives compensation from a paid version of their plugin. If their free version offers all the functionality you need, you can stick with it.
2. Is importing or exporting to a different recipe plugin an option?
If you’re switching from one recipe plugin to another and you have a large amount of recipes, this is an essential option.
3. Does the recipe plugin come with all the extras you're looking for?
Do you want a print option? A save option? A shopping list option? To display nutritional information? A recipe rating system? An automatic recipe index?
Keep in mind, more features equals more data entry. You might simply want a fast copy/paste/save but if your readers love extras and you’re willing to put in the effort, go for a recipe plugin loaded with all the extras.
4. Does the plugin developer offer well-documented and quick support?
While the answers to the other questions can be found on the plugin’s wordpress.org page or the developer’s website, you might need to install some plugins and take them for a test drive to get a feel for how good their documentation and support is.
5. When you deactivate or delete the plugin, what will your readers see?
It’s important to know what your readers will see if the recipe plugin ever fails, which can unfortunately happen sometimes. Will the recipe still display without the plugin, or will it disappear? If the recipes does still display, it’s usually plain, unformatted text, but at least it will still be viewable until you can fix it.
Those were some of the things you should think about when deciding which recipe plugin is best for you. Now, finally, here are some of the most downloaded and best recipe plugins for food bloggers, all of which come with schema.org and JSON-LD recipe markup, essential parts of any recipe plugin:
WP Recipe Maker
This plugin receives lots of love from the food blogging community because it checks off all the boxes listed above, and more.
Another reason why it’s a solid choice is because the developer, Brecht/Bootstrapped Ventures, is very responsive, helpful, and extremely knowledgeable. As you know, things change daily in the food blogging and SEO world, he keeps the plugin up to date with all of those changes.
Bootstrapped Ventures offers a Free version that will do all the basic things you need your recipe plugin to do, but if you want more, there are three other offerings to choose from that come with some extra bells and whistles.
The Premium version will allow you to add affiliate links to your ingredients, include a nutrition label, and more.
If you want more than this, the next step up is the Pro version that will allow you to do unit conversions and it uses an API that will fill in your nutrition label for you.
The Elite version is geared towards websites that allow reader recipe submissions and will give you the functionality to do so.
Click to view a full comparison table that lists all the features of each tier.
All paid plans offer options for multiple site licenses if you have more than one food blog (you'd be surprised by how many bloggers do!)
Examples of a food blogs using the WP Recipe Maker Premium plugin:
WP Recipe Maker Costs:
Base version – Free
Premium Version - $49 US per year, per website. This includes 1 year of free updates and priority support.
Pro - $99 US per year, per website. This includes 1 year of free updates and priority support.
Elite - $139 US per year, per website. This includes 1 year of free updates and priority support.
Tasty Recipes is another solid choice. This recipe plugin comes to you from WP Tasty, which is run by the same people behind the blog Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro. Being part of the food blogging community themselves, they have a good understanding of what a recipe plugin needs to have.
This plugin does not have a free version or separate tiered options, they just offer the one plugin. The plugin comes with a built in importer so you can convert your old recipes to Tasty Recipes, and it also includes fields to input nutrition data, and more. Click to read about all the features you will get with Tasty Recipes.
Tasty Recipes also offers an affiliate program. (the links above are not affiliate links)
Examples of food blogs using the Tasty Recipes plugin:
Tasty Recipes Cost:
$79 US per year, per website. This includes 1 year of free updates and unlimited support.
Note: Simple Recipe Pro was another popular recipe plugin but it was recently acquired by Tasty Recipes.
Like WP Tasty, Cookbook is another Premium recipe plugin with no free or tiered options. Cookbook is run by WP Site Care, but Shay Bocks, the designer behind the popular food blog theme, Foodie Pro, was a part of the team that built Cookbook, so again, you know it’s going to contain all the thing you need it to have.
This plugin also comes with the ability to convert your existing recipes and they use a “hook and filter system,” similar to the Genesis Framework, that will allow you to easily change the look of your recipe card. Click to read up on all the features you will get with the Cookbook recipe plugin.
Example of food blogs using the Cookbook plugin:
$59 US per year and can be installed on up to 10 websites. Includes 1 year of free updates and unlimited support.
Meal Planner Pro
Another recipe plugin worth mentioning is Meal Planner Pro, which a lot of food bloggers are using and was actually developed in Canada. It’s very budget-friendly because it’s free, there are no paid versions, but it contains quite a few nice features such as nutrition data and built in recipe conversion. They also offer to do your recipe conversion for free, which may be a good option if you have been blogging for many years and you have a large amount of recipes.
Examples of food blogs using the Meal Planner Pro plugin:
Meal Planner Pro Cost:
Free with support
WP Ultimate Recipe
The WP Ultimate Recipe plugin is another plug-in from the Bootstrapped Ventures team and it's been around for a long time. It's likely one you've heard of or may even be using right now. However, the Bootstrapped team has stated their focus is on developing WP Recipe Maker and they explain why here - but they do offer a free migration over to their newer platform. If you're just starting out we'd suggest going with the newer WP Recipe Maker Plug-in.
MediaVine is reported to be coming out with a recipe plug-in in the summer We will update once it becomes available!
We hope you found this helpful and that it helped in your search for a recipe plugin.
Tell us which one you went with and why you love it!