Starting a new blog (let alone a food blog) can be pretty daunting as there are so many different plugins and tools to keep in mind. I wanted to take some time to share my go-to tools and resources for Bake du Jour in the hopes that it’ll help anyone looking to start their blog! This list will continue to evolve as the blog grows, so be sure to check back often!
Namecheap – I purchased my domain on Namecheap. True to their name, the domains are super cheap and don’t worry—it’s not too good to be true! Just to clarify, I only purchased the domain on Namecheap; I did not utilize their hosting service and chose to host with Cloudways instead (see below!). A lot of bloggers choose to get the all-in-one package by purchasing their domain and hosting together, but I’d prefer to keep things separate just in case. If one company fizzles out for example, at least I won’t have lost everything! Regardless, I highly recommend Namecheap – their customer service is DA BOMB.
Cloudways – Bake du Jour is currently hosted on Cloudways – I switched over from Siteground a few months ago and have really been enjoying it so far! They have a variety of plans to choose from so if you’re on a budget, I’d recommend giving them a try. They have live chat customer support and are happy to answer any questions you may have, at any hour of the day—trust me on this one. 😉
Mailchimp – If you’re going to run a [food] blog and post content on the regular, you’re going to want to set up an email list and newsletter. Mailchimp makes it easy for you to do just that!
WP Rocket – I can’t even begin to describe how much I <3 WP Rocket. No matter how well you think your site is performing, WP Rocket can and will come in and kick things up a notch for you. I’m not lying when I say that I saw results instantly—even with the default settings! If you haven’t already, try testing out your site’s page speed with a tool like Pingdom and compare the results before and after installing the plugin. The difference is seriously like night and day!!
Tasty Recipes is a super powerful and lightweight recipe card plugin—it comes with multiple templates (one of which is used over at Pinch of Yum!), is SEO/video/ad-friendly, so you can just focus on what’s important for your food blog: creating your recipes! It’s also constantly being developed to keep up with the latest Google/food blog trends, so I’d highly recommend giving it a try!
Ah, Tasty Pins. Chances are, you were entering your Pinterest description into the alt text field at some point, right? I know I definitely did. Well, did ya know that the alt text is supposed to be reserved for describing what’s actually *in* your photos? That way, if the page doesn’t load correctly or if someone is using a screenreader, they can rely on the alt text to tell them what’s in the photo. It only takes a wee bit of extra time to enter the text into the appropriate fields, but it’s well worth it since I’ve been able to optimize my images for both Pinterest and SEO. Win-win!
Tasty Links is the newest plugin in WP Tasty’s line—with Tasty Links, you’ll be able to have keywords automatically linked. So if you’ve got affiliate links or social media links, you can just add those in Tasty Links and they’ll populate across your site. That way, you won’t have to do all of that work manually! I
Disclaimer: I work at WP Tasty, but all opinions are my own!
Social Warfare – Social Warfare is one of my primary social sharing tools! See those buttons at the top of the post (and on the left-hand side, if you’re on the desktop site)? Alllll Social Warfare. They make it super easy to customize just about everything: the button designs, types of buttons, button placement, etc. They’ve also got fields where you can enter Facebook and Twitter titles/descriptions, ensuring that text pops up when you share via Facebook and Twitter. It’s a set it and forget it type of deal!
Food Blogger Pro – If you aren’t a Food Blogger Pro [aka FBP] member already, stop what you’re doing and get on it now. Food Blogger Pro is a membership community created by the team over at Pinch of Yum and it’s chock full of food bloggers. Here are just SOME of the reasons why it’s awesome: regular live Q&As, video tutorials covering anything and everything you could possibly want to know about food blogging, and a community forum so you can ask questions and meet bloggers from all over the world! The video tutorials have been immensely helpful – I still reference them all the time!
Disclaimer: I work at WP Tasty (affiliated with FBP), but all opinions are my own!