How to Start a Food Blog – Beginners Guide to Setting up Your Blog, Themes & Plugins
Do you want to start a food blog to share your killer recipes and kitchen experiences? For starters, top-notch culinary skills will put you ahead of the game. Good photography and writing skills are other tactics that should be up your sleeve if you are planning to beat the competition out there. It’s no secret that food blogs can help you earn a steady source of income via monetization.
Starting a Food Blog – step-by-step
While starting your own food blog might seem daunting and intimidating at first, it is quite simple if you are equipped with the right skills. Well, in this guide, we are going to take you through different steps that you should follow to set up your food blog. We are going to cover; how to register a domain, how to find a reliable web host, installing a WordPress theme and the suitable food blog plugins.
Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Start a Food Blog – Step 1: Register Your Domain Name
Think of a suitable and unique domain name. You can name your blog based on your cooking style or anything that is food-related. After that, sign up for a Siteground hosting account. Why Siteground? For an affordable price, you get automatic WordPress updates, free Cloudflare Content Delivery Network, fast response rates, side caching and the latest technologies— SSD, HTTP/2, and PHP 7.
Siteground’s ‘startUp plan’ is the most suitable if you are looking to start a new blog. Visit their website and choose the ‘startUp plan’.
Move to the next page and key in your domain name. If the domain is unregistered, you will be charged a certain amount of money to register it depending on the type of TLD— in this case, the most preferable option is .com.
Proceed to the next page and key in the account information, your personal details, and billing information.
Choose the duration of the hosting services depending on your budget estimations.
On the bottom part of the page, you will notice an ‘extra services’ section. If you want to keep your personal information private, select the domain privacy option. This will hide your email address, phone number, and other personal details from the public.
Finish the setup by checking the last two boxes and clicking the ‘pay now’ button.
Start a Food Blog – Step 2: Install WordPress
As you proceed to the next section, Siteground will send an email to verify your account.
You will be directed to a customer area after creating your account successfully. There will be two options available to you; either migrate a website to your new domain or create a new website on your new domain. Choose the latter since you are starting a blog from scratch.
Select WordPress as your content management system platform, and set-up the login email and password. Finalize the process by clicking the continue button.
Your site will be created in 2 minutes or less. From there, you can manage your site from your dashboard. Not to forget, you can view the website stats right from your dashboard.
Start a Food Blog – Step 3: Choose A WordPress Theme
To put it bluntly, your WordPress theme determines how your food blog appears to your readers. Fortunately, over the years, we have reviewed many WordPress themes and we know which themes might be suitable for your food blog. Most of these themes are:
Responsive– responsive themes are designed to give your readers optimal and suitable viewing experiences. Whether they are accessing the blog from a tablet, a computer, or a phone, they don’t have to zoom in for a better view since the text will be eligible even on different devices.
User-friendly– built-in design options will save you time while editing the color scheme and logo of the blog.
Optimized for search results– a blog with a well-designed theme will definitely rank higher in search engines as compared to a blog with a poorly-coded theme.
Great support team– Responsive teams and resourceful forums always come in handy whenever you experience a technical issue.
Here are our top picks of themes and page builders that can be used for food blog customization.
With over 87 different themes, Elegant themes should be on your shortlist when you are shopping for the perfect theme for your blog. It has been in business for over 11 years. However, just recently, it started focusing on the latest themes— Divi and Extra. While other older themes might be available to you, it is worthwhile to note that they are outdated and retired.
Elegant themes is also popular for its convenient pricing plans. For only $89 a year, you can access all the 87 themes and some extra plugins. If you are planning to purchase their services for a long period of time, consider the ‘lifetime access plan’, which is a $249 one-time fee.
Recommended Theme: Divi
This is the company’s multipurpose flagship theme. How unique is this theme? Well, Divi is a versatile theme that gives you the ability to customize any type of website, from food blogs to e-commerce websites. Popular amongst experienced and inexperienced website builders, Divi is also a powerful page builder that packs high-quality templates.
What’s more? This theme has hundreds of pre-built website packs that can be easily imported to WordPress, giving you the ability to choose different homepages and inner pages.
Elementor (Page Builder)
Designed in 2016 by a group of web designers, Elementor has more than 3 million users globally. Developers, marketers and content writers were attracted by the easy-to-use features that this page builder packs. There are two versions available; the paid and the free version.
Unlike most free page builders out there, the Elementor free version has powerful tools that can help you customize your blog to give it a professional look. So, if you are on a tight budget and you are looking for a quality page builder, the free version is the way to go. On the other hand, if you are looking for high-end features, the pro version might be suitable for you.
Now, what makes Elementor so popular?
It is a front-page builder. Every change you make happens in real-time, making it possible to avoid unnecessary delays. Whether you want to add a new button or tweak something, changes will be seen immediately. Moreover, Elementor has numerous page templates that are editable. You can easily change the width and background of any page to suit your style.
Since most blog visits happen from mobile devices, it is crucial to check if your website will be compatible with mobile phones. To help you achieve that, Elementor has ‘mobile’ and ‘tablet’ modes, which shows you the layout of your website on different devices.
Astra was developed by Brainstorm Force— a company that has been developing WordPress products for more than ten years. It is a super lightweight theme that has the capability to load a website under 0.5 seconds. One thing that makes this theme unique is its compatibility with different WordPress page builders like Elementor, Gutenberg, Brizy, Divi Builder, and Thrive Architect.
Furthermore, Astra has a WordPress theme customizer that makes it easier for you to tailor your website’s theme to your liking. It also packs more than 70 pre-built website designs that can be imported to WordPress (the free version has 35 pre-built website designs while the top-tier version has 70 pre-built website designs).
Generatepress is one of the highest-rated multipurpose themes that can be customized to suit any type of website. It is available in two versions; the free version and the premium version. Basically, the GP premium is a plugin that is installed alongside the free version of the theme to unlock more powerful features.
It is also worthwhile to note that Generatepress is a super lightweight theme— it is less than 30 kB. And what does this offer you? Fast loading speeds and optimized performance. This theme also has a WordPress customizer that allows you to customize your blog easily. Any change that you make happens in real-time, giving you the chance to preview your website.
While the free version gives you decent customization tools, the premium version allows you to customize every single detail on your blog. If you choose the premium version, you can speed up the design process by activating the ‘site-library’ module. This gives you the option to choose a pre-built website that can be imported to WordPress.
OceanWP was developed in 2016 and it is one of the fastest-growing multi-purpose themes in the game. It is a free theme, however, if you are planning to take your food blog to the next level, you should consider purchasing the premium extensions it offers. OceanWP is also a highly extendable and lightweight theme.
It doesn’t stop there. Through the demo system, you can browse a library of pre-built website designs and choose the style that suits your blog. This theme was developed in consideration of other devices that are used to access blogs. So, the layout of your blog can adjust easily to fit perfectly on different screens.
For better search rankings and indexing, OceanWP has a built-in SEO base that boosts your blog’s SEO. If you are looking to start an e-commerce food website, this theme might be suitable for you since it’s compatible with Easy digital downloads and Woocommerce.
Start a Food Blog – Step 4: Decide on the Right (Recipe) Plugins
Once you decide which theme you would like to choose, the next thing you need to do is to select the most suitable plugins for your blog. They will help you improve its functionality. Here are some recommended plugins for your food blog:
WP Ultimate Recipe
This is a user-friendly plugin that makes it easier for you to insert recipes on your blog’s pages and posts. If your recipe is long and has many ingredients, this plugin breaks it into smaller parts that are comprehensive to your readers. Plus, it helps you regulate your recipe’s ingredients based on the number of servings.
Recipe Cards Blocks
If you are planning to use Gutenberg as your primary WordPress page builder, Recipe Card Blocks might be the most suitable plugin for you. With this plugin, you can add food images, step-by-step cooking directions, ingredients, and cooking videos to your food blog.
Pinterest Pin It Button
Pinterest can be a good source of traffic for your blog. Whenever someone pins a photo from your blog to a certain board, other Pinterest users will be directed to your blog when they click it. Well, the Pinterest Pin it button is a free plugin that adds a Pinterest button over your recipe photos, making it easier for your readers to pin photos to their boards.
Go To Pinterest Pin it button
Now that you’ve learned every technical part of setting up a food blog accordingly, it won’t hurt to equip yourself with some extra resources that will take your blog to the next level. Here are some other resources that will come in handy when starting a food blog:
Food Blogger Pro
This is an online course that teaches you how to run your food blog. It has resources that show you how to; optimize your images, increase your traffic, generate income from eBooks, and backup your food blog.
Tasty Food Photography Ebook
In this ebook, you will learn how to take superb photos of your food. It has technical photography tips, lighting tips, and editing tips.
How To Start a Food Blog – Final Thoughts
And there you go. Everything you’d like to know about starting your own food blog, in a single comprehensive step-by-step guide. The listed themes, page builders and plugins will help you build a customized food blog that reflects your style. Don’t forget to go through the resources mentioned in the section above, you might learn something that will be very beneficial to your blog.
It’s also worth mentioning that these themes, page builders and plugins are always updated with new functions and features. You might want to keep a close eye on such updates.
Now, over to you. Are there any thoughts you would like to share about this? Let us know in the comments below.