If you are starting a food blog and have selected WordPress as the platform, you might be tempted to add as much plug-ins as you see on other blogs. Isn’t it?
Well, adding plug-ins is okay but excess of everything is bad. Each plug-in that you add, adds its weight to the overall page load speed. And in this super fast world, you don’t want to see your site in the ‘Obese’ category. Won’t you?
We get lot of questions regarding what all technologies and software that we use on inHouseRecipes and hence have created a list of our set up here.
The other question that has been asked multiple times is which plug-ins are best to use with WordPress.
Well, it depends a lot on your specific food blog needs and here is our list of preferred plug-ins that we use on inHouseRecipes.com.
WordPress Plugins For Food Blogs
Plugins Always Active On inHouseRecipes.com
Used For Google Search Engine Optimization:
- WordPress SEO – Complete package for making your food recipes and posts suitable for search engine visibility.
Google XML sitemap for Images – Helps create a sitemap of the images published on our food blog. This sitemap is used by search engines for indexing the images. The XML sitemap for all links is now generated using Yoast wordpress SEO. Google XML sitemap for Videos – Helps create a sitemap for video posts. It is beneficial in signalling search engines about video embeds on our site.
Used For Faster Page Load or Better Speed:
- BJ Lazy Load – We use this plugin to delay/defer the loading of images on our posts/pages. It helps in reducing the page load time by deferring the image load until user has actually scrolled down to that image.
- Use Google Libraries – This plugin helps load the javascipt libraries like JQuery to be loaded from Google CDN. It is sometimes difficult to manage the various plugins when they try to load their own version of Jquery from your web server. Thsi plugin automatically maps their request to Google servers to help improve the page load speed.
- WP Smush.it – Helps reduce the size of images thereby helping in improving page load speed. One of the most recommended plugins for a food blog at-least for all your images.
- WP DB Manager – Manages your wordpress database and helps improve performance.
- WP Super Cache – It is a must have plugin. It caches the food blog content/posts and sends the cached page to user. It helps reduce the performance load on your web server.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – Used to show related content to the user.
- Redirection – It may or may not be useful for you. If you have changed your URL structure anytime, this plugin would help you map the old URLs with the new ones. If you have never changed the URLs, you don’t need this plugin.
- Quick Adsense – This is one of the most important plugin. It helps us place the Google adsense ads dynamically inside the post content.
- Auto Post Thumbnail – This plugin helps set a thumbnail automatically if you don’t do it explicitly. Thumbnails are an important part of a food blog to help catch the eye of the visitor.
- Pin It For Pinterest – Helps show a ‘Pin it’ button on images for easy sharing on PInterest Social sharing platform.
Plugins We Use On Demand
- Regenerate Thumbnails – We have used this plugin a lot when-ever we have changed our site theme. You can easily regenerate the image thumbnails in one shot with this plugin. We use it only when it is require.
- Search regex – This helps in finding/replacing a particular text/string in all the posts. We have used it when we moved our images on Amazon Cloudfront CDN to change the URLs just with a click in one shot.
- Broken Link Checker – Another pretty useful plugin which can help you find any non-working URLs within your site and posts. Broken links irritate visitors as well as Google!
Plugins – We recommend
- Multilingual Press – A useful plugin if you have your food blog in multiple languages. This helps you to create a multilingual version of same post in multiple languages. We have tried this for our site but have not made it functional yet. It seems to be a bit complicated to use it along with some performance issues. Hence, we have decided against using it on our site. The better option that we found to run the Hindi version of this site is to create a separate wordpress install all-together.
- Disqus Comments – We do have Disqus comments on our website but do not use this plugin. It is recommended for you if you are not savvy enough to change wordpress code.
- Easy recipe – This plugin helps you write the recipe in a way that Google and other search engines can understand pretty easily. It is a highly recommended plugin. We do not use the plugin as we have added the recipe structured data for search engines in our WordPress theme code itself.
Q. You don’t use any plug-ins for SPAM protection?
A. We do not, simply because we use a third party comment system (Disqus) on our site. They manage the SPAM on their own and hence we are spared from adding one more plug-in.
Q. You use Disqus comments but not use Disqus comments wordpress plugin? Why?
A. Although, we use the Disqus comment system on our food blog, we do not use Disqus comment wordpress plugin primarily because of 2 reasons:
- We try to keep the number of plugins at a minimum. hence, try to code whatever we can in the system itself. If you don’t know coding, you should definitely use the plugin.
- We want comments to load on user request. If you see on any of our post, user has to click the ‘Load comments’ button to see the comments. This has been done to reduce the overall page load speed. Disqus uses a good amount of time to load the comments and hence we made it optional.
Q. Why don’t you use plug-in for Recipe Structured Data? This is a must for Google recipe SEO.
A. This is a pretty good question and I have tried answering why we do not use the ready made plug-in when we can make the code changes ourselves in above question.
NOTE: We do not recommend adding un-necessary plugins which show the location of visitors, other food collaboration links etc. as they tend to make your website/food-blog heavier in terms of page speed.
Let us know what all plug-ins do you use and what else can help us improve our site’s performance?