I often get find myself answering questions about the best way to build and manage a food blog. Wordpress has been my platform of choice for many years, and here I will outline some of the resources and options available to all.
MediaTemple is market leader for hosting and is my first choice for larger websites. If your website has grown to the point that you need larger servers they also offer a service called OtterMove to transition your website from your old host to the new. Their support is unrivalled and you need no technical knowledge to get started. (I had been hosting websites with DreamHost since 2007, they are lower cost but the support yoy get from (mt) Media Temple is worth every cent, and more. I don't regret the switch at all).
Once you have hosting, you will need a theme for your WordPress site. ThemeForest is an awesome resource for reputable, tested and usable WordPress themes. Many themes come with support so you're never left with an unanswered question.
Photography is an incredible tool that can have a profound impact on the life of your blog or website. I have learned a tremendous amount from experience and from my foodie friends, and time and time again, this eBook from Pinch of Yum has been referenced. Whether you're a photography pro or just getting started, the Tasty Food Photography eBook gives you a tremendous return on investment.
Hundreds of amazing WordPress plugins you'll love, with support that'll blow your mind. If there's something you want to do, there's a good chance WPMU will already have a plugin for it. Their support is wonderful and they are always coming out with something new.
Before making the switch to BackupBuddy, I used the WordPress to DropBox plugin to backup my site. You will need a DropBox account to get started and this is a great free alternative to keeping your website backed up.
My email is powered by Mailchimp and you can start on their free plan – with nothing to pay until you have more than 2,000 subscribers. I recommend mailchimp to clients and friends alike because their templates are awesome, their chat-support is super friendly, and from time to time they will send you a free t-shirt or hat! It's nice to feel loved, right?
Once you mailing list in in place, you will likely want to grow it. I hesitated to spend the money on Optin Skin for about nine months, but once I made the purchase, my email list started to grow daily. There are awesome features for testing different signup widgets and forms. If you pay for just one plugin, let it be Optin Skin.
Giveaways are a great way to build an audience and expand your following. Rafflecopter makes giveaways easy to embed in a blog post or Facebook page. You should also consider reading their blog post on keeping your giveaway compliant with Facebook's terms.[/one_third]
There are many ways to analyze people's behaviour on your website. Google Analytics is free and offers great insight, as do the stats that come free with the JetPack plugin for WordPress, but Lucky Orange will show you EXACTLY what people are doing on your site with heat maps and mouse-tracking. You can also activate a chat function so visitors can ask you questions. After the free trial, these features cost just $10 a month. This is a must-have for the data junkie!
Fedmich's Facebook Open Graph Meta helps Facebook identify the featured image for a post and uses it when people share content on Facebook. This makes sure your links are accompanied by your images so they will attract the most attention. If your photos are not displaying when a post is shared to Facebook, this plugin will solve the problem.
If you have a question about your WordPress site or food blog, leave a comment below and I'll do my best to help out.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a commision on on the sale. Everything recommended here is offers true value to you and your website and would not recommend a product that I do not endorse. To learn how I protect your privacy see my disclosure statement.