How to Make a Food Blog from Scratch
Do you have a love for cooking?
What about writing and photography?
The best food blogs have delicious recipes, great storytelling, and gorgeous photographs of finely plated dishes.
It takes a creative and talented food-lover to create a successful food blog, but if you’re reading this right now, you must be up for the challenge.
In this post, you’ll learn how to create a modern, minimalist website that will work perfectly for a food blog.
By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a live website on your new domain name just waiting for your first recipe.
How to make a food blog
Luckily for you, blogs are the easiest type of website to create. There’s very little functionality needed to display recipes and photographs on your site.
The main two things you need to get started are a domain name and hosting.
Let’s start with the domain.
Get a web domain
Your domain name will be your online address. For instance, this website’s domain name is competethemes.com.
I’m sure you have at least one idea in your head already, but there’s one problem with getting a domain: availability.
You see, available domain names are pretty scarce these days. You’re bound to find that someone has already registered the domain you wanted. Then you’ll find that either they’re charging thousands of dollars for it, or it’s simply not for sale.
The trick is find a memorable, brandable domain name that is still available. Registering a new domain only costs $10 and will renew for $10 once per year.
To help get you started, this guide will walk you through some clever strategies for finding a domain name that is still available:
When you find a domain name you like, don’t buy it yet because this next step can help you register it for free.
Signup for hosting
If your domain name is like your property, then hosting is like plumbing and electricity. It’s an essential service for your site to run and the only major expense you’ll have.
Since you’re starting a brand new food blog without millions of visitors and it’s likely the first site you’re making, I think Bluehost will be a good choice.
Bluehost strikes a balance between reliability and affordability that makes it a great starting host for new webmasters.
One feature that makes it especially beginner-friendly is that they auto-create a WordPress website when you signup.
Some hosts will just give you a cPanel dashboard full of technical tools. They’ll have a WordPress installer, but you need to know where to find it, and it’s not the easiest process for a beginner.
With Bluehost, the site is created in the background for you while you finish your account creation.
Another benefit is that you have the option of registering your first domain with them, and they’ll add that to your account for free. This saves you the $10 the domain would normally cost.
Regardless of who you choose to host with, you’ll need to get hosting before you can move on. Once you’ve completed this step, you can get into the fun parts of building your site.
Begin customizing your site
The first thing everyone wants to do is pick out a theme.
I get it, it’s hard to visualize your site without choosing a theme first, but it can make things more confusing. Especially if you pick out a really feature-rich WordPress theme.
Before you start installing themes, follow along with this WordPress dashboard tour:
That video is from a 17-part series I made on creating your first WP website. It will show you exactly what options are available in WordPress.
The benefit of watching that video first is that when you add your theme, you’ll know clearly which options are coming from WordPress and which settings have been added by the theme.
You can also read this article to begin some basic site customization steps:
Once you’ve got the basics squared away, it’s time to install a new theme.
Choose a WordPress theme
There are basically two paths you can choose.
You can pick a premium theme with all the features included, or you can use a free theme with a few plugins (also free). I’m going to recommend the latter, but I’ll provide recommendations for both.
To create your food blog, I recommend using one of our themes, Chosen, which is completely free to use.
There are lots of food bloggers using Chosen for their sites already, so I know it could be a good choice for your site too.
All of our themes are totally free to use and have optional premium upgrades with more features like custom fonts and colors.
You’ll also find detailed Getting Started guides for each theme, like this one for Chosen.
Once you pick out a theme, you can begin customizing it with all of the built-in features.
Premium food blog themes
As promised, I have plenty of recommendations for premium food blog themes as well.
This collection includes some popular and highly-rated templates.
Regardless of what theme you pick, you will likely need a plugin to add the recipe functionality, so let’s get into that next.
Add a recipe plugin
Here’s a quick tip about WordPress:
Themes change the style of your website, but plugins are used to add new functionality. If you use one of our themes, you’ll find there aren’t any tools for publishing recipes. This is because the themes are made only for styling your site and leave features and functionality to the plugins.
When it comes to recipe plugins, there are quite a few good options, but WP Recipe Maker stands out as the best.
The WP Recipe Maker plugin lets you create unlimited recipes and embed them into your posts. With each recipe, you can list the ingredients, directions, and include how long it will take to cook.
Unlike some plugins, the “recipe cards” you can create with WP Recipe Maker look awesome.
The recipe cards you create can be inserted into any post or page you want.
This plugin includes some more advanced features too, like the ability to add schema data so that your recipe’s star ratings appear in the Google Search results.
While I think WP Recipe Maker is an awesome plugin, there are plenty of other options available. You can check this post to find more recipe WordPress plugins.
Read next: Top 5 Best WordPress Recipe Plugins
With a beautiful theme picked out and a recipe card plugin installed, all you need to do next is begin creating content.
Launch your site
With your site online at your new domain and the design fully customized, you’re nearly ready to launch.
The last thing you need is a recipe!
Now, when you decide to launch is totally up to you, but in my opinion, the sooner the better. You only need one recipe on your site to begin promoting your website and sharing it everywhere.
Once you have your first recipe, you can share it on all your social networks, show your friends, and publish it on other cooking and food related communities.
I hope this guide helped you to create your food blog, and if you enjoyed it, make sure to share it with someone else.