schema.org for recipes, JSON-LD or Microdata?

When building a food blog, you need to rank in Google to get you visitors. Apart from great recipes and beautiful food photography, you need to make Google understand your recipes. Luckily, recipes are one of the items that are detailed in the schema.org structure. When searching for info on this, you’ll find several terms: Structured Data, Schema.org, JSON LD, Microdata. They’re basically all the same thing.

What microdata in your recipe does, is that it wraps a snippet of information like for example Cook Time, in a tag that search engines can understand. Schema.org is the standardised method of doing this. You can supply structured data either with JSON LD, or with microdata. In the case of JSON LD, the data is added as separate string in your website. It looks a bit like this:

{"@context":"http:\/\/schema.org","@type":"Recipe","description":"Quite simply the BEST chocolate cake for chocolate lovers."}

You see here some info, like what kind of data is provided here (recipe), and what the information is (description in the example above). This string will be inserted in addition to your recipe.

You can do the same thing with microdata, only in that scenario the data gets added to the html of your recipe.

<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Recipe">
 <span itemprop="description">Quite simply the BEST chocolate cake for chocolate lovers.</span>
</div>

You see this contains the same information, only in this case it is included with your recipe’s html.

JSON-LD or Microdata?

So what should we use then? You’d think it’s better to add them both right? More data is better? That’s definitely a no! We have tested with this and if you add both JSON-LD and microdata, Google will think you have TWO recipes on your site. Warnings and errors may occur.

So we need to choose. And let’s face it, we choose what Google wants us to choose. This is not always transparent, but in the case of schema.org, Google has made it very clear:

“We currently prefer JSON-LD markup. I think most of the new structured data that are kind of come out for JSON-LD first. So that’s what we prefer.”

For this reason, Zip Recipes generates your recipe card with JSON-LD.

How to check if it’s configured correctly?

Google to the rescue! They provide a great tool with which to test your structured data. Simply enter your recipe’s page URL, and you can see the results.

Because lots of plugins insert structured data these days, it’s always a good idea to test this.

What do I get out of this?

Rich Snippets, and ranking. That’s what we’re aiming at here. Tak a look at this rich snippet. You can see Google has read the preparation time, the number of calories, and the rating, as well as the image from the Structure Data.

 

It is live! Update 6.0.0!

We just went live with the new update, 6.0.0! We are really excited about this update, it has a totally new look, and it is much easier to add, link or delete recipes. There is a new item in your dashboard; called “recipes” where you can see all your added recipes, and filter them, edit them or search for something. All without first having to edit all the linked posts. (Of course, you can also still do that, if you want to.) Also, you now get a preview of your recipe, as you are typing. You do not have to look at the post first.

We really think you will love this update! We welcome all feedback, so let us know through support or in the comments below.

The way to add a recipe is slightly different from what you might be used to. Click here to see how.

Zip Recipes interface update: 6.0.0

The last few weeks I’ve been working on a new interface for Zip Recipes. There were some issues with saving data, and personally, I didn’t like the old interface very much. This update is scheduled to be released next week.

Please know that this update is only the beginning! My aim with Zip Recipes is to make it the easiest to use plugin available. I hope you will feel this is a step in the right direction: more improvements are on their way, but if you have any ideas, just let me know!

The plugin is now in beta, testing is really appreciated, this can be done by downloading it here.

The recipes now have their own overview, where you can edit and delete them. In each post, you can switch recipes, add new, or insert an existing recipe. This works the same both for Gutenberg as for Classic Editor.

In the old interface, you couldn’t access a recipe if you removed the shortcode. This problem is now resolved. The update also creates more room for the user interface, so we can now show a live preview of the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zip Recipes update 5.0.11

Zip Recipes  5.0.11 was released today. This release contains an update to the Twig library, which will resolve some conflicts with other plugins also using the Twig template engine. Because the Twig version was several versions behind, this started to cause conflicts if another plugin was used with a more recent Twig version. The update also lowers the plugin size, and should prevent issues that could cause some files not to get deleted during an update. On some hosting environments not all files were deleted, causing the plugin to “disappear”, while at the same time it wasn’t possible to install the plugin again: the plugin folder still existed. Because this update requires the old files to get deleted first, it is possible this issue can occur one more time, after this update it should be fixed. If you encounter the “disappearing plugin” issue during the current update, please contact us and we’ll resolve the issue for you.

Additionally, we made some small improvements:

  • Image shown in large size instead of full size, making the site faster
  • Using the alt text for the image if available, instead of recipe title

This release paves the way for some real improvements we have been working on. Stay tuned!

 

 

5 quick-start tips on foodblogging

Are you eager to start your own foodblog? Of course! Foodblogging is fun and it can also be a breeze when using zip recipes. Here are some starter tips to get you going.

Think about your niche. What do you feel really passionate about, or what are you really good at? there are loads of foodblogs nowadays, so you have a much better chance if you have something unique to offer. Something that people will learn to associate with you personally. Do not be afraid to focus. for example: only smoothies, or recipes with only 5 ingredients, or vegan, or vegetarian, or all about meat, budget friendly. It can be anything, as long as you love it, and as long as it’s easy to understand what you’re about.

Think of a good name. Preferably something that is not too hard to remember and that already tells a bit what you are about. Good examples are: chickslovefood, minimalist baker, lauragoesgreen, vegatopia etc. Once you have it see wether it is still free and if it is: register your domain!

Be personal. People want to get to know you. Your personal style is what attracts them to your particular blog, in stead of somebody elses blog. Think about the way you want to come across and then try to be consistent in every post (yes, that is quite hard…:))

Start getting to know other bloggers. Bloggers that already have built a following, or are known as experts in your field. Because, let’s face it: nobody knows who you are. Yet. So start guest blogging on well known blogs, to introduce yourself to their followers. Once they know who you are, and start to get interested in your fantastic content they will come to your blog to read more.

Post regularly. It will take some discipline, but try to get some great new articles and recipes out there with some regularity. For instance every week. Every Sunday maybe, one recipe a week. Or maybe at the start of each month. Once your audience gets to know you they will look for your updates and people will be disappointed when they do not arrive at the expected time.