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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.

New schema.org nutrition label

Today we’ve released the 5.0.12 version of Zip Recipes lover, which now includes an alternative method to display the Nutrition Label. Until now, the Nutrition Label was generated as an image, downloaded to your site, then displayed below the recipe. This was great, but had a downside: search engines like Google have much more trouble seeing what an image is about than when it’s just characters. To make it even easier for Google to understand the nutrition label, we have created a schema.org compatible Nutrition Label. An additional advantage is that the html/css variant is very sharp and clear, more so than the image label.

(Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond)

To let you be more flexible with the placement of the Nutrition Label, we’ve also added a Nutrition Label widget, and shortcode. This gives you, the user, detailed control over the placing of the label, and so over the look of your recipe. For example, on our demo website (in progress, but soon to contain more recipes and examples) in the first demo recipe: demo.ziprecipes.net/mississippi-mud-pie you can see a recipe where the default Nutrition Label (at the bottom) is hidden. Instead, we have added the label as widget in the sidebar, as schema.org html/css.

 

Fix Recipes Markup for Your Website

Recently Google sent emails to website owners that are a bit hard to understand:

Below, we’ll explain the problem and what you can do to fix it right away — it’s not that hard!

“Recipes [with] markup issues” you read?! Then you think I thought Zip Recipes actually handles this for me! In some cases, it’s just a matter of filling out some fields, like the keywords or Cuisine fields.

When you dig further in to the issue, you might discover that Google has these specific issues:

Let’s explain what each one means:

  • Missing field aggregateRating: this means that your recipes don’t have visitor rating information. Likely they don’t have the ability to rate them. Follow the steps in Solution 2 to solve this.
  • Missing field recipeCuisine: this means that you have not set a recipe cuisine when you created your recipes. Follow the steps in Solution 1 to solve this.
  • Missing field keywords: this means that you have no added keywords to your recipe. As of 6.0.4, this is a field in the Recipe editor. Just add some keywords!
  • Missing field video: this means that you have not set videos for your recipes.
  • Missing field nutrition: this means that you recipes lack nutrition information
  • Missing field author: this means that your recipes don’t have an author set
  • Missing field description: this means that your recipes are missing basic descriptions.

Solutions

The good news is that you can fix most of these issues today!
All of the above issues indicate that you did not add some information to your recipes that Google deems important.

Some of the fields are available in the basic (free) plan of Zip Recipes so you can apply them with minimal effort. Some other fields are available in our Friend and Lover plans.

  • Description can be set in the More Options section of the recipe entry screen:
    1. Edit your recipe
    2. Enter your recipe’s description in the Description field :
  • Recipe cuisine can be set in the More Options section of the recipe entry screen as well:
    1. Edit your recipe
    2. Enter the recipe cuisine in Cuisine:
  • Aggregate rating basically means recipe ratings.
    1. Upgrade to the friend plan
    2. Now you visitors can give your recipes a rating based on a 5-star rating system:
  • Author settings is the field that contains your name (you do want the credit for your recipes, don’t you?)
    1. Upgrade to the Friend plan
    2. Set yourself as the author of all your recipes in one step in Zip Recipes > Settings page:

 

Nutrition

    • data can be added to your English and Spanish recipes with 1 click! We call this feature

Automatic Nutrition.

    1. Upgrade to the Lover plan
    2. Edit your recipe
    3. Click Calculate Nutrition button to automatically calculate your nutrition information:
    4. You also get a Nutrition Facts label without any work!