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Chrome's NOT SECURE warning on food blog

Will your food blog be affected by Chrome’s security warnings? 😨

According to some stats, Google’s Chrome browser is used by 64% of the internet.

So, when you get an email from Google itself with the subject, Chrome will show security warnings on YOUR WEBSITE, your hearts starts to pound a little faster…because you’re not crazy!

You probably get the majority of the traffic from Google Search and most people coming to your website are probably using Google Chrome!

What does the email actually mean?

The important part of the email states:

Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.

First off, this change isn’t here just yet. Chrome version 62 will be released in October 2017. This gives you a bit of time to remedy the situation and we’ll cover what you can do in a bit.

“NOT SECURE” warning

This warning will appear in the URL or search bar. Here’s how it appears on My Gluten Free Miami, a Zip Recipes customer (has since moved to https, so no insecure warning anymore).

Chrome's NOT SECURE warning on My Gluten Free Miami food blog

Chrome’s NOT SECURE warning on My Gluten Free Miami food blog

When users enter text

Now, when will this warning appear?

The answer is when your visitors enter text. So, essentially as soon as a visitor starts typing (virtually anywhere) on your website, this warning will appear.

This includes:

  • when visitors try to subscribe to your newsletter (most probably)
  • when visitors search on your website
  • when visitors attempt to comment (unless you’re using another commenting system like JetPack)
  • when visitors try to use the contact form to contact you
  • pretty much when visitors type anything on your website!

Here’s how the warning appears

Chrome warning on food blog as user enters email to subscribe to mailing list

Chrome warning on food blog as user enters email to subscribe to mailing list

Chrome warning on food blog as visitor is about to search

Chrome warning on food blog as visitor is about to search

Why is this happening to you?

In the email, Google mentions “HTTP page”. What does that mean?

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. If I send you a letter by snail mail, you could say I’m using the Snail Mail Transfer Protocol. That protocol entails that I take a letter, put it in an envelope and, type your address in it and then drop it off at my local post office where I pay a small fee to deliver it to you.

Likewise, when a web page is sent to you, the protocol in use is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This ensures that your browser can actually make sense of the web page I might send you.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)

With HTTP, if I’m at your house or using the same wireless network, say at Starbucks (which is where I happen to be right now), it’s actually quite easy for me, on a different computer to see any text or data you send if the web page you’re interacting with only uses HTTP.

This is where HTTP Secure comes in. Before it sends the data and text you type in a website out of your computer, it encrypts it so people sharing the same WiFi network cannot intercept and read your data.

In a nutshell, if your website uses HTTPS, it will be more secure and respect your visitors’ privacy. When it only uses HTTP, the visitor’s data can be read by other people.

Google Chrome wants to warn people and make them more aware when they are on a page that only has HTTP and they are about to send data or text.

I should mention that HTTPS may be referred to as HTTP over Transport Layer Security (TLS) or HTTP over SSL. At the end of the day, they all mean the same thing.

HTTPS (and SSL benefits) for SEO

When you switch your website to use HTTPS (and hence starting using SSL), you will get some awesome SEO advantages:

  • You’ll get more referrer data and be able to see where more of your visitors come from
  • It’s a ranking factor for Google and it’s becoming more important so you should start ranking higher when you switch to HTTPS

How can you add HTTPS to your website?

This is usually fairly simple:

  1. Ask your hosting provider to install an SSL certificate for you, or how it can be done.
  2. Install Really Simple SSL

Get Your Recipes To Pop-out and Get Noticed

You’re trying to get more readers to your blog. How do you do that? You certainly don’t do it by being plain Jane or Joe!

You’ve already done the hard work of creating your recipe, taking mouth-watering photos..you’re almost there…don’t quit now!

You would never buy a product on Amazon if it has no ratings. It’s not worth the risk.

Your readers treat your recipes the same way. Who has the time to create a recipe from scratch not knowing if other people had success with it?!

Google has the ability to show the ratings of your recipes. Question is, are you giving Google this data?

With our Friend plan, your readers can rate your recipes and give them the recognition they deserve!Pinterest also has started showing ratings on recipes. You worked hard to get in front of your audience. Now is not the time to be looked over because your recipes don’t have ratings.

When you upgrade to our Friend plan, your recipe ratings will automatically start showing up on Pinterest. Your readers will thank you!

Google is very tight-lipped about how their search algorithm works. Once in a while, they shine the light on you and actually tell you what you should have on your web pages or recipes for them to be considered top notch.

When Google talks, you listen!

Google recommends that you add Ratings and Author Name to your recipes.

Ratings and Author Name can be set when you upgrade to our Friend plan. If Google is Happy, Life is Good. Your website is an extension of you. It’s your baby. Everyone wants a well-dressed baby!

When you upgrade to the Friend plan, you will get 5 different outfits…alright maybe overdoing the baby analogy….you’ll get 5 gorgeous recipe card themes to choose from.

Easy Way To Generate Nutrition Data For Your Recipe For Free

Last week, I released the much sought-after, Automatic Nutrition calculator feature for Zip Recipes.

It basically generates a nutrition label for your recipe as you’re creating the recipe. You just click one button and you’re done.

However, this is a premium feature and I realize that there are food bloggers out there who have time but don’t have much money to invest. That’s why I’m writing this.

Overview

I thought I would have a few different options to cover here but found that unfortunately, most of them are a pain in the neck to use.

They require you to search for each ingredient separately, choose from a list of results. Is it “Onion, raw,” “Onion, welsh, raw,” and so on. That’s really annoying and I’m not going to recommend these options:

One example of these hard-to-use options.

In addition, most of these are not suitable because they want to do more than just generate a nutrition facts label for you. They want to create the whole recipe (and possibly use it for their own purposes as well).

Anyway, I am going to cover two options which I like and would use myself (of course, if Zip Recipes didn’t automatically do this for me ).

HappyForks.com


I love how simple and well designed HappyForks.com is!

You can get your nutrition label following these easy steps:

  • Enter your ingredients
  • Enter number of servings
  • Click Analyze Recipe
  • Click Nutrition Facts label:
  • Click Download on the label you would like: you have two options, horizontal or vertical:

The nutrition label image will be downloaded in the Downloads folder, in most cases:

Adding HappyForks.com nutrition label to your WordPress website

Once the label is generated using VeryWell and you have saved it to your computer you can add it to your recipe like so:

  1. Edit the recipe post in WordPress
  2. Click Add Media button
  3. Drag and Drop the nutrition label you saved to your computer
  4. Ensure it’s selected (notice the checkmark)
  5. Click Insert into post button

Pros of HappyForks.com

HappyForks.com has a few great pros here:

  • It’s very easy to use and pleasing to the eye
  • It gives you quite a detailed analysis of the recipe. Presumably, you can take screenshots of some of this data use it in your posting as well…but I’m not a lawyer!
  • You can edit the ingredients once you enter them and update and then download the nutrition label again
  • You can save the recipe for in the site in case you decide to update the recipe later
  • It’s fast and doesn’t have a lot of annoying ads

Cons of HappyForks.com

  • The biggest downside is that you have to leave your WordPress posting and go somewhere else to generate the recipe. In addition, you have to generate the nutrition label every time you update your recipe in WordPress.
  • The other disadvantage this nutrition label has is that it does not tell Google any thing extra about your recipe. Google cannot read it.
  • The resulting nutrition label does include HappyForks.com branding, which isn’t that bad but it may annoy you.
  • The only other issue I can come up with in regards to HappyForks.com is the nutrition label button can be easy to miss.

VeryWell

Now, let’s have a look at VeryWell.

It’s evident that VeryWell and HappyForks.com are very similar in design. They do generate the results a bit differently.

VeryWell lays out the instructions clearly at the top. To generate the label, it’s a few easy steps:

  • Enter the recipe ingredients in the big box
  • Select number of servings
  • Click Analyze Recipe button.

Once the recipe is analyzed, you can change individual ingredient items, add additional ingredients, or clear the recipe for a fresh start:

VeryWell handles the nutrition label generation a bit differently. Instead of saving the nutrition label to your computer and uploading it to WordPress, they give you a code you can paste on your website:

Adding VeryWell nutrition label to your WordPress website

To add the generated label to your post, you can copy the code that it generates, and paste it.

However, there is a wrong place to paste it, and it may not be obvious. Wrong place to paste it is in the Visual tab:

Instead, click the Text tab and paste the code like this:

Now, if you go back to Visual tab, things will look better (it may take a second to load):

If you preview the post now, you will notice that people can click on the nutrition label generated by VeryWell and they’re taken to their website. If you don’t like this behaviour you can change the code when you paste it. Remove the parts highlighted here:

The part you still want looks something like this:

<img src="IMAGE URL" width="NUMBER" height="NUMBER" />

Nerd Alert: This is called an image tag in HTML.

Pros of VeryWell

  • VeryWell, indeed does have a very simple interface to generate the nutrition label.
  • I do like that you can go and modify the ingredients and update the label easily.
  • Adding the nutrition label to WordPress, in a way, is easier than HappyForks.com. Just copy and paste a bit of code.

Cons

  • Even though, it’s easier to embed the code on your website, the cons of that are that the nutrition label is stored on VeryWell. Should they disappear from the internet tomorrow, so will your nutrition labels.
  • Like the one generated by HappyForks.com, this nutrition label does not tell Google anything extra about your recipe. Google cannot parse it and understand it.
  • The other annoyance with the way the nutrition label is generated is that it automatically links to VeryWell. See the instructions above on how to remove the linking.
  • I will say that another con in my mind is the fact that VeryWell is a broad website and not one focused on recipes or nutrition. Therefore this took may be left behind any time they choose; it’s not their…bread and butter after all!

How does Automatic Nutrition feature from Zip Recipes compare

Let’s compare how Zip Recipes works to generate the nutrition facts label with VeryWell and HappyForks.com.

Now, I realize this is inherently an unfair comparison because Zip Recipes has the advantage of being right at your fingertips — it’s on your WordPress website and that’s where it’s strength comes in.

Like VeryWell and HappyForks.com, in 3 steps, you can generate the nutrition label:

But notice that it’s literally only one button click more than you usually would do when posting a recipe anyway.  You can have Automatic Nutrition on your site in a few clicks!

Pros of Automatic Nutrition

  • It saves time since you don’t have to leave WordPress, copy some code and change it or save an image and upload it again. All that is done for you.
  • It generates the nutrition data in a format so Google and also read it. This means higher ranking for you.
  • Your readers can print the nutrition label (this can be configured)

Cons of Automatic Nutrition

  • It costs money. I’m assuming you’re reading this post because you’re on a tight budget and can take the extra time to generate labels manually with VeryWell or HappyForks.com

If you found this useful please comment and let me know. If you didn’t, please, please, comment and let me know!

Version 4.9 is out – more fields for you!

Truth be told, I released version 4.8 but I had introduced a bug with translations (basically broke them) so I ended up releasing 4.9 right away to fix that.

This image illustrates the new features really well:

 

As you can see, now you can set your recipe’s category (entree, dessert, appetizer, etc.) and also set the cuisine (Ethiopian, Canadian (which would be poutine, really 😂)). These are formatted properly for you so Google can pick them up and understand them to be recipe fields! Rejoice!

I’ve also included Trans Fat and Cholesterol fields in terms of nutritional information you can set for your recipe as well.

If you’re wondering how I got this recipe card to look this amazing, I’m not surprised! It’s the Canada recipe card theme in the premium version of Zip Recipes (all plans include this theme).

P.S.: Divi theme is now supported as well.

What Life in a Developing Country Taught Me About Food

This is a guest post from Kenden Alfond.

I distinctly remember getting off the plane in Chennai, India for my first overseas position as an American Jewish World Service volunteer. I was 28 years old, it was 3 AM, and the NGO forgot to pick me up.

I sat on the curb for an hour and half, waiting for my ride. Strange as it sounds, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. I’d followed my instincts and headed overseas to work; that was ten years ago.

One of the most surprising, healing benefits of my international aid work is how it has impacted the way I think about food. I’ve seen a lot of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in the countries where I’ve worked  – and I don’t want to trivialize that suffering by writing about my privileged experience.

I do, however, believe that life is filled with learning experiences and what I’ve learned in these countries could be helpful to anyone – regardless of where you live. You don’t need to move to Chennai to create a new relationship with food!

Here are four things that changed for me once I left the U.S. (and four ways you can make similar changes without leaving home):

1. No more food chatter

At home, I was surrounded by people just like me, people who were food scared, food crazy, or food fighters (you know, the people who shame you for eating bread.)

But life in a new country replaced those conversations with talk of different, more important things. Looking back, I can see how all the negative talk about food just created a lot of anxiety.

How you can do this at home
You get to control what you talk about and who you talk to; you can choose to remove food anxiety and neuroses as conversation topics. If someone brings it up, politely redirect the conversation to something positive. If you have a particularly food-obsessed friend, schedule activities with them that aren’t food-related – a yoga class, a long walk, or a concert.

2. For the love of starches

At home I (and lots of women I knew) lived in fear of carbohydrates and starches. We’d pick the croutons off our salads and eat the verde half of the pasta verde. In India, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and in Cambodia where I live now, I see fit, healthy people eating starches every day. Rice, corn, beans, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are cornerstones of their diets. People eat until they’re satisfied and that is that.

Slowly but surely, I’ve started eating starches again. And you know what? I didn’t gain 15 pounds or develop a food allergy. When I go home, I notice how hungry people are because they’re not eating enough starch.

How you can do this at home
Know that whole, unrefined starches are actually good for you. A crispy-skinned baked potato will always be better for you than potato chips. A bowl of steamed brown rice is so much better for you than those ranch-flavored rice cakes. Experiment with adding a few unprocessed complex carbohydrates back into your diet and enjoy that full feeling.

3. Meat, fish, and dairy are condiments – not the focal point of the meal

In America, we think nothing of eating an eight-ounce steak or a cup of Greek yogurt for breakfast. But in many developing countries, people use these same foods as flavoring agents and their meals are healthier because of it.

They top vegetable-filled pho with a small handful of shredded beef or top their curry with a dollop of yogurt. In many of these countries, these dietary decisions are based on financial, cultural, or religious constraints, but we could all probably benefit from eating slightly less meat and dairy.

How you can do this at home
What if you went meatless for one meal each week? Or topped your salad with a beautiful baked yam instead of cheese? Or made your tacos with heaps of roasted vegetables and just a bit of shredded chicken? It’s healthier, cheaper, and just as delicious.

4. Meal time as a resting place

In the U.S., cooking and eating were functional activities for me. Too often, I ate alone or standing up at my desk. I snacked in the car, drank my calories, or ate snacks instead of meals. There was so much rushing.

But once I moved away, I was forced to share meals with others, to share cooking and eating. I was forced to relax and experience mealtime as a resting place.

How you can do this at home
Making meals special looks different for everyone; you don’t need cloth napkins or fine china! I make my meals special by making them slow, intentional, and social. I sit down while I eat, take my time while I cut vegetables, ask my family to help me cook and even light a candle at the breakfast table. I do all this because it feels better; it makes me feel calmer and more connected.

That night I landed in Chennai I had a lot of expectations.

I expected to be challenged.

I expected to learn.

I didn’t expect to create a new relationship with food  – but I’m so, so glad I did.


Kenden Alfond is the founder of Jewish Food Hero, the website that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit. Her mission is to help a global community of women come home to themselves. Visit the site today and grab a FREE guide: 18 Effortless Ways to Eat Less Meat and Dairy.