With this page I want to offer information (yes, for free) and accessible for all. I want it to be useful for everyone that wants to create a professional food (or lifestyle) blog with a beautiful design. It’s based on my own experiences and search throughout the years and I’m convinced that this page can help you in your process too.
Below, I made classifications in an intuitive order and based on how I created the blog as FredExplore in 2016 which evolved to Veg & Fred during the summer of 2019. Below you will travel from web hosting to plugins, from picking the theme and finding free image galleries.
To get your website to function, it needs a place to be put and live online. You might know that there are many different platforms that exist where you can create a blog. Based on my experience, I am very happy with the WordPress.Org server. It gives access to extra extensions that are almost unlimited and of good quality. But secondly, it makes it also very easy to let your blog evolve if wanted and necessary.
Pour que ton site fonctionne, il te faudra un espace pour le stocker et qu’il puisse vivre sur la toile. Il y a bien entendu beaucoup de plateformes différentes pour créer ton blog. Cependant de mon expérience, je te conseille d’héberger toi-même sur ton serveur un WordPress.Org. Ceci te donne un accès à une liste infinie d’extensions premièrement. Mais deuxièmement il te sera plus simple d’évoluer avec ton blog.
One.com as hosting and domain service is great to start with. It is very WordPress friendly as it proposes to install it immediately on your server space. Useful for everyone who is just starting out and feels like a website greenie. You can also count on extra assistance which is available by chat and very pleased to help you fast. This link offers a reduction of €14 with your first purchase.
The next step when you make your blog, is to make it the most beautiful and pretty of all. I started with a free website theme that WordPress offered me. Later I chose to pay for one. It gave me more freedom and was better to work with SEO (Search Engine Optimalisation).
Creative Market is a space of inspiration where you will not only find WordPress themes but also many other graphical objects and illustrations. You can even find how or what you need to create a logo. But… for that you will need some basic skills in working with Adobe PhotoShop or other software. Here I will give a direct link to the WordPress themes, it’s up to you to make your choice.
As the basis of my blog, I use Genesis. It can not be used as a standalone theme, but it makes your website more reliable, solid, efficient, and keeps safety always as a top priority. I launched Genesis on this site with a personalized “child theme” recommended by a professional. Now I use it, I wish I did it earlier.
After using some different themes for my food blog, I can say that Cookd Pro is the best one I ever used or even know. It’s installed on Genesis with a unique and exciting grid repertoire for recipes. I’m really satisfied and want to recommend to you! Discover it here (and now).
There is a multitude of extensions in the WordPress catalog. And, lucky for us, some are really practical if you have a cooking blog.
I hope you already saw the recipe sheets I use on my blog and this is all thanks to WP Recipe Maker. Thanks to this extension, I just have to complete the boxes in a pop-up window and it transforms straight into shape and frame. When you choose to go for the upgraded version, you even get a calculator to get the nutritional values of your recipe. It is based upon many products that are already in its database or the ones you add yourself (including its characteristics). I think this is a real asset given the lifestyle I am looking for and the fact I want to offer recipes suitable for all who wants or needs to calculate sugar, carbs or fat. If you wish to discover this extension, you can click here.
Soon I will add more extensions I use. But until then, don’t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter to receive the updates.
Tools for my Website
A lot of tools exist to enhance the performance of your website. Here I show some tools I am using regularly.
MailChimp : to send you newsletters, I use this practical and intuitive platform. In a short period of time, it became a real reference in the world of marketing and communication. They have a really easy RSS-to-mail function that I use to bring new recipes and stories to those who wanted to get an update. If you are also interested and want to subscribe to MailChimp, this link offers you 30$ credit to use. It’s perfect if you want to test some features to decide if it also works for you and your business (or blog).
I know that other services for sending out Newsletters exist, but as I was happy with Mailchimp, I never got to test the other ones.
Google Analytics : When you are interested in keeping track of all kinds of statistics of your website, Google Analytics is an excellent tool to help you with that. It can show you who visits your blog and where they come from.
Google Webmaster Tools : Another free to use resource from Google to help you with links that are corrupt or do not work as you wanted them to. But it gives also an overview of how your visitors find your site for example through what kind of search engines. It also allows you to manually submit a sitemap, which is also useful tool for quick indexing.
Photography/Videos tools & equipments
Adobe CC : I mainly use Photoshop on my computer (and Lightroom on my smartphone). For my Youtube and Instagram videos, I also use Premiere Pro (for video montages) and Illustrator (to help with my Instagram feed). Using a monthly works perfect for me and ensures that I am always up to date with their latest software.
For photo and video equipment, I tried to have a professional look on a budget. But, to be honest, I can only encourage you to invest in a small lighting kit because it will change the look of your photos at once.
So, what do I use at the moment?
Canon EOS 250D (body)
Canon EFS 18-55mm (lens)
With this page I answered some of your questions by showing you how I work. I hope it helps you if want to get started in the world of bloggers.