WordPress Plugins for Food Bloggers: Recipage Vs ZipList – Which is better?

ZipList vs Recipage - Which is a better plugin for Food bloggers?

This is a topic created specifically for food bloggers or any blogger who posts recipes on their blog. We will be discussing two hugely popular plugins for WordPress that allow to embed recipes in an organized way: Recipage and Ziplist. We will be going through the pros and cons of each and lastly, my decision for choosing my current recipe plugin.

If you are a blogger who posts recipes frequently (or not), this is the post for you! I have searched the interwebs for a comparison all over the place when I was debating about choosing the right plugin for me and I didn’t find any resources that laid it all out there for me.

Why do you need a recipe plugin?

Sure, it’s easy and nice to be able to just simply write out the recipe on the blog post as a part of the content. That is what I was doing when I first started my blog. Here’s an example of what I mean when I say “write it out” – one of my first recipes that I for some reason forgot to switch to the new plugin. This is from my recipe for my Low Cal Onion and Cheese Egg White Omelet. 

onionrecipe

As you can see, the recipe kind of blends in with the rest of the content and it’s not just because I blurred the text. If you were just skimming through the page, you wouldn’t even notice the recipe unless you were skimming carefully or slowly haha but then again that wouldn’t be called skimming anymore huh? Fact of the matter, there is nothing there that jumps out at you that tells you it’s a recipe. Plus when you use bookmarklet like Foodie, it will not be able to detect that there’s a recipe on the post.

What is Recipage?

Recipage is a totally free plugin for food bloggers that installs a professional recipe page directly onto your blog. There’s no need for readers to click away from your site to take full advantage of all of our features, so the pageviews are all yours.” – Recipage, About Us

Recipage website

Why I liked it:

Recipage was the first recipe plugin I used on my blog (not including just straight up writing the recipes out) and I enjoyed the fact that it organized my recipes into a neat and easily searchable index that was easy to embed onto my blog. It was very user-friendly and recipes were easy to feature and find by readers on the page.

recipage

 

I also liked that each recipe had the potential for being featured on their website and possibly shown to many other people who frequent the recipage website. I never had anything of mine featured on the website but I enjoyed knowing that there was a possibility for it – it made something to strive for.

Additionally, the website was a nice resource for looking for recipes by other bloggers. Since it is so easily searchable – you can find whatever recipe you want very easily. You can search by occasion, ingredient, meal type, dietary restriction, and more. Of course, this was provided that the blogger actually tagged each recipe by each of these things. I didn’t usually use all of the ways to tag but I did use a lot of them.

Why I disliked it:

The recipage lives on one page on your website which can be good since it makes your website work faster (I think) but it also gives you less views since the reader does not have to move away from this particular page. This means you do not actually know which recipe the users are going to most since everything lives on this one page. When a reader goes to a recipe on the recipage, it is still technically on this general recipage so when they leave a comment on just that recipe, it shows up on the general page and you end up having no idea to what they are referring. This can be frustrating especially if you want to know which of your recipes are more popular than others. The only way you can know is if the reader clicks on the “view full post” link on the recipe which will then direct the reader to the original post you wrote that included the recipe.

recipage comments

Awkward :/

When you embed the recipe on your post, it becomes its own thing. It comes with social media buttons which many people use. What I dislike about it is that people then share the recipe itself “via recipage” rather than the post itself. So when you then click through the pin or tweet link, you end up at your general recipage page of the website with just the recipe on the screen rather than the full original post you wrote. It makes it frustrating because the reader will not see anything else you wrote like notes about the recipe, more pictures, and any other tidbits, unless the reader specifically clicks on the “view full post” link. Unfortunately, many people don’t click that link.

In order to get the recipe to your blog, you have to first go to the Recipage website, input the information there, grab one of two html codes, paste it to your text view in the post and hope it works… and the annoying thing, it doesn’t always work. See how the image up top looks? That’s how it’s supposed to look like. But I frequently had it looking all wonky like this…

This is a recipe for my Carob Chip Protein Pancakes

This is a recipe for my Carob Chip Protein Pancakes

Lastly, I got annoyed by the fact that they added their own banners ads to the recipage. I understand they want to monetize. I understand that completely. But as a blogger, if I’m gonna have ads on my blog, I do it because I want to get monetized. I already have some ads on my blog and I don’t need any extras, especially when I’m not actually getting anything from it.

What is ZipList?

ZipList makes meal planning and grocery shopping a breeze. Create your weekly meal plan, organize your grocery list and get money-saving coupons, all while waiting for your kids to get off the school bus. Sync your list and recipes up with your cell phone and you’re off to the store in minutes. Search more than 1,300,000 recipes and add your favorites to your personal universal recipe box. Grab popular shopping checklists to be ready for camping trips, football parties and more. It’s never been easier to get in and out of the grocery store (and on with your life).” – Ziplist, About Us

ziplist

Yeah, ZipList is actually a lot more than just a recipe plugin for bloggers – it has a lot that it does for the reader as well. I don’t actually use it the way readers are meant to use it and I only use it for the recipe plugin option and that is what I’m going to be discussing here.

What I like about ZipList:

The plugin is right in WordPress so you don’t have to go to another website to input your recipe information, grab any code to paste, and hope it works (akhem, Recipage). In ZipList, you just go to where you are editing your post right in WordPress and you click on the ZipList button to open up a window to input your recipe in.

ziplist button plugin

ziplist button plugin for wordpressThe window pops up with all the fields you need. The title field is automatically filled out with the title of your post so it’s easier but you can change it to whatever you want of course. I cleared it out for this picture to show you how it looks like when it’s all blank.

I love the ease of the plugin. The recipe box always shows up beautifully on the post and there are never any mishaps in terms of formatting. Plus for the people that use the full functionality of Ziplist, they can also easily form a grocery list to add so they can make your recipe.

There are also featured recipes and recipes to browse just like Recipage has. I like looking at other recipes too so this is a nice bonus. Pinterest is sometimes just not enough ;)

What I dislike about ZipList:

I dislike the fact that there is no recipe index to put into your blog like Recipage has. You have to create your own recipe index to make it easier for readers to browse. I created mine with the help of some plugins and tutorials but it did take me 1 or 2 days to finish.

Something I worry about is the plugin stopping working. I wonder if it stops working and just stops showing up, will all of my recipes be gone? Actually I literally just thought of this now. Now I’m worried… anyone know about this?

 

I currently use ZipList and I switched over to it from using Recipage for the reasons I mentioned above. It works better for me this way.

What about you?

  • Which plugin do you currently use for recipes, if any?
  • Are there are any other plugins you love to add to your food blog?

Let me know in the comments!

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Kammie!! I have the EXACT same feelings about both of these two! it’s nice to see everything laid out so nicely with all of the details for both. I too started with recipage (also works on Blogger, which is what I was using at the time) but quickly changed to Ziplist since it had a few more bells and whistles :)

    Do you remember which plug ins/tutorials you used to do your recipe index? I desperately need to find something that will work for me!

  2. says

    I use ziplist and don’t really worry about it disappearing. Ziplist as a company is very very successful and I think that plugins generally dont’ disappear! Great review of both though!

  3. says

    Thank you for this helpful post, hon! I’ve been actually searching for a plugin to organize my recipes and now I know that recipage isn’t what I am searching for and ziplist might not have all functions I’d like to have, so I keep it in mind but will go on searching for something that combines a recipe index like recipage has and the amazing wordpress plugin of ziplist.

  4. says

    Wow thanks for this I am just at the stage where I am writing all my recipes in, I haven’t tried either plugins so will definitely check out ziplist. Did you find out any more about whether your recipes could be lost if ziplist fails? Will check out the tutorial you mentioned too as I really need to organise my recipes. Any other plugins or tutorials I should check out if Im just starting out online?

  5. says

    Hi Kammie! I tried a lot of different recipe plugins myself but couldn’t find one that I really loved, so I did what “everyone” does in that situation: I created one of my own :)

    The plugin is called WP Ultimate Recipe and there is both a free and premium version. I’d be happy to give you the premium version for free if you want to give it a test drive and share your experience with your readers. Just send me an email if you’re interested!

    You can head over to http://demo.wpultimaterecipeplugin.com if you’d like to see a demo if the plugin’s features first.

  6. Jim says

    Am pulling together my food blog and been searching for a WordPress plugin that combines “recipe formating/printing” funtionality (ala EasyRecipe, ZipList) AND ties into a recipe index (page) that is searchable on categories/tags/cuisine/meal/etc… and ideally would have to option to display individual recipes with thumbnails along with title.

    Any ideas if such exists out there “off the shelf”? Don’t mind buying a premium product.

    Thanks!

  7. says

    I was so glad to have found your review. I too am very worried. I am looking into adding a recipe box on my blog and was looking into Ziplist. When I started my blog I used Get Me Cooking. For a while, I liked it until I found out that my recipes were not transferrable. I felt as if my recipes belong to their site and not my blog. When I removed the plugin, I lost all of them and I had to manually re-type over 50+ recipes and still not done. The GMC people were not helpful with transferring anything. Their tech person just told me that it was not possible and had to work on projects for paid clients first. So my issue was not important and was never resolved.
    From what you mentioned, it seems that Ziplist may have similar functionally. I hope I am wrong. Thanks again.

    • says

      Yeah, you’re actually right – the recipes are a part of the plugin itself. So when you put them in, they don’t appear straight on your blog (in visual editor on WordPress). It’s a tricky situation. RECIpage definitely gives you more of an ownership, even if the plugin was to go kaput. The Ziplist plugin actually broke for a few days after the WordPress update to 3.9 but they fixed it. But I deactivated the plugin during this time and I saw that none of the recipes were showing up… so yeah, it’s a win-lose situation, I suppose. I haven’t heard of Get Me Cooking before though, what’s the reason for you moving away from it?

      • says

        Interesting about Ziplist. I moved away from Getmecooking because I found out the hard way that if you change host or theme the recipes are not transferable. When using WordPress Tool for import/export, the data is not fully transferrable because of they way they code their files. Granted I had a lot of issues with Ipage but nothing was working well. The getmecooking plugin was down a lot and sometimes I could not even post. My blog was greatly affected. I moved away from everything and I am now with bluehost. I changed theme because everything was broken when I ask Ipage for help. Not sure what they know there. My recipes are posted similarly to posting a regular post with additional settings for ingredients and methods. I don’t intend to change anything for a long time.

  8. says

    Hi and thanks for the useful post!

    I currently use Pepperplate to privately record my recipes and I am looking into getting a recipe plugin for my website. Pepperplate isn’t a plugin, it’s a website linked to an iphone / ipad / Windows 8 app (not sure about support for Android). I find it very practical to get access to all my recipes everywhere even without an Internet connexion.

    I looked into ZipList and Recipage but for me the ideal solution would be something linked to an app as well. The import feature from Pepperplate or from text file would be a bonus, but I wouldn’t mind reentering my existing recipes in order to switch to a better system.

    I also looked into the plugin advertised for above – WP Ultimate Recipe – which sounds very nice but the free version isn’t too useful, and the Premium one is over $70 which makes almost as expensive as my yearly hosting fee. That’s too much to use on a website that doesn’t generate any money!

    Does anyone use something like this?

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