This food blog is 14 years old. No kidding. It has gone through various domain names—from houseonahill.net to pinoycook.net to homecookingrocks.com to its current home—and three content management systems.
How does a food blog survive for that long? That depends on the blogger, I suppose. Most hire developers to do the design, install various plugins and maintain the backend of the blog. I’ve never done that. Three reasons. First, it’s too expensive. Second, from experience, no one can execute the exact things I have in mind. Third, I like changing things around and waiting for a spot in the developer’s schedule to do what I want when I want it done immediately isn’t my cup of tea.
So, I do everything. That includes making sure that everything—from the CMS (WordPress, for the last 12 years) to the theme (Genesis, for the last eight years or so) to the various plugins—is primed. That also means getting rid of what are no longer usable and adding what current web trends require.
And that brings me to why I am writing this post. For the past five or six years, Google has been requiring that recipes follow a certain standard. Schema, microformatting… call it whatever you like. The bottomline, a plugin is the most convenient tool to make recipe posts compliant. For those of you who have been reading my blog for years, you might have noticed that recipe posts are formatted in three different ways. That’s because since Google required microformats, the recipes have gone through three plugins.
The first plugin I used was a free one called HRecipe. Development stopped five years ago so I switched to the paid version of Easy Recipe—Easy Recipe Plus. The transition was bloody because Easy Recipe Plus could not automatically import the recipes formatted using HRecipe. I was never able to complete the transition. For years, some recipes stayed with the HRecipe format; the newer ones were published using Easy Recipe Plus.
And then, development of Easy Recipe Plus stopped. What the heck. I paid for it, I paid again to renew the license and then nothing. I searched the WordPress plugin repository for options and finally chose WP Recipe Maker. And because I wanted more control than what the free version offered, I got the paid version.
Yes, WP Recipe Maker can import Easy Recipe posts. But… And there’s the BIG BUT. Every imported recipe needs to be reviewed and edited in most cases (the ingredients list, especially) to make sure that nothing is broken and no links are lost. Alex has been helping me with the imports (thank you so much, sweetie!) and we’ve been at it for about a week. We’re halfway through. But, after that, I will have to manually import the recipes published with HRecipe into WP Recipe Maker.
Hire someone to do it? Nope. I’m too much of a control freak, I guess. And there’s an upside, anyway. It’s a good opportunity to go through all the recipes one by one, spot errors (including misspellings) and fix them all.
Hopefully, before the month ends, you will be seeing a singular uniform format for all the recipes.