Recipe Plugin for WordPress - Information


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Frequently asked questions

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What is it?
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Who is it for?

It's for food bloggers who want to display one or more recipes per page in an easy to read format with a custom layout, print, recipe search, SEO and other features.

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Give me an overview

The Recipe Template plugin makes it quick and easy for food bloggers to add recipes into their blog posts.

It gives your recipes a clear, consistent and easy to read visual design.

Your recipes will look awesome, you will get better rankings in search engines and you will get more visitors.

Best of all, it provides functionality to help make your visitors more engaged and encourage them to spend more time on your blog.

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What are its main features?

  • Add one or more recipes to a blog post
  • One recipe can be added to many blog posts
  • Recipes appear in a consistent layout on your blog
  • The recipe format (layout and colours) can changed to fit in with your blog
  • Headings and labels on the recipe can be changed, which makes it great for use on non-English food blogs
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are built in
  • Maintain recipes separately to blog posts – so all of the recipes on your blog can be updated from one place, quickly and easily
  • Attribute your recipes to sources including blog, book, magazine and website
  • Click on photographs to see a larger version
  • Print just the recipe, not the whole blog post
  • Integration with the GetMeCooking website

Want more features? Let us know what you want!

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Provides a consistent look and feel

Consistency helps users feel comfortable navigating around a blog as they will quickly become familiar with the content and know what to expect on each page.

Using a template means that you eliminate typos and formatting mistakes, you save time (from not having to manually position things each time), plus it makes your blog look nicer.

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Fully customisable visual design

Recipes need to be clear, readable and stand out - but at the same time, they should look good within your blog.

The recipe layout is highly configurable. You can:

  • Change the colours
  • Change the layout
  • Change the position of the labels, images and other properties
  • Change the format of the ‘steps’
  • Choose your own heading text

See how easy it is to change the layout of your recipes.

See a quick glimpse of what's possible in this demo video:



If you want even more control, we even let you edit the CSS (recommended for advanced users only)

Examples of installations of the GetMeCooking Recipe Plugin for WordPress

Cakefarmer Showcase junglefrog-cooking Showcase 5amfoodie Showcase renbehan Showcase themoscovore Showcase domesticesq Showcase eaternalzest
See more examples

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Search engine visibility

Recognising Recipes

Some major search engines now have a 'recipe search' feature - see information from Bing and Google. This is where you enter a word or phrase (such as 'chocolate chip muffins') into a search engine and it then recognises that the search could be for a recipe; so a list of recipes is displayed (as well as other potential results).

For this to work, the search engines need to be able to identify the relevant components of the web page as being associated with a recipe. For example the recipe template tells search engines that a list of ingredients is actually a list of ingredients for a recipe - without this, the search engine would just see a list of items and would not be able to place it in context. To do this, we use schemas, which are a defined standard.

If you would like to see how Google 'sees' the recipes on your blog, you can do so here. If it says 'Insufficient data to generate the preview', it means that it can't identify that the content on your page is actually a recipe. Here is an example of how Google sees and identifies a recipe created with the GetMeCooking recipe plugin.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) methods are used to give search engines information about the contents of your site (so they can identify and categorise what is on each page), make it easy for search engines to 'crawl' your blog and load quickly so that search engines can rank sites in order of performance (users prefer to use faster sites).

When a user searches for your recipe in a search engine (any search engine - including Bing, Google, Yahoo, etc.) there will be a better chance of your recipe appearing in the top search results. This is done by structuring the recipe content with proper use of HTML and CSS code, telling the search engine what is on each page (e.g. a recipe photo, recipe ingredients, recipe description) giving all photographs alternate text, etc.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Often confused with SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) should be treated separately.

SEM is the focus given to generate inbound links to your blog. This can be through placing your content (whole or snippets) on other websites, advertising, e-mail newsletters, guest posts, RSS, facebook, twitter, YouTube and other social media feeds.

Publishing your recipes to GetMeCooking will generate SEM and inbound links to your site, as described in the next section.

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Post recipes on GetMeCooking

Posting your recipes on http://www.getmecooking.com will give you these benefits:

  • All of your recipes will automatically be listed on GetMeCooking
    • Note: Only your recipes will be listed, not your entire blog post. We encourage users to view your blog for the entire blog post
  • Each of your recipes on GetMeCooking will link back to the blog post on your website
  • Users on GetMeCooking will be able to view all of your recipes on one page
  • Users on GetMeCooking will be able to search for recipes made by you
  • Users on GetMeCooking will be able to search for recipes that have only come from blog posts

All of the above will get your blog more exposure, more inbound-links and more traffic.

  • Note: because you will be using the Recipe Template plugin that we have written, we know you are not a spammer; so we will not use the nofollow HTML command. This means that you will get Search Engine ranking benefits from all hyperlinks going from GetMeCooking to your site

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Link to GetMeCooking

Linking your blog to your GetMeCooking user account gives you lots of advantages, including:

  • All of the recipes from your blog will (optionally) appear on your GetMeCooking user profile
  • This is a cooking profile that you can show to your friends
  • It gives inbound links to your food blog
  • You can make use of the recipe search feature
  • Recipes you add will be attributed to your blog
  • More visibility, links and visitors to your blog

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Non-English or just want to tweak the text?

We let you change all of the text on the plugin. This makes is perfect for if your blog isn't in English.

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Even more features

In addition to all this, your visitors will be able to:

  • Click on photographs to see a larger version
  • Print just the recipe (not the whole blog post, which might be several pages)
  • View similar recipes (by dietary requirement, meal type, region,etc.)
  • Change the measurement values (imperial/metric/USA) (coming soon)
  • Change the ingredient quantities based on serving size (coming soon)

Want more features? Let us know what you want!

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Starting from scratch?

Get up and running in 5 easy steps:
  1. Get WordPress set up
  2. Install a WordPress theme (the default one is boring)
  3. Install our plugin
  4. Change the look of our plugin
  5. Add recipes - that's up to you!

This section will tell you how to do all of this.

Requirements - a server running WordPress

The WordPress software is free, you just need to host it yourself, or have it hosted for you. For this, you can:

Rent a server

or:

Host it yourself

If you already manage your own web server, you can install WordPress on it using either of these methods:

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Install a WordPress theme

Strictly speaking this isn't actually required, but the default theme is boring, plus you will want to make your plugin stand out from the crowd.

So if you haven't done it already, you can find a new WordPress theme.

In the 'General Settings' page of our plugin, we have an option to support wide and narrow WordPress themes. Our plugin should work with all WordPress themes - let us know if you have any issues.

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Install the GetMeCooking plugin

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard (http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin)
  2. Go to the Plugins section
  3. Select 'Add New'
  4. Search for 'Term' 'GetMeCooking Recipe Template' and select 'Search Plugins'
  5. Select 'Install Now'
  6. Select 'OK'
  7. Select 'Activate Plugin'
  8. Then you can add a recipe

This video shows how to install it:

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Change the look of the plugin

It is very easy to change the look of our plugin. You can use the simplified customisation options to change most things, or edit the CSS if you want to get really creative.

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Add some recipes

It's easy to create recipes and add them to your blog post.

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Settings

Once it is installed, you should look at the settings. In here you can customise the plugin to make fit seamlessly into your blog.

Access the settings page:

  • Go to your WordPress Dashboard (http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin)
  • Select 'GetMeCooking Settings'
  • Select 'General Settings'
GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress settings menu.

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Link the Recipe Template plugin to your GetMeCooking Account

Having a user account on GetMeCooking isn't required, neither is linking your blog to your GetMeCooking user profile ; but we can give your blog more functionality if you do.

Guest Account
(not linked)
Registered Account
(linked)
  • Your recipes will be added to www.getmecooking.com (with links back to your blog post)
  • Your recipes will be added to your GetMeCooking user profile
  • You will have full access to all of the features of the plugin
  • You will have additional features on the GetMeCooking website, such as additional links back to your blog and higher ranking in the recipe search
  • Visitors to your site will be able to search and filter on all of your recipes for example show all recipes that have butter and no peanuts and are suitable for children's parties

Here's how you can link your blog to your GetMeCooking user account:

GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress user account menu.

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Share the love

  • Allowing your recipes to appear on GetMeCooking will give your blog more exposure, more inbound links and more traffic. All recipes you add to GetMeCooking will be credited (and linked back) to your blog
  • Linking your recipes to GetMeCooking makes your blog more useful and relevant to your visitors, meaning that they will stick around and return more often
  • Displaying the 'Powered by GetMeCooking' link lets others know that you are using an awesome product, plus it's a nice way to say thanks. We have worked (and continue to work hard) to create this plugin
GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress options menu.

Some people have expressed concerns that sharing their recipes on other sites would create duplicate content, and would therefore effect their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and website rankings. This is not the case, please see this video from Matt Cutts of Google

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Change the text

Here you can keep the existing headings, or replace them with your own.

This is ideal if your blog is non-English.

GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress - changing the recipe headings.

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Change the design

Here you can change the positioning, colour and style of the recipes.

All of this is very easy to do via our settings page:

GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress - recipe layout tool.

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Use your own styling

If you want to make visual changes that are not covered by the easy-change options, you can do so here.

This section is best suited for people who are experienced in CSS, although if you do make a mistake, you can simply reset the CSS configuration back to its default values and start again.

Some custom WordPress templates cause the formatting of the recipes to be not quite right - for example the text 'Meal Type' may span onto 2 lines. If this happens, simple CSS tweaks may be required (as explained the in CSS comments - shown in red).

If you want even more control, we even let you customise the CSS (recommended for advanced users only)

Note:

  • You can toggle the CSS on and off
  • You can reset the CSS back to the default values
  • We have annotated the CSS to make it easy to follow
  • The CSS syntax is coloured for readability
GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress - advanced CSS options.

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Use your own language

The premium version of the plugin is available in these languages:

  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Swedish

The plugin will automatically switch to the language that your WordPress installation is configured to use, else it will use English by default.

Please let us know if your preferred language isn't available.

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Create, manage and post recipes
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Create a recipe

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard (http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin)
  2. Go to the ‘Recipes’ section in the left menu and select ‘Add New
GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress recipe menu.
  1. In here, you can create a new recipe, which will later be embedded within a blog post
  2. Enter the information as required, including:
    • Recipe Title
    • Photograph of the finished recipe
    • Recipe description
    • Summary information
    • Ingredients
    • Steps (*optional – a photograph per step)
  3. Select ‘Publish’ to save the recipe
  4. Now add the recipe to a blog post or page.

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Add recipes to a blog post

  1. Add a blog post as you normally would
    • Go to your WordPress Dashboard (http://www.yourblog.com/wp-admin)
    • Posts
    • Add New
GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress New Post menu.
GetMeCooking Recipe plugin insert recipe to blog post
  1. Write a blog post and then select where you would like to place the recipe
  2. Press the GetMeCooking icon on the toolbar
  3. Select the title of the recipe that you would like to insert into the post
  4. Select ‘Insert Recipe
  5. The text ‘[recipe ###]’ will be inserted into your post (where ### is a recipe number)
  6. Preview or Publish the post as you normally would
  7. The blog post will be displayed with the recipe embedded within it

Notes:

  • You can add many recipes to one blog post
  • You can add one recipe to many blog posts
  • You can edit the blog post or the recipe at any time, even after you have posted them

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Edit a recipe

You can edit and delete existing recipes. When you do this, the recipe (wherever it is used in your blog) will be updated.

To do this, go to the Recipes menu.

GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress recipe menu.

Then from the Recipes page, edit or delete a recipe (as you would a blog post).

GetMeCooking Recipe plugin for WordPress recipes menu.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)
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Q) How much does it cost?

A) We have two versions of our recipe plugin. One that is entirely free and one that has a one-off cost associated with it.

Both include free technical support and upgrades for life.

Please see our information page for details of both versions of our plugin, as well as our money back guarantee

Note that if you opt for the free version (which is more than enough for more food bloggers), we do welcome monetary donations, muffins and cookies.

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Q) If I don’t enter a value (such as ‘cook time’), will the text ‘cook time’ appear?

A) No, if you don’t enter a value, we hide the corresponding label

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Q) Do labels (such as 'Allergy') show if I haven't entered information for them?

A) No. We want your blog posts to look clean, so we hide unnecessary information

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Q) Is it easy to change the look of the plugin?

A) Yes. We have made it very easy to change all aspects of the plugin. If you want to get really technical – we have made the CSS available too, so you can change anything!

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Q) Can I rename headings?

A) Yes, you can rename all of the text on the page. This makes it ideal for non-English blogs.

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Q) Do I have to manually resize images?

A) No, all images will be resized for you.

See WordPress Dashboard | Settings | Media.

For the main recipe image, we use the values 'Medium size' (for the in-recipe image) and 'Large size' (the full-size image, when you click on it).

For the images used in the recipe steps, we use the 'Thumbnail size'.

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Q) Can I add more than one recipe to a blog post?

A) Yes. You can add as many recipes as you like. An example of this being useful is if your child has attended a school fete and you have cooked more than one recipe

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Q) Can the same recipe exist on more than one blog post?

A) Yes. And if you make changes to the recipe, the changes will be updated in all of your blog posts

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Q) Can I edit recipes after I have posted them on my blog?

A) Yes - just edit the recipe. No need to do anything in the blog post(s)

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Q) What features does the print function have?

A) Your blog visitors will be given the option to print whole recipe:

  • With all photographs
  • With just the main photograph
  • with no photographs (just the recipe text)

Note that the relevant options will be hidden if there are no step photographs, or main photograph.

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Q) Will my personal settings be reset to default when I patch my plugin?

A) No. All settings will be retained, even when you patch the plugin

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Q) I've installed it, but the 'Meal Type' text spans onto 2 lines, what I can I do?

A) We have tested the plugin on a lot of WordPress themes and it looks great on most of them, but on some (e.g. those which use larger fonts) a little tweaking might be required - but we have made it super-easy

  • Go to the GetMeCooking Recipe Template settings page
  • Tick ‘Use your own CSS’
  • Go to line 61
  • Increase the value '70px' to something a little higher (73px works in most cases)
  • Save Settings
  • Go to the recipe
  • Press F5 (to refresh the page on your web browser)

Custom CSS configuration will not be over-written when you patch the plugin.

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Q) Why do Bing, Google and other search engines not display Schema data (Rich Snippets) for some or all of the recipes on my blog?

A) Ours was the first recipe plugin to implement the Schema.org format, which is used by Google and other search engines (see Why are Search Engines being slow to roll out their ‘Recipe Search’ functionality? for information).

If you look at the Google Structured Data Testing Tool, you will see that the preview shows a recipe with the photograph, title, time, URL and description. This is how it should appear in the Google (and other search engine) results. On this page, please only look at the section where type = 'http://schema.org/recipe' as this is the only format that we use (see the first article I mention for reasons for this).

However, having the correct (and validated) code in the recipe doesn't guarantee that they will be indexed like that by the search engines.

Please also see the 'Rich snippets not appearing' guide from Google. At the bottom of this page is a link that allows you to tell Google that you are using Rich Snippets (Schema.org).

Q) Why doesn't the GetMeCooking icon appear on my toolbar when adding a new blog post?

A) Go to:

  • Users
  • [your profile]
  • Uncheck the box at the top of the screen that says 'Disable the visual editor when writing'

If this is already unchecked (in most cases it should be), then go to:

  • Online Lint
  • Enter the URL of your blog
  • Press the 'Lint' button
  • Check the results for errors

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Q) I have added recipes via the plugin, but they are not appearing on www.getmecooking.com

A) Reasons for this are:

  • It can take a few days before it appears as it is a manual process for us to add them - you will be e-mailed if it is added
  • We have known some cases where we never recieved the recipe, if it has been more than a week then please contact us to confirm
  • Check that you have entered your username correctly
  • The 'number of servings', 'cooking time' or other information might be missing
  • The photograph is too small - it must be at least 520px wide or tall, or the photo is blurry/grainy or the photograph may not be owned by you or does not show the food enough so another cook can see if theres has come out the same; to use on www.getmecooking.com

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Q) Can I try the Recipe plugin before I put it on my blog?

A) We recommend you try the plugin (and any other plugin) on a test WordPress blog before you put it on your live blog.

if you haven't already got a test WordPress blog (you really should have), both Windows Azure and appfog offer test WordPress hosted solutions for free. You can set up a new WordPress site from scratch in less than 5 minutes.

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Q) Can I use it on my WordPress.com account?

A) No. Sorry but WordPress.com accounts cannot use 3rd party plugins. See the WordPress support page for information.

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Q) Can I install it on other blogging platforms, such as Blogger, TypePad and tumblr?

A) No, Wordpress.org is the only blogging platform that is currently supported. If you like, you can export content from another platform into a WordPress blog

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Q) I have a WordPress.com blog, can I convert it to a WordPress.org blog?

A) Yes. See Moving to WordPress.org for information

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Q) Can I import recipes into the GetMeCooking recipe plugin from other formats (plugins, software or websites)?

A) No. Sorry but we don't have a way of doing that. Because we capture data at a granular level, it makes it very hard to import data from other sources reliably, because people write recipes in many different ways.

No other plugin or program captures recipe data at the level that we do. This means that they can't do clever things with recipe data - we can.

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Q) Can multiple-authors or guests of my blog add recipes to my blog?

A) No. Not yet, but it's something we're considering.

For news on updates, sign up to our newsletter.

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Q) Do you have, or will you be adding a rating system? For example: overall rating, clarity of recipe, accuracy of recipe, deliciousness of recipes.

A) No. We have purposefully not added a rating system for recipes because we don't think it's a good or reliable system. It is open to mis-interpretation, abuse, lazyness, how it was cooked, etc. We've written an article on why rating systems don't work

For example, our plugin has been rated 1 star on the offical WordPress site - in fact all of the recipe plugins on WordPress have at least one 1 star rating. If your blog has 10 tomato soup recipes and they all have 5 star ratings, it then doesn't mean much to the visitor as the visitor still can't distinguish between them.

Instead, we are concentrating on other features to make the plugin really useful for both the author and the visitor.

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Q) Does the plugin have a responsive design (i.e. will it look different on PC's tablets and mobile devices)?

A) The recipes get embedded within blog posts or blog pages, so they simply become content within the blog.

The plugin inherits the styles (heading, text, colours, fonts, background colour, etc. - determined by CSS) of the active theme, so will change to match whichever theme you switch to. All of the properties of the plugin can be overridden if required (e.g. you might want the text to be a different colour to the rest of the theme - see our FAQ sections on changing the design using the easy and custom CSS methods.

All this means that the plugin doesn't need to be responsive, it is the theme that needs to be responsive.

Also (if you want to get really creative) by using the custom CSS option within our plugin (or within your theme), you can fully customise the position and style of any element of the recipe for any device, or print option.

Please view our demo site from a PC, tablet, mobile phone, etc. It is a very basic site, which uses a default WordPress theme.

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Q) I am using a 3rd party plugin to add my blog posts to Facebook, Twitter or another service, but it is posting every recipe step individually, not just the blog post. Why is this?

A) It's because the developer has coded their plugin to post all custom types (this is bad practice as they should ask users to opt-in instead of simply posting everything...).

As a workaround, you will need to go to the settings page of the plugin you are using and tell it to exclude these custom post types: gmc_recipe, gmc_recipeingredient, gmc_recipestep. If that doesn't work, let us know and we will investigate.

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Q) Can I talk to someone?

A) Sure, please contact us – we like to talk about food, blogging and technology

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Exporting your recipes to another WordPress Blog

You might want to export your recipes into another WordPress Blog if you are:

  • Creating a new blog environment (development, QA, Production, sandpit)
  • Migrating your blog from one host to another
  • Migrating your blog from a single hosted environment to a multi-hosted environment

To do this, go to:

  • WordPress Dashboard
  • Tools
  • Export
  • Select 'Recipes'
  • Select 'Download Export File'

Repeat the above steps for the items 'Recipe steps' and 'Recipe ingredients'.

This will create an XML file. Save this, then use it to import the recipe data into a WordPress blog.

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Importing your recipes to another WordPress Blog

To do this, go to:

  • WordPress Dashboard
  • Tools
  • Import
  • WordPress
  • Select Install now (if you do not already have it installed)
  • Select Activate Plugin & Run Importer (if you did not already have it installed)
  • Select 'Choose File' and select the file you saved earlier for 'Recipes'
  • Select 'Upload file and import'

Repeat the above steps for the remaining files 'Recipe steps' and 'Recipe ingredients'.

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View a demo WordPress site

This Demo WordPress site shows some of the features of the standard and premium versions of our plugin.

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Who wrote it?

GetMeCooking developed and maintain both the plugin and the code that it calls on the back-end http://www.getmecooking.com website.

Find out more about GetMeCooking.

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We really appreciate your help, support, feedback, donations and cookies!

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Version history

For a full history of changes, please see the changelog.

WordPress will prompt you to automatically update the plugin when we release new versions.

For news on major updates, sign up to our newsletter.

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Consultancy

Whilst we provide free help support for our plugin, sometimes people have issues that are unique to their WordPress environment. In these cases, me may be able to assist on a paid basis. Please read about our WordPress consultancy.

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Support

Need help? Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions. We are friendly and want to hear from you!

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