If you use WP Recipe Maker and are searching for tips for how you can use the recipe plugin more effectively, this post is for you.

A lot of Foodie Digital members use WP Recipe Maker for recipe SEO.

Created and maintained by Bootstrapped Ventures, WP Recipe Maker is a widely adopted, and well-thought through recipe card plugin for WordPress. 

About 80% of the Foodie Digital community uses WP Recipe Maker, and during our series of onboarding audits we catch a lot of mistakes with how the recipe card plugin is configured and used, which we share here for your benefit.

This post covers:

WP Recipe Maker has four different bundles

Like most plugins that follow the freemium model, the free version of the plugin is good while the paid versions each offer more advanced and helpful features for recipe SEO.

All versions of WP Recipe Maker are good options for structured data mark-up for Google and Pinterest, including rich pins. 

The plugin also supports HowTo and ItemList schema in addition to recipe schema. This gives you the ability to publish a wide-range of schema-rich HowTo content and recipe roundups.

Recipe card templates and customization

WP Recipe Maker provides several default recipe card templates to choose from.

It also provides the ability to customize each recipe card template. You have full control over the colors and styles of your recipe card template with WPRM.

For information on how you can customize a recipe card template to match the look and feel of your site, read the plugin’s Template Editor 101 documentation.

Here’s a few examples of custom-designed WPRM recipe cards:

Instacart integration

It’s easy to make your recipes shoppable using WP Recipe Maker.

That and, you can earn affiliate commission from the recipes and lists you share when you participate in Instacart’s tastemaker program.

To enable the Get Ingredients with Instacart button for your site, log in to WordPress and go to WPRM settings > Integrations. WPRM also has helpful instructions that show you how to enable the button. The instacart button cannot be styled to suit your brand colors—we already checked!

The free version of the plugin

If you’re just starting out, the free version of WP Recipe Maker is a good choice.

Note that there is no way to make ingredient and equipment links nofollow compliant by default in the recipe card’s settings. This feature is only possible in the paid bundles. In the free version of the plugin, nofollow has to be applied manually to each and every ingredient and equipment link. This is not a showstopper, but it’s an important detail to be aware of.

Premium bundle — $49 USD per year

Pro tip! The vast majority of Foodie Digital members using WP Recipe Maker use WPRM Premium, rather than Free, Pro or Elite.

If you use ingredient and equipment links (sponsored or affiliate) a lot in your recipe cards, the Premium bundle is a good fit for you.

Pro tip! In the plugin’s settings you can enable the nofollow attribute to be added by default to all external ingredient and equipment links. This way, nofollow compliance inside the recipe card is automatically taken care of. A big time saver!

Screenshot of WP Recipe Maker, the recipe card plugin's settings show how to enable the nofollow tag so that it apples by default to external equipment and ingredient links.

Author name

With premium, in the plugin’s settings you can also include author name with an internal link (i.e., to your about page) so that author information displays in each new recipe card by default.

Screenshot shot of the WP Recipe Maker plugin showing where in the plugin's setting you can include an author name and internal link by default.

Star ratings without a comment

Another big benefit of of the premium bundle is that visitors can leave a star rating without posting a comment. Star ratings provide the possibility for increased clickthrough and conversion rates and are very important for recipe SEO.

To maintain the integrity of star ratings, it is possible to require that a comment is left for a recipe rating of 3 stars or less, for example.

Pro bundle — $99 USD per year

The biggest difference between the premium and pro bundle is that with pro readers have the option to switch between unit conversions, such as metric and imperial.

There’s also the option to use the nutrition API integration, which calculates nutritional values automatically, and you can create your own nutrients for the nutrition labels. This is something registered dietitians we work with like about WP Recipe Maker.

Pro tip! From experience, the configuration of the nutrition API does require a developer skill set.

Elite bundle — $149 USD per year

The elite bundle includes two sophisticated features geared toward boosting reader engagement.

Visitors can create their own recipe collections on your site (Google does this too now as of January 2020) and also generate a grocery shopping list for the recipes collected. That, and Elite can field recipe submissions from outside contributors.

If you’re managing a large team of contributors, Elite may be the right fit for your business.

Guided Recipes

As of May 2020, WP Recipe Maker allows you to create valid guided recipes for Google Assistant users. Guided recipes are not required for recipes to rank well. They’re only a suggestion.

But guided recipes are an excellent way to produce helpful recipe content, in our opinion.

The image and video assets assigned to each instruction step simply add to a post’s existing recipe schema. You are not losing anything by not using guided recipes in your recipe cards.

Screenshot from inside WP Recipe Maker showing how to create a guided recipe.

That said, you do want to keep track of errors and warnings for guided recipes. The best way to do this is to use Google Search Console, a Google tool that’s 100% free.

If you choose to use guided recipes, know that tweaks to your recipe card template are likely needed to get the image or video for each instruction step to look the way you want, or at least that’s our experience working on guided recipes with Foodie Digital members.

Nofollow compliance

WP Recipe Maker allows you to add links to certain fields in the recipe card (such as summary, ingredients and instructions). The link editor is custom (not the standard Wordpress link interface), and provides a handy checkbox to tag the links nofollow for compliance.

Screenshot of the inside of the WP Recipe Maker recipe card plugin, showing how to add a link in the plugin's freeform fields
Screenshot of the inside of the WP Recipe Maker recipe card plugin, showing how to add a link in the plugin's freeform fields and then tag the link for nofollow for compliance

However, since the nofollow link checkbox feature is limited to the recipe card editor, a separate nofollow approach is needed to manage nofollow links in your post body content if you create a lot of sponsored content, monetize through affiliate links, or review product that you receive for free. This is not a showstopper, but it’s an important detail to be aware of.

Pro Tip! With Create and Tasty Recipes the nofollow checkbox shows up under the checkbox to open a link in a new window. If you use the block editor it’s a differently approach entirely, which we share for your benefit in our post on nofollow compliance.

Prep time, cook time, total time

Always enter minute information into the prep time, cook time and total time fields. Satisfying a user’s search intent is priority #1 for Google and time is paramount when it comes to cooking.

Don’t make searchers and site visitors dig for this information.

Consistently fill-in these recipe meta data fields so that searchers and site visitors know up-front the time it takes to prep and successfully make your recipe.

SEO tips for food bloggers prioritized

In this post we help you identify where you’re at with SEO, and then outline the actions you need to take to accomplish your SEO goals.

Courses, cuisine, keywords and diet

Completeness is key when it comes to success with structured data so do not skip entering information into these fields. They matter for recipe SEO.

Pro tip! In the premium, pro and elite versions of the plugin internal links can easily be set for taxonomy terms (i.e., courses, cuisines, keywords). This is great for adding internal links to category archives (i.e, breakfast, dinner, desserts, snacks).

Courses and cuisine

WP Recipe Maker includes a dropdown list of terms to choose from for courses and cuisines. But you aren’t limited to what’s in this list. You can add your own terms by typing into each of the fields.

Screenshot of WP Recipe Maker showing the fields for course, cuisines and keywords.

Examples of what to put in the courses field

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
  • Snack
  • Soup
  • Salad
  • Appetizer
  • Beverage
  • Side dish

Examples of what to put in the cuisine field

  • American
  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Thai
  • Italian
  • Mexican
  • French
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Japanese


The keyword field doesn’t include a dropdown list.

Use keywords that are helpful to a reader like specific ingredients they’ll need to have on hand to successfully make a recipe. For example:

  • Coconut aminos
  • Maple syrup
  • Oregano, etc…

Or even specific cuts of meat, such as:

  • Chicken breast
  • Chicken thigh
  • Rump roast
  • Ribeye steak, etc…

Or kitchen equipment that denotes cooking method, like:

  • Dutch oven
  • Crockpot
  • Instant pot
  • Skillet, etc…

More examples of useful keywords to include in the keywords field are those related, but not limited to the season (i.e., winter, spring, summer, fall), holidays (i.e., Thanksgiving, Easter, Hanukah, Christmas) and special occasions (i.e., Halloween, Birthday, Valentine’s Day).


WP Recipe Maker users now have the ability to add Diet metadata (new as of Jan 30, 2020 using suitableForDiet metadata) to specify what type of dietary preference recipes are suitable for. There is a fixed list of options to choose from, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten free and more.

Screenshot of WP Recipe Maker the recipe card showing where diet metadata has been added in recipe fields

Diet metadata is disabled by default, but it can easily be enabled in the recipe card settings.

Screenshot of WP recipe maker for suitable diet meta data field in the plugin's settings

How to enter ingredients in WP Recipe Maker

The interface for ingredient information is relatively easy to use and intuitive. Unit measurements are in set fields and flexible (i.e., 1 can, 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp, 1 bunch). Ingredients links and unit conversion are equally easy to use though features of the plugin’s paid bundles.

Here’s a helpful video that takes a closer at ingredients in WP Recipe Maker:


If producing video content is a part of your content strategy, recipe videos can easily be added to WP Recipe Maker recipe cards. This results in video structured data (such as description, duration, and uploadDate) getting included in the recipe schema output, which is a great thing for video SEO.

Pro tip! We see food bloggers uploading videos directly to the plugin, which isn’t ideal for site speed and performance. Instead, embed a Youtube URL, Vimeo URL or a video URL from your ad network into the recipe card.

A screenshot of WP Recipe Maker, the recipe card plugin, that shows where to copy and paste a video URL

WP Recipe Maker’s HowTo instructions

In addition to recipe meta data, WP Recipe Maker can be used to generate HowTo metadata for a wide range of how-to instructions, including non-food recipes.

If you create a lot of HowTo content, such as:

  • How to cut Brussels sprouts
  • How to soak navy beans
  • How to cut and cube a pineapple
  • How to make sweet potato noodles

then WP Recipe Maker is a good fit for you.

Pro tip 1! A manual action can be issued against your food blog if you mis-use or mix-up Recipe and HowTo schema—even if the mix-up is unintentional. Know when to use Recipe schema specifically and HowTo schema specifically, and then use that knowledge to your advantage.

Pro tip 2! If you mistakenly used recipe meta data for what is clearly a how-to post it’s easy to switch between the two templates without losing existing information in the recipe card. Just choose the right template, and then fill in any new fields (i.e., materials).

Using WP Recipe Maker’s HowTo template is easy.

  1. Under Recipe Type, select how-to Instructions
  2. Fill in the how-to template’s required field (i.e., materials)
  3. In instructions, include a minimum of two steps

Recipe Roundup and ItemList metadata

Recipe roundups are common in the food blogging niche.

They’re a good way to resurface and repurpose existing content, and a great chance to highlight recipes from other talent food bloggers in your niche.

The team behind WP Recipe Maker has a set of helpful instructions for any WP Recipe Maker devotees who want to leverage ItemList metadata for recipe round-ups.

Note: Foodie Digital participates in affiliate programs for select recipe card plugins and hosting providers. The opinions we share are based on our own in-depth researchand the ongoing need for our members to use SEO tools that are future-proofed, credible, professional and well supported.