For those who have been around Salads 4 Lunch for a while, you may have seen my visual recipe index – the recipes are laid out neatly in organised categories with visually appealing thumbnails instead of just text. Today I’m sharing how you can make a self-updating visual recipe index too! The best thing about this method for a recipe index is that you don’t have to touch a single line of code, buy a premium wordpress theme or do a single thing to it after you set it up.
That’s right, you heard me.
and Self. Updating.
The person who designed this plugin is a genius.
NOTE: This better blog tutorial is for those who are self-hosted and using WP.org software only. This does not work for wordpress.com blogs. If you use blogger (blogspot) then here’s a tutorial for you.
When we’re all done this is what your visual recipe index could look like:
In my quest to better my blog and create my recipe index I found quite a few other tutorials around the web for doing this, but they used MUCH more complicated methods – coding, creating images for categories, editing your site’s css etc. I don’t know about you, but I HATE complicated!
So here’s the easy peasy method to a better blog by making your own
self-updating visual recipe index:
Step 1: organize your posts into categories
OK – so this step is the most tedious step of all, but it’s necessary for ANY categorised recipe index. You can use my page for a reference if you want, but feel free to go broader or more narrow (such as categorising all of your recipe posts as “recipes” if that’s what you like). Also, now that people are looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, low-sodium, vegetarian/vegan, or other specific diets, feel free to place those posts into categories as well if it applies to your blog. If you were like me and didn’t do this properly when you started blogging two, three or as far back as seven years ago, you probably have 200+ posts to categorize (or re-categorize, which is actually what I had to do).
Step 2: download/install EasyIndex plugin
Go to plugins in your dashboard, search for “EasyIndex” and add the plugin to your self-hosted wordpress site.
Step 3: configure the plugin
After you’ve installed the plugin hover over “Indexes” in your dashboard and select “add new index”. This should be in the left sidebar of your dashboard right under “Pages”. Name your index page, then choose your settings. For mine I choose the full width page template, my primary index style is Calder and my secondary index style is Fairview. (In the youtube demo below they use different styles). I am showing 5 posts from each recipe category on my primary index page. Scroll down and choose the categories you want to display in your recipe index. Then click UPDATE. Your index will now be created!
Step 4: add a link to your beautiful new index to your site menu
Go to “Appearance -> Menus” in your wordpress dashboard. Scroll down to “Indexes” select the index you just created and click “Add to menu”, then click “Save Menu”.
Voila! You’re done!
As long as you categorise your future posts, they should appear in your recipe index in that specific category! I told you it was easy 🙂
More of a visual person? Then this YouTube tutorial may help:
Have questions? Leave a comment on this post and I’ll do my best to answer them.