Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To: Create a Recipe Index

When I first started my blog, I wish someone would’ve have said “Hey, doing an index is super easy. You should start it now!” Instead, I was nearly a year into it and it took me a while to get everything set up. It’s still easy, but once you have a ton of posts on your blog, it can be time-consuming. But in the end, it is worth it to sit down and have an index on your blog. It makes it easier for you and for your readers to find the specific recipe they are looking for!

So let’s get down to business. To create a recipe index, one of the first things that is going to help you tremendously is having your posts labeled, like main dish, dessert, appetizer, etc. You don’t have to go into extreme detail, but a good general category will help you when you start adding links to your index. After you have labels, what you will want to do is create a page for your index that you will be able to put on your homepage. For those on Blogger, go to the drop down menu just left of “View Blog” and select pages. Click the arrow on “New Page” and select “Blank Page” – name it accordingly and then comes the real work!
**You can set up the pages widget on your Layout page - this makes your pages into tabs visible on your blog**

You can do the index a number of ways and I personally think it just depends on how many recipes you have or will have. 1) You can do it all on that page. 2) You can list categories and link categories to separate posts. Either way you do it, breaking down your recipes into categories makes it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for. If they want a breakfast, they should be able to easily find a list of your breakfast foods.

For 1), just simply list your categories and then list your recipes underneath with links to your posts. I prefer to open a couple tabs worth of recipes at a time and work like that. Or open up my very first post and just click next post over and over again until I have made it to the most recent post. Some people bullet their recipes, others number them. That’s up to you and your personal preference.
**This is the closest I have to a plain list of recipes - my Holiday section. You do the same except just on the one main page :)**

For 2), I did this with my recipe index because I had an overwhelming amount of recipes. Again for Blogger, this is how I did it. I created posts for each category I had (Appetizers, Beverages, Breads, Breakfast, etc.) and linked the posts back to that recipe index page that would show up on my homepage. To keep them from showing up on my feeds, I scheduled them for the day before my blog started. If you look at my archive, you will find all of my categories on July 30th. Then you just need to fill out the individual posts with your recipes that pertain to that category.

This is just for a basic recipe index – links to your posts. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at any time and I’d be happy to help: I also have just transitioned to a picture index and would be happy to walk through that process if there is enough interest (just leave a comment!).

For those of you with Wordpress, head on over 
to Sarah's post on Pajama Chef: here!


Nancy said...

Thanks so much for your tutorial! It was really helpful!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this - I appreciate the tips... technical details tend to elude me... so a bit of help goes a long way! ;)