Hello all, since we started our food blogging journey in 2015 we have been getting multiple request on what resources (plugins, themes, camera lenses, lighting, etc.) we use and/or recommend. So we are creating this on-going page to highlight some of the resources that we have found to be helpful in growing the NSNS food blog since day one.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links which pay us a commissions for referring our members. In many cases the affiliate links listed below are preloaded with coupon codes and exclusive deals, which can save you some money as well. All of the products that we list, we have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below. Nicole & Jon.
Camera- A great camera for beginners that won’t break the bank (but it is still a little pricey if you’re upgrading from using your cell phone for food photos) is the Canon Rebel T5i EF. It’s a great starter camera, and you will instantly notice a difference with this upgrade. What I love most about this camera is that it has an automatic food setting so that if you’re just learning how to use manual settings to adjust aperture and ISO, you still have the option for an automatic setting that will adjust accordingly.
StudioPress Foodie Theme Pro – We take our website very seriously (obviously..) which is why we demand the best looking and fastest loading WordPress theme around. StudioPress Foodie Pro by Shay Bocks is the most trusted and used website theme for food blogs, hands down. I (hey Jon here) have been designing custom website themes for WordPress since 2005 so I know first hand all the badly designed themes available out there. The majority of these badly designed themes could actually hurt your website loading time and user experiences, which means you could drop in rankings overnight. Scary right? That’s why myself and thousands of other food bloggers recommend Studiopress.
Lowel EGO Digital Light – This lighting source is an absolute MUST regardless of your experience level with food blogging. While it’s great to be able to use natural light for your food photos, sometimes (I know for me, it’s most of the time) it’s just not possible. I tend to do my cooking at night and this is what you need to have in order to have a natural light photo. Your regular lighting in your house or even other lights that you may buy will not work well and you’ll have a LOT of manual adjustment to get your photos to have a natural look. The Lowel EGO Digital Light uses daylight color output by using a high color rendering index for more accurate colors than conventional fluorescent lamps.
Adobe Photoshop – We use both Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for our blog and recipe photos. We have found out that image quality makes a huge difference in other people pinning and sharing your post. So having the highest quality images possible is a huge advantage. Photoshop is great for editing photos, adding lighting filters, and optimizing your images for pixels and size. Lightroom is the sister product and we use it mostly for organization and comparison before choosing the best images.
WPEngine website hosting – Like we said before having optimized high-quality photos is extremely important, but the downside to this is that it can dramatically slow your website down. Most people getting started use a shared host like from GoDaddy, which is fine for starters, but once your blog starts attracting more and more traffic your loading speed will slow down. And this is not good. In fact, one of the primary ranking changes that Google has made over the last few years to their algorithm is having faster loading websites ranking higher. This is why it is so important to get a dedicated and/or optimized hosting provider like WPEngine to make sure your food blog is running as efficiently as possible.
Food Blogger Pro – This is a monthly subscription to a members community and information by another food blogging couple who run the blog Pinch of Yum. They have some truly amazing resources and tutorials on the foundations stuff – like basics of your camera, how to take photos using natural light, the Lowel light, and tons of information on how to get traffic to your blog and monetizing it. The videos are short and digestible and I have gained a TON of value by joining this site.
Our username is StellaP (our dog’s name) so if you join, be sure and say hi!