Last week many people were upset to hear that Ziplist, the popular shopping list website, was closing down. I don’t think any of their users were prepared for the shock announcement.
Many people have asked John and I about what Ziplist’s closure will mean to them if they’re using the Ziplist plugin and a lot of then are worried that all their recipes will be lost. Here are some of the questions we’ve been asked and our answers.
Q. When Ziplist closes, will I lose all my recipes?
A. No, the plugin will continue to work but after December 10th it will no longer be supported. This means that if you’re using Ziplist as your WordPress recipe plugin, in the short term at least, nothing will change except the “Save” button on your recipes will disappear. However it would be wise to begin planning for the longer term.
If Ziplist becomes incompatible with WordPress after an update (and this is exactly what happened recently), you will have problems. So we’d suggest you start looking for an alternative recipe plugin sooner rather than later.
There are several recipe plugins available. Obviously we have an interest in EasyRecipe but it’s not the only one available.
Q. Can EasyRecipe handle Ziplist recipes?
A. Yes. EasyRecipe Plus can handle Ziplist recipes “out of the box”. It will read and display Ziplist recipes without any fuss. Just tick the appropriate settings option and it’s good to go.
The free version of EasyRecipe doesn’t display Ziplist recipes as is, but it can automatically convert them if you edit each Ziplist post.
Q. Do I need to re-enter every recipe?
A. No, once you have installed EasyRecipe Plus, tick the box that says display Ziplist recipes. Once you’ve checked to make sure it does what you expect, you can delete the Ziplist plugin. EasyRecipe Plus can display recipes from most other recipe plugins too.
Q. Seriously, what are the steps involved? (actual question)
A. Step 1. Install EasyRecipe Plus
Step 2. Tick the box that says display Ziplist recipes
Step 3. There is no step 3
Q. Ziplist was 100% free, why do you charge for your plugin?
A. There is a free version of EasyRecipe but it doesn’t automatically display recipes from other plugins. We do understand that some folks don’t want to pay for a plugin. There are other free recipe plugins out there.
We feel ours with live formatting is the best and at $24.95 it’s a whole lot less expensive than WP Ultimate plugin at $74.99 which (as of the time of writing) doesn’t display Ziplist recipes. Good software developers can rarely work for nothing.
We’re sorry to see Ziplist go. They are friends of ours and we worked together well. We look forward to the team coming up with something even better.
Now for a couple of announcements. While we’re talking about John’s software, he’s coming out with a new WordPress index plugin in the coming weeks. He’s been telling me it will be ready “next week” for about a year now, but he assures me it really is almost ready this time. EasyIndex is a customizable index where you can use categories, tags, cuisines or meal types (or any other wordpress grouping) to create an index. If I wanted to create an index of breakfast, lunch or dinner – easy.
This project started in the same way EasyRecipe did. I wanted a recipe index but we couldn’t find a plugin that had the flexibility to display indexes the way *I* wanted them to look. And there certainly wasn’t anything that was “easy”.
“It can’t be that difficult to do” John said. He said that about 18 months ago. It turns out that to make something that’s really flexible and easy to use, is quite difficult.
But… he persevered and is now putting the finishing touches to EasyIndex. You can see a beta version working here on Orgasmic Chef – it’s what generates the Recipe Index and the Post Gallery and it also displays the Photo Index widget in the sidebar. These are just three of the infinite display formats that are possible.
Ranked Blog Directories
A couple of other projects we have just put online are the food bloggers toplists. Recently, Thang Ngo, Australian blogger at Noodlies.com listed the top food bloggers in Australia. During a conversation with a few blogging friends who are also on that list, one of my friends said, “Every time this list comes out, I get energized and motivated to make my blog better. Then 3 weeks later, all the rankings have changed and I go back to same old same old.”
Later that night after thinking about her statement, I realized I feel the same way. There IS something to the human desire to know where we fit in with our peers. Knowing where we are now makes creating a roadmap for where we want to be much easier.
I casually mentioned to John about the conversation I’d had and he said , “That’s really easy to create.” That was the end of the conversation but the next morning I went to a domain registrar and put in aussiefoodbloggers.com and it was available. fate? I suspect so.
Tempting fate I put in americanfoodbloggers.com and bingo, two for two. I sent John an IM (you didn’t expect me to climb the stairs to talk, right?) and said those domains were available and was he serious?
“Add it to the list,” he messaged back. I went back to work and a few hours later he sent me a web address for aussiefoodbloggers.com and while it was rough, it worked. For the present time, the rankings are all from Alexa.com but one day soon I’d like to see social media stats also taken into consideration. While someone might post infrequently to their blogs, they might microblog on Twitter or Facebook 50 times a day and have 50,000 followers. That should mean something.
There’s also a link to the most recent posts by Australian food bloggers, updated every minute. I’m finding it a great way to keep up with my Aussie mates.
We’re nearly finished with the top Australian food blogs. By the time you read this we should have added an information page (which gets updated in almost real time) with a screen shot, social media connections, detailed Alexa figures, traffic stats, latest post links by date and a graph for traffic trending for every site on the Australian list.
The first version of the top American food blogs is online now and we should have the information pages on that soon too. If your site isn’t on the Australian or American site and you think it should be, please visit the site and click suggest a site.
What other information would you like to see on the lists? Someone has suggested a way to compare up to 3 sites. I’m not sure that’s important. If you say it is, we’ll do it.