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.
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
Maureen, you just saved my life.
I cannot believe my eyes right now. I have been spending hours upon hours each day moving our recipes over to Ziplist because it’s more SEO friendly from what I’ve heard. Now I have to start all over again.
I’m glad EasyRecipe will move recipes over automatically for me. …gosh, still can’t believe they’re shutting down. They were so popular…I wonder why this happened.
Well, thank you again for informing us, Maureen!
Have a wonderful afternoon.
I don’t think Ziplist does anything differently from EasyRecipe. I’ll show this to him when he wakes up. ZL copied as much as they could from John until it got too hard. 🙂 We are friends with those folks but had no idea that their Conde Nast owners were pulling the plug.
Shashi at runninsrilankan says
I am so sorry to hear about ZipList! I had no idea till I read your post. I need to jump on the Easy Recipe Plus Plugin soon as I have a lot of ZipList recipes and would not want to lose them! Y’all have been busy coming up with that index and rankings!
Was sad having that email announcement as well but yeah life has to move on.
BTW I would love to have that recipe index and if I may suggest can it index via Category as well as Tags 🙂
Oh categories was our 1.0. My index is by category but the improvement I requested was that I be able to choose which categories I include in my index. I don’t want blogging or food events or musings for instance to go in my recipe index. I include those in my post gallery. Thanks, Raymund.
Congratulations on being on Australia’s Best Food Blog list. Well deserved! 🙂
Laura @ Family Spice says
You guys are so cool! Must be nice to have a handy computer coder in the house! Years ago I had a friend create my recipe database, so I am lucky. But I will share this with my friends who are on zip list. I know so many joined over the summer, too. YIKES!
I know, we’ve heard from some very worried bloggers who feared that when Ziplist shut down that they would lose their recipes. I can’t imagine the fear.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Maureen, you and John are amazing…. honestly… what a handy set of resources you have created. Well done! I think social media stats would be useful in terms of your ranking lists… not sure about the need to compare site against site.
The stats are 2.0. The first attempt at the numbers was less than successful in some cases. 🙂 We haven’t done the comparison between sites because we think like you but we’re open to it.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
While I don’t use ziplist, I am sure this post has put many food bloggers mind at rest.
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
I used Ziplist for some recipes, and I’m sorry to hear that its going to be shut down.
Thanks for the the information on the other Recipe sites.
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
I used ziplist for some recipes, sorry to hear that its closing.
Thanks for the information on the other recipe sites!
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Absolutely amazing and wow a LOT of work to create! GREAT!
I don’t think emphasis should solely be placed on Alexa rankings, but is just my opinion and if people really want to compare sites, they can do up to 9 sites as a comparison on the Alexa website!
So much time, only so much one can do! Great resource post! Thank John and you! Cheers! Joanne Pinned
Lell Trogdon says
Excellent information for the ZL users!
I just want to put in my two cents worth on getting what you pay for in life. I chose to go with Easy Recipe from the very beginning because I have a great deal of respect for people who create real solutions to problems. When I researched all the different ways to format recipes and archive them on my blog Easy Recipe won hands down. I’m still amazed by all the functionality for the price! How lucky for all the ZL users that you are compatible and that you have taken the time to walk them through the process. Your blog is always a delight to read and your recipes are wonderful. Thanks for the double helping of content and computer magic.
Didn’t know this, I had to pull out because of my other advertiser. This is a great post for those that my have questions.
I had no qualms immediately switching to ERP when I got the news. Knowing you and John were behind it gave me so much comfort. And it worked just fine…though I know I have a little tweaking to do. THANK YOU!!!
What a great post Maureen, I’m on blogger so I’m fine, but the stat info is very interesting. Congrats on being so highly ranked!!!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
What a useful post! I saw that so many bloggers were nervous about what would happen with Ziplist and you’ve explained it perfectly! 😀
Hotly Spiced says
Living under a mushroom, I hadn’t heard about zip list. It’s great you have done a post answering everyone’s questions. You and John are a great team and clearly very, very busy xx
At one time I considered using Ziplist. Even downloaded by the plugin but never activated it. Now I glad I didn’t. 🙂 What I’m looking forward now is “EasyIndex”. It sounds like it is just what I’ve been looking for!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
I didn’t use Ziplist (don’t use anything — probably stupid on my part) but I know lots of people do. You’ve saved a lot of people’s bacon, I’ll wager! Good job.
Barb Bamber says
What a relief to pop in for a visit and learn all of this! I’ve just purchased your EasyRecipe and wish I had done so months ago. Thank you so much for designing this to read ZipList. I had transferred everything to ZipList and it literally took weeks of copying and pasting. This is so much easier, thank you!! xx
EA-The Spicy RD says
Great information and thanks so much for sharing!
Barb Bamber says
How incredibly easy this was to install. I just have one question, now that your EasyRecipe displays the ZipList recipes on my blog, do I keep the ZipList plugin or should I uninstall it?? Thanks.. you can direct message me if you want!
I emailed you but for anyone else. It’s just install EasyRecipe Plus, tick the box, check to make sure it looks good then deactivate and delete the Ziplist plugin.
Awesome post Maureen. I’m *that person* who still uses her Chef folder, inside there lives recipes written on very odd bits of paper so I’m living in the dark with some of these recipe thingOs 🙂 But I do agree that social media is an absolute must when taking in whether someone makes a ranking or not, it’s about the reach across various platforms not just our blogs.
The tricky bit is how to weigh microblogging, regular blogging, followers, etc without making a mess. So we’re not making that change until we know it’s right and relevant.
nancy @ Plus Ate Six says
I can’t wait for the indexing plugin Maureen. I hope you are charging for it – you guys put in so much work into these things and 18 months worth of work doesn’t come for free.
Kitchen Belleicious says
oh no! I heard this and hate it for all the bloggers who use them. I used them forever up until I redesigned my site a few months back and now I use easyrecipe pro. I can’t say enough good things about them
Us… you can’t say enough good things about us. 🙂 xxoo
Thanks very much for EasyRecipe and Aussie food bloggers, and American food bloggers, Maureen! Thanks also for providing the free version of EasyRecipe too. EasyIndex looks awesome – looking forward to learning more about it. Also, I hope Charlie’s haircut went well. Best wishes! 😀
jean | lemons & anchovies says
Easy Recipe Plus is THE BEST! I’ve been so happy with your plugin and the people behind it are great (haven’t had any problems since the initial install-none!). Thank you, Maureen!
PS: The Easy Index fits the look of my blog perfectly. Looks great here. 🙂
Oh aren’t you the best! I pasted your comment to John. Sometimes he sits in that office and doesn’t see much about what’s said. I like EasyRecipe Plus too. 🙂
The Squishy Monster says
Thanks for breaking it all down!!
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
Nice job, Maureen! So exciting to be in the top ratings, but not surprised one bit! Can’t wait for the recipe index to launch. I really need that on my blog!
I just switched all my Ziplist recipes over to Easy Recipe Plus—so easy! That $24.95 saved me a LOT of time…I thought I’d have to spend my whole Thanksgiving Break copying and pasting. Thanks!
Aww thanks Allison, I read this out to John as he was eating his breakfast. The best way to start the day.
Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says
Thanks for this post Maureen. I’ve never used Ziplist and have always used Easy Recipe and have been very pleased. I really didn’t know you had interest in it until the Ziplist announcement. Heading over to take a look at the other projects he’s been working on.
With the Ziplist demise he’s been spending lots more time on support. Index delayed 🙂
Thank you Maureen, for this excellent aid to this frustrating situation. You’ve helped so many fellow food bloggers, and I would like to thank you personally, for helping me figure out how to deal with this. You’re one of the best out there to so selflessly help others!
I cannot find Easy Recipe “PLUS” and have followed your instructions on regular “Easy Recipe” and the “save recipe” icon still appears….what should I do?
Thank you for your kind help to all of us,
Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen says
This is such an informative post. Thank you so much for putting this out for all of us ZipList bloggers who are wondering what direction to go! The index looks exciting too!
Thanks, Valerie! He’s been flat out on EasyRecipe tweaks for folks switching over. A background here, a theme tweak there. It all takes time.
Marilyn Lesniak says
Great article! And the closing of ziplist gives me yet another reason I know I made the best choice by picking Easy Recipe Plus. I have two questions:
1) i use the ziplist format on ER, will that still be available without change?
2) regarding Top American Food Bloggers, is there a button we can place on our blogs to advertise that? And also one for Easy Recipe? Just a link, not affiliate unless you make one some day”
Thanks, and you both are wonderful!
We’re working on a button. Neither one of us is a designer as you’ve probably gathered. What size would you like? I was thinking small but I’m open to getting anything someone wants. Thanks!
Judy @Savoring Today says
Thanks for the info on Ziplist, very helpful.
EasyIndex? If you were closer, I would kiss your face!
I desperately need an *easy* photo index!!!
I can see that it’s been a very frustrating experience for many people in figuring out what to do now that ZipList is closing. This is understandable considering all the time and effort it takes to discover and save your favorite recipes. I’ve been doing some testing to see who provides the best solution.
Pepperplate makes it easy to upload your Ziplist recipes but they have a low success rate in converting the recipes back into their original format. You receive a lot of recipe error messages. Meal Planner Pro also makes it easy to upload your Ziplist recipes but have a much higher conversion success rate. I also like that they offer a recipe clipper plugin to continue to clip and save recipes from my favorite sites into their recipe box.
Both solutions and sites are free of charge. It doesn’t hurt to try both and see which one works best for you. Below are links to each of their sites and their Ziplist download instruction pages.
Thank you so much for the information! I just purchased the plug in and in 2 seconds all my recipes are back.