We’ve had a few queries that are answered in our knowledge base on EasyRecipe but some folks forget to look. I thought I’d write up a quick post to help those who haven’t found the answers.
How do I get a headings in my recipe ingredients and recipe instructions?
One of the questions most often asked in support is how to get different parts of a recipe to have a heading. In EasyRecipe, any line starting with an exclamation mark ! displays as a header. Simple, really, when you know how. One woman wrote to John yesterday and said that she’d been fiddling with the spacing and making the line bold but it didn’t look like some blogs she’d seen and what was she missing?
How to use live formatting
Another question we get is how to double space or change the border or change the background color or change margins and the list goes on. You can use a standard template that has all of that done or you can change almost EVERYTHING by using live formatting.
Once you have saved your post, click to view the post (the link is up on top under Edit Post). Once you’re viewing that, click anywhere inside the recipe and the live formatting box will appear. Simply find the section in the recipe, name, ingredients, etc that you want to change and move the sliders, choose the colors or border. Once you scroll to the bottom of the pop-up live formatting window, save your changes and all your recipes will be the same.
Why don’t all my recipes have a photo on Google?
We are 100% confident that the snippet markup EasyRecipe generates is correct, so if you’re using EasyRecipe, why aren’t you seeing rich snippets for your pages in the Google search results? Unfortunately Google doesn’t guarantee to show snippets even if the rich snippet markup is all present and correct.
I beat my fists on the wall too when my links on Google don’t have a photo. At the end of 2013, Google decided it would reduce the number of rich snippets they would show, partly in response to sites creating spammy snippet markup and some geeks think that if every link listed rich snippets, the impact of the snippets would be reduced.
John’s tips are:
- Give it time. My posts get picked up by Google usually in 24 hours, then IF I get a photo included, it doesn’t show up for 24-72 hours after my post is listed.
- Check your markup. You should use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure you have no markup errors. Note that the test tool no longer shows an actual thumbnail even if an image is recognised. However, if it finds an image in the structured data, a blank thumbnail is displayed in the preview. If the test tool doesn’t find an image it can use, there will be no thumbnail at all in the preview.
- Make sure you have enough recipe data
Google requires that some data must be present for rich snippets to be generated. You can read about the requirements here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1093493#enoughinfo
- Make sure you don’t have serious HTML errors
Search engines, like browsers, will generally forgive most HTML errors and Google won’t penalize pages just because they have errors. However some HTML errors, from a search engine bot’s point of view, can change the whole structure of a page. This is particularly the case if you have missing or extra end tags or invalid nesting. So even though your page might display just fine in a browser, a bot may “see” a very different structure than you intended. At best, important clues to the page content (like headings or content hierarchy) may be lost or confused. At worst, entire slabs of content might be effectively “invisible” to a bot. So although Google won’t penalize you for the bad HTML per se, it may not get all the right signals that will help it decide whether to show a rich snippet and of course, errors like that will be very bad for your search engine ranking generally.
If everything above checks out and you still don’t see results, then try searching for your site explicitly by using site: (e.g. search for site:yoursite.com) and/or add some other qualifiers (e.g. site:yoursite.com recipe). The search terms you use will influence whether snippets are shown or not. A snippet might be generated for a page found using one search term but a snippet might not be shown when the page is found using a different search term. Your physical location, whether you’re logged in to Google, which Google site you use (e.g. google.com, google.com.au, google.co.uk …) and (possibly) your search history will also affect the results you see. I’m in Australia and I will often see a different set of results than someone in the US sees for the same search term – even on the same Google site.
Can I use EasyRecipe on my Blogger or WordPress.com blog?
Sadly, no, that’s not possible. Neither Blogger nor WordPress.com allow any 3rd party plugins on their site. John’s apologies!
If I move from another recipe plugin, do I have to re-add EVERY recipe?
No, EasyRecipe makes it easy to convert with just the tick of a box. We suggest that once you do that, you check every recipe, just to be sure it’s right.
If I move from EasyRecipe, will I lose all my recipes?
Oh why would you want to? The answer is no. The way EasyRecipe plugin has been written, all your recipes stay in your posts. Unlike some other plugins, there is no separate database of recipes that you would lose if you stopped using EasyRecipe. The only thing that would happen is that your formatting will look rather bare-bones until you fix it up manually or use another recipe plugin that will convert EasyRecipe.
Why doesn’t the print button doesn’t work when I’m logged in?
When you’re logged in to your WordPress admin panel, the normal print dialog won’t pop up when you click print and that’s so you can click on the recipe and use live formatting. To test your print, log out of WordPress admin and click print and it will open the print dialog box.
Will EasyRecipe slow my site down?
We often get asked “My profiler plugin shows that EasyRecipe accounts for most of the CPU elapsed time. Does that mean EasyRecipe is making my site slow?”
It’s true. EasyRecipe is a CPU hog.
Every plugin you install will add to your page load time. The good news is that EasyRecipe is almost certainly not making your blog significantly slower. If it was, my site would suffer and it doesn’t.
A page’s CPU time (the time spent on your server just figuring out what to display) usually accounts for only a fraction of total page load time – normally you’d expect it to take less than a second. So even though EasyRecipe is taking up most of the CPU time, it’s still taking just fractions of a second.
Every blog will be different but as a rough guide, you should expect EasyRecipe to add around 250ms (about ¼ of a of a second) to your page load times. Ironically, most of that ¼ second is spent looking up the database on WordPress, not CPU usage.
You can try it yourself on a page speed test site, or get real times by using the development tools in your browser to monitor actual download times. (or Firebug in Firefox).
The best test site we’ve seen is http://www.webpagetest.org/
If you have other questions, you might find the answers on the Knowledge Base at EasyRecipe. If it’s not there, leave a query. We’re a teensy bit slower since the heart attack but not much.