You may have noticed an ever so subtle button has appeared on the right hand site of my blog encouraging you to Visit Cath’s Recipe Archive. It is something I have been wanting to put together for a long time and as I recently had a few weeks leave, and I managed to stumble upon a post talking about what I had been looking for, it was the time to get my act together. So with one mornings work, I have created a recipe archive so you have a central point to search through all of my recipes.
When I started looking at creating the recipe archive, a couple of the frequently used options that bloggers use are inlinkz (one of the main link party tools) and creating your own category images then linking them to another page.
With inlinkz there is a fee if you choose to use thumbnail collections as the free option only allows one thumbnail collection, which I currently use for my link party list, but as many text links as you like but being a food blog, pictures are definitely the way to go. When it comes to sorting, the two options you have are by entry time (either oldest or newest first) or a random order but as I like things a little organised I was really after an alphabetical list. The other drawback was that to get new blog posts into your collection, you will need to add them each time yourself.
The other popular option is to create category images to link to individual pages that are based on categories (therefore newest posts would appear first). You can certainly create your category images using a photo of one of the recipes that is listed and Julie at White Lights on Wednesday has a fantastic tutorial on how to do this. I decided for the main page I would just have text buttons and used PicMonkey to create two square, scalloped edged backgrounds in pink and green which would then have each category listed on them.
Then, using the collage function of PicMonkey, I created one image with the 24 buttons. I did this because I am pretty happy with my categories at the moment and don’t foresee them changing too much in the near future, but you can certainly leave each image separate and link them up as Julie suggests in her post (in the future I will probably change to this way as it will be easier to add/remove any categories).
Now that I had my image, I had to have something to link it to so I created 24 new pages, one for each category, and then used image-maps.com to map the image to the various pages using the awesome tutorial from Ashton at Something Swanky.
So with my pages and mapped image in hand, I now needed to get my posts on the pages. For my recipe archive, I always wanted a list that would be alphabetical and would update itself. I had searched for a plugin for ages, but obviously either missed this one or wasn’t searching with the right keywords, but after reading the post How to Create an Automatic Recipe Index for WordPress Blogs by Carla at Chocolate Moosey, I had finally found was I was looking for.
The answer is a plugin called WP Category Post List Widget and after installing the plugin, you place a small amount of code on each of your category pages, it will automatically update when a new post under any of the categories is published AND it can be sorted alphabetically. Check out my dessert page for instance:
Look at all that alphabetised yumminess! You can customise the code as much or as little as you like depending what you want to achieve and the code that I use on each of my pages is:
[ wp_cpl_sc cat_id=3 css_theme=0 list_num=999 sort_using=4 show_author=false show_comments=false show_excerpt=false ]
To spell it out:
- wp_cpl_sc = the code for the plugin and needs to stay as is
- cat_id = the category ID which you get by hovering over the category on your categories pages
- css_theme = any of the four predefined CSS themes from the developer
- list_num = number of posts to show in the list. I set mine at 999 as it will be a long time before I reach this number
- sort_using = select the option that you wish to sort by from date, number of comments, ID, title or random
- show_author = as, at the moment, I am the only author there isn’t any real point to having this as “true”
- show_comments = whether to show the comment count
- show_excerpt = whether to show an excerpt of the post in your list. If you choose to show the excerpt, you can also customise the number of characters that will appear as well as the “continue reading” hyperlink text
I hope you find this useful for creating a recipe archive on your blog and please take a minute to go and check out my recipe archive, and let me know what you think.