Creating a basic recipe index for a food blog

After over two years of blogging my recipes, I have finally got round to doing a full recipe index: something I have been meaning to do for ages!

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Admittedly, is not the most dynamic recipe index compared to many amazing ones I have seen on food blogs, but it does the job for now…….And new recipes slot into this index in moments.

Arguably, one of the most important parts of creating the index for me was re-visiting some of my recipes from ages ago, with a few tweaks along the way.

Category choices

Rather than list all recipes alphabetically, I had decided to arrange the recipes into loose categories:

Recipe index creation
Recipe categories

Selecting the categories was actually the biggest challenge. Not to mention deciding which category some of the recipes were to go into:

  • shall I put my crab choux pastry bites in Savoury nibbles & light bites or in Pastry?
  • does Black Forest Gateau go into Desserts or Cakes?
  • are scones actually pastries?

Mind you, as dilemmas go, these were hardly sleep-depriving!

How to create a recipe index

Now, I am not sure if there is a fairly instant way of creating a good index, and searching online threw up more puzzles than solutions!

The use of plug-ins and the like seemed very cumbersome, and I didn’t feel totally at ease with the coding that some folk were suggesting; it just seemed too much going into unknown territory.

I therefore took a manual, systematic approach, starting by copying all post titles from my blogroll into an Excel document, which gave me a basic list of all recipes.

I then re-named a few, added a category for each, and sorted them so I had a list in a decent order ready to paste into a new blog page. This all took just under an hour.

The time-consuming part was then creating the links to each recipe, but to be honest this was very easy and was a very therapeutic couple of hours.

Category images

I finally to break up the recipe index page a little with image galleries of each category, along with the use of page jumps to save scrolling up and down the page:

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For a more visual approach I have toyed with the idea of having a thumbnail image with each recipe in the index. But that would be for another time……..

Recipe index

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

6 thoughts on “Creating a basic recipe index for a food blog”

  1. I really like the way you’ve set this up. Redoing how my index is set up has been on the ‘To-Do’ list for a long time, and the more recipes I add the more daunting it seems. I especially like the galleries before each section, helps break up all the text which can be daunting to scroll through.


  2. Ohh very nice! I like the galleries, they really do help break it up and make the recipe page organized. It’s easy to see where one category ends and the other begins. I’ve been wondering about putting thumbnail images with all the recipes as well, but it sounds like it would be a lot of work! It might require some sort of plugin to accomplish.


  3. The key is the excel sheet. I’ve grown mine to something around 800 recipes in 8 years. Having the recipes as 1 column per recipe works well for copying and pasting from other sources. Commit to it being the repository for all new stuff and it becomes your personal culinary history.


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