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Weekly Links Roundup – Food Blogging, Breadcrumbs, SMTP

This week’s top WordPress and web marketing links.

Okay, sorry – I know I haven’t been blogging weekly in a few months. It was an intensely crazy summer and fall with a lot of unplanned travel related to family, a broken arm and hand, a vacation, a sinus infection and bronchitis. And no paddle boarding. But things are now beginning to settle into a new routine, and I hope to be blogging more regularly. Onward.

My husband recently started a food blog. Well, not exactly… it was more of a way to get about 150 printed recipes we use a lot out of a ragged folder and into digital format so we can find them easier. He used WP Recipe Maker as the recipe plugin – here’s a review of the best 15 WordPress recipe plugins in case you’re interested in trying a food blog yourself. These recipe plugins make it easy to add SEO-friendly recipes with options and features like printing and Pinterest rich pins built in.

And speaking of food blogs – if you include a recipe that’s been published elsewhere, how does that work? Is that a copyright violation, and if it is, how do you avoid that? This post discusses recipe attribution: “when in doubt, always give attribution.”

Let’s talk about breadcrumbs. No, not the ones from your favorite bread recipe… the helpful little string of text and links at the top of a page that tells you where in the website you are at any given moment. Did you know that those breadcrumbs are important for SEO? Not only are they good for human users; they also help Google and other search engines understand the structure of your site.

Finally… ever had problems getting notifications from your WordPress site, like submitted form entries or completed payment notifications? It’s one of the most common issues my clients report, but thankfully it’s also easy to fix. WordPress by default uses your host server’s PHP mail() function to send notifications, but quite commonly the server either isn’t using it or has problems with its setup. So what do you do? You don’t worry about the server at all. Instead, you use the SMTP (outgoing mail) settings from one of your existing email providers, like Gmail or a domain associated with your site. You could also use a 3rd-party service like SendGrid or Mailgun which will likely improve deliverability of site emails, important as your site and audience get larger. Here are instructions for setting up SMTP; my favorite free plugin for this is currently Post SMTP.

Did you find this information useful? Please share with your friends and colleagues! And comment below with questions or observations.

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