Foodie Theme by StudioPress is immensely popular with food bloggers. I realized this when I noticed that almost any popular food blog I came across was built on the Genesis Framework and their Foodie child theme. The other indicator of its popularity was that the Foodie theme is the bestselling one in the StudioPress shop. I have maintained a food blog for over six years, and I have been looking for the ‘perfect’ food theme for a long time.
I am not an impulse buyer, which can actually be very irritating sometimes. I mean, life would be so much easier if I just blindly bought the ‘popular choice’. Or maybe not! So I had to evaluate the Foodie theme for myself, and see what all the fuss was about.
The Genesis Framework is very robust and also popular. Their 2.0 release provided a lot of features like mobile responsive, schema markup etc. that are a must now. We actually discussed whether Genesis, with its higher sticker price, was affordable for small business owners in an earlier blog post.
We have finally switched over to the Genesis Framework on this blog, and I am happy with how versatile it is.
I also wanted to switch my food blog over to Genesis and had a tough choice choosing a Child theme. Given time, I think I could tweak the basic framework to look the way I wanted it, but I wanted a quick out of the box solution.
Foodie Theme by Shay Bocks was the winner, and I chose it over other close contenders from Genesis. As with any WordPress theme, there are pros and cons with Foodie too. Here is what I like, and what could be better.
How the Foodie Theme is Great for Food Bloggers
Foodie is made for food bloggers. If you are new to food blogging, you could just buy and install this theme and have a bare bones website in just a few hours. And this is why it is a good choice for food blogs.
Minimalist Design with 3 color options
The Foodie theme has a very minimalist or sober look and feel. You can choose 3 skins or color options like Citrus, Earthy or Default, and they are all equally toned down. This makes your food images stand out. We all know that pictures go a long way toward making a food blog popular. And Foodie lends a hand.
Large Image Sizes with Customization
The main post area of the Foodie theme is quite wide allowing your images to be 680 pixels wide. This is a good size that highlights your food pics.
Widgetized Home Page
You must be familiar with the widget area in your sidebar. Foodie theme has similar widgetized areas on the Home Page, allowing you to stack up different things in any order you want. So you could add an image slider or a sign-up bar, or maybe an ad unit. You can place blog posts from different categories in any order you want.
This feature gives total flexibility even to novice bloggers or novice WordPress users, because you can adjust the design of your home page anytime you want with just ‘drag and drop’.
Recipe Archives Page
Recipe archives are very important for a food blog, especially once you accumulate 50 or 100 recipes. Foodie theme has a built in template that makes creating a recipe archive page a breeze for food bloggers.
The Recipe page also has widget areas, which means that you can highlight specific content per your choice. And what’s more, you can keep changing it based on season or other factors. Variety adds spice, after all!
The Foodie theme has a design which supports popular plugins. Shay Bocks seems to have done an intimate study of what food bloggers and modern bloggers need. The theme has inbuilt styling for plugins you are bound to need, so you can use them without affecting the pristine look of the theme.
Plugin styling modifies the look and feel of the plugins so that they integrate with the rest of theme and blend in.
Wide Header and Ad Spaces
The Foodie theme gives you the choice of having a simple text title or adding your own header image. You can switch the two when you want, giving you more choice.
There are two leader boards – 728×90 ad spaces – at the top and bottom of the page. In addition to this, you can add any ad spaces you want in all the widget areas on the home page and in the sidebar. This means that the Foodie Theme gives you the perfect tools needed to monetize your blog. A word of caution, though – don’t go overboard with the ads!
How the Foodie Theme Could be Better
The points that I mention here are more like nice to have features. And they may not affect you if you are new to blogging or WordPress.
Number of Plugins Needed
The Foodie theme requires you to install several plugins if you want your site to look like its demo. This number can really add up, ultimately affecting your site’s performance.
I wish that basic things like Social Follow buttons, image sliders, optin boxes and contact forms were integrated into the theme. Considering that we need plugins for security, performance and social sharing, the 6-7 plugins Foodie theme needs add to the number.
Schema Markup for Recipe Schema
Schema Markup is becoming more and more critical for blog posts, especially so for recipes. I wish the Foodie theme had an inbuilt feature that added schema tagging. As of now, you need to install a plugin like Easy Recipe or Ziplist to be able to print recipe cards, or get your blog posts classified as recipes.
Nutrition Info Calculator
This might sound too wishful, but I would love a Food theme that allows me to calculate nutrition information right there. And save me the time and effort of using a third party site or calorie counter to do it.
The Foodie theme has mass appeal and several success stories to show that it is loved by food bloggers across the world. It is built on the robust Genesis Framework and is easy to use out of the box. The Studiopress community provides a lot of support, and Shay Bocks herself has many helpful tutorials on her website.
Remember – you will need a domain name and web hosting from a company like Hostgator before you can install WordPress and download the Foodie theme.
I have been a food blogger since the last 6 years. I moved from Blogger to a self hosted site, and then used 2-3 different themes. But I think I have come home with Foodie.
Are you a food blogger, or thinking of being one? What factors are important to you while building your food blog? Please let me know in the comments below!