How to Handle Recipes on wikiHow

In the wikiHow forums, an issue that's commonly raised is how to deal with recipes. While we want to welcome as many how-to instructions as possible, it can be tempting to generalize and merge recipes, based on a concern that we might end up with more recipes than we can manage. However, since wikiHow is aiming to be the world's most comprehensive how-to manual, several options exist to preserve the individuality of recipes in a way that will make them easier to access and maintain. For those of us who aren't in touch with our inner chefs, it can be a little difficult to figure out how to organize recipes on wikiHow. These steps, derived from past community discussion, will better equip you to treat recipes in accordance with wikiHow's mission.


  1. Image titled Handle Recipes on wikiHow Step 1
    Give the recipe the most distinct title that fits. Read the ingredients and steps, and compare the recipe to other, similar recipes. What makes this one different? Change the title accordingly:
    • If a major ingredient is different, include that ingredient in the title. For example, an article titled "How to Make Chocolate Rum Balls" was nominated for merging with Make Rum Balls. But on closer inspection, the merge candidate turned out to have a different main ingredient: it used wafer cookies, not chocolate chips. So, the title was changed to How to Make Rum Balls from Wafer Cookies and the merge tag was removed.
    • If the recipe yields a particular variation of the same dish, add a fitting, objective descriptor to the title. Adjectives like moist, dense, light, heavy, and chewy are all acceptable descriptors because they indicate how the results are distinct. Words like special, unique, delicious, and great are not acceptable because they're subjective. For instance, How to Make a Spongy Chocolate Cake creates an understandably different product than How to Make a Dense Chocolate Cake, while different authors might describe each as "a Delicious Chocolate Cake".
    • If the recipe uses a different method (microwave, oven, blender, etc.), specify that method in the title.
  2. Image titled Handle Recipes on wikiHow Step 2
    Preserve the most basic title. People often search the Internet with the simplest phrase they can think of. If wikiHow has multiple unique recipes for a single dish, it's best to preserve the most basic title and link to the more specific articles from there. To continue with the chocolate cake example, the title How to Make a Chocolate Cake links to several other pages with unique variations of chocolate cake. The article should provide basic instructions, and an additional section can be added for recipe variations.
  3. Image titled Handle Recipes on wikiHow Step 3
    Combine recipes only when the difference is minor. If you can't find anything distinct about the recipes (e.g., the only difference is the amount of salt or an idea for a topping), merge the pages and preserve the difference as a tip. Only do this if you've exhausted all other possibilities, to preserve an author's good faith contribution to wikiHow.


  • Consult with others who know about food and cooking and ask them for their opinions on the recipe. Can they see what makes the recipe unique? Do they have any suggestions for titles?
  • Creating distinct titles helps readers when they are browsing wikiHow because it allows them to choose, just by looking at the list, which recipe they want to read and try first.
  • Consider putting the "Things You'll Need" section at the top instead of the bottom. This is an easy "copy-paste" process.
  • See our Title Policy for more details.


  • Unless there are two or more methods for making the same recipe which would use the same title, avoid combining multiple recipes on a single page as "method 1, method 2..." or "recipe 1, recipe 2...". Doing so makes the formatting awkward and the page difficult for a reader to print out. If the recipes are distinct enough to be listed separately, they are distinct enough to have different titles; it is just a matter of finding the right ones!

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Categories: Guidelines | Writing and Editing