WordPress custom post types is a feature that allows you to define and create content types beyond the default posts and pages. When you login to WordPress for the first time, you get two content types: Pages and Posts. Both pages and posts are types of content that you can create and manage on your website. They serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Here’s a breakdown of what a WordPress page and a WordPress post are, along with their differences:
- Static Content: Pages are typically used for static, timeless content that doesn’t change frequently. Examples include the homepage, about us, contact page, services, and an FAQ page.
- Hierarchical Structure: Pages can be organized hierarchically, creating a parent-child relationship. This allows you to create sub-pages or sections within a larger page structure. For instance, you could have a “Services” page with individual service pages nested under it.
- Navigation: Pages are commonly used in your site’s navigation menu. They often appear in the main navigation bar or sidebar as links to important sections of your website.
- Custom Templates: You can assign custom templates to specific pages, controlling how they are displayed on the front-end. This is useful for creating unique layouts or designs for specific sections of your site.
- Dynamic Content: Posts are designed for dynamic content that is time-sensitive and regularly updated. Examples include blog articles, news updates, announcements, and any content with a publication date.
- Categories and Tags: Posts can be categorized and tagged to help organize and classify your content. Categories and tags assist in creating a structured archive of your posts, making it easier for visitors to find related content.
- Archives and Feeds: Posts are the primary content for blog pages, archives, and RSS feeds. They are displayed in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest) on your blog page and can be syndicated through various feed readers.
- Comments and Discussion: Posts have built-in support for comments and discussion. Visitors can leave comments on your posts, promoting interaction and engagement.
What is a Custom Post Type?
Pages and posts are your default content types, but WordPress custom post types allows you to create more different types of content, that can be used for different purposes. When I make a new website for a client, I inevitably end up creating several different custom post types. Here are a few examples of typical custom post types.
- Events: If you want to showcase your events, having an event calendar is handy. Adding an event calendar, like the one I normally use The Events Calendar, will create a new custom post type for events. This comes equipped with handy fields that allow you to put in dates, times, and other key event information.
- Portfolio: If you need to showcase your work, like we do in our portfolio, you may need to set up some custom post types to make it work. Common fields may include a place for a featured image, a description of the work, and categories for sorting them.
- Testimonials: Do you get a lot of testimonials? An easy way to organize them is into custom post types. You can add in the testimonial, the person who gave it, and other pertinent information like their website, location, or title.
- Job Listings: Are you a business that needs employees? Listing available jobs is a common reason why you might need a custom post type. You can create new job listings and remove them with ease.
And those are just to name a few. You can put anything in WordPress custom post types! FAQs, real estate listings, recipes, reviews, team members, services, and products. The list never ends.
Why would someone use custom post types instead of just using pages or posts?
Creating WordPress custom post types offers several benefits and advantages that cater to specific website needs and content management requirements. Here are some compelling reasons why someone might choose to create custom post types:
- Organized Content: Custom post types allow you to organize different types of content more effectively. Instead of trying to fit all content into the generic “posts” or “pages,” you can create distinct post types tailored to your content, making it easier to manage and navigate.
- Specific Content Structures: Custom post types let you define unique structures and attributes for different types of content. This is particularly useful when you have content that doesn’t fit the traditional blog post or static page format.
- Enhanced User Experience: Custom post types provide a better user experience by presenting content in a structured and intuitive manner. This can lead to increased engagement and user satisfaction.
- Improved Admin Interface: With custom post types, the WordPress admin interface becomes more user-friendly. Content editors can focus on the specific fields and settings relevant to each type of content, reducing confusion and errors.
- Easy Data Management: Custom post types can include custom fields, allowing you to capture and store specific data related to each post type. This data can be easily managed and displayed on the front-end of your website.
- Better SEO and Categorization: Custom post types can have their own taxonomies (categories and tags), enabling better SEO optimization and content categorization. This makes it easier for users to find relevant content and improves search engine visibility.
- Specialized Layouts: You can create custom templates for each post type, tailoring the layout and design to match the content. This is especially useful when different types of content require distinct visual presentation.and more.
- Content Reusability: Custom post types enable you to create reusable content structures. For instance, you can use a custom post type to store and manage FAQs, testimonials, or case studies that can be displayed across different pages.
- Client-Friendly Editing: If you’re building websites for clients, custom post types simplify the content management process. Clients can edit content within a focused interface, reducing the risk of accidental changes to other parts of the website.
- Future-Proofing: By using custom post types, you’re future-proofing your website. If your content structure evolves or you decide to add new features, custom post types make it easier to adapt and extend your website’s capabilities.
So, now you’re convinced, and you want to start creating WordPress custom post types. Great! There are many different ways to achieve this, and I won’t say that there is one right way. But I’ll tell you how I do it, and you can decide for yourself if that’s a good option.
How to make Custom Post Types
I use the Pods plugin for creating custom post types. This free plugin is a powerful and flexible tool that allows you to create and manage custom content types, custom fields, and relationships within your WordPress website. It enables you to extend the capabilities of your site beyond the default posts and pages, making it easier to organize and display diverse types of content. The plugin provides a user-friendly interface for designing custom post types, custom taxonomies, and fields without the need for complex coding. And it integrates beautifully with Beaver Builder, which is my favorite page builder.
You can easily install Pods from the Plugin Installer.
- Install and Activate the Pods Plugin:
- Go to your WordPress admin dashboard.
- Navigate to “Plugins” > “Add New.”
- Search for “Pods” in the search bar.
- Install and activate the “Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields” plugin.
- Create a New Pod (Custom Post Type):
- Once the plugin is activated, you’ll see a “Pods Admin” menu item in your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on “Pods Admin” > “Add New.”
- Choose “Custom Post Type” as the pod type.
- Give your pod a name. This name will be used as the slug and is usually in lowercase and plural form (e.g., “books” for a book post type).
- Click “Next Step.”
- Configure Your Custom Post Type:
- Define the labels and settings for your custom post type. You can set the singular and plural names, menu icon, and more.
- Set up the supports for your post type, such as title, editor, thumbnail, etc.
- Configure advanced settings like rewrite rules and capabilities.
- Add Fields (Custom Fields) to Your Custom Post Type:
- After setting up your custom post type, you can start adding custom fields.
- Click on the “Fields” tab within your pod.
- Click the “Add Field” button to create a new custom field.
- Choose the field type (e.g., text, image, relationship, etc.), give it a label, and configure its settings.
- Save and Display Your Custom Post Type:
- Once you’ve configured your custom post type and fields, click the “Save Pod” button to create it.
- Adding and Editing Content:
- To add content to your custom post type, go to the “Add New” option under your custom post type’s name in the WordPress admin menu.
- Fill in the fields you’ve created for your custom post type.
- Publish or save your content.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan and use of Beaver Builder, and one of the best add-ons for that page builder is Beaver Themer. Beaver Themer is a premium WordPress plugin developed by Beaver Builder, a popular drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress. Beaver Themer is designed to work seamlessly with the Beaver Builder plugin and extends its capabilities by allowing you to design and customize templates for various parts of your WordPress website, including custom post types. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating dynamic and customized layouts without requiring advanced coding skills.
You can use Beaver Themer to create custom templates for your custom post types, and connect all the different modules to different custom fields you’ve created. You can even get the free Pods Beaver Themer Add-on to make connecting to your custom fields a breeze.
Planning ahead for organizing your content can make your life a lot easier in the long run and can make it easier to find and display the content you want where you want it. I highly recommend using WordPress custom post types in your website!
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