With custom post types, you can turn your standard WordPress website into a fully-fledged content management system. On top of that, custom post types will also enable you to introduce some uniqueness on your site, and help it stand out from all the others.
In short, when done right, custom post types help grab your visitors’ attention, and improve their overall reading experience.
What are custom post types?
Let’s start with posts and pages. They are the two most commonly used content types in WordPress.
In that manner, a custom post type is the kind of content that you can create and customize yourself.
- For example, a musician might need a page for their music albums or playlists. Custom post types are perfect for that.
- A website for a restaurant, on the other hand, might need a page that showcases the menu. Again, custom post types. The possible scenarios are plenty…
How to create custom post types
There are two main ways:
You can either do it by code, or with plugins.
If you are a developer and know how to add your custom posts by hand, good for you! But it won’t be an issue if you’re not into the technical stuff all that much. There are lots of WordPress plugins that can do this for you.
One of the most feature-rich and easiest to use premium plugins for custom post types out there. It lets you create new post types, custom taxonomies, meta boxes and fields for those boxes. You can export your custom post types to other websites too.
The dashboard of the plugin explains what custom post types are, and how to work with them. From there, you can access each module of the plugin, which will enable you to work with your new post types and taxonomies.
Each of those modules is documented very well, with every field labeled and explained. Apart from those modules, you also get a Settings page, where you can adjust how the plugin is going to display your new custom post types.
Another interesting thing is that Easy Content Types also lets you tweak the access credentials required to use the plugin and work with your content types. Very useful if you install this plugin on a site that many people have access to – you can choose who can do what with the plugin.
Easy Content Types comes in 3 license types: $39 – use it on one site, $67 – three sites, $93 – unlimited sites.
One of the most popular plugins for custom posts and taxonomies in the official plugin directory, Custom Post Type UI brings a series of great options and features for free.
This plugin is very easy to use. After installing it, you get a nice dashboard to work with, where all of the plugin’s options and features are easily available.
The plugin lets you create new post types, new corresponding taxonomies, and then edit the post types you already have on your site.
Another nice thing about this plugin is that you can import a custom post that you already have on another site. Plus, exporting yours is an option too.
The only downside of the plugin is that it will NOT handle display of registered post types or taxonomies in your current theme. It will only register them for you.
A modern plugin that gives you full flexibility when it comes to managing your custom post types. With this plugin, you can add any post type you want, plus custom fields such as text boxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus, and checkboxes. Each of those fields can have its own design.
CustomPress has a very intuitive and modern interface, and it lets you set up your new custom post types in mere minutes. Working with custom fields is similarly easy and fast. Really, nothing missing from this plugin.
The plugin comes in 2 options. You can get it either for $19 / month as a standalone install, or for $24.50 / month as a full membership package including all of WPMU DEV’s plugins and themes.
Another very popular free plugin that allows you to create custom post types, taxonomies, and fields.
Types stands out from the other plugins due to its developer-friendly, as well as user-friendly interface. If you know coding, there’s PHP API available for you. If you’re not that dev-savvy, you can use the simple GUI.
Apart from custom post types, this plugin also handles custom fields really well. You can not only add them to posts and pages, but also to users. Lastly, you can design how various fields appear in the WordPress admin.
Last but not least, Types lets you define parent / child relationship between different post types.
Pods is another user-friendly free plugin for custom post types, taxonomies, and fields.
It stands out due to its original user interface, and the whole process you go through when using the plugin. The experience is more of a wizard-like process, instead of a dashboard-like environment.
Pods uses something called “pods” (surprise, surprise) to organize all the custom post types and taxonomies you create with the plugin.
The plugin also lets you create custom settings pages, and even advanced content types (ones that don’t use the default WordPress tables in the database, but instead create their own). You can also extend the existing content types, taxonomies, media, users, and even comments.
This plugin is much simpler than the others on this list. But it does provide you with all the mandatory custom post types functionality you’d need in most situations. There are two main sections in this plugin: Post Types and Taxonomies.
You’re not required to have any coding skills to use this plugin, and everything is available through a handy interface. It will also show you all the other custom post types you already have registered on your site (even the ones not created via this plugin).
Overall, a user-friendly and functional solution for what it does.Did you try any of these plugins? What was your experience with them?
All edits and witty rewrites by Karol K.