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.
Without further ado, let’s look into the top 5 custom post types plugins for WordPress:
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 free WordPress plugin that works plainly and provides an intuitive interface. It’s nice that you can upgrade to the premium version if you need extended features in regards to custom post types.
To add a new post type is easy. Go to WCK in your dashboard menu and click on Post Type Creator. There, you need to only go through a few settings to have your custom content ready. Once you create a new entry, it will appear as a separate menu item in your dashboard, from where you can customize it further.
With the free version of WCK plugin you can also create custom taxonomies, fields, and meta boxes, which you can beautifully link with the custom post types.
For more functionality like option pages and extra custom field types, you must upgrade to the premium version, which starts at $49.
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 is the premium counterpart of the above options. Apart from fast support, you’ll also get front-end posting – a feature that will make it easy for you to display custom content on the front-end. You will be able to design templates, lists, and archives so that your custom post types will look appealing to your visitors.
Another feature that Toolset comes with is built-in input validation. When someone fills out a field, they will see a warning if the text is incorrect or incomplete. People won’t be able to move forward without filling the answer properly.
Moreover, you can set repeating field groups and connect all the post types you want together.
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?
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