Custom post types are a way to organize your content in new and interesting ways. They help you transform WordPress into a CMS.
Custom posts aren’t so much ‘posts’ as a custom content type. Another way to think of them is to think of them more like ‘pages’ than posts, because they can be hierarchical with child/parent pages/post types.
‘Native’ WordPress post types include:
- navigation menu items
Once you register a new custom post type you will have access to it in your admin panel in the left menu.
By default the custom post type does have all the same options as a regular post (such as category/tag taxonomies), but you can modify or add your own custom taxonomies). You can also remove meta boxes you don’t need (such as comments).
The Estate theme from Woo Themes is a nice example for how to implement custom post types.
Another example is the Quality Control theme, which was designed to do support tickets, and has no ‘regular’ posts.
Question for audience: What are other uses for custom post types?
- Member directories
- Product pages & ecommerce
- Coffeeshops (see ATX Webshow’s listing)
- Real estate themes
- Image uploader template for end users
When might you NOT use a custom post type?
- If it’s something you want out on an RSS feed, you might want a regular post rather than a custom post type.
- Don’t make every category a custom post type – just use native categories if you don’t need the extra code and info to keep track of.
- If you have 20 custom post types, you’re probably doing it wrong!
How to make a custom post type:
1. Use a plugin
- Custom post type UI
- WP Easy Post Types
- TBTestimonials is a plugin that creates custom post types to insert testimonials.
- CPT-speakers is a plugin that allows creation of new speaker information via custom post types.
- Calendar Press – custom post types for events.
Custom post type icons
If you can add custom icons to your custom post types, it will improve the look of your interface. Devin recommends Randy Jensen’s site to get the icons.