Custom post types are a way of creating categories and putting your content into those categories in WordPress. This is a process that will allow you to segment content into different areas of the admin panel and you can give each category unique sets of data. You can then use this data to create personalized display for people that visit your website.
These posts do more than just create simple pages and posts – they help you create new content types and easy systems for your users. This is helped and enhanced by templates for presenting this to the website visitors.
WordPress is excellent at holding content. It’s the best tool for blogging to date. But it only has two types of content – blog posts and pages. While this works for some people – and some really, seriously successful people – this is not enough for most. They want more – testimonials, projects, documents, listings and so on. And you can find a good home for these in blogs and posts. But, it’s not perfect. There is a better solution. And it’s called custom posts types
“These are often called CPTs for short too. You can use them to bend the interface to use it for whatever kind of content you want to add. You can do many different things – the only limit is your imagination. But before you get there, you have to learn how to use them properly,” says Jessica Barney, a Marketing Manager at 1day2write and Australia2write.
Why Should You Use Custom Post Types?
When building your website, you often have some limitations when it comes to the type of content that you can publish. This is where custom post types get in handy. Even if you manage to bend the post type to fit your content a little bit better, this is probably not working well. Another area where you might need this for the new kind of a post happens when you build a nested hierarchy to get the permalinks that you need. This may work for a while, but too many posts or pages nested within a same page isn’t fun to make or use. You could benefit from using custom post types.
Here are some more definite signs that you need Custom post types:
- If you use a particular category in strange ways and keep wanting to create different post types
- If you have to hack your permalink structure to make it sensitive to a category and give your post a different URL
How To Use CPTs and WPShout
There are many different types of custom post types. Here are some of those types that you can use:
- Posts – The default type of posts that you can find on any WP website. Usually longform and written as informational content.
- Courses – This is the type of content where a variety of articles is gathered into one longer post which includes all of the links to the relevant articles. The main idea behind this is that you want to create a one-stop page for all of the useful information on a single topic
- Quick guides – These are shorter in length but still highly informative and work on a single specific topic on how to achieve something. They can be posts but it’s often much more effective as a separate category
- Links – This can also be a post category, but it can also be even better as its own category of CPT. The audience benefit more if you start separating your links. You can also add regular posts to explain your links a bit better and you can also route that content into your email newsletter.
Not all sites are the same and your content will probably be different than any other content, but a bit of explanation on practical examples can help you understand what you need to to.
So, you like the sound of CPTs? But how to get them?
Once you are aware that you indeed could use CPTs to create new types of content on your WP, there are many ways to do it. There are, in fact, too many ways to count. But, here are some simple ways to get your CPTs.
- Use a plugin that is dedicated to creating them – WooCommerce is one of the best plugins for this out there, and it does so much more. Plugins like this one create their own custom post types.
It’s designed to provide functionality and a bunch of other things. They have a content editor, images, taxonomies that will work well for anyone and so on. All of these features are available to you when you get this plugin and make your own CPTs and interface. You should try using it if you don’t have the time or the expertise to create custom post types.
- UI-based plugins for CPT – There are plugins that will allow you to set up your own CPTs and this is a big plus because you get to build your own CPTs without any coding. They will help you make your CPTs in the admin area and all you have to do is fill out a form.
“These allow you to build new options for yourself in the WP dashboard and then you can create new custom post types just by making a few clicks or moves. You also have a nice interface that is approachable and easy to use,” says Greta Soleil, a Website Administrator at Writemyx and Britstudent.
There are many plugins in this category. Here are some of them:
- Logo-pods-header Pods – This is where you can build CPTs and taxonomies, change default post types and user profiles. It’s simple and easy and completely free to use
- Toolset types – You can create CPT, taxonomies and much more. There are also some extensions that can help you change the functionality
- CPT UI – This is a simple plugin that can help you build CPTs and taxonomies.
- CPT Maker – This is similar to CPT UI and gives you a simple interface to work with
Of course, you might like the PHP more than you like plugins so you can create your CPTs that way. Make sure that your setup works for you whichever road you decide to take. CPTs can certainly change the way you handle your website’s content.