WordPress Custom Post Types: What Are They & How to Create Them?
The content is undoubtedly an integral part of a website. But, how you present your content to your readers plays a vital role in determining the uniqueness and success of your website. Luckily, WordPress by default offers several built-in post types that are enough for a simple blog or website. They are:
- Navigation Menus
- Custom CSS
However, there might be instances when you want to define your own content types to organize your content more efficiently and give your website a surprisingly customized look. In such a scenario, you can leverage the power of Custom Post Types (CPT)!
What are Custom Post Types in WordPress?
To put it simply, a Custom Post Type is a special post type that you define, create, and customize yourself for your WordPress site. For example, if you run a WordPress site related to movies, then you would probably want to add a movie reviews post type to it – which can be done using the register_post_type function. Some other practical examples of Custom Post Types are:
In other words, Custom Post Types are a powerful way to handle more kinds of content that aren’t the default post types. With Custom Post Types, you can create any type of content you want and that too without using the inbuilt post types provided by WordPress. From a technical perspective, a Custom Post Type is a regular post, but with a different post_type value.
When Should You Use Custom Post Types?
Now that you’ve understood what a custom post type is, the next question is when might you need to use one? The answer is whenever you want to add a different kind of content to your WordPress site that doesn’t fit into one of default post types, specifically into either a Post or a Page.
If you’re still confused about when to use Custom Post Types, then below are some signs to help you decide:
- You often publish various types of content like recipes and events.
- You want to display a particular content differently from other posts and pages. For example, a portfolio or a testimonial.
- If some content does not need to be part of chronological order, like a glossary page.
- The content you’re going to publish just doesn’t look and feel like a page or post. For example, discount coupons.
- You need some extra fields to add more information to your page or post.
- If a content type is isolated and remains comprehensible even if you move it to a different website. For example, a list of sold products.
- If your content is simple and does not require the usage of categories and tags. For instance, movie reviews.
- Categories and Tags fails to group and sort a particular content.
How to Create Custom Post Types in WordPress?
There are two main ways to create a Custom Post Type in WordPress:
- By coding it manually
- By using a plugin
The former way requires coding a Custom Post Type from scratch. This would be fine if you are a PHP expert yourself or hire an expert WordPress developer to create a custom post type for you.
Otherwise, the latter is the quickest and easiest way to create a custom post type in WordPress. Especially if you are a beginner, this method is recommended because it is safe and super easy. There are several WordPress plugins available to help you create custom post types with ease. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best custom post types plugins for WordPress.
The Best WordPress Custom Post Type Plugins
Custom Post Type UI is one of the best plugins to register and manage custom post types and taxonomies in WordPress. With an easy-to-use interface, you can easily register a custom post type or taxonomy in minutes with this handy plugin. There is also an extended version of Custom Post Type UI available to give you the ability to display your custom post type data with ease and flexibility.
Toolset Types is a premium WordPress plugin using which not only you can create custom post types but also can create custom fields and taxonomies, without any programming. While the plugin comes with a convenient graphical user interface, it also offers you a Custom Types Training Course that consists of short videos to help you know how to create your own custom types using the plugin. With Toolset Types, you can build custom interactive sites such as online shops, directories, membership, and classified sites.
Like Toolset Types, Pods also allows managing all your custom content needs from a single place within your WordPress Dashboard. Using this powerful plugin, you can create and edit custom post types, fields, and taxonomies as well as can extend custom post types created using other plugins. Additionally, Pods also facilitates you to easily display your custom content. You can even create connections between any of your content to organize and manage it in a logical manner.
Custom Post Type Maker is a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that is not as powerful as other plugins in the list but still provides you all the essential functionalities you need to create custom post types and custom taxonomies in most cases. This plugin offers a user-friendly interface and fully integrates with the WordPress API to help you create custom post types and taxonomies without the need of writing a single line of code.
WordPress Creation Kit (WCK) offers three tools – WCK Custom Post Type Creator, WCK Custom Fields Creator, and WCK Taxonomy Creator – to help you create, edit and manage custom post types, custom taxonomies, and custom meta boxes with custom fields. Since the free version comes packed with an unnecessary number of adverts, you can upgrade to the premium version that offers extended features with no adverts.