There are a number of useful plugins to set up your own custom post types. WordPress has allowed developers to transform the simple blogging platform into a customized CMS engine. Granted there are still a number of restrictions based on the core functionality. However custom post types really open a number of doors for webmasters who are creating content galleries, databases, wikis, and other various types of sites.
In this article I want to share a few resources for managing your own CPTs from scratch. PHP developers have the option of writing custom post types into a function file included into functions.php. But these CPTs are also local only to your own theme. A quick & easy solution is to create them using a plugin which will be activated over the entire site regardless of what theme you are using.
The team at WPMUDev create a number of premium WordPress plugins released at a membership price. CustomPress is one of their projects which allows developers to easily include custom post types for any WordPress installation. The options are practically endless with the ability to create new taxonomies, custom fields, and even change the CPT icon in the admin menu.
It does cost $9 for the initial download, or you could pay $19 for a month’s membership to access all of their plugins. But if you are serious about managing WordPress CPTs then I would have to recommend this plugin first. It is by far one of the best and it doesn’t cost $50 or $100 like some other premium solutions. It has just enough functionality to keep you away from rewriting PHP functions but still generates the codes to edit your theme files.
Custom Post Type UI
Now looking into free solutions, one of the best-quality choices would be Custom Post Type UI. This offers much of the same functionality where you can manage your own CPTs and update the core functionality. Each of the parameters passed into PHP is set as a true/false dropdown where you can even customize the URL rewriting.
The admin menu itself is also fairly easy to manage. For a free plugin this really does offer a world of great services. It is very easy to use and does not require much time practicing in the backend. I would recommend that webmasters try out this plugin as a free solution just to see what is possible. There are some other alternatives, but I have been very impressed with Custom Post Type UI and the menus are blatantly simple once you get the hang of it.
Another really simple plugin you may try out is Types. This can be downloaded for free off the WordPress.org plugins repository. Many of the same features you can find in CPT UI are also found in this plugin, along with the ability to include extra fields in user profile pages. This means you can add profile fields for extra networks such as Google+.
But the main focus of Types is to allow for easily-customized post types in your WordPress website. It is just another solution for turning a simple WP install to a CMS engine capable of managing a heavy database full of content. Users may even interact with these various post types through the use of plugins like Gravity Forms. The options are practically endless and it really comes back to a matter of time and effort.
I think all of these plugins are worth consideration as they offer a great deal of functionality. Webmasters who are already familiar with WordPress should have no trouble getting started. Stability & security are important features and that is why many webmasters choose WordPress in the first place. It is a reasonable PHP/MySQL engine which has a team of developers patching bugs to keep the project running smooth. Webmasters would expect the same of 3rd party content and all of these Custom Post Type plugins are really great solutions.
I do hope these resources may be of help to some webmasters. Custom Post Types sound a lot trickier than they actually are. Truthfully it does take some knowledge of the backend system to organize your content but these plugins make the process 10x easier. Check out a few of my solutions both free & premium to see what could work best for your WP projects. Additionally if you know of similar resources for generating custom post types please share with us in the comments below.