Custom post types and custom taxonomies were introduced in previous versions of WordPress but were brought closer to the forefront with WordPress 2.9. In WordPress 3.0, those two features were improved but still don’t seem to be completed. In WordPress 3.1, their development will continue with an interface and an archives section. For now though, there are a few plugins worth knowing about that ease implementing custom posts or custom taxonomies and make them more fully featured.
Currently, creating custom posts and taxonomies has to be done functions through functions. It’s not really approachable for non-developers and not very convenient even for those who understand the code. The Custom Post Type UI plugin provides a nice interface to create or edit custom post types and custom taxonomies. The advanced options cover all the settings you’d be able to configure if you were coding the new post type while the default view makes the process not overwhelming.
I created a custom post type called ‘Jobs’. You can see it on the left-hand column.
One thing missing from the WordPress 3.0 implementation of custom posts is the hierarchy that goes with permalinks. You can craft the slug in the custom post type UI so you could have something like: http://mysite.com/jobs/Head chef/
Normally with permalinks, you could go to http://mysite.com/jobs/ and see a listing of all the Jobs published. This isn’t the case until WordPress 3.1 and for now you’ll just end up at a 404 error page. You can view a listing of all of your custom posts by going to a url like:
It was nice that the functionality was there but it wasn’t very pretty and difficult to tell people to follow that path. Instead, the Simple Custom Post Type Archives implements the permalinks so you can view all custom post types in an archives type listing.
I was looking for more of a list of posts (just their titles) instead of the excerpts, so I found this pluging called List Category Posts. It’s pretty snazzy for other uses if you’re using categories in an organized way. It allows you to use a shortcode on posts or pages and it will list the categories that match your criteria. You can also set it to list by post type, in case you need to narrow it down further. I set it to list all of the jobs custom posts and it was exactly what I was looking for.
Post Type Switcher can make the switch to using Custom Posts easier. If you need to reorganize posts to different post types, this will allow you to do it more easily than copying the contents to a new entry. You can switch content from Post to Page, Page to Post, or Post to Custom.
Update: WordPress 3.1 just came out so this article may no longer be as relevant but there are still components that should be helpful if you’re investigating using Custom Posts.