Types WordPress plugin – Easy Custom Post Types

I’ve long wanted to create a database of themes that support my SEO plugin and never came up with a manageable way of doing that. When my buddy Amir from WPML emailed me about their two new plugins, Types and Views, it took me a while to grasp what they did. Turns out I’m daft and it’s actually quite easy when you install it and they’re perfect for that job. So I thought I’d let you all enjoy what I’d done with it. I’ll review both of them, in a 3 post series in which I’ll also create my desired database.

Database of Themes that support my WordPress SEO plugin

I’ve also got a project I’ll use this for: I want a database of themes that support my WordPress SEO plugin, with some specific settings info, a screenshot, etc. I want to store these as a custom post type. So the first step is to determine which info I would need to store:

  • Basic stuff:
    • Title of the theme
    • Short description
    • Screenshot
    • URL
    • Is this a paid theme or not?
    • Price (if applicable)
  • And some more advanced stuff:
    • Does this theme have its own SEO options that “yield” to WordPress SEO?
    • Does this theme support breadcrumbs?
    • Does this theme require force rewrite titles to be on or not?

Creating a Custom Post Type

Having determined what I wanted to store, the next step was to create a Custom Post Type. That’s as easy as using this interface:

Add New Custom Post Type

I could add Taxonomies to it as well, but I’ll leave that for now, although creating a taxonomy is just as easy through the Types interface. I end up with my WordPress SEO theme CPT:

Custom Post Type

Adding Custom Fields

You’ll think “huh, that hasn’t got any of the specific data yet”: that’s right. It doesn’t. That’s where the true power of Types comes in, you can create “Custom Field Groups” and add these to post types. So I did:

Custom Field Group

As you can see you can choose from a lot of different types of fields, and all these types have their own content checks. For instance for a URL, it’ll allow you to “force” a correct URL. I’ve added the custom field group to my WPSEO Themes post type, and now, when I go into edit or create a new WPSEO Theme “post”, I get this interface below the title and content area:

WPSEO Theme Custom Fields

So far, no coding was required, thanks to the wonderful Types plugin! You can get that, for free, on wp-types.com or on WordPress.org.

So, what we needed to do:

  1. Creating a custom post type + custom fields.
  2. Creating a form through which people can submit themes that fills this post type.
  3. Creating a browsable interface for this post type.

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35 Responses

  1. Yousaf SekanderBy Yousaf Sekander on 2 February, 2012

    Yet another great plugin from the WP ninja! Very useful indeed, forwarding this to my development team now. :)

  2. Noumaan YaqoobBy Noumaan Yaqoob on 2 February, 2012

    Excellent review with practical demo. It is a very useful plugin, checked out the plugin website and there is an accompanying plugin too called views. Unfortunately, right now the video demos on their website are not working. I wanted to see what Views does. I think anyone with basic understanding of themes can create custom templates for their custom post type. But together these plugins are a big time saver. Can be used to publish recipes, reviews, directories, and so much more.

    • Anwar ShehataBy Anwar Shehata on 2 February, 2012

      The demos are working for me, they’re pretty short though and no voice-over. They could learn alot from the Gravityforms demo for example.

      • Amir HelzerBy Amir Helzer on 2 February, 2012

        You’re 100% right. We’re working on nice demo videos for both Types and Views, which will have human narration and explain what the two plugins do. I hope to have these videos out in a couple of weeks.

        In the meanwhile, the ‘learn’ section in the site is the best source of information. It includes tutorials for how to build different things with these two plugins.

  3. Anwar ShehataBy Anwar Shehata on 2 February, 2012

    How does this compare to Magic Fields 2? I’ve used Flutter in the past, then Magic Fields and since late last year Magic Fields 2. You can also create custom posts and pages with MF, the problem I always had, was that the documentation was pretty bad. uptill now I was waiting for a commercial company to release something similar, just with great support.

  4. Marty MartinBy Marty Martin on 2 February, 2012

    This is fantastic; thanks for highlighting this plugin Yoast. I’ve been forking another custom post type plugin (just for me) to add some of the functionality that this one has integrated. Time to switch gears!

  5. Youssef BerradaBy Youssef Berrada on 2 February, 2012

    I created a showcase using nextgen and some related plugins like custom fields. Nextgen is a very powerfull gallery plugin, but for my themes showcase i think i will use this plugin, time for tests and learning.

  6. GretchenBy Gretchen on 2 February, 2012

    That would work nicely with gravity forms + the gf custom post type add-on. I just built a pet memorial site for a veterinarian where users can upload their info plus a photo and it creates the the custom post type automatically. All the vet has to do is review and publish the post.

    The types plugin would have made the task a bit easier.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 2 February, 2012

      Exactly what I will use :-)

  7. SoundsGoodBy SoundsGood on 2 February, 2012

    I’m not sure I quite “get” what this plugin is. Can someone please explain how and when we might use this?

    Thanks!

  8. Ankit ChughBy Ankit Chugh on 2 February, 2012

    I have also been working for making custom type posts and for those, i have always been lazy for making taxonomies first. Your post is what i am definitely going to follow this time. Your post gave me a great idea to do what i was trying from a last few months. Thanks Joost, i’ll be looking forward for upcoming posts too.

  9. Jayson T. CoteBy Jayson T. Cote on 2 February, 2012

    Thanks Joost for this post. I discovered this plugin a couple weeks ago and was very excited to have a UI for controlling custom content types and taxonomies, saves me a lot of time then writing the functions in the themes functions.php file. I look forward to the next part of the series.

  10. JerryBy Jerry on 2 February, 2012

    @Noumaan: Do you know how to use this plugin for recipes. In particular how to split up ingerdients into different custom fields (e.g. ‘amount’ ‘unit’ ‘ingredient’ –> 1 kg flower.

  11. AlexBy Alex on 2 February, 2012

    I’ve been using types and views for the last month or so, they are awesome, well-developed plugins. So glad to see them covered here. =)

  12. GayleBy Gayle on 2 February, 2012

    This plugin is sick! I look forward to using it, thanks Joost

  13. johnBy john on 2 February, 2012

    Yoast, you are a pro in the way you come up with brilliant tools. I Will be following the reviews as you post them.

  14. SimonBy Simon on 2 February, 2012

    Wow — this is just awesome.
    I am totally donating to this, great work Joost!

  15. MattBy Matt on 2 February, 2012

    I’ll definitely try this plugin. I was using custom post types UI previously. They seem very similar.

    I find it insane that the administration of custom post types isn’t built into wordpress core. Just goes to show how far behind WordPress is as a true CMS.

  16. Doug SmithBy Doug Smith on 2 February, 2012

    I was a confused by your post title because at first I thought it was referring to the Easy Custom Content Types plugin, which also helps create post types, taxonomies, and meta boxes.

    The Types plugin looks pretty good too and I’m looking forward to your review of Views as well. I’m hoping Views can work with any custom post type and not just the ones created by Types.

    I have a bunch of content already created with Easy Custom Content Types and I like its interface a little better. But it doesn’t have anything like Views. So if the two can work together that would be great. In fact, I have some other custom post types created by other plugins and it would be a real time saver to use something like Views to shape their presentation.

  17. BronwynBy Bronwyn on 3 February, 2012

    Enjoyed part 1. I find some of their documentation on site a bit hard to follow regarding Types and Views so am looking forward to reading through your write up and seeing how you present the information

    Thanks!

  18. JoanBy Joan on 3 February, 2012

    Great plugin. It’s a shame that it does not support capability_type on the post type. Maye they will add it soon, in next releases!

    • Amir HelzerBy Amir Helzer on 4 February, 2012

      We’ve got a list of features to add to Types and Views. Role management is among them.

      • JoanBy Joan on 4 February, 2012

        That’s great, Amir! It’s a great plugin, and it’ll be better!

  19. Sam IngersollBy Sam Ingersoll on 4 February, 2012

    Freeeeeeeedommmmmmmm!!!! At last! I am no longer held captive by theme developers’ inability to create designs that convert visitors into leads and sales….and…..uh, my own lack of programming skills.

  20. KristofBy Kristof on 4 February, 2012

    Can the CPT or taxonomy settings be configured to display ULRs as [custom post type] / [taxonomy] / [term] / [postname] ? I’ve been playing with the Types plugin and can only get posts to display as [custom post type] / [postname].

  21. DavidBy David on 5 February, 2012

    Thinking of try this plugin, as i’ve used a similar one before but wasn’t completely sold on it.

    Thanks Yoast. Ps. Only found your site and really like it, good info, thanks again.

  22. AlisonBy Alison on 5 February, 2012

    I have a dilemma!
    I am not seeing how to associate existing categories with the custom post types. In the “Edit Custom Post Type” form I have checked “categories” under “Select Taxonomies” but I do not see an option to associate the category in the “Add New” screen.
    What am I missing?
    Thanks for this plugin!

    • Amir HelzerBy Amir Helzer on 6 February, 2012

      It’s a bug, that’s getting fixed in Types 0.9.4.1 (should be out tomorrow).

  23. AlisonBy Alison on 6 February, 2012

    OK thanks!

    (Apparently this comment us not long enough to be considered “useful”, so I hope this sentence allows me to post :)

  24. RobertoBy Roberto on 10 February, 2012

    Joost,
    I came across your post, and it’s fantastic, while looking for info on Types. I recently concluded I need a plugin to do the heavy job of creating post types and managing write panels. But I’m still in doubt as to which commercial plugin is the way to go. As far as I understand Types is free but one needs to buy Views to be able to make templates (Or can I use my own custom template files without it?).
    I also liked the proposal of another commercial plugin called Easy Content Types. Do you know it? Do you have any suggestion to me?

  25. johnBy john on 13 February, 2012

    Hi Yoast,

    I am still newbie and working hard on the site and your plugins have been very helpful to me especially the SEO. This is another great ingenious plugin. Keep up!

  26. Tim GriffinBy Tim Griffin on 18 February, 2012

    Beautiful.

    Thanks for taking time to create the tutorial series here Yoast – I get your emails each week and this was a must see post!

    This new plugin replaces several that I have tried and couple with your tutorial brings it’s usefulness to a whole new realm of possibilities for website owners and developers.

    Where will the new themes database be viewable? That’s going to be a great asset as well!

  27. TerenceBy Terence on 18 February, 2012

    Gloria, I’m a little surprised at your comment, but I guess it may have something to do with you being an expert and all, but I was always taught that if you want to be remembered as an “expert” (and not just a complainer), you need to find something positive to say in the same sentence.

    The reason I take issue with your posit that Amir should do what you say he should, is that you neglect to make a very important observation which, presumably, being encumbered with all your knowledge, was hidden from you, and only us, less learned but more attentive observers will appreciate.

    Amir’s site at wp-types.comis THE best site on the web to learn about Custom Post Types, WordPress Custom Fields and Taxonomies – bar none!.

    The explanations and documentation on Types and Views are deceptively simple, but very powerful, and explain without all the pomp and circumstance of being an expert, as often happens, exactly what they are and what they do.

    Something, not being an “expert”, I very much appreciate.

    Terence.

  28. Gloria AntonelliBy Gloria Antonelli on 26 February, 2012

    Terence my apologies to you and Amir if my post was misinterpreted. I responded to Amir as he suggests he is going to improve his documentation for Types plugin. The video opens up a dialog on some of the pain points user have when using themes and plugins.

    I do not claim to be an expert WordPress developer. I am a WordPress learner and trainer and if I were to claim expertise I would say it is in user experience.

    In the video I suggest some options that may help any WordPress theme and plugin developer make the path to using their products easier for all users. I did read all of the tutorials, post and comments from all reference to the Types plugin because I wanted to use it. There were mentions by others that the information could be clearer. I observed Amir quickly responded and made adjustments.

    My comment was a suggestion to view the video and gleam information to improve what Amir already says he wants to do. I feel that if theme and plugin developers learning channel is as good as their products, all is well in WordPress world. My gold standards for a theme or plugin would be good design, good development and good documentation.

    I am thankful for the time others like Yoast make to create tutorial. It is a gift to be able to explain things clearly. As my gifts do not lay in development, my contribution to date to the WordPress community is to point out ways to improve a learning channel.