Custom Content Types

Is it better (in the long run) to get a programmer to set up my Custom Taxonomies manually (with code) or for me to use the custompress plugin available with WPMU.

I always hate to use plugins if I don’t have to because what happens when people stop updating them etc. BUT… I dunno if that’s relevant in this case.

  • Brian Purkiss
    • Smushie Pies

    It doesn’t matter much either way.

    First off, we offer guaranteed compatibility.

    Second, CustomPress has a way for you to export the code of the custom content type and manually put that into your theme.

    Essentially, the CustomPress plugin simply offers a visual way of outputting the code necessary for a custom post type.

    I hope that clears things up.

  • Imperative Ideas
    • HummingBird

    If you wanted to generate the code for your functions.php file you would do it like this.

    1. Create a file called custompost.php and put <?php at the top (nothing else)

    2. Most themes have an /inc/ or /includes/ folder, put it there

    3. In functions.php, add this line:

    require_once( trailingslashit( get_template_directory() ) . 'inc/custompost.php' ); // Add Custom Post Types

    Note the directory reference. If you call the file something like “myposttypes.php” or put in a directory called “stuff” then change the right side of the path accordingly.

    Now you generate your custom post types & taxonomies:

    Paste the resulting code into your custompost.php file

    So, what are the pros and cons?

    Well, the plugin allows for zero-step portability because it’s not built into the theme itself. In other words, if you switch to the TwentyTwelve theme, your post types are still there without carrying over custompost.php and the functions.php call. The plugin also gives you a graphical representation of the post type so you can adjust it at any time without having to understand what the heck all the code means.

    On the other hand, running custom post types through a plugin gives the client every opportunity in the world to go exploring. If there is one thing I know about clients, it’s that there are two types when it comes to GUI options. The first type is so terrified of the admin that they won’t touch anything you haven’t taught them. The other type is curious and they will flip every switch in the admin just to see what it does.

    Client type B is the reason why developers like to bury functionality where only someone that knows a bit of code will figure out how to look for it.

    The choice is really a personal one when it comes to plugins vs code and you will decide it on a project to project basis. Neither is technically superior.

    As for who organizes your custom post types, this is a UX thing. There are lots of UX designers and very few UX engineers (a designer who can also code). Almost no one is a triple threat engineer/researcher/designer but if you can get to that point you’ll be in the six figure salary range.

    The reason why UX people get paid though is to answer questions like “what is the best way to design my custom post types?”

    There are a few of us floating around WPMUdev… not a lot but a few. Try asking. You’ll get some questionable advice and some very good advice. Either way, you won’t know unless you ask. Be detailed about what you want to do and just hope the right person sees it :slight_smile:

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