The opportunity is wide open to create a professional website with WordPress, even if you have no programming background. Not just a simple blog or portfolio website, but you can also create a more complex website like movie review (something like IMDb), listing website, stock photo website, to e-commerce website. To be able to step further with WordPress, you need to understand custom post type.
What is custom post type?
To make it easier to understand what custom post type is, let’s understand what is WordPress once again. WordPress is a CMS software. Meaning that its primary use is to manage content on a website. By default, there are two main content types you can create and manage in WordPress: page and post. In the technical term, both page and post are called post types. Page is designed to create more static content on a website, such as about page, contact page, to homepage. While post is designed to create more timely content that is regularly updated. In most cases, post is used to create blog posts.
What if you want to create a certain type of website and need a content type other than page and post? Already know the answer? Yes, you can create a custom post type to accommodate the custom content for your website.
If you have ever used WooCommerce before, that’s the perfect example of how custom post type is implemented in WordPress. A WooCommerce product is technically a custom post type.
Custom Post Type and Custom Field
In many cases, the implementation of a custom post type is always followed by custom field. A field itself is an element of a content. Post title, featured image, and post date are examples of fields. These fields are the default fields of WordPress.
If you need add custom element to your content, you can create custom fields and assign them to a custom post type. In the WooCommerce example above, product attributes like price, size, color, and weight are examples of custom fields.
We have a dedicated post you can read to learn more about WordPress custom fields.
Choosing a Theme Builder for Custom Post Type
Every WordPress theme has default templates that govern the layout of parts such as header, footer, archive pages, single page, and single post. The files of these templates are written in PHP. In most cases, the content of custom post type is presented using the template of single post.
The problem is that the default template of single post usually displays only the default fields such as title, featured image, post date, and so on. You need to create a custom template to display the custom fields you have created. Most importantly, creating a custom template allows you to set the layout of the content yourself.
The theme builder era allows you to create custom templates for your theme parts using the no-code approach. Meaning that you don’t need to have a programming background. Only a little sense of design is required. Before picking a theme builder plugin to create a custom template for your custom post type, make sure it supports custom post type and custom field.
Here are some theme builder plugins you can use. All theme builder plugins below supports custom post type and custom field:
Best WordPress Plugins to Create Custom Post Type
1. CPT UI
Custom Post Type UI, or often shortened CPT UI, is the most popular custom post type plugin for WordPress. With the plugin, you can create custom post types on your WordPress website without dealing with PHP code. The plugin offers a GUI based tool to make it easier for you to create custom post types. In addition, you can also create custom taxonomies (categories and tags) to further manage your custom post type content.
When creating a new custom post type using CPT UI, you can add elements like title, editor, featured, and so on. You can add the elements according to the project you are working on. CPT UI also has a great integration with the WordPress system. You can add your custom post type to both the top bar menu and sidebar menu to make it easy for you to access your content. CPT UI is supported by all theme builder plugins we mentioned above. The use of CPT UI itself is often paired with ACF or Meta Box as it has no capability to create custom fields.
Advanced Custom Fields or often shortened ACF is a great solution if you are looking for a single plugin that is capable of handling two jobs: custom post type creation and custom field creation. ACF used to be able to create custom fields only. But since version 6.1, the plugin could also create custom post type and custom taxonomy. This is a great news if you often create custom fields using ACF since you don’t need to install an extra plugin anymore to create a custom post type. ACF even offers a feature to import existing custom post types you created with CPT UI.
The custom post type maker feature of ACF also offers plenty of options just like CPT UI, with a cleaner interface. You can show your custom post type on the top bar and sidebar menu to make it more accessible. You can also select which elements you want to include to your custom post type.
ACF is supported by nearly all theme builder plugins out there, including Elementor Pro, Divi Builder, and Beaver Themer. ACF itself is now owned by WP Engine. The hosting company acquired it in 2022.
Unlike the first two plugins above which you can use for free, you need to spend money to use JetEngine as it is released as a fully paid plugin. JetEngine is a product from Crocoblock, the developer that also owns JetBooking, JetMenu, JetPopup, and JetWooBuilder. JetEngine used to be support Elementor only, but Crocoblock has extended its support. You can now also use JetEngine on Gutenberg and Bricks Builder.
Same as ACF, JetEngine can also handle two jobs. Not only you can use it to create a custom post type, but you can also use it to create custom field. The custom post type maker feature of JetEngine also offers the same setting options as CPT UI and ACF. First, you can integrate your custom post type with the WordPress menu system for easier access. Second, you can set which elements you want to add to your custom post type.
Specifically, JetEngine is a great option if you want to create a listing website with Elementor. It has a loop builder feature to create a listing template. A dedicated Elementor widget is available to display a loop item in a grid style.
Looking for an alternative to the three plugins above? You can try Pods, then. Pods, just like CPT UI and ACF, can be used for free. So, it is a great solution if you have limited budget for your project. Pods is a plugin that you can use to create both custom post type and custom field. The custom post type maker feature allows you to create a custom post type via a GUI editor just like other plugins above. You can add elements like title, editor, featured image, and so on to your custom post type. The option to integrate custom post type with WordPress menu system is also available. You can also create custom taxonomies to further manage your content.
Pods also has extensive support in the WordPress ecosystem. Popular theme builder plugins like Elementor Pro, Divi Builder, and Beaver Themer support it.
The Bottom Line
In the early era of WordPress, you could only use it to create a blog. But today, you can use WordPress to create any type of website. Including complex, dynamic websites such as listing website, membership website, to e-commerce website. The best part is that you don’t need to have a programming background to create these website types — and other website types. You can use a no-code approach by making use of custom post type and theme builder.
Mastering custom post type and theme builder is crucial if you have no programming background and often create websites with WordPress. You can achieve many things without needing to install a new plugin for every feature or functionality you want to add to your website. For instance, if you need to create documentation/knowledge base feature on your website, you can create a dedicated custom post type and then create a custom template for it.
The implementation of custom post type and theme builder is broad. You can play around with your creativity to create professional websites in the no-code era with WordPress.