When you are working on a new site you can sometimes get confused as to the best tool for the job. This happens to all of us from time to time. So when you need to create custom content for your next WordPress project there are several things you have to consider. Things like how will this content be displayed, by what data will this content be queried, what is the clearest way for maintaining this content, etc. All of these and more are factors to consider when determining the content structure of your WordPress site.
Here are three built-in ways WordPress offers for handling custom content and some basic guidelines on when you might want to use each.
Custom Post Types – You want to use these whenever you need an entirely new kind of record-set. You have posts and pages but now you want recipes, reviews, movies, bands etc.
Custom Fields – These are perfect when you have a custom piece of content that could have endless types of data entered for any given record. Dates, urls, and descriptions are perfect examples. These could be attached to the Custom Post Type above or even to normal posts or pages depending on your need.
Custom Taxonomies – Use these when you have content that is generally pre-defined or is only added to occasionally, like lists. This could be a list of directors or actors for a movie site, a list of makes and models for an automobile site or whatever. These, like Custom Fields, can also be attached to Custom Post Types or to normal posts or pages.
This post was just a quick birds eye view of when to use the above tools but coming soon I’ll share how to implement these tools into your next or even current project. Until then WPMU has been running a series on these topics in a little more detail so check out their posts if you would like to understand what these tools are a little better (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).