It's really funny that the results of a basic search on the internet for the benefits of custom post types is scarce on the benefits or the advantages of custom post types. To me and I believe to the whole WordPress community, the benefits of custom post types are dramatic! The benefits and advantages of custom post types are innumerable and exponential. (If you don't know what Custom Post Types are, see my previous post: Understanding WordPress Custom Post Types: What Are Custom Post Types?.)
So here are five benefits and advantages of using custom post types or rather, here are five reasons why you should use custom post types:
- Custom display of content: custom post types allow for content to be entered and displayed in a custom manner that is content-centered and content-focused.
- Hide content from default queries: It's not that you are hiding content per se; however, out of the box, custom post types are not included in the query further customizing the ability to organize and present the content the way you want. Without additional coding, custom post types are not included in the default queries. Furthermore, the customization options allowed in registering custom post types further increases the beauty and power of custom post types by making them non-public and non-queryable.
- Ability to manage content: on the backend, custom post types streamline writing and organization
- Improved usability: simply it is quite complex to tell a client, "To post a podcast, you must do A, B, C, and D. To post a blog post, you must do A, B, and C." Custom post types allow you to create one singular process that makes sense to the non-programmer and non-power user.
- Increases productivity and efficiency: now
- Increases site security: it will eliminate third party plugins further strengthening your security (or rather eliminating dependency on a third party that could potentially open a vulnerability).
So let's think about this for a minute. How does custom post types increase productivity?
As Konstantin points out, consider this scenario:
For instance, why should the Edit Post page contain the ability to attach an audio file if it wonâ€™t be used 50% of the time? Or why would Quotes contain post revisions? Chats and Video posts wouldnâ€™t require image posting, right? This way you can talk to your client or content manager in a certain way:
John, could you please add a new Podcast? Hereâ€™s the MP3 file.
John, I need you to add this MP3 file as a Podcast â€“ please add a new post, then in the box on the right you should pick that your post type is a Podcast, then a little bit lower in the next box you should upload this audio file, and also please make sure that you check the Podcasts category before you publish.
No, John, donâ€™t touch the Video box, we use that for video posts. No, leave the custom fields as they are, you should never touch that area.
So, now you don't have to rely on categories. You don't have to filter categories here or there to get the pages that you want. Posting becomes simple and easy. Displaying content becomes streamlined and custom. The backend can be further customized. No more wasted space in the database or the post page. No more wasted landscape in the backend. No need to explain complicated custom fields. Everything becomes straight forward and simple.
Simply, custom post types help you CUSTOMIZE and ORGANIZE your CONTENT in order to PRESENT it in a better manner (than simply high-jacking and even abusing categories or having to explain custom fields again and again). Before the popularization and the simplification of custom post types, developers were stuck with using custom fields and categories and had to give detailed, robust instructions which often times led to confusion (and possibly the breaking of the site altogether). Not only can custom post types be wrapped around your content, it is molded to your data, your needs, and your goals, whatever they may be. It will make things easier to manage, create, edit, etc. It will increase productivity, efficiency, and even usability.
What benefits or advantages do you see about custom post types?