If you own a WordPress website, you’ve once wondered what custom post types and taxonomies are.
Custom post types and taxonomies help you better classify, group, and manage your content. This makes it more convenient for customers to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for.
This article will explain what custom post types and taxonomies are, why, and when you need them in more detail.
What are WordPress Custom Post Types?
Before diving into custom post types, let’s first understand what post types are.
WordPress Post Types
WordPress divides content into different kinds, which are called ‘Post Types’. All of these post types are stored in the database under the wp_posts table. By default, WordPress houses 7 major post types:
Posts are timely upgraded and have published dates. In other words, you can publish articles, share media, or upload other content on your sites regularly. Those contents are called posts. You can also group your posts by categories and tags.
When visitors go to your website, they will see posts in order, usually from the newest to the oldest. For instance, the article you are reading right now is considered a WordPress post.
Posts and pages are quite similar concepts that sometimes make it hard to distinguish. Unlike posts, pages are static and timeless content. It provides information that doesn’t change often and doesn’t have a publish date. Plus, you can’t assign categories and tags to pages.
Visitors can access pages through the navigation menu. ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Details’ pages on business sites are good examples of WordPress pages.
These are any media files (images, videos, pdf, etc.) you upload to your sites. In WordPress, each attachment has its own unique URL. You can upload and edit these files directly via your posts/pages or via the Media button in the Admin Dashboard.
After you edit your posts, pages, or attachments, WordPress will save new versions and create revisions to show what changes you’ve made. In simple terms, revisions tell you the edit history of the post. From here you can review the latest versions or roll back to some recent changes.
They come as lists of links to navigate your WordPress site to various locations. Each item in the navigation menu is also a post type.
Custom Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Custom CSS refers to a theme-specific post type used mostly to create visually engaging web pages, including aspects such as the layout, colors, and fonts. Each theme has its own custom CSS. You can also add and edit custom CSS via the Customizer.
Similar to revisions, changesets allow you to review the changes you’ve made. However, instead of being used for posts, they are designed specifically for Customizer. When you make a change using the Customizer, it will save your changes as a changeset, like a draft. That is to say, it keeps your content’s changes so that you can restore them when necessary.
We have discussed the concept of WordPress post types, now let’s move on to understand more about custom post types and when you need them.
WordPress Custom Post Types and When Need Them
There are already 7 standard post types in WordPress as mentioned above. But sometimes your content doesn’t look like it belongs to any of them or doesn’t fit a chronological series of entries. Then it’s time to add custom post types to your sites.
If you want to have a coupon page, it would be better to establish a custom post type. Other custom post types you’ve probably come across include movies, testimonials, reviews, events, portfolios, etc.
Another popular use of a custom post type is an e-commerce website. For example, WooCommerce products are a specific type of content that doesn’t fit into the Posts or Pages default post types. They need to comprise many extra pieces of data, such as price, size, and color.
We highly recommend that you should use a plugin to create custom post types. This way, you can ensure the post type doesn’t get lost if you update the site’s themes, as well as better manage your content.
What are WordPress Custom Taxonomies?
In the simplest sense, taxonomies provide you with a way to group and organize content. That’s it.
By default, there are two types of taxonomies on a standard WordPress post: categories and tags. Categories are general labels allowing you to broadly group content topics. Whereas, tags are more specific labels that help you describe your post thoroughly. Every single post needs a category. Tags, on the other hand, are non-compulsory.
Taxonomies are a significant part of categorizing your WordPress site’s content. By using them you can enhance your post type and make grouping content simple.
WordPress Custom Taxonomies and When You Need Them
Besides categories and tags, you can create an unlimited number of your own taxonomies. When default taxonomies can’t help you group and sort a particular content, you should add new custom taxonomies to your sites.
Custom taxonomies can be for literally anything. To illustrate, if you have a WordPress site about music, you could build custom taxonomies for composers and artists. This way, your visitors could easily find content related to the composers and artists they like.
That is, the taxonomies you create will depend on the way you want to organize and display your posts.
Protect Your WordPress Custom Post Types and Taxonomies
Once you’ve determined when you need to add custom post types and taxonomies, it’s really important to think of how to protect them. Because you might not want your content to be accessible to everyone.
You can password protect custom post types by installing our PPWP Pro plugin to your WordPress site. So no one but authorized visitors with the correct password can see the content.
It will help you secure both default and custom post types with a few simple clicks. Plus, you will be able to block access to the entire website or prevent search engines from indexing your private content.
Better Web Navigation with Custom Post Types and Taxonomies!
One of the first things you’ll need to learn when establishing your WordPress site is how to group and organize your content. WordPress post types and taxonomies are useful tools that help you do that.
But sometimes you feel like your content doesn’t fit any of the default post types and taxonomies. Then it’s time to add your own custom post types and taxonomies.
And most importantly, you should password protect your custom post types and taxonomies so as to ensure your content is not visible to everyone.
Check out our guide on how to password protect pages, posts, and custom post types in WordPress.