When you log in to the WordPress admin area to add content, you have an option for posts, media, links, and pages. For some websites, that does not make sense. Let say for instance, you want to list book reviews on your website. That's not a post or a page. I ran into this situation when a librarian requested that I create a website for her school library. What I did was to make Custom Post Type called book reviews. A book review is not the same as a post or a page. It is a book review. This is where a custom post types will come in.
If you look at the picture above you will notice how instead of the normal dashboard menu options you also have a Book Reviews menu option. When you click on book review, it says Add New Book Review, which is great because your not adding a new post or a new page. You're adding a new book review.
By creating custom post types I was able to make it easier for the Librarian to decide which option to use when she adds new book reviews. When she clicks Add New Book She has to enter in the title of the book, the review, the book author, the Genre(s), and a picture of the book.
The title of the book is entered where it says “Enter Title Here”. The actual review is typed or pasted into the WYSIWYG content area. The author name is entered into the Author meta box. The genre is a taxonomy similar to a tag that allows the book reviews to be categorized based on what genre it's in. The picture of the book cover is added as a featured image. Which allows you to upload an image, use an image that is already in the media library, or add an image from a URL.
When you view a single book review it displays the book cover, the genre, the title of the book, the author of the book and the review.
You can also view all the books within a specific genre just by clicking on the genre link. When you view all the book reviews you get a list of book review teasers on a page, along with a small picture of the cover, the Genres, and a link to read the entire review.
Using a custom widget the latest book reviews are displayed at the bottom of all library pages. This allows visitors of the library website to easily see the last three book reviews. If the snippet catches the attention of a student he or she can click the link to read the entire review.
So there you have it a practical use of WordPress Custom Post Types. This post explained how custom post types can be used to create a a library website with easy to manage book reviews. But custom post types can also be used for things such as creating staff directories, adding podcasts, to create product listings, an ads platform, or to provide sermon content online. Custom Post Types are one of the many features that allows WordPress to be used to create an easy to manage website.
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