Types and Views – creating custom post types and templates
Developed by OntheGoSystems and part of Toolset, Types and Views are two specially developed plugins for WordPress websites that allow you to quickly and easily create new custom post types and custom post templates. More specifically Types lets you create custom post types, custom taxonomies, and custom fields, while Views lets you style these post types by creating custom post templates. All of this is done through your standard WordPress dashboard.
There’s a good introductory video over on the official website. Visit it here!
Creating custom post types, taxonomies, and fields
Coding core WordPress files yourself to set up custom post types, taxonomies, and fields is a pain and requires a pretty good understanding of specialist methods and techniques. To the general WordPress user with only limited coding skills this is a difficult task. This is exactly why Types was developed, and exactly why I use Types regularly on all of my websites.
By default WordPress gives you two post types, namely Posts and Pages. Sometimes however you need more that just these two options, or sometimes it is easier and more efficient to have several custom post types for different types of articles, products or whatever content you are putting on your website. For example, on my website TurboBikeTrainer.com I use standard pages and posts, but in addition I also use Turbo Trainers and Deals & Offers. Turbo Trainers are a custom post type as are Deals & Offers, and each of these post types has its own set of custom fields and is styled uniquely by individual custom post templates.
In theory I could just use a standard post and then input all the necessary information in to its editor area and then style it how I want using DIVS and CSS styling. However, I have many turbo trainers on the website and styling each of these individually would be an unnecessary chore. Instead I created the Custom Post Type Turbo Trainers and nested within this I have several Custom Fields. I now just quickly fill in these custom fields and my new turbo trainer product page is done. All styling of this Custom Post Type is done using Views, which can take your custom fields and format them however you like.
Take a look at how I created my Turbo Trainer Custom Post Types in the video below.
A full step-by-step guide can be found here!
Creating custom post templates
By default WordPress has content templates assigned to Posts and Pages, and this just simply displays the post or page title and any content that is inserted into the editor area of the post. This means that when you use custom post types which themselves use custom fields for their content, none of this will show (because WordPress does not know they exist). Enter Views…
Creating Custom Post Templates and assigning them to Custom Post Types is dead simple using Views. From the WordPress dashboard you create a new Content Template (as it is called in Views), and then you add shortcodes for the different content fields you have set up for you custom post type. This is as easy as clicking the Views icon and selection your custom field. Within the same window of you WordPress dashboard you can add CSS styling. With a quick update you can instantly see how you new layout looks.
Take a look at how I formatted my Turbo Trainer custom posts using Views in the video below.
A full step-by-step guide can be found here!
What else can the Toolset do?
Views not only styles your custom post types, it can also create filtered layouts for search results or display content from several posts in a format you want. Again, looking at my TurboBikeTrainer.com website I have used Types & Views to add a search area to the top of the homepage so site visitors can search for particular turbo trainers by Brand, Resistance, and price range. Not only this but the layout of the search results is all achieved using custom made Views. Also on this site are Deals & Offers which are all created using custom post types and formatted and displayed using Views.
Along with Types & Views as part of the Toolset you can get Cred, which lets you build custom forms to display on you website. For example, contact forms, email signup forms, or even front end content forms for creating new posts. A special feature of Cred is that it allows you to edit your input text straight from the front-end of your website without the need to access your sites dashboard.
Finally, Toolset as a plugin called Access, which allows you to assign roles for different user levels. This means you can control the level of administration different users have on your site and what content they can access. You can even assign custom roles and alter their privileges. If you have a website where users can perform tasks, such as create their own posts or upload images, you will need to assign them access to dashboard features on your site. Access therefore allows you to control these users privileges so that they can only access the create a new post options and edit their own posts but nothing else, whereas you, as the administrator can access all dashboard features.
The Toolset that includes Types, Views, Cred, and Access is a fantastic set of WordPress plugins that make creating and controlling content on you website much easier. I have used the Toolset, and in particular Types and Views excessively across several websites, including this website NeilCurtis.me, where I have several different custom post types, post templates, and filtered view layouts. I cannot recommend Types and Views highly enough, and if you are looking at creating unique content on your website and want to control how it is displayed, and even allow your site visitors to search and filter your content, then you should seriously look into the Toolset series of plugins. Read more over of the Toolset official website here.