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Pods Introduction

Learn about Pods - its relationship to posts and taxonomies and why you'd need to use it. To understand anything about the Pods framework discussed on this page, you must have a thorough understanding of WordPress content types, Posts vs Pages, and how they relate to one another. Once you've read through this page and are familiar with the concept of Pods, you will learn how to put it to use.

Pods Overview

WordPress Concepts Recap

WordPress comes bundled with Posts and Pages, which you can organize using Category and Tag taxonomies. It’s also got post meta fields which you can use to append data to your content – author, date, and custom fields.

But what if you want more than the WordPress defaults? You may require more types of content than simply Posts and Pages. Categories and Tags might not cover all the ways in which you wish to classify your content. You may wish to append your content with more metadata than WordPress provides for.

What is pods?

Pods allows you to create a custom post type or custom taxonomy. It also allows you to extend an existing post type or taxonomy with custom fields or extra meta options.

You may come across sites that already include a blog, but might require an archive of something else in addition to their regular blog posts - e.g. books, journals, team members, client portfolios, etc. It makes for a better customer experience and a simpler builder experience to create a whole new post type for such an item.

You can use Beaver Themer to create a layout template specific to each new post type. When creating a themer layout for a post type or for its archive page, you can use "field connections" and "template magic tags" to pull in information from the post's custom fields that you'd like to display. Template creation and field connections will be thoroughly discussed on the Pods & Themer page.

Custom Post Types

What are Custom Post Types?

Post Types, in WordPress, are different types of content. There are five default post types that come with WordPress, all of which you’ll be familiar with: Posts, Pages, Attachments, Revisions, Nav Menus

Custom Post Types are post types that are created in addition to those bundled with WordPress core. When you activate a theme or a plugin you may find that the developer has included custom post types. Custom Post Types are used in a wide variety of ways across the WordPress ecosystem. Any time you need a content type that is different to the default types, you’ll need to start thinking about them.

Some examples of common custom post types and how they are used:
  • Products for an ecommerce site
  • Testimonials and a Showcase for a web portfolio
  • Property Listings for a real estate website
  • Reviews for a gaming website
  • Job Listings for a recruiting site
  • Team Members for a company or business site
  • Events for an event planner site or a school site
  • Vehicles for an Automotive website

Custom post types can be used in any instance where a certain content type must be archivable, categorizable, sortable and searchable.

Pods & Custom Post Types

Instead of installing a plugin each time a custom post type is needed, you can create one yourself. If you code Custom Post Types yourself, you do this be registering the post type in the "functions.php" file of your theme.

A plugin like Pods takes care of all of that coding for you. You can create the post type from your WordPress Admin, assigning all of the different properties and values that you need. Its light-weight and very flexible.

Pods Documentation:  What are Custom Post Types?

Custom Taxonomies

What are Custom Taxonomies?

In WordPress, a taxonomy is a means of classifying content.

Taxonomies enable you to group things together in specific ways. This makes them extremely useful for organizing your content and creating your site’s navigation. The taxonomies that you’ll be most familiar with are categories and tags.

  • Category is a hierarchal taxonomy - it lets you group things together in a hierarchical manner.

    This lets you create hierarchical content structures and navigation across your website. A useful analogy is to think of it as creating your table of contents.

  • Tags is a non-hierarchical taxonomy - it lets you tag the content with specific topics that are being discussed.

    A useful analogy is to think of it as creating your index.

Some examples of uses for custom Hierarchical Taxonomies (Categories):
  • Product Type to organize Products under
  • Department to group team members by
  • Vehicle Type to organize Automobiles within
  • Job Type to organize Job Listings under
  • Event Venue to group Events by
Some examples of Non-Hierarchical Taxonomies (Tags):
  • An index of all Products, regardless of product types, that have the attribute "color" set to "blue" OR a common "brand" name
  • An index of all team members, regardless of designation, that have been working for "5+ years"
  • An index of all Automobiles, regardless of vehicle type, that have a "steering wheel"
  • An index of all Job Listings, regardless of Job Type, that are tagged as "part-time"
  • An index of all Events, regardless of event Type, that are set to "full day"

Pods & Custom Taxonomies

With Pods, you can easily make Custom Taxonomies and associate them with any post type in WordPress. This increases the flexibility of the navigation and organizational structure of your website. When you create a custom post type, you'll often want to create a custom taxonomy to go along with it e.g if you create a custom post type for "Books," you might want to add a custom taxonomy for it like "Genre."

Pods Documentation:  What are Custom Taxonomies?

Custom Fields

What are Custom Fields?

Custom Fields are metaboxes that are used to input metadata that is related to your post.

When you add a new post in WordPress, you’ll see these draggable boxes which are used for to store information about your post. Examples are author and excerpt. Another is custom fields. If you can’t see custom fields, click on the Screen Options tab and check the Custom Fields box. While a Custom Taxonomy is way to organize and classify your posts into groups, Custom Fields let you store unique information that applies to your Post, Page, or Custom Post Type.

Some examples of Custom Fields:
  • 'Price', 'weight', and 'dimensions' for each product in your eCommerce store
  • 'Client Name' and 'Company' for each person who submitted a testimonial
  • 'Number of rooms', 'bathrooms', and 'floor size' for each property in your real estate listings
  • 'Ratings' for each review submitted of your gaming performance
  • 'Date', 'time', and 'ticket price' for each event on your calendar

Pods & Custom Fields

You can use pods to add custom fields to posts by "extending" an existing post type.

Pods Documentation:  What are Custom Fields?

Advanced Content

What are Advanced Content Types?

Whenever you create a Custom Post Type, it is added to the "wp_posts" table in your database. Rather than being stored in "wp_posts", Advanced Content Types are stored in their own database table. This means that they are not WordPress objects but are independent of WordPress.

Here are three examples of occasions when Advanced Content Types might be used:
  • You need your data to be separate from your WordPress database tables. This might be necessary, for example, if you are using another piece of software with which you wish to share the database. Advanced Content Types means that you can interface between WordPress and that software.
  • You are querying many fields at once from the same table (typically, at least more than 15). This could be used for reporting and statistics.
  • You have data that gets reset periodically.
You generally will not need to use Advanced Content Types.

Pods Documentation:  What are Advanced Content Types?

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    Next Steps

    Now that you're familiar with pods, let's learn how to use them.

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