June 29, 2013 at 1:14 am #48343
I'm looking at either Pods or Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) as plugins to change things around in Genesis, but knowing how Genesis works, I'm not sure how the plugins and themes will interact with each other. Does anyone have experience or light to shed on this topic?
June 29, 2013 at 9:35 am #48369
Funny you should mention this. I am about to dig deeply into Pods right about now.
So I don't have a definitive answer yet, but I would not anticipate any trouble using either of these. Why? Genesis is as happy to use Custom Fields as any WordPress theme is. And also Custom Post Types, Taxonomies, anything like that.
I have heavily used Custom Field Template for implementing Custom Fields. It's a bit geeky to set up, but extremely handy and excellent. That's somewhat similar to ACF, but I prefer it. I have also used Custom Post Types manually.
So I'm looking to take this to the next level, and also make those things a little quicker to implement, which is why I'm looking at Pods. I have also worked a bit with "Types", another variant of this sort of thing. It seems good, and Pods is next on my list - it looks really hot, I think.
June 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm #48584
I just spent some quality time with Pods. I'm VERY impressed. The interface works very nicely. I was able to set up a Custom Post Type very easily, and the interface makes options easy to set.
I work a lot with Custom Fields, but haven't done much yet with Taxonomies, I just haven't needed to yet. Still, just using the built-in taxonomies, Tags and Categories, I was able to get that working just fine, and that would cover a lot. But I can see where this should work great with Custom Taxonomies, too.
So far none of this has anything to do with Genesis, per se, just good old WordPress. BUT... here's the bonus - they've baked in the ability to use 3 popular Genesis features: Genesis SEO, Genesis Simple Sidebars, AND most importantly, Genesis Layouts! What does this mean? With the layout option, this could eliminate the need to code a custom template to show your Custom Post Types! Without this option, your Custom Post Types would be displayed only with the default Genesis layout that you've chosen unless you code a custom template. Wow - that could save more time unless you really need a very customized layout for your goodies.
There are also various small plugins for doing things such as importing material from Custom Post Types UI, exporting Pods, and others.
Their site doesn't have tons of documentation, but between that and doing a forum search, I'm definitely up and running. Some self-reliance will be necessary, because there aren't books about this, and some mild ability to program is important. It's not an instant drag-and-drop "never touch code" deal.
It's worth noting that much of the above could be done completely via PHP code - it's normal Custom Post Types processing for the most part, and some understanding of how that works will be very helpful. But it's very helpful and fast to have a nice interface like this to set things up.
I imagine you could do a fair bit of this with ACF, too, but some of his stuff is paid add-ons. Pods is free! "Types" is also free, but to use their other big component, "Views", will set you back $95. I haven't read the fine print of "Views", but this might be an option for strict non-coders. Some users should consider paid systems if they need lots of support.
All in all, it's hot!
July 1, 2013 at 12:06 am #48628
that is super awesome advice, thanks David! I'm so glad to hear about the Genesis support included.
I actually don't mind paying for things like the ACF or Types extras if they will make my life easier and especially if they will make the client's life easier in the back end.
For a coding level, would you say that Pods requires knowledge of PHP syntax, or do they make it pretty clear what their own 'logic' is to setting up things using their code, so that someone who knows HTML and basic WordPress stuff would be able to figure it out? If you have an opinion on this I'd love to hear it, especially as it relates to Types or ACF.
July 1, 2013 at 7:51 am #48664
I'm glad that helped. I agree, it's sensible to pay if something makes your work easier. And many people really need tech support, so paying for that may be good in that case.
I don't really think that choosing between Types, ACF, and Pods will make any difference to the client, though. In my long experience with client's "abilities", I don't think any client could handle any of their admin interfaces, no matter how intelligently they are set up. Where you will gain for the client is making it easy for them to do, say, data entry of the new Post Type, which would have all the fields needed for the item, and an editor, just like putting in a Post. And that's true of a Custom Post Type to begin with. They are simply different methods of setting up Custom Post Types (or related stuff) and implementing them. To sum it up, user-friendliness of those plugins would be for you, not them.
Why not install all 3, you can get a sense of them, and at least the initial stuff would be free. You'll be able to see the interface immediately even if you don't implementing them into your theme.
As to your other question about the coding perspective... Pods requires some programming, not a lot. Most of it is exactly the level that you'd need in Genesis itself. For instance, in the code snippets collection here, you often need to stick some code into functions.php, and possibly slightly edit it for your own needs. From questions I see here every day from the hordes of newbies, I see that some are unwilling to even go that far, and those are the people I'd actually discourage from buying Genesis in the first place, unless they are willing to hire help.
And I'll give you another example. Let's say I don't want my custom Posts Types to appear in the default sorting (by date, just like a Post). I may need to alter some code for the loop to make that happen. How to do that is readily available in tutorials online and in the WordPress Codex. That's slightly more involved than doing the "follow the instructions monkey-see monkey-do stuff" in the code snippets area. If that's OK for you, it may be just right. Otherwise, pay a bit and go code free.
So keep in mind that I've obviously put in more time with Pods at this point, although I did use Types on one site. I tried ACF, too, and found that it was complex enough to have some bugs now and then. I remember just wanting to have line breaks in a WYSYWYG field show up in the sidebar, and it didn't have that (Custom Post Template did, and I've never run into a single bug in that). It may have it now, but in the meantime, I now know how to handle that programmatically myself anyway!
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