Plugin or coding for Custom Posts ?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  olivier.moreau 12 months ago.

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  • #69945

    olivier.moreau
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    I’m relatively new to Genesis and enjoy it’s power. I’ve managed to create a small plugin (beta version) for a customer that requires custom post type, custom fields and custom display. To do so I’ve followed numerous tutorials and examples found on Internet and I thanks a lot their authors (Brad Dalton, Travis Smith, Justin Tadlock, Carrie Dils, etc..).

    However I found the process a bit tedious and I’m considering purchasing a plugin to do the job faster (and probably better). I’ve looked into free plugins like “Advanced Custom Type” or premium plugins like “WP-Types / Toolset” and “Easy Content Type” but the choice is not easy.

    So this is a very open question about CPT. Coding or Plugin ? And what plugin works best with Genesis ?

    http://groupe-css.com
    #70003

    braddalton
    Participant
    Post count: 10356

    For CPT’s you only need code.

    There’s many examples in different themes you can use or modify.

    I think if you want a custom meta box then you would install a plugin.

    If its for a CPT, i would use ACF.

    If you want to do a lot of custom coding, types and views may help but i find it takes just as long to work out how to use those plugins as it does to learn coding. I think you’re a coder and would prefer to work out how to hand code it rather than use a plugin.


    #70094

    olivier.moreau
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    Hi Brad,

    Coding a CPT with Genesis is indeed relatively easy but it gets more difficult when you add custom fields. Of course the custom fields are buildin any posts but the interface is not appropriate for users. We need to create a custom meta box and I indeed used ACF to make it easy. But ACF is still very minimal for formatting the custom fields and the input screen is not looking good. And then after that we need to present all that info in different views sorted by the custom fields. I found the code mixing PHP and CSS very tedious.

    So I was wondering if it would not be easier to get a good plugin to do all the job and I’m wondering which one is best. Toolset from OnTheGo Systems seems the most complete and I already use their other product WPML. I think I’ll give a try to compare coding versus plugin.

    #70095

    braddalton
    Participant
    Post count: 10356

    Its personal choice i think. ACF for me is the easiest and generates the meta boxes so you only need to add the code.


    #70096

    olivier.moreau
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    But can you get a decent formatting of the meta boxes ? I just get every custom field taking a full line under the post content or in the sidebar…

    #70130

    braddalton
    Participant
    Post count: 10356

    There’s over 1.2 million downloads for a reason Olivier.

    The Interface and meta boxes are super slick and its the easiest and best plugin for creating custom meta boxes.

    You need to use the correct code to hook in your custom field with the meta boxes the plugin generates.

    That’s my opinion however there are lots of choices.


    #70239

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1112

    Millions of downloads don’t always correspond to a plugin still being good… look how many people are being led astray by the high historical count for NextGen Gallery ;) But in ACF’s case, the very high ration of 5 stars to 1 stars is also a good sign. It’s just a matter of personal preference how much code you do or don’t want to tinker with.

    For me, I had/have differing needs for custom post types on several sites. I started out with Types on a client site, and after having used it and several other CPT plugins more often, I wish I had done a little more homework before using Types. One day, I’m going to have to find a way to export those types and use something else, but for the time being, it’s merely okay.

    I’ve been using Custom Post Type UI on several sites where I just needed a quick setup of custom post types and start adding content. For lightweight and simple, this one gets my vote.

    I am looking into ways to put together some more deeper types and relationships, and preferably without needing to hand-code 85% of it, and I stumbled across a premium plugin called MasterPress. I’m playing around with it but haven’t put together any real tests yet… you know how it goes, too much to do, not enough time :)

    YMMV, my opinions may change in the future after playing with CPTs more frequently


    #70242

    braddalton
    Participant
    Post count: 10356

    I’d prefer to hand code meta boxes but its a heap of code so i just use a great plugin.

    Love to see StudioPress include a custom meta box with a CPT at some stage which is hand coded.


    #70245

    Brad
    Participant
    Post count: 33

    One of my favorites:

    http://pippinsplugins.com/easy-content-types/

    Offers best of both worlds
    “Export code for custom post types for use on sites without the plugin”

    #70249

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1112

    Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about Pippin’s ECT because I bought it literally a month before he pulled it off Code Canyon and into his own shop, so I never get emails about updates for it. I should go do something about that….


    #70279

    olivier.moreau
    Participant
    Post count: 48

    I’ve just tried Bill Erickson’s Custom Meta Boxes (http://www.billerickson.net/wordpress-metaboxes/). It’s OK for doing basic jobs although the display of fields is not very slick. Also it’s lacking access control and validation of input. CMB doesn’t help for displaying the custom fields.

    The specs of Pippin’s ECT are interesting and I like a lot “Export code for custom post types for use on sites without the plugin”. ECT seems a bit basic for displaying the custom fields with shortcodes. It implies still lot’s of PHP/CSS coding :-(

    The features of MasterPress look impressive, the developer’s edition price also !

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