January 12, 2015 at 4:11 am #137147
The contents of my site will be downloadable education resources - lesson plans, printables, Powerpoint presentations, and articles. These all lend themselves to a hierarchical organisation which will go at least 4 levels deep.Http://effectivechildrensministry.org
As a beginner, I was thinking of using nested categories, and then I heard about custom taxonomies. But after a thorough search of this forum and other online sources of help, I am not much wiser!
What are the disadvantages of using WordPress's own categories? Or, put another way, what are the advantages of using custom taxonomies?
I'd love to understand this, so that in setting up the new site (I expect to use Executive Pro) I can get the structure right first time. Thanks for any help you can give.January 12, 2015 at 10:19 am #137185
Hi grayflo. Custom taxonomies are best used if you're already using categories and tags and you need more organisation on top of that. You might as well use the taxonomies that you get for free (category and tag) before going about creating new ones, in my opinion.
However, if your plan was that lesson plans, printables, PowerPoints and articles would be your categories, I'd actually recommend that you use custom post types and custom fields. For a beginner it's probably too much work, but if you're willing to work with a designer (like myself) they can set up your theme to display each type of content with its own tailored design.
January 12, 2015 at 11:30 am #137204
Thanks for your response, Carlo. It was good of you to take the trouble. I'm afraid hiring a designer is not possible for me, as I am on a budget and trying to do this myself.
Categories I understand, but taxonomies is a new term for me. And now, custom fields!! So I have plenty to look into, and I look forward to making a simple site, with well organised and easy to navigate content...one day!January 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm #137219
I don't think custom taxonomies hold much advantage over the default taxonomies in this case, especially if most (if not all) of your content will be closely related (i.e. educational resources). Since your content is likely dedicated to one niche and one purpose, you won't have much of an issue using the standard Posts and Categories/Tags to organize your content.
Before I explain custom post types, make sure to note that all of your content in WordPress is a "post". Yes, there is something called "Posts" but that is just a post type. Your default WordPress post types include your Posts, Pages, Attachments (media), and others. I know this can be confusing to keep straight.
Custom post types are other types of posts (i.e. Testimonials, Products, etc.) that do not come with WordPress by default but, rather, are created by the user. They aren't really necessary for this type of project. CPTs are required in some cases but are often used as just a better way to organize and separate content that differs from typical "blog content". An easy way to remember this is to compare general blog posts with a highly specific content type, such as products for sale. Whereas posts might have a general purpose and layout, products usually require things like special input and customized layouts. If you have content that differs in purpose and structure from your blog content, CPTs are the way to go. While CPTs may be a cleaner option, especially if you have a lot of various types of content, users typically can (and often do) get away with using regular posts to structure different types of content because their content doesn't differ all that much.
Custom fields also have multiple functionalities but are typically used as inputs that allow you to insert data into your content without needing to put it directly into every post yourself. For example, you could create a list of external "source links" and have them automatically inserted into the post without needing to do so yourself each time you create a new post.
Taxonomies are basically just ways you organize the content (just like a biological taxonomy is a way of categorizing organisms). Categories and tags are both taxonomies. If I had a CPT for "Movies", I might create some custom taxonomies, such as "Genre", "Year", etc.
I'd recommend coming up with a category structure that starts with the broadest category at top and gets more specific as you go down. Once you have something you like, you can share it and get some opinions and possible ways for improvement so you can move forward with something you won't need to change down the road.
Hopefully that helps!
January 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm #137238
That sure does help, Ren! Thank you very much indeed for that very clear explanation. My friend, with whom I am building the site said : "Tell Ren that even I understood what he was saying!" As she is a self-described technophobe and "numpty " (a word we use in Scotland for someone a bit slow on the uptake!) she thinks it is remarkable that she followed all you were saying with ease.
And thanks, too, for the suggestion of making a start and submitting it for helpful advice. That sound like a good safety net for us. As you said, we don't want to have to change anything further down the road.
Once again, thank you for your clarification of terms and your encouragement.January 13, 2015 at 1:35 am #137298
Ren VenturaParticipantJanuary 14, 2015 at 3:31 am #137399
To be honest, grayflo, if you're not going to be working with an expert designer, it's unlikely you'll unlock the full benefit of using custom post types and custom fields anyway. (But feel free to prove me wrong!) You might as well stick to categories and save yourself the hassle.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.