If you maintain your own WordPress website, how long does it take you to update your Instructors, Classes, or Events page every time you add something new?
Do you have to redesign it? Tweak it so stuff fits? Change the layout to make it look good?
Fed up with playing that game when you’d rather being out playing with your dogs?
If you answered “Yes” (with a side dish of frustration), this post is for you!
Basic WordPress functionality
You’re probably already familiar with WordPress’s Blog page functionality. But did you know that posts and pages aren’t the same thing?
Or that your blog page is technically called an archive page — it displays an archive of all your posts.
Normal pages, like your home page or contact page, only contain the information directly on the page and need to be manually updated.
Archive pages don’t. They display an archive of historic content in your chosen format. They automatically update, adding new posts as you create them. When you look at an archive page, such as a blog page, you’ll see something like this:
Each item is a link to a blog post. Clicking on the link takes you to the full post so you can read it.
You knew all that?
Excellent! Now imagine how cool it’d be if your Instructors, Classes, or Events page could do the no-hassle auto update stuff your blog page does.
Well, they can…
You just need to install a nifty plugin to give your website a whole new range of useful features.
Introducing Divi Machine
The Divi Machine builder plugin allows you to create custom post types, with their associated display pages. With this plugin, you’re no longer limited to only having your blog page auto update when you add new information.
You can find the Divi Machine plugin here.
Why you might want custom post types
If you have pages that require frequent information updates, custom posts might be the answer you’ve been longing for. Typical uses for custom posts are:
- Instructors (About Us) page
- Classes page
- Events page
- Case Studies page
- Press & Media page
Like this Instructors page:
Or this Classes page:
Posts aren’t just for blogs
Each item on these example pages is a link to a custom post. Like a blog page, where clicking on a link will take you through to the actual post, you can click on a custom post link on the display page and it will take you through to the specific information.
For example, clicking on the learn more link will take you to that instructor post:
And clicking on the view session link will take you to that class post:
To build this type of page you initially create the post type you want and then set up your display page in the Divi Theme builder — just like you would set up a blog page.
And just like a blog post, you can choose what you want displayed and how you want it formatted and laid out.
Each custom post will follow the same design so you’re not constantly adjusting each one. All you need to do is fill in the relevant information, the rest is done automatically for you.
I hope you can see just how powerful this tool is! If you’re running a business with lots of different classes and instructors, or hosting events, you can save yourself hours of time and frustration using custom posts.
Have I put a fire under your imagination yet? If so, the next bit will really get you hopping!
Custom fields for your custom posts
Let’s take a quick look at an Events page:
This is built using a custom post type: Events.
Now, if you click on an event link, you’ll see something like this:
Look carefully and you’ll notice that there’s information given on this events post that ISN’T included in a standard WordPress blog post.
The standard blog post editor basically contains the following display fields:
- Content (editor)
- Featured Image
What are custom fields?
So where did the other stuff come from?
The button with the link to Download Premium, the Judge and the Date information are custom fields.
Now this clever bit of tech allows you to create different custom field types so you can display or collect whatever sort of information you need, wherever you need it.
For example, when adding a new event post, the “create new post” page shows these fields in addition to the standard ones:
Each one of these custom fields was set up when the custom post type “Events” was initially created.
According to the ACF plugin blurb, the free version gives you over 30 different field types! That’s a lot of creative potential!
Maybe you’ve already taken my Building A WordPress Website class and are thinking, “I NEED THIS NOW!”. But getting into the nitty gritty of putting these custom pages together sounds scary. That’s ok — we can help get you set up! Learn more on our web design services page, here.