Last night I attended my first Manchester WordPress User Group Meeting (MWUG). Hosted at the MadLab in the Northern Quarter the group is a great way to learn a little more about WordPress. Below is a quick review of two points discussed with some useful references.
credit – Eric M Martin
1. Post Types
At the moment in the WordPress back end you have the option to add a new post or a new page. What post types allows you to do is add new types of posts, so add a new “movie”, “person” etc rather than adding a new post. This could be very useful if your blog / site is used as a CMS as you have different areas where new content needs adding e.g. a football team site could have several post types – player, match reports, fixtures, ticket information per match etc.
You can accomplish this already by using pages and assign them a different template, but this requires the creation of template files in your theme. Post types should allow you to create the majority from the back end.
The added benefit is that the new post type is added to the menu in the back end which is great for keeping things simple for non techy users.
Mike Little went over an example using some sample code from http://wpengineer.com/impressions-of-custom-post-type/, head over there to read more about post types. This will change the way you create CMS sites using WordPress.
Currently if you want to create a menu thats a mix of posts, categories, has children, but doesn’t show a particular page you would need to use wp_list_pages with various arguments and add the code to your theme. Menus allows the building of menus in the back end add and then the ability to display your menu using widgets.
This system has been taken from Woo Themes (this site runs on) and will be added into WordPress 3.0, you can get it now if you use the subversion access. Head over to http://wordpress.org/development/2010/02/menus-merge-patch-sprint/ for more information on menus in WordPress 3.0.