Custom taxonomies in WordPress can help you extend the standard ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ in your posts. They can also help extend WordPress custom post types if you have created one. Sometimes we run into situations where ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ just aren’t enough. Maybe we want to separate things out a little further. That’s what we are going to learn today.
What if you had a project where you were going to apply ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ to their posts but also something that would function similarly but called…oh I don’t know…Post Status. Let’s say these posts are being written by many people’s contributions and they need to show that a post is in the creative writing phase or in the proof reading stage. You would be able to harness custom taxonomies in WordPress to accomplish this. Once it has been created, it will show up underneath your ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ in the dashboard post menu.
Maybe we need another example. What if your client was a architect. They want to be able to write a blog post about drawing the floor plans and set a category of ‘Drawing Phase’. Then when they begin building the structure, they want to come back into that same blog post and write about the building process. So they would then change the category from ‘Drawing Phase’ over to ‘Building Phase’. Or if they had the taxonomy set as a tag then each phase could be added on as they go. This would require a custom taxonomy called ‘Phase’.
At the end of the article I will explain how to create custom taxonomies in WordPress for the standard post type. For now I will tell you about how to do it with a custom post type because that is where I worked with them in my recent project.
In my last article I wrote about creating custom post types in WordPress. I recommend you read that article before reading anymore. In that article I mentioned a client who needed a separate post type to display animals that were up for adoption. They had a few custom taxonomies they needed such as ‘Cat Breeds’, ‘Dog Breeds’, an overall ‘Pet Category’, and a ‘Pet Status’ such as Adopted or In-Active.
This article will teach you how to implement WordPress custom post types. Knowing how to code WordPress custom post types from scratch opens the door to vast possibilities, not only for you as the developer but for your clients as well. WordPress has always been a powerful tool, but with this knowledge you can turn a basic blog website into a massive, multilayer powerhouse.
I recently had a client come to us with a WordPress website that used it’s blog as a way to add and display animals that were up for adoption. They then add another WordPress site set up on a separate domain that had blog articles on it. When you clicked to read their blog, you would basically leave the main website and travel to another website. My goal in our redesign and restructuring would be to merge the two together. With WordPress custom post types I was able to do just that.
My vision was to have your regular ‘Posts’ link on the dashboard menu, then below it have a ‘Pet Posts’ link that would harness the same power the posts have but be completely separate from each other. Plus I wanted custom taxonomies instead of using the standard ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’. This would allow our client to add blog posts and add pets on their main site and not have to log into a completely different dashboard to enter their blogs.
Have you every wondered why you should build WordPress themes from scratch? Well, I have compiled 10 reasons why I build WordPress themes from scratch as opposed to hacking another theme. This isn’t going to be one of those articles that bashes the use of professional themes or child theming. Most people start out using free or paid themes to develop with, because it helps get us used to how WordPress themes work and it can speed up the dev process. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t hacked apart a theme or two.
When Should You Buy Or Hack A Theme?
There are times that you should purchase a theme or grab a free one if it suites your needs. If you’re a business owner and you just started the business, there usually isn’t a budget for a website. If you happen to be apart of a non-profit organization that has just started or all of it’s funding is used elsewhere, grab a $40 theme and add your content. There are some really great WordPress theme developers out there creating beautifully designed and highly functional templates.
When Should You Build WordPress Themes From Scratch?
If you are a developer and you have been hacking themes for a while, you should start building themes from scratch. It is a great learning experience and it will take your skill level way up. If you are a business owner and have a website already, I would recommend looking into a developer that can build you a custom solution. If your website is looking old, isn’t working for you rather against you, you aren’t being found on search engines, or all of the above you should upgrade. If you fit into any of these examples, this article is for you!