Before launching your site, you decide to go with WordPress, but it turns out that your idea isn't quite typical. You face a wall. You wonder how to break down the wall until you come across ThemeForestand there you can see not only themes for blogs, websites or shops, but also for other types of projects such as classifieds sites, catalogues etc...
You look and look, and finally you come across something that seems to meet your needs, maybe even overstated, because you need 1/3 of these possibilities. You decide to buy, you start to act and... this is often also the beginning of a nightmare.
The author had a similar vision, but in many places your paths diverge and you have to bend your idea to the possibilities the theme offers. You don't even know how many such struggles I have seen 🙂 I can't count them.
The finale is often that the site owner simply gives up. The question is whether there is any chance that a person with no coding experience could enrich WordPress with specific content that could be dynamically extracted afterwards? E.g. you have an estate agency website where you want to showcase your database of listings and manage it conveniently. Can you do this yourself by installing WordPress?
Yes, it is possible. I have seen many sites that have used standard content types for this purpose WordPress, namely Entries. Entries can be categorised and tagged and this means you can use them to build a database of properties, adverts or whatever else comes to mind.
In fact you need a good theme, take a look at the best WordPress themes and an idea. It may not be the offer page of your dreams, but it will perform the basic function successfully. But what if you took it one step further?
Enrich entries with additional fields
Taking the example of a service with a real estate database, you have a lot of data that can be entered in separate fields, so that you can later use them, for example, to filter the results. For example, number of rooms, area, construction work, location, gallery, etc...
You can enter all these data in the description, but as I mentioned above filtering the results e.g. by the number of rooms will be practically impossible in such a situation. Less visitors' comfort means fewer enquiries and conversions, so it's worth considering what you can improve.
First of all, you can enrich your entries with additional fields (square footage, number of rooms, bedrooms, etc...). You have quite a few tools at your disposal to help you with this task, and my favourites are: ACF, jetEngine i Meta Box.
ACF in the free version allows you to enrich your entries with many types of fields and perhaps that's enough for you, while jetEngine and MetaBox, are combos that allow you to not only add fields, but also create your own content types, which means you could leave Entries solely for the blog and create an independent content type encapsulated with specific fields for properties. What's important, you won't touch a single piece of code, you'll click everything out 🙂 .
I will still write about Meta Box and probably record videos about this extension if only because it is a plug-in that is also available in lifetime offers, which freelancers and agencies like a lot. It is also a mature product.
Own content types
Most new WordPress users think they can only use two types of content Entries and Pages. I know some who have run their sites for years with this understanding. This is of course nothing wrong if this standard meets your needs, but if you give up on an idea just because WordPress has these content types and you think there's nothing you can do about it, that's a bit worse, because you're unknowingly blocking the development of your project.
Both plugins mentioned above like jetEngine or Meta Box solve the problem, as does another plugin I like Custom Post Type UI.
With their help you can add any number of content types, from real estate to classifieds, industry directories to lexicons.
You'll enrich these types of content with your own fields, and then all that's left to do is display the data you've entered to site visitors.
Dynamic front-end content
The most convenient way to use custom content types and their data is to use builders. Elementor PRO works great in this field and if you use it I suggest you take a look at the jetEngine plugin I mentioned. Unfortunately only Elementor PRO will allow you to use dynamic tags (content) unless you opt for external Elementor add-ons such as: Dynamic Content for Elementor.
If you don't use Elementor, other builders also handle dynamic content well, such as DIVI, or even the youngest of all, Bricks.
What does this mean for you?
But when you think about a website built in a less standard way, instead of looking for ready-made templates that offer more or less limitations, look at the tools I wrote about. They don't require you to be a programmer, they only require you to learn about the possibilities they offer and learn how to use them. This knowledge is available for everyone.
If you like Elementor and jetEngine I invite you to a course related to dynamic websites based on this duo: Dynamic pages. As soon as I catch my breath I will be happy to prepare a course on another builder, but you will have to wait a bit longer for that 🙂 .
I hope you get a great feel for the potential of extending WordPress with custom content types and custom fields. I remember once getting excited about a similar functionality in ExpressionEngine. It allowed us to create virtually any type of site. Today the same can be done using WordPress and it is much easier And also faster.
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