Getting stuck in to wordpress 3.0

wp version 3

hotelsrevealed.com is a small niche site which i built using wordpress last summer. But it doesn’t really ‘work’ as a blog. The content itself needs to be prettier, easier to find & better organised. This is where wordpress 3.0 comes in…

Although i’ve been playing with it offline, i’ve yet to do any serious work with it online. I’m very excited about it though… wordpress 3.0 allows your mind to run free… it’s very flexible and it’s very important i get to grips with it quickly as it will allow me to develop and customize many more sites. So hotelsrevealed.com will be the guinea pig.

Custom Post Types

With a regular wordpress blog, you have post & pages. That’s it. Posts appear on a blog in reverse chronological order. Today before yesterday, yesterday before the day before… Pages are effectively ‘static’ single posts that don’t change. ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ is a great example of a page.

If you need more than posts & pages, custom post types are the answer. Out of the box, wordpress 3.0 isn’t much different to 2.9. All of it’s power is hidden. However, i highly recommend you install this plugin to make building custom post types easy.

custom posts

With hotelsrevealed.com, i’ll be creating ‘top secret hotels’, ‘priceline hotels’, ‘hotwire hotels’ etc… you can see they get their own section in the menu & sub menu in the wordpress admin panel, plus i can add ‘custom taxonomies’ which are equivalent to the standard wordpress categories or tags.

custom post types

Obviously at this stage i’ve well and truly lost the average man on the street – you’d need to be familiar with wordpress to have any idea of what i’m talking about. But allow me to dumb it down a bit and explain why this is so important / exciting…

Up until now, we had two bins. One for paper, one for plastic. That was fine, but what if we had glass? Or food?

Now, with wordpress 3.0, we can create as many bins as we like for things like glass, gold, silver, food etc… Of course as we add more bins our entire system becomes more complex, but if we’re running a large project, we’ll welcome the ability to add more types of bins. And that’s what custom post types does. It could bins, it could be hotels, it could be products…. coats, jumpers, jackets, underwear… it makes no difference.

Custom Taxonomies

With hotelsrevealed.com, i’ve created custom post types, but that alone isn’t much good to me. It makes things clearer & easier to manage for me, but all i’ve really done is clone the default ‘posts’ feature and renamed it 3 or 4 times.

Taxonomies allow me to create unique ‘tags’ which i can attach to a post. On this post for example i might tag it ‘wordpress, custom posts, tutorial’ or something like that. At a glance, you guys can then guess what the post is about and whether it’s of interest, plus those tags might show up in a tag cloud or something…

add new hotel

Custom taxonomies allow me to create custom ‘tag-like’ functions. If we go back to my bins example, we could have ‘colour’, ‘size’, ‘weight’. So let’s say i have a glass bin. Firstly, thanks to custom posts types, i can create a glass bin. But thanks to taxonomies, i can give it a colour, weight, size etc… Assuming i have thousands of different bins, i can then search for all red bins, or all bins of a certain size…

Taxonomies are designed to help further categorise posts and therefore make it easier to search through and organize data.

So i’ve spent the day learning how to use them, how to customize them and i’m getting along nicely with hotelsrevealed.com. Once i have it complete, i’ll be able to explain exactly what i’ve done with some live examples.

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