WordCamp Austin – WordPress Beyond Blogging

(Photo by Pat Ramsey)

This is an extended and refined version of the presentation I gave at WordCamp Houston.


Custom Post Types

  • Allow you to separate content types. By default you have Posts and Pages.
  • Examples: Projects, Products, News, Rotators…
  • Can code it yourself or use Custom Post Type UI plugin.
  • Can specify exactly what meta boxes show up on each post type.
  • My tutorial on Custom Post Types.

Custom Taxonomies

  • Allow you to classify the content in a post type. By default you have Tags and Categories.
  • Examples: Project Types, Shirt Size.
  • Can code yourself or use Custom Post Type UI plugin.
  • My tutorial on Custom Taxonomies.

Custom Meta Boxes

  • Great way to collect relevant information to be used by the theme.
  • Examples: Clickthrough URL (for rotators), Client Name (for projects).
  • You could just use the custom fields meta box, but creating your own is easier to use and less likely to break.
  • Could code them yourself but difficult. I recommend using More Fields plugin.
  • My tutorial for Meta Boxes is in the Custom Post Types post.

Multiple Columns

  • Common need for CMS’s is multiple content columns.
  • Common solutions: HTML in editor, sidebars, shortcodes, WYSIWYG meta box.
  • My preferred solution: convert specific heading tag (e.g. h4) to div.
  • Future improvements, content of h4 applied as class to the div.
  • My tutorial for Multiple Content Areas


  • Sidebars/Widgets are a wonderful, but often overused, feature. They are best used for content that is repeated often (not page-specific) and needs to be editable.
  • Try and include as little code as possible in widgets, especially if you’re developing for a client.
  • Use Widget Logic to limit a widget’s display using conditional logic.
  • Use Widget Classes to add additional classes for styling.
  • If a lot of code is need, build your own widget.
  • My tutorials for creating Additional Sidebars and Creating a WordPress Widget.

Custom Queries


  • If you need to stick any code inside a post, you should use a shortcode.
  • Example: Adsense ads or form code.
  • I also like to create shortcodes for template tags to be used in sidebars.
  • My tutorials for Using Shortcodes and Shortcodes in Sidebar Widgets.

Plugin Review

Bill Erickson

Bill Erickson is the co-founder and lead developer at CultivateWP, a WordPress agency focusing on high performance sites for web publishers.

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