Using WordPress as a content management system (CMS), you often have the choice between using a custom post type (CPT) or simply categorizing your posts. Both methods have their own advantages and use cases. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:
Use a Custom Post Type (CPT) when: Different Structure: You need a content type that has a different structure than standard posts. For example, if you’re creating a movie database, you might want fields for director, release date, cast, etc., which are not typical for standard posts. Distinct Features: You want to add specific features or functionalities to a particular type of content. For instance, a “Products” CPT might have e-commerce functionalities that standard posts don’t need. Separate Theming: You want a completely different look or layout for a specific content type. CPTs can have their own single and archive templates. Admin Organization: You want to keep certain content types separate in the WordPress admin for clarity and organization. For example, having a separate “Books” section in the dashboard instead of mixing them with other posts. Different Permissions: You need to set different user roles or permissions for a specific content type. For instance, only certain users can add/edit “Events” but not standard posts. Use a Post Category when: Similar Structure: The content you’re adding is similar in structure to your standard posts. For example, if you’re just differentiating between “News” and “Blog” articles. Simple Organization: You simply want to organize your posts for readers. Categories are great for this, as they allow readers to filter posts based on their interests. SEO: Categories can be beneficial for SEO as they group similar content together, making it easier for search engines to understand the context. Ease of Use: Using categories is straightforward and doesn’t require additional setup or plugins, unlike CPTs. Tagging and Hierarchies: You want to take advantage of the hierarchical nature of categories or use tags alongside them for further organization. Conclusion: If you’re looking to add a completely new type of content with its own set of features, structure, and design, then a custom post type is the way to go. If you’re merely trying to organize or differentiate your standard posts, then using categories (or even tags) is sufficient. Remember, it’s essential to plan ahead. Changing your mind later on can be a cumbersome process, especially if your site has grown significantly.