A new website built in WordPress today isn’t complete until you’ve had to use at least one custom post type. Sometimes we code them by hand, or use a generator, but plugins like Pods aim to make the process powerful and easy for developers and users. In today’s episode, we’re joined by the lead developer for Pods Framework, Scott Clark, to discuss using custom post types in WordPress, and the great utility of their plugin for your next project.

Followup Resources

Approaching Int’l Design (4:36)

Custom Post Types in Pods (11:10)


The following is a machine-generated transcript of this episode. It will contain errors until it has been reviewed and edited, and we apologize for the difficulty that may cause for screen readers. Do you want to help us speed up our transcribing process? Consider sponsoring an episode.

Hey everybody, and thanks for joining us on the drunken UX podcast this evening on episode number this morning this afternoon for all I know, depending on where you are at night This is episode number 57 and we’re going to be talking about custom post types in WordPress along with the pods framework plugin that is brought to you so lovingly by developer and and good friend of the show although I just met him Scott Clark, I am your host, Michael Fienen

or other other host Aaron Hill. All right, Michael.

I am not too bad. It’s still a little cold here, but we’re about to get into the nice weather. Maybe I’ll go outside and record an episode one of these nights. That’s not my you know, and that would be fun. It’s mombi noise or something. Yeah, right on. Okay, so there’s there’s an idea. Maybe we’ll get some mint juleps and sit on the

porch and all right, summer sorted.

Folks. If you are enjoying the drunken UX podcast, be sure to run by our sponsors over at New cloud. You can check them out at New cloud.com slash drunken UX if you have any kind of mapping needs interactive map system is what they have or illustration services or other things there. Go go check them out this evening. You can find us in social places,

social places, social webs, like Twitter and facebook.com. Slash drunken UX or instigate goals com slash tracking UX podcast, or come talk with us and our guests. Drug index.com slash slash Sign up

for early sign up you just go there and it says sign in go in this evening, yo like this there and my drink for this evening is the balvenie 14 year Caribbean cask. Oh my, my nice sweet boy. God I love this bottle and I don’t get it often enough it’s actually a little hard to find in this area. So when I get the chance to grab when I usually do,

what’s the Caribbean flavor in that

so it’s finished. It’s I believe it’s aged 12 years. And then the final two years it’s finished in Caribbean rum casks. Whoo, you get a really nice sweet note kind of on the tail end of it. If you’ve had that one of my other favorites, the Glenfiddich, 21, the grand Reserva, that’s a similar to 21 year that is also finished in rum casks. Okay, but it’s got that same that brown Sugar flavor Really? Yes. Three wanna in a really nice way?

Cool off the try then I need to get a my, the one from Parks and

Rec. Oh the like a villain.

Yeah like a villain yeah like a villain almost gone so I got I was wanting to get another balvenie I really like the double wood but I’ll try that one if I can find it

I yeah if you can find the Caribbean caskets I know you’ve said before you like balvenie so Oh I know what that is I can tell just from the neck for roses

yeah I got so I got so four roses Kentucky straight bourbon. The description was saying that it had like some like like vanilla a spicy notes, which it does. So I mixed it with some cherry vanilla coke. And it’s actually really good like they go well together. It’s just it’s a slightly different bourbon flavor. I tried it with I tried orange vanilla, coke and cherry vanilla coke and just regular cherry and it was pretty good with all three they weren’t vanilla was odd But that but the cherry ones were both nice compliment like

that would probably be odd with just about any with that point.

Scott you got anything you drink it something?

Oh, I do. Actually it’s a vintage cream soda company from the 1800s of boilin Oh, I’ve actually was in New York one time when I passed by the Boylan factory A long time ago before I even had any tried any other stuff and it’s actually really good. I’m not gonna

lie. I kinda love cream soda.

Yeah, that’s good stuff.

So there’s an article over@design.com so the title of this article though, caught my eye. It’s Indian designers dismiss design school propaganda as they decolonize their work. Hmm. This really was something that I thought, you know, sounded interesting on its face and I went through and I read the article. I recommend if you are into design Or UX in any capacity. This is worth going and reading about. If you do any kind of international work, we think in terms of UX and design in a very American Way and we teach it in a very American Way here in the States at least. And we don’t always stop to think a lot about how you know trends and influences and such are different especially and where I’m going to lean into this is specifically a non Latin based alphabets cultures with you know, non Latin Arabic style letters and numbers. Because, for whatever reason, those cultures evolved very different systems of writing different systems of communication, and they have very distinct You know, when you think about Indian artwork and architecture, and Japanese artwork and architecture, Mongolian to, you know, the Middle East, these areas developed very distinctive design systems as a culture. And we don’t give enough, I think attention to that, as designers. So this is it’s it’s a very interesting article in that sense. And this phrase that comes up a lot in it decolonize they talk a lot about how, you know, European and specifically British influences weigh very heavily in an area like India, which was colonized, for lack of a better word for a better part of their modern history. But they still have a lot of very distinctly Indian styles and techniques. What makes me really think about this is we design websites for our Japanese offices, and I’ve ran into this exact thing there where we get designed cops and we talked about you know, The patterns involved in the things that go into it. And I realized that I, I’ll be talking with our stakeholders about something. And they’ll say, No, this is how we want it for our audience. And it goes against what I know as a, you know, somebody who cares about design and UX. But it’s a very different, you know, cultural expectation for their website.

And the article says, I thought this is neat. Rural audiences have a completely different visual grammar and dictionary. Take speech balloons in comics, for example, if they’re not exposed to the idea of speech balloons, don’t think the speech balloon is an actual object. Yeah, they’re designed for them. You have to develop a symbology based on the visual diction of that particular area through immersion, interaction and testing, which sounds like literally all the stuff we’ve ever read about usability testing, right? And

it goes on right after that to talk about how the way they solve some of those problems was they went out and talked to the Farmers, like they literally sat down with them. And they did the thing that we always preach, which is go talk to your users. Yeah, it’s such an interesting and involved topic. And quite frankly, the article isn’t deep enough for me like I want to go out and now find some of the other stuff. There’s several things mentioned in it that I want to go read now. I even think about it from the standpoint of keyboards, right? When you think about the way we designed keyboards, and the QWERTY keyboard, obviously designed for a Latin alphabet designed, you know, to accommodate the English language. And even for something like Japanese. What ends up happening is they’ve taken the like, the hiragana character set, which is 46 characters, versus 26 for us, and yet they crowbarred into the QWERTY layout, right, like even though we’ve adapted the hair gonna character set to the keyboard, we’re still expecting them to type in a way That is very much a reflection of the Anglo and euro centric language. And

I would love to see I know very, very little Japanese but I know like a little bit, and I would love to see, like the QWERTY keyboard was designed for Latin alphabets. What would a keyboard that was designed specifically for people typing in hiragana?

There’s if you do some googling on it, you can search up a kanji keyboard. And yeah, and that’s a mind Bender, because kanji there are, aren’t there like thousands of Yes, 4000 lifts that ultimately make up congi katakana and hiragana are both I think, like 46 to 50 characters. It’s

4646 total yet,

and it’s meant to be you know, more of a phonetic representation of the word. So there’s, and there’s a bunch of stuff about how that gets translated when it’s typed and stuff and they’ve got like I caught a kanji

Yeah, yeah, I, I had a friend who was a who went over to Japan as an exchange student. And when I was in high school, and he showed the on his Mac, it was a program where you would, you would type the word out phonetically. And then it would pop up different suggested kanji, right, based on what the spelling is.

Open your mind a little bit, make sure you’re always thinking a little bit bigger than maybe you need to go check out this article and think about how an international audience impacts the things you build and how your design patterns especially if they are very, you know, American centric, or something like that. Think about how international audiences play into that. And go look at some websites from those areas. That’s also the thing that will really open your mind up to the different expectations of those audiences. Yeah. So next up, I want to get into custom post types and I thought who better to come on here then probably the the developer of what is arguably the best custom post type plugin for WordPress. Mr. Scott Clark. He is the lead product developer over at modern tribe. He’s also a product lead developer for the pods framework plugin. Scott, thanks for sitting down with us. Are you doing this evening man?

Pretty good. I mean, I’m, I’m really happy to be here. Certainly, I’m not as much of a UX designer as, as the people who wrote that amazing article and just talking about the keyboard thing got me like searching on Google for all those different keyboards and I found a 500 key kanji keyboard I was like, Holy Moly like Each each of the keys has nine different characters. And it’s it’s Wow, I. So I am it’s cool to follow that. But yeah, I’m, I’m very happy to be here.

So let’s, let’s start at the start because that’s always the best place when we dive into these things. And when I say WordPress, I think pretty much everybody understands what WordPress is as a content management system and how it exists when you launch it, which is a, you know, a very bland, it’s the 2020 theme. It’s you have posts, you have pages, you have menus and very little else going on the media library. But tonight is about custom post types. And so custom post types are a function of WordPress that let you add more. So maybe Posts and Pages aren’t enough. That’s the default of what WordPress ships with when a page Even though pages are in a different part of WordPress, they are functionally nothing more than a post with a different name. And they’re presented a little differently. But that’s only by convention, you can change the way that stuff is viewed. And you could have pages that are exactly like blog posts if you wrote your theme to act that way. And so, when WordPress hit 3.0, a decade ago, as a matter of fact, in in 2010, WordPress finally went, you know, we’re reaching bigger people are trying to use WordPress to do a lot of stuff that is not just a blog, is remember WordPress started out as just a blogging platform. It was meant to just post writing. And so in 2010, they finally released the custom post API. And this is sort of what open the doors, you know, so to speak, open the floodgates to what we could really start doing in WordPress goes Prior to that, and Scott, you you’ve mentioned this name and it, it brought I’m not gonna say bad memories just interesting. But flutter was one of the really early players kind of in that space to customize stuff and and get your back in do things that WordPress wasn’t doing. And I Man, I wish I could remember what I was using it for that far back, but I distinctly remember using that flutter plugin to do a lot of that and that was what we had. Right That was we had these sort of hacky attempts to make WordPress be something that didn’t want to be at that point. Yeah, well,

a lot of us were writing code and trying to make WordPress organize its its screens better and give our customers a better experience to manage the content. So like they’d have like podcasts, for instance, their podcasts and just be a category and their blog posts. And, and if you want a custom field towards it’s there for Everyone for all posts. And you have to write all your custom fields out yourself. And there’s, I mean, it’s still kind of like that now, but

boxes for a different thing.

But in terms of data architecture, it was really very simple and easy to get confused as a customer, someone using the site, getting trained to use it, like, oh, what category does it need to be? And then they set the wrong category, because they’re, of course going to set the wrong category. So it’s just bound to have problems.

Yeah. So in a very abstract sense, what the custom post types allowed you to do was to start setting up these silos that would self contain different types of content. Right, so thinking about like, maybe you wanted to have job postings on your website, maybe you you have an econ platform, and so you need product listings or you were just saying a podcast episode. The way our website works and the way the feed and everything is generated podcast episodes for drunken UX or just a custom post type within our WordPress installation. And so

your secrets man Well,

it’s I it’s really not a secret because most people don’t and shouldn’t ever run a podcast the way we do.

You’re gonna get hacked now. I know.

Yeah, right. Yeah. They’re gonna put a picture of me up that makes you look silly.

Yeah, because that’s not already up. Those are those french fries or drumsticks in your mouth? I don’t remember. really

know, but, but the vitamin popsicle sticks, I think it was popsicle sticks,

not better. So, the the thing is, and I say custom post types, let people silo this content. It was let’s call it a soft silo. Because the reality is all content in WordPress exists within the WP posts table. And this is just a giant table that the only thing that differentiates blog posts from a job posting is just the post type value that’s on it. And so this table exists. And that’s maybe one of the weaknesses still of that system, which is if you’ve got this huge site where you’ve got, you know, 1000 jobs posted and 50,000 products posted, you know, it’s all going into this same one bucket. And that’s something right Scott pods actually came out and built a feature to help address specifically that, didn’t they? Yeah,

yeah. When we started pods, it was actually the one of the first custom post type plugins before they had the custom post type API. And that was really cool because we actually store data in the post table, and then we extended it so you can create your own fields and they would be their own table. So it was its own entirely separate set of content. So we’re Wasn’t opposed, but it was, in a way. But yeah, it was very interesting. As we dove into that, and try to figure out ways to solve some of those issues, and WordPress that have already been solved, even at that point and Drupal, Drupal itself, the other content management system of the day was a behemoth, giant project, which was hard, much harder to get into a news and, and all that, but they had solved a lot of issues with data storage and interfaces and stuff like that, where even WordPress today is still trying to figure out it’s definitely interesting.

So why, what is the disadvantage to having all this post type data in one table? And I know you’ve got a feature in pods that lets you put this into a separate table. Why would somebody do that in one case, versus just letting WordPress do it the way they want to do it?

I actually have a question about that. So the last time you use WordPress was like 4.04 point something. And I actually did make I did a site or a theme for somebody that used custom post types, visit store the custom fields in like a JSON object and a column or so that’s that’s

the blocks. The new block editor. Yeah. No, I was joking. But yeah, it has its own table, just for the post meta. And it stores it and key value syntax. So you’ve got, let’s say, for instance, you ever podcast custom post type. And for every podcast, you have the guest information you have like maybe some information about the links, maybe some other additional custom fields like runtime and links for the URL for the video or audio or whatever else you might want. Each of those things is individual meta record. And when you have, I mean, let’s say you’ve had run a run a podcast since you know 180, and you know, you’re way ahead At the time, and you’ve been recording one every month. And by the time you’re almost today, you maybe you’ve got, you know, millions of, of podcasts in your database. And each of those podcasts has 10, maybe 20. I’ve seen cases where there’s like 50 or 60 meta values per post, and that so you have millions of records, and you multiply that by the multiplier of post meta, and you’ve got a humongous table to deal with. And so to answer the question, previously asked, it basically is a question of how much data you have. And is it a problem for you is your cycling slow? And also, what plugins Do you need to integrate with because some plugins have very specific ways to query data. And so we’re pop steps in is we have integrations where we can actually let you store your custom fields in your own custom table. It could still be a custom post type, but we just step in and say don’t store this one. meta value in the post meta table on you store that in our custom table here. And by the way, you can query it with these other functions if you want. But if you use the WordPress normal stuff, you can still get the data out of the table very easy. So it’s it’s not too hard to work with. But especially for someone who’s come from other places from WordPress, outside of WordPress world and PHP, maybe database world, you get used to being able to query things in a certain way and being able to use MySQL indexes to optimize these tables to be insanely fast. And when you get to WordPress, it’s a shell shock. And so pods just kind of helps make it less difficult to work within WordPress and the constraints of it.

The reason I asked that is like with with Postgres, for example, I do a lot of work with Postgres and the newer versions of Postgres, you can have a JSON be column, and then you can query the key value pieces of that JSON become as part of a query. And I know that WordPress is still on my SQL slash Maria dB. And I was wondering if they if that database engine had that capability? Yeah,

my school does have the ability to have Jason data sets. There’s a column that I don’t know if the version that was introduced is is in the minimum version that WordPress supports. Okay, so that would be probably a problem. But also, I don’t think that they switch over to it very easily. I know, in the past, WordPress is just use serialized arrays in PHP. So they see realize it and then they start in the database like that. And but that’s still really difficult to query against. And it’s all sorts of filled with

and that’s why WordPress has all those helpers, right? All these helper functions for running queries and all this because they’re trying to when you do a query posts or WP query, they’re part of what they’re trying to do is abstract away the complexity of what that actually database query looks like when you have to start getting into the ugly you saying all of this, the WP post meta is the table where all of this additional information gets stored for these. So if you’re querying by title and some abstract field, it’s you know, there’s all these there’s joins. There’s all this stuff that goes on behind the scenes, but it certainly, yeah, efficiency becomes something of a bottleneck for big site. Small sites never noticed this, but certainly at a big site, cuz that’s the thing, right? WordPress, when WordPress was a blog, when all WordPress was this really cool tool that let you throw, throw up a couple static pages and write your blog posts. They simply didn’t need a lot of flexibility. And then folks started coming along and they said, you know, this thing’s really easy to set up, I can run it on any kind of hosting. And with a couple tweaks, I can actually run normal C or like a normal website on it like this was a full fledged CMS and that’s Where WordPress started saying, you know, maybe we need to open up some pipelines so to speak, you know, it’s it’s still ships very simply. But, you know, by version three, they were saying, Yeah, maybe it’s time for us to start accommodating some of these folks, because, you know, we see some of that future and what’s going to happen. The thing is like and talking this, the reality is, I honestly don’t remember the last time I built a WordPress site and didn’t need to do a custom post type in it. That need is just too large for the most part, and you always run in if it’s not something I’m putting in. It’s a plugin that is going to add one, you know, if you use anything that has sliders, you shouldn’t be but you got to have carousel slides. And so those are oftentimes a new post type of you know that let’s say that we use a seriously simple podcast. Is the plugin that we use to help road drunk UX. It’s not a secret. It’s literally a plugin, you can go get for free. Ah, but it creates a custom post type for podcast episodes. It’s you know, there’s all of this complexity there that you need to run. But it’s not hard and that’s where all of this stuff starts to come to a head. Creating cook custom post types isn’t particularly difficult. Out of the box, it does require coding and if you’re not comfortable with PHP, it can be a little daunting. It all comes back to function that’s called register post type. I’ll throw some documentation links in the show notes. But that’s sort of the magic sauce that makes it custom post type exist. There are a couple generators I do recommend if you want to use vanilla code and stick it in your functions dot php file. Generate WP com has a really good post generator WP dash hasti.com. Both of those have interactive web based generators that you just answer the questions, you fill out the form fields. And then it generates the PHP code that you need to stick in your functions file, so that you can have, whatever custom post types you need. There are certainly plugins that will take care of this. One of the bigger ones is custom post type UI, install it, turn it on, and it just has an interactive visual editor in the back end of WordPress. And so what it does, is it you do the exact same thing you would do with those two websites, you tell it what kind of post type it is you answer the questions, it stores all that information in the database. And when WordPress spins up, it does all the registering and it just does it in an automated fashion as opposed to running from static code. But on top of all those is why Scott is here tonight, which is the pod plugin which is, in my mind the hands down. It’s the plugin I’ve been using since about 2012, I think is when I first launched with it. I had a gaming website that I was building and I needed. I needed a custom post types. But I also wanted to do front end content submission. And pause was one of the few plugins that supported that natively without having to jump through a bunch of hoops. And so, pods is sort of the big player on the block that takes all of these needs all of these different features, and has been doing it fantastically for the last 12 years. If it sounds familiar. We did bring up pods back on episode 53. So that would have been the first episode of the year.

Yeah, see, like wherever.

The I mentioned there and our warmer topic for that episode involved. The news that automatic was diverting their funding to other projects away from pods because pods was getting some support from automatic at that point in time. And so right this sounds familiar. This is the same. Yeah, same platform. Yeah, I was like, I think I feel like I’ve heard about this before, but it could remember where we’ve been around 12 years, man.

2008 Yeah, it’s a it’s a good period of time right there.

This this year has been the longest decade ever

that I will vouch for that. Yes, it has. So Scott, let’s, let’s go back. Let’s go back to the 28 2008 2010. That area. How did you get started working with pods framework?

Sure. Well, I had used WordPress often on just not really using it just messing with it. I built my own custom content management system based off of a fork I made from something else and I just like, rewrote it. And then I was like, I don’t like WordPress. It’s so big, and I don’t like it and there’s always things I don’t need and all that stuff. And I got hired for private Project at a company that was an SEO company, and they needed me to help do some fixes for their customizations with WordPress. And I did that. And I was like, wait, this is actually pretty cool. And then they’re like, Hey, can you build us an SEO automated tool that will help us get stats for our customers about how they’re doing and performing in store in, store all these reports and this big app? And so I went, looking around seeing how I could build this whole thing. And I proposed How about we build a new plugin for WordPress, and it does this and this and this and then my boss is like, Hey, uh, one of my friends just mentioned this one plugin that just came out like, last week, I took a look at it. I was like, Oh, that’s what I was gonna say. That’s, that’s the point. I’m just trying to pitch you. And um, it wasn’t I hadn’t built that plugin, and I didn’t know about it at the time. But we had just been thinking about the same thing at the same time. And I was so excited because it’s like, great. I mean, ground floor. Let me get in this plugin. Oh, this is perfect. As soon as it started clicking was like so into it. And I started submitting bug reports. And, and and not just bug reports, I’d start sending them the fixes. And then it started sending them enhancements. And I wrote a feature for it, and I wrote more features. And he’s like, okay, dude, that Thank you, for me just brought me into the team. And then we started collaborating a ton and riffing off each other on things. And it was just amazing period of time. And I started working on pods a week after it came out, basically, and ever since I’ve just been a huge fan of it and trying to push it forward and help other people develop with WordPress with out all of the headaches of WordPress and learning from past mistakes from the past decade that that can set them ahead further than they would if they were just a normal, just jump into it themselves.

Anybody who wants to get into development, you know, the sort of magic sauces to where where do I start to find something that interests you? And, you know, go find a project that’s out there and Just start reading about it and submit that first ticket and learn a little bit more about it and then submit a fix. And it’s like, it’s the perfect way to sort of get yourself hooked into something meaningful. If you’re just starting out or trying to figure out, you know, how do I build that portfolio? You know, things like that, that there are, there is a project for anybody out there, just start helping because they all need volunteers, they everybody, you know, is looking for a little extra help even, even if it’s writing documentation, you know, there’s please a lot of that.

Please write documentation. The world needs that so badly. I don’t know if the developer who would say no to someone who can write good documentation. That is one of the biggest superpowers a developer or designer can can really like wish they had sometimes.

Yeah. First and foremost, one of the big advantages to pods is you take all the coding off the table. You don’t have to write PHP functions. You don’t have to labor through all the different keys and arguments and all of that that you need. You don’t have to write up the custom field support or anything like that. It’s all pointing click, basically, in the backend, you’ve got a UI that does pretty much everything. I liken it a little bit to advanced custom fields, because I think maybe some folks may have a little familiarity with that. acf is a great plugin. It does one thing really, really well I think, which is allow you to add different custom fields to post types. But it does not itself, create the post types. And you don’t need ACF, if you have pods because pods already has the support for I think it’s like 18 different field types, right? It’s, it’s like a ridiculous number.

There’s a lot of filters, but the thing is our field types. If you look at ACF, they actually have a lot of field types but in reality they have a bunch of them that are We consider one filter, we have a relationship field, which is like a super, super amazing filter for us, which lets you relate to just about anything. Like it could relate to another post type of taxonomy. A user comment, media could relate to another table in the database, it could relate to a custom list of information. And that’s one of the things that kind of sets us apart is the relationships we have in our plugin are extensive, like you can do a lot of really cool things. And like you’d mentioned, you don’t need to do anything with coding. But if you want to, as a developer, we have like a very extensive API that you can use to write optimized queries, like you can query data and query against relationships. And it does all the joins for you. And it doesn’t an optimal way. And it has the relationship stored in the table that has an index that’s nice and optimized and all the good stuff that a developer would like but at the same time, it also has an interface you can use without coding at all like you just say I want to output my field. Here, and this is how it’s going to be. And I want to have a bold tag and then Okay, cool. I’ve got my content already showing up in my list view archive for my posts, and it’s done. So

this might might be a silly question, but does it when you make your custom post type? Does it let you make a template for the type based on the right word,

it’s not going to create a template in your theme. However, you can create templates using our template code, we have a template component, you just turn it on, okay? And it lets you kind of give an HTML kind of format for what content you want on a detail or an archive list. And then you can actually define them separately. And then in your pods configuration, all you do is say, Oh, I want you to automatically insert this on the list. You use this one template on the detail view, use this one template, and it will automatically insert it for you so you don’t have to do it. But you can also leverage pods through the widgets as well as shortcodes and Currently easy to to use and call up, unrelated stuff

you’ve built in your whole, your own template tag language, right? That you’re able, when you set up one of those templates, you just say I am going to reference my author field here, my, you know, my location, address, field or whatever, and it’ll just spit it out. If you want it to be in a definition list, you just write the HTML for definition list and leave these variables, these template tags in there. And it’ll spit it out when, like you say the content basically renders for your page.

Yeah, and that template view itself. And when you go into edit the template, we have autocomplete. So as you’re typing these special tags, it’ll say Oh, hey, did you mean this, like, it’ll not like a clippie like annoying thing, but it’ll drop down with options that match. So as you start typing, a relationship field name, all of a sudden you realize, Oh, I can output the author’s name or the author’s favorite color or all this stuff because it’s a world you have a relationship related to another pod and we know all about that pod and all the fields on it. So,

and you can do all this of course with vanilla code that is entirely possible. But it’s a whole lot more work in those situated

heskett talking about vanilla thinking, sorry,

drink, drink some more whiskey. Try and get the villains out of that cask. The reason I say because I’m I’m actually especially as I have, let’s say matured, rather than aged, as a developer, I have increasingly become vanilla minded, like, I am the kind of person I’m like, I don’t want to use jQuery for anything. I just want to write JavaScript that just works. And I’ve gotten that way with PHP a lot as well. Like, I’m not going to use a plugin for something. I’m not going to include Tag Manager with a Tag Manager plugin. I’m just going to write a quick hook in in WordPress to you know, output the HTML for it. But this is one area where I’m like, yeah, nah. I like the quickness and the speed which which, even if it’s just prototyping some of this stuff out, I may go back in and decide, I’m going to build an actual template part in my theme for something. But this lets me get in there really quickly get the post type in there. And I can at least do some rapid prototyping with it, see how it looks in space in some occasions. And sometimes it’s just like, No, we’ll just leave it it looks good. Now, one of the other big things Aaron, you brought this up a few minutes ago about Tags and Categories. And pods helps with that as well. So you’ve got custom post types, you’ve got custom fields, you’ve got the relational side of things, but you also have support for the custom taxonomies which I think is important to mention, because when you start getting in to custom post types, inevitably you run into I want this post type to have a different set of categories available to it. I don’t want it to use my blogs categories. Good example. Sorry, I’m gonna reveal more of our secrets. I use a custom taxonomy for guests on our podcast.

Oh, that that was that was information that is either hacked instantly right?

I’m Jesus I’m just asking for it here that lets me though tight into our speakers tool on the on the episode so that whenever we have guests on, they are flagged as a speaker in the episode so that like an iTunes and all of that they get picked up as an actual speaker and some other services as well identify that but also on the web page. It lists out you know, who’s the speaker on this episode? So if you wanted to see all the episodes that we’ve had a particular person on, you could click their name and get those episodes because just a category basically as a taxonomy, and I think that’s something that is tell people are password Well,

it’s just guessed. That’s all it is.

It’s come through to

you So the username to come on admin. Give me an idea. This is a dumb question. But I want to ask it how long from like 2008. I know how version one ran until about was 2013 2014 2000.

All I want to say to 2012 was the year we launched the new 2.0 version, which totally rewrote the most of the code. All we had at that point were advanced content types. So every content type you added, create a new table. Yeah, but the two point l rewrite was all about let’s, let’s upgrade our stuff to work with more of the WordPress content type. So now you can actually create new custom post types, but not just create. You can also extend existing ones like take a post or a page. Now you can extend it and do more features with it and you can Also add custom fields, but you can utilize it in our API is everything else. So it’s it’s really pretty cool the builded do that kind of thing. And then we added all the support for custom taxonomies. The same way you can create or extend, extend media, you can extend users and extend comments. But we still have our advanced content types, which is its own table entirely separate now, from post types where there’s the only right data you add is its own table. And it’s not messing with any of your post data. So that’s sometimes it’s a cool thing. But that was the big rewrite. We did and I remember trying to build it all and making it all happen. It was a very big challenge. We had a Kickstarter for to help fund the big rewrites right.

We I yeah, I do remember that. Yeah,

automatic became a sponsor of us at that point as well. Give us the money to help us pay for development except at the time I was working full time job and I’m still am but I was still kind of landlocked. I couldn’t just focus on pop stuff I needed to bring in someone to help me with Why stuff and extra PHP how and all this stuff. And it was an interesting period of time. But that was a major major undertaking, just because WordPress was still growing and it had barely any API’s that we had all right ourselves for all bunch of the stuff we wanted to do.

The killer feature for me that that really, especially when it came time for me to get off that old flutter plugin was the front end content submission. That was the real game changer. I think public forums. Yeah, trying to take in user submitted content for a game so somebody, it’s Aaron and Scott can see my bookshelf behind me, I’ve got all these role playing books. And so I’ve got this website that I had built out that people can go in and submit, you know, I made this creature I made this piece of equipment or whatever. And so I wanted a way for users of the site to have a page they could go to and submit their creations to it. And at that point in time, that was really hard to do and WordPress. Because we didn’t have the REST API yet, like that didn’t exist at that point in time. So you had to write all your own admin functions and all of this stuff that would go through take the form data, process it, save it. The the irony of pods to me is, you know, I’m always wary of like the tools that try to do everything because it’s like one of those things where you either do one thing well or everything, you know, badly, so to speak. But pods really came in here and tried to own this space of here’s how to create a custom post type and all of the things associated with it. And it really does it better than anybody else and to say, well, that’s hard to pull off in this day and age because the tool itself and if you if folks go grab it, it’s you can get it right from the the plugin warehouse at WordPress, install it and start looking through it. There is a ton of stuff in it like it is a huge plugin. And yet, it just works. It just works. so smoothly, which is killer. I want to talk real quick about sort of how this episode sort of catalyze together so to speak. And I mentioned we talked about this in Episode 53. And that automatic had originally and as you brought up after the Kickstarter automatic stepped in, said, Hey, this is cool. We like what it’s doing. We think it extends WordPress in a good way. So we’re going to support that. And then earlier this year, in January, a blog post came out on the pods blog that said, Hey, automatic is, you know, changing their strategy with funding projects. They’re going to, you know, more Gutenberg centric funding model for who they’re supporting. And unfortunately, that has left pods somewhat out in the cold unfortunately.

Yeah, well, automatic is our was one of our main sponsors for pods. 90% of our sponsor, money was coming directly from automatic to help us Pay for development time and maintenance work. That includes support as well like keeping a WordPress blogs, forums in play. We have a slack, which is almost like premium support in a way. It’s like live like someone has a pods issue, they go to our slack and it’s like, Hey, hi, you’re talking to the developer right here. We’re, I mean, it’s just amazing that that we were able to do it for as long as we could. But honestly, I don’t flame automatic. I mean, we needed to go to the next place for us. And they just wanted to focus on Gutenberg in like you said pod is so much more than Gutenberg. And, you know, honestly, a lot of people that use pods, kind of resist Gutenberg in ways and that’s the new block editor. So if you go into WordPress and right you install it right now, that’s the editor you see for posts and pages, says like this visual interface, but when you’re thinking about pods in data entry, where it’s not so much about visual and you don’t really want people to be able to customize the visual aspects of it. And you don’t want to like manage all in the views themselves, like in the block editor, you want to manage on the theme itself, then that kind of interface is not so magical all of a sudden. So a lot of people install the classic editor plugin to come back to where it was. And it’s a lot easier to manage and to rely on and that you’ve got your metal boxes in your fields in it and all that stuff. So we intend to continue to push Gutenberg forward in ways that kind of fuse that that gap. But honestly, we just couldn’t convince automatic that we could do it. And continue to focus solely on Gutenberg, we really want to be able to do a lot more than just Gutenberg and a lot more than just editing. We have so much more in our repertoire. And we’ve had some ups and downs in our release cycles. And sometimes we have lots of releases, and sometimes we have just a few. And this last year was kind of a bumpy one for us and our team had some conflicts with some team members. Just we couldn’t get everything pushed forward. And we brought some new people on board and in there working hard, but it’s just not progressing as fast as we want to because things changed rapidly as soon as we heard about automatic dropping funding, so we’ve kind of had to kind of rush around and figure out okay, what’s our real priority here with the money we have left? And how can we generate new buzz? And that was our, our friends at pods program

where people can donate is that I was gonna ask how, if automatic isn’t supporting you anymore? How are if people wanted to support you? How would they do that?

Yeah, so our friends at pods program is like basically, if you’ve ever listened to public radio and you become a member today, you could help that radio station stay alive. I mean, I listened to music in public radio, I listen to news from public radio, and I still want to keep going. I want I want to say Important like one day, if I can afford it, I want to support it really well. And, well, if you’re building projects with WordPress and you’re using plugins out there that are free and you’re making money building these projects for customers or your customers are making money because they’ve got a really kick butt project built on on WordPress, maybe you should start thinking about how can you help fund those free plugins in ways that they’re not like outright asking you for like, do you see donate link somewhere, go donate once a year to at least just pick one, you know, pick one of your free plugins and go donate five bucks 10 bucks. I mean, the don’t. We have 63 donors right now for pods and our goal is to hit 200 in the next year or so to get to the point where we feel comfortable long term without automatic. Otherwise we have to look at other avenues like premium add ons and stuff like that. And we’re exploring right now like a premium add on that’s just available for people who are donors to pods. So we’re hoping that helps bring some more donors and into the mix there. But that’s, that’s something that we have to think about now that we don’t have the sponsor funding just already there, we have to start focusing on that alongside of maintaining the plug in keeping support going. And all these other things, we also had to maintain fundraising ability. And so that’s that’s been interesting for me because I’m still working full time.

So if you go it’s brens.pods.io is the site if you go there, you can check out how to sign up and do all that. There are incentives to this as well, which I thought were pretty neat. So one, everyone’s The first one is I think, really classic one, donate your your five bucks a month or whatever it is, and you get a vote on feature priority. Yeah, that I mean, that’s kind of killer unto itself, because The people you know if it as long as it’s worth something to you, it means you have a voice in, hey, I’m using this plugin for these things. And it’s like, I would like to see this in it. That’s how you’re, you know, the cream rises, so to speak. And so

well, especially now like automatics no longer the main funding. The friends are the funders. Yeah. And the friends are going to call the shots from now on. And that might have not been able to be possible before because we were kind of landlocked there. We couldn’t offer premium add ons or anything like that we couldn’t offer any upsells or, like publicly say, we will build features for you if you give us money. So like, now we can do that. We’re not tied by that contracts for the sponsorship. Now we can kind of try to explore what we can do here.

Yeah. The other thing is you’ve got partnerships with a bunch of vendors, right? Like, I started looking at the list and the list was incredible. Long were there were host web hosts, plugin vendors themes, you know, like backup services and all of this that if you end up backing it, I think your silver or gold level, right, you get certain perks out of that pile that can save you money. So you spend a little bit of money on pods, but you can save money then on your hosting service with WP engine or something like that.

Yeah, I mean that that was it’s again, like the Public Radio thing where you know, you don’t need this, you get a tote bag. I mean, maybe you don’t want to go back. But in my case, I don’t need a tote bag, but I would just ask for them not to send me the tote bag. But in a lot of cases, some of these things here like these rewards like codable having discounts or freshbooks. Like just these little discounts here and there. I mean, could if you’re considering about to get service from these things and you’re like, well, I want to support pods. Well, I could actually support pause and get some rewards from it. So And to your point about you know, Fight, you know, once a year, find something you use and go support it or find a way to, you know, do the click the Buy me coffee button or whatever. The other easy way to do this is, especially if you’re a freelancer or working in a small agency or something like that,

pad your bid, buy an extra $10. At least it doesn’t have to come out of your pocket, then have the client, add another $10 on to that payment, and pass that along. You know, if you’re bidding out, you know, 5000 bucks to build a website, that extra 10 bucks out of that isn’t gonna make any difference to you or the client. But it can make a heck of a difference to all of these developers out there that advertise or not advertise that volunteer their time. I know GitHub, I think and I don’t know if you guys have looked at this, Scott. I know GitHub is starting like a, you know, a Patreon kind of

Yeah, moderate where You can support developers. Yeah, we’re part of the program right now. I’m still setting up that for pods right now to determine if that’s like a viable thing. We kind of like the friend setup right now. Yeah. So like, right now, just if you go to GitHub for pods, you’ll see sponsor link there, you can click it, and I’ll take you right to our friends sites. So that’s pretty nice. But maybe there’s some cool stuff in there. We haven’t yet determined if we’re going to use that part.

Let me ask the big final question to all of this. What’s next? What is what what’s on the horizon for pods? What’s your next big target that you hope to hit?

Friends? You tell me No. I have a lot of ideas. I have tons and tons of ideas. However, the most important thing is getting the next release out. And so our next release is all about groups. It’s kind of like a CF. So we’re like bringing SCF kind of in the positive way like you can create new groups of content and Manage Rules of visibility and stuff like that, and would even group so groups of fields right now you if you add fields to your pod, okay, custom fields are just in one group. And with PHP, you can make it part of multiple groups. But we’re going to support that natively in our UI. So cooling, we’re expanding the Y quite a bit or actually rewriting it and reacts right now, which has a really cool component there, which allows us to do some really cool stuff that then can flow over to Gutenberg at that point, brings

you a step closer to the Gutenberg, I knew

exactly where that was.

Yeah, so there’s a lot of work to be done there. And we’ve just recently brought another developer into the mix a couple of months ago, right when we found out we were gonna lose funding, so we had to pause it until we figured everything out and then but the goal for us is to get this release out and continue to build really awesome features for pods. Now that may be free add ons, it may be add ons that are available for our friends exclusively. Like we have a special Slack channel just for our friends, the donors who donate and do recurring donations, which are the best friends, really, because they, they donate either monthly or yearly. And that’s pretty awesome. like five bucks, even a year is awesome. It helps us and doesn’t even have to be to us one, donate five bucks to someone else to, you know, do what you can everywhere. But that is our next goal is get this release out and continue to fundraise through new cool features for the plugin to bring people in so that we have a lot of cool things built into our roadmap right now for the next versions in the future. But focus right now is all about how can we increase our longevity right now?

awesome, dude. Thanks for sitting down with us and talking about this. We’re going to take just a couple minutes here and get a word from our sponsors in and then we will come back and say bye bye and To all of those things. The drunken UX podcast is brought to you by our friends at New cloud. New cloud is an industry leading interactive map provider who has been building location based solutions for organizations for a decade. Are you trying to find a simple solution to provide your users with an interactive map of your school, city or business? Well, new clouds interactive map platform gives you the power to make and edit a custom interactive map in just minutes. They have a team of professional cartographers who specialize in map illustrations of many different styles and are ready to design and artistic rendering to fit your exact needs. One map serves all of your users devices with responsive maps that are designed to scale and blend in seamlessly with your existing website. To request a demonstration or to view their portfolio, visit them online at New cloud.com slash drunken UX. That’s cloud.com slash drunken UX. Scott, man, thanks so much for taking the time to sit down with us and talk about this. I’m really excited actually about what’s coming for pods. I’m enthusiastic that we can maybe through this episode help find maybe a couple more backers for the friends program. maybe one or two of them is on the show as we speak. Man,

wait, did we did we say the URL that’s friends that pod brands.io

we will have a link in the show notes as well to that to make sure that folks know how to find that. Scott, take a second the microphone is yours. tell folks where they can find you what you got going on or anything else that you want to know about you?

All right, we’ll take that literally it is my microphone actually. No, but really, uh, I it’s not really about me. It’s about everyone. WordPress is an open source, community platform. And all of us work really hard to build really cool things with it. There’s lots of free plugins out there premium plugins, sure, but lots of free plugins out there that all all all need some little bit of help. So even if you don’t, you know, donate to pods, you know, help out with code for someone else. Pay It Forward is my biggest mantra of my life is do something. Because you think that it could make a difference. And if if they see that and they think that they could do something too, just because they see that you’ve done it. Maybe that can continue. The snowball effect, maybe more people will help out. And it’s not again about pods. It’s all about everyone. We’re all here part of the WordPress community and in sure the word WordPress is a big part of some of our lives. Some of us are using type type of three or whatever but totally My website is pods. dyo Well, not mine, but the project website. And we’re a small team. But we also have lots of contributors who do p Rs. And I mean, I could give you my website and my Twitter, but it’s not about me, I think, like, like people to focus on pods, because I don’t I don’t need any more time. I just love people to get pot some time.

Awesome, everybody. Thanks for tuning in this week. As always, you can find us on twitter or facebook at slash drunken UX. If you want to join us on slack. It’s drunken UX calm slash slack. or check us out on Instagram. We like sharing what we’re drinking or what’s coming up or show announcements or little snippets from behind the scenes there. instagram.com slash drunken UX podcast, little twist on the name, but still very easy to find. It’s not my fault. Somebody else has are the name I want. And I guess it wasn’t mine. Somebody had my name and usually Fienen that’s why even isn’t easy when I’m feeling On Twitter I’m Fienen on Facebook, LinkedIn all the places Instagram Fienen was gone so

I gotta look

for it there they have like no posts. It’s just somebody squatting on the account that’s it makes me sad. Why

is all the squatters got enough? I don’t know.

Folks, if you feel so inclined to take a second drop into iTunes or Spotify or Stitcher wherever you listen to us, drop us a rating or review, hit the like button, do whatever helps us out the only thing second of your time if you feel so inclined, leave us a review. That’s even better. But I’m not going to bake it I’m going to tell you is that there’s one piece of advice that helps you out day in day out whether you’re a designer, a developer, a UX professional, whatever the case, and that is, keep your personas close, folks, your users

closer, bye bye. Bye bye. I said bye

This episode of The Drunken UX Podcast brought to you by nuCloud.

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