WordPress Formats vs. Custom Types: Which is Better?

WordPress is a popular platform for creating websites and blogs. One of the most notable features of WordPress is its ease of use when it comes to publishing content. However, sometimes the standard options of posts and pages may not be enough to meet your needs. This is where post formats and custom post types come into play. In this article, we will explain what these features are and how they can help you create a more functional and compelling website.

Post Formats vs. Custom Post Types

Post formats and custom post types are both ways of formatting your website’s content. Post formats are different types of blog posts with varying appearances. When you create a new post, you can assign it a format such as Standard, Gallery, Quote, or Video. Your selection tells WordPress what the post should look like. Many themes set up custom designs for the various post types.

On the other hand, custom post types encompass any type of content you add to your site. Regular posts and pages are both post types, as are menus. While WordPress core comes with a selection of default post types, many themes and plugins include additional content options. For example, WooCommerce adds a Products custom post type to your site that enables you to create product pages.

The similarities and differences between post formats and custom post types are:

– Both are ways of telling WordPress how your content should appear.

– The results you get by using both will vary based on your theme and plugins.

– Custom post types are extra options for creating WordPress content, while post formats are different ways of styling blog posts.

When to Use Post Formats

If you only create traditional text-based blog posts, using the Standard format can be ideal for consistency in your content. However, if you post many different types of content or want to change up your content’s appearance, non-standard post formats can help you out. They’re particularly useful if you want to share a lot of quick content and resources with your readers, without having to compose long posts.

The post formats you have access to depend on your theme. Choosing a theme that supports non-standard post formats is a smart idea because it gives you a way to categorize and vary your blog content while making the purpose of each post clear to readers. If you intend to use your blog as a social media feed and share thoughts, links, and resources with your audience, you’ll be able to make use of post formats.

When to Use Custom Post Types

Post types are not just about posts. The name is a holdover from when WordPress was a platform specifically for blogging and now encompasses both posts and pages. WordPress gives developers the option to create their own custom post versions. Depending on the theme and plugins you’re using, you may have access to more than two ways to format your content. Therefore, when you’re shopping around for themes and plugins, it’s a good idea to pay attention to whether they add custom post types.

Custom post types are useful options for businesses and freelancers who may want to include specific types of information. For example, the Portfolio option is a perfect way to display your best works (and include descriptions and pertinent details). Testimonials enable you to create pages showing off what your clients and professional connections have to say about you and your company. The Staff custom post type puts the spotlight on the people behind your business and is a perfect way to include bio information and contact details.

If you want to highlight your portfolio, display key information about your team, show off glowing testimonials, or even add a store with product pages, extra custom post types can come in very handy.


Post formats and custom post types can seem intimidating if you’re new to WordPress or web design in general. However, once you understand these options and when to use them, they’ll provide you with a new level of flexibility in customizing your site. It’s smart to look for a theme such as Total, which provides both options (among other features). Post formats are useful if you share many types of resources with your readers, while custom post types are different types of content you can use to add advanced features to your site.

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