If you’ve built a website or two, or ten, (or a hundred!), you’re probably fairly familiar with the process of setting up a basic website and perhaps adding on eCommerce functionality too.
But you might find yourself ready to step up your website game to the next level, by implementing posts, pages or templates that use dynamic content. To do this, we use post metadata and combine this with a dynamic content-enabled theme or page builder.
First, what is metadata?
Metadata is basically referring to the individual pieces of information that get assigned to every single post type, whether that be a post, a page, a custom post type added by a plugin, or a post type that you’ve created yourself using a plugin such as Custom Post Type UI for WordPress.
Default metadata (that comes built-in with WordPress) includes such things as the:
- Post title
- Post excerpt
- Post status
- Post time/date
- Post author
However, there could also be other custom metadata introduced by third-party plugins such as testimonial plugins, real estate plugins and so on, or plugins specifically designed for the purpose of introducing extra fields to the back-end of posts, such as Advanced Custom Fields. Custom fields will allow you to add in your own custom data to your posts.
For example, you may have a custom post type for testimonials. This post type will have the usual title, featured image, category and main content fields, but you may wish to add a custom field so that you have somewhere to add in the business name or the position of the person who wrote the testimonial. But how can you then have this data display on the front-end of your website? Enter, dynamic content integration!
Dynamic Content Integration
Once you have your custom fields set up and populated with information, you may find yourself wondering how on earth you can have this data show on the front-end of your website. There are a number of ways to achieve this, though most of them require some fiddling with your website’s code.
If you’re savvy and comfortable enough to do this, there is plenty of information online covering how to edit your PHP templates to include your new custom fields. For this article, however, we’re going to focus on how to achieve this without any code meddling at all!
Luckily for us all, a lot of themes and page builders are now doing the hard work for us, and are including built-in functionality to collect data from custom fields and load them into your website’s templates or pages with just a few clicks.
Dynamic Content-Enabled Themes & Page Builders
While there are many options out there, we’re going to focus on the 2 main options you could go with and provide an example for each.
Theme Example: Avada
A highly-regarded and well-supported theme which now offers dynamic content compatibility is the Avada theme by ThemeFusion. You can read their introduction on how it all works right here. We’d also recommend thoroughly reviewing their recent blog post, detailing how their particular dynamic content system works.
This option is great for beginners and intermediate users and will allow you to easily pull in default or custom metadata for your posts, pages and any other custom post types.
Page Builder Example: Elementor
If you’re a reasonably experienced WordPress user, you might prefer to opt for Elementor. Once you have a feel for how Elementor works, it opens up a world of flexibility and fast-development features that one can only ever dream of when using a more traditional theme. Elementor is not a “theme” itself, it is actually a plugin. However, it essentially provides all of the functionality of a theme. It comes with an accompanying barebones theme called Hello. This theme is super light-weight and offers next to no features because those are all handled by the Elementor plugin instead.
Elementor offers a huge selection of widgets, which all offer extensive compatibility with dynamic content integration. For example, say you add a title widget to your page or template. You can either type in your desired title, or, you can assign the dynamic content value such as the post title. This can greatly speed up development, as you can then copy and paste this layout across multiple pages, and have the correct titles automatically assigned on each page. It can also help with consistency in your website designs.
With the above in mind, we hope you get the chance to test out some dynamic content themes or plugins, and experience for yourself the benefits of this next step in WordPress web design!
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