Advice on choosing Pods over other plugins i.e. Magic Fields
September 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm #166468
I have logged in lots of times to the IRC chatroom but there never seems to be anybody there to answer my question… so I thought I would post it here. I apologise if this is not the correct place for my question…
I have been researching the best solution for my requirements and seem to have narrowed it down to either Pods or Magic Fields. What I need is a controlled CMS for my users. Currently I have been creating pages as templates and guiding people through the standard wordpress wysiwyg editor in order for them to create new pages on the website. This is full of problems with formatting issues, alignment problems and really messy html once they have clicked a number of actions in the wysiwyg editor… not a good way of working!
At the moment (and the forseeable future) the cms needs to allow users to edit current pages and create new ones. The pages themselves can be different in terms of structure and layout. You can see the current pages which have all been created and edited via the back-end in standard wordpress pages – http://www.go-safely.com. What I would love to be able to do is to have users select from a number of templates (like individual module blocks so they can create a full page with several blocks i.e. header / title, text box, bullet points, a quote) choose where these templated blocks appear on the page and then edit them… all without having to use the wysiwyg editor giving them the ability to mess it all up!
I know a bit of php and am happy to learn but I need a nice and easy to use UI for other users to create and edit pages. Is magic fields the best/easiest way to go for this? I notice they have a really nice feature where users can even view the active page and edit by clicking on the page section – without doing it via the back-end…
Sorry if I am waffling on here… I’ll try and summarise… from what I have mentioned as my requirements, is Pods the way to go and how much coding would be required to create this solution? Is there any current ‘packages’ for this type of thing? Or should I stick to magic fields which seems like it might be quicker and easier to create (given that I only know a bit of php and hence would need to refresh my php knowledge.. and probably create a lot of errors as I went along)?
I gather that Pods is a fantastic framework and for complex data handling it seems amazing.. but my needs are quite simple as described previously…
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
AlexanderBSeptember 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm #166469
I would encourage you not to see it as an either-or proposition, but to see the two plugins as achieving different goals.
I use both plugins, often on the same site, and would hate to have to choose just one. Magic Fields allows you to add custom data fields to the standard Page and Post screens. It is actually a little more than this, since you can promote new data types to the top level of the sidebar admin menu, and you can choose which of the standard Page and Post fields appear, but I think it’s best at customizing Pages and Posts with extra data fields.
Pods allows you to create entirely new data types that have nothing to do with Pages and Posts. Again, there is overlap here with MF, since you can do very close to the same thing in MF, but I guess it’s a matter of ease of use and workflow.
So if I need a customized Page or Post, i.e., essentially a Page or Post but with a few extra fields, I use MF, and if I need an entirely new data type like Emplyee, Product, or Event, I use Pods.September 11, 2011 at 7:31 am #166470
Thank you for your comments Joesz. I understand a little better now and agree that working with would be an option. I just wondered whether Pods was capable of handling all of this and how difficult it would be to achieve? Or perhaps using both is the way forward? Do many other people work this way?
Thanks in advance.September 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm #166471
If I had to choose just one plugin, it would be Pods. In my opinion, Pods has a cleaner interface and is more intuitive to setup. Not to mention it goes way beyond MF in certain areas, such as Pods Pages and its wildcard functionality.
I don’t if anyone else uses both Pods and MF, but I’d be curious to hear about this as well.September 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm #166472
OK I am a little confused now… so for my requirements you would recommend I use Pods rather than Magic Fields? I am unsure (from what I have read) how easy Pods is to use to create the solution I require. If someone could shed some light on this that would be very much appreciated.
Thanks again.September 12, 2011 at 1:05 am #166473
I looked at your site, and I’m not sure if Pods is the solution you are looking for. Pods is great if you have lots of data with a similar structure that you need to replicate a number of times, e.g.: Real estate listings, business listings, events. It would make perfect sense on your site for doing an "industry examples" section or maintaining a "Go Safely is used by…" page.
For your descriptive pages, each one has unique structure, so I’m not sure how you could build that efficiently with Pods. For what you are doing, I’d make sure as much of your formatting is in your site theme’s CSS, so that if, for example, the user selects a <ul>, they are going to get the arrows. With some of the other design elements you’re using, I don’t know how you would keep them from messing those up.
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