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Pods - Custom Content Types and Fields
innovative,capable,well supported,steep learning curve,poor documentation,buggy (5 posts)

4 stars
  1. Magenta Cuda
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    After a light evaluation of Types, Advanced Content Fields, Magic Fields (a fork of Flutter) and Pods, I choose Pods for heavy evaluation.

    This review is based on a two month heavy evaluation and analysis of Pods 2.0.4.1 using its Advanced Content Type mode.

    PROS:

    Pods is innovative - particularly impressive is the use of patterns with wildcards to match URLs to content and templates. Matching URLs to templates and content is rather inflexible in WordPress - in Pods use of patterns makes URL matching very flexible. No other plugin I tried has anything like this.

    Pods makes building a basic CMS website very quick and easy. If your website has only simple CMS requirements then you can quickly and easily implement this in Pods. (To be fair this is true of all the other CMS plugins I tried.)

    Pods is very actively supported. Responses to bug reports are usually given within a day. Clearly, the Pods developers have an extremely high commitment to this project.

    CONS:

    Pods has a steep learning curve. Because pods introduces new concepts (e.g. pod) instead of using custom post types, fields and taxonomies as the other CMS plugins do, pods requires you to learn new things. Also some things are done in an unexpected way (e.g. advanced content types and taxonomies) which can lead to confusion and a waste of time.

    Pods documentation is very incomplete. There are some important things missing in the basic documentation (e.g. advanced content types and taxonomies). There seems to a reliance on user contributed documentation and forums but this is a poor substitute for well organized, comprehensive, uniformly styled and formatted basic documentation. This is a common complaint that I have with lots of freeware.

    Pods has too many bugs for a production release. Having said that if you restrict your program to the basic well used features of Pods then Pods works well. If you try advanced things you are quite likely to encounter problems.

    I have decided not to use Pods because it lacks multi-valued basic fields (I find this a bit strange as Pods implements multi-valued pick fields which probably is a super set of the code for multi-valued basic fields.) but I still think Pods is an impressive product and may try it again in the future. If you are interested in how Pods works I have made some notes on Pods internals.

  2. Scott Kingsley Clark
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    That's a very constructive review, thank you very much for putting it down so we can address these concerns!

    1. We're focusing on Documentation solely after we release Pods 2.1, for the rest of the month, so that should really help fill in some gaps.
    2. You mention Advanced Content Types + Taxonomies, do you have specific questions or problems? I'd like to get that documentation done as part of #1
    3. Advanced Content Types have a steep learning curve, our WP-based objects in Pods 2.x (Post Types, Taxonomies, Media, Users, Comments) all function off of the core WordPress functions and play nice with other plugins/themes for integration, so if you were to go that route (we default 2.x to using Post Types vs Advanced Content Types), it would likely be easier and less code to learn (we integrate with get_post_meta and other functions).
    4. I haven't encountered any big bugs in Pods itself on any of the production sites I run it on, including projects for big companies like Dell, Ford Canada, and others. Are all of the bugs you encountered noted in our GitHub bug tracker? We're just a few days away from release of Pods 2.1, so if there are any other bugs I can tackle, let me know if possible.
    5. You mentioned you had issues with multi-valued pick/basic fields, can you expand on that so we can get those addressed either in our documentation or fixed in the next release?
    6. On your Pods internals info site you created, you mention that Pods doesn't quite match your needs for your project, can you further explain what it doesn't do so we can look into what it would take to make it more viable for it? It seems you have a very advanced project and I think everyone would benefit if we're able to get the features you need added. Great job on that site by the way, can we use your content either verbatim or edited (with props to you) for our documentation?
  3. Magenta Cuda
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I think the design and implementation of Pods for the most part is excellent. It is both easy to understand and easy to use. However, I find the design and implementation of custom taxonomies for an advanced content type pod neither easy to understand nor easy to use. Even worse the UI to the end user (content provider not viewer) is not user friendly. It may be that I am doing something wrong but it took me more than a day to get to this solution. (A major problem is advanced content type is poorly documented.) Using a different CMS plugin I was able to do this in minutes. Let me be more specific about what I am trying to do. I want to specify the available factory colors of a car. This can be implemented either as a multi-valued string field or alternatively as a custom taxonomy. After more than a day of work the only solution I came up with wasn't ideal. (I never found example code on how to do this and my solution may be wrong.) My personal feeling is that this part of Pods needs to be re-designed. It doesn't match the standard of excellence the rest of Pods has achieved.

  4. Scott Kingsley Clark
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Did you see that we have Custom Post Types available? Was there a reason why you didn't use Custom Post Types? Those are the same things that the other plugins are working with, which is likely why you may find them better.

  5. Scott Kingsley Clark
    Member
    Plugin Author

    Posted 1 year ago #

    Also, if you have time, please check out our demo we just recorded today to see if it helps shed some light on anything you may have missed http://pods.io/demo/

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