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 22.214.171.124 using its Advanced Content Type mode.
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.
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.
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