Recently, our plugin, Custom Post Type UI (CPTUI) achieved a major milestone. Over 1,000,000 WordPress websites have actively installed CPTUI, a plugin which was born from necessity. Back in early 2010, the roadmap for the next WordPress release was being defined by the core contributor team. It was clear that a big marquee feature shipping in WordPress 3.0 was the introduction of Custom Post Types (CPTs).
What is a CPT?
At the time, WordPress shipped with Posts and Pages for all of your content. There was no way to customize or add new content types, so every piece of content was either a Post or a Page. Thus, the idea of Custom Post Types was born, allowing site admins the ability to register any types of content in WordPress.
This was a huge step towards WordPress becoming a full-fledged content management system, but there was one catch. The only way to register a CPT was directly in the codebase. I immediately saw this as an opportunity to build a simple user interface (UI) to register, and deregister, CPTs directly in the WordPress Dashboard. The final challenge was coming up with a really unique name that would make it crystal clear what the plugin did… Custom Post Type UI!
The first version of Custom Post Type UI was released on February 26th, 2010, almost four months before CPT support was released in WordPress 3.0. Fast forward to today, and CPTUI officially has over 8 million downloads and 1 million active installs, making it the 59th plugin on all of the WordPress.org Plugin Directory to achieve this prestige! The momentum of the growth in popularity of CPTUI doesn’t seem to be wavering, as it’s common to have the plugin and its useful mentioned in tutorials, presentations, and nominated yearly in Plugin Madness.
Evolution of CPTUI
Over the years, we’ve invested thousands of hours building and supporting the plugin, with our Plugin Czar, Michael Beckwith, taking the lead. In 2016 we released our first premium add-on called Custom Post Type UI Extended, which allows anyone to easily display their CPT content on their website. We have also continued to grow the base feature set of the plugin including registering custom taxonomies, generating the PHP code needed to register your CPTs/taxonomies, and even custom labels for all of your content. Additionally, we just developed CPTUI to support WPGraphQL, which comes in especially handy for Headless WordPress projects.
The beautiful thing about open source software is that it is created in the open! By observing dev discussions and realizing the opportunity CPTs had before their release, I was able to create an extremely valuable plugin for the community that has not only helped millions of users, but also helped promote our company as we grew into one of the top WordPress agencies in the world.
Opportunities are everywhere if you look for them.