Before I begin sharing the history of Custom Post Type UI, let’s start with WordPress. Released on June 17, 2010, WordPress 3.0, “Thelonious,” is one of the most impactful WordPress releases to date.
At that time, it included a number of major new features, such as a new default theme called Twenty Ten (Kubrick was the default for years prior to this). Also featured was the merging of WordPress MU and WordPress. This ultimately led to WordPress Multisite. Plus, WordPress 3.0 included the ability to create custom menus.
Those features alone would make an amazing release for WordPress, but it doesn’t stop there. WordPress 3.0 also introduced custom post types (CPTs) and custom taxonomies. These two new features helped WordPress grow to a full fledged content management system (CMS). They also eventually inspired the creation of the WordPress plugin Custom Post Type UI.
See, CPTs allow you to easily register unique content types within WordPress. Doing so helps you organize your content beyond the default Post and Page post types.
Custom taxonomies work the same way, giving you the ability to register unique taxonomies for content organization. It’s easy to see how powerful these new features would be in WordPress, but there was one small problem.
The only way to register custom post types and taxonomies was via code. There was no dashboard user interface for administrators to manage CPTs and taxonomies.
Enter light bulb moment…
I immediately saw an opportunity to build a simple plugin to help register and manage CPTs and taxonomies directly in the WordPress dashboard. I worked on the first version of Custom Post Type UI (CPTUI) over a few days. It was released on February 25, 2010, which was approximately four months before WordPress 3.0 was even released.
One of the most exciting things about open source software is it is largely planned and created in the open. At the time, I was actively joining the WordPress developer chats and learning what was coming to WordPress before official announcements were made. I saw the opportunity coming to CPTUI and wanted to make sure my plugin was released and ready when 3.0 dropped.
Fast forward to today, 12 years later, and Custom Post Type UI is one of the most popular WordPress plugins in the world. With over 1 million active installations and over 10 million all-time downloads, it’s safe to say that CPTUI is a hit and will continue to be an important and widely-used plugin for WordPress development!