How to easily list WordPress custom post types in a searchable table

A list of custom post types on Nova Group's website.

As the WordPress content management system has grown and evolved over time, more and more websites are using their own custom post types (CPT). You can use them for any type of website content, from documents to events, and from products to portfolios. However, visitors may find it difficult to search for and navigate to your custom posts via WordPress' typical blog-style layout and default WordPress search feature.

Displaying your WordPress content in a CPT table can help address that problem. Creating a dynamic, searchable list for your custom posts ensures that users can quickly find what they're looking for. Plus, an easy-to-navigate list of custom post types makes for easy browsing, which encourages users to spend more time on your site.

In this article, we'll discuss custom post types and explain why listing them in a WordPress CPT table is a smart move. Then, we'll provide steps on how to easily create a searchable list or search form of any WordPress custom post type. Alternatively, watch us creating and listing WordPress custom post types in this video:

An introduction to custom post types

Custom post types are used for content that's similar to a standard WordPress post but has different organization and/or information. For example:

  • Many e-commerce plugins include a 'products' custom post type. This is built on top of the familiar WordPress editor, supplemented with additional fields for displaying pricing data, shipping methods, and so on. For example, WooCommerce has a 'products' custom post type, and Easy Digital Downloads has a 'downloads' custom post type.
  • WordPress events plugins create an 'events' new post type. This makes it easy to add upcoming courses and events to your website.
  • Most WordPress themes come with one or more custom post types. This can include new default post types for portfolios, testimonials, real estate listings, etc.
  • You can also create your own new custom post types to store any other type of content. For example, if you want to create your own document library then you'll want to create a 'documents' post type. We recommend using a plugin to do this rather than messing around with register_post_type code snippets.

With custom post types, you can improve your site's organization and navigation. For instance, if your e-commerce site had a blog with regular posts in addition to products, then it would be a nightmare if both were stored as 'posts'. Your single posts and products would be mixed together in one archive, which would be difficult for you to manage, and unintuitive for your users.

The same is true for any kind of new content, whether that's recipes, encyclopedia-style articles, or something completely unique. Custom post types also change your permalinks. For example, if you create a recipes CPT, the permalink of your egg salad recipe might be

By creating different types of content and listing each one separately on your website, you can help your site's visitors find information for more easily. Using WordPress custom post types also opens the door to listing each post type in a suitable layout, instead of using the same blogging layout for everything. You'll learn how to create WordPress CTP tables in this article.

The benefits of listing custom post types on your WordPress site

The possibilities for custom post types are nearly endless. Listing them in a CPT table makes it easier for users to navigate and browse your site. By quickly searching and filtering your custom posts, visitors can quickly find what they're looking for.

You can list custom post types with our WordPress CPT plugin, Posts Table Pro:

We've received a lot of feedback about how Posts Table Pro has helped people to list CPT more effectively:

Impressive capabilities
This plugin is well worth the price. We use it to display and sort medical documentation, embedded in Custom Post Types. The display is clean, mobile responsiveness is not an issue, the filtering is nearly instant. Another thing that to me made all the difference: the support is fast and capable. Highly recommended

Case study: How Nova Group list custom post types with Posts Table Pro

Nova Group used Posts Table Pro to make their portfolio project listings accessible and navigable for potential clients. The WordPress plugin saves them time by automatically listing the 'Projects' custom post type in a readable, searchable format:

List WordPress custom post types on Nova Group website

This site uses a WP custom post type to display the company's case studies and organize those studies into a searchable table or search form. That helps site visitors find the projects that are most relevant to them.

Keep reading to learn how to list custom content types on your own WordPress website in a CPT table. (Hint: It's really easy!)

How to easily list WordPress custom post types in a searchable table (in 3 steps)

The easiest way to list WordPress search custom post types is by using a plugin. This way, you don't have to mess around with code snippets like register_post_type, pre_get_posts, add_filter, add_action, or wp_query in your functions.php file or template files or hire a WordPress developer.

Another of our customers said it best in their review:

I chose the plugin because I couldn't find any other plugins on the market that would display a custom post in a table.

Create a WordPress document library

We recommend the free Easy Post Types and Fields plugin for creating your custom post type. You can learn how to set it up in our custom post types tutorial.

Once you've created your WordPress custom post type, you can use Posts Table Pro to:

  • List WordPress custom post types in a dynamic table.
  • Create custom columns, so your table displays your content's most important features (including custom fields and taxonomies).
  • Add search, sort, and filter options for easy navigation.

Without further ado, let's find out how to list custom post types with Posts Table Pro!

Step 1: Install and activate Posts Table Pro

To start, you'll need to purchase, download, and install the plugin:

Get Posts Table Pro!

Once you have the zip folder, go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the Plugins section, and click on "Add New." From there, click on "Upload Plugin" and select the zip folder containing the plugin's contents.

Then, click on "Install Now" to start the installation process, and once it's complete, activate the plugin. When you activate the plugin, the setup wizard for Posts Table Pro will launch and guide you through the process of entering your license key.

Adding a new plugin to WordPress.

Step 2: Configure Post Table Pro's settings

Upon installation of the plugin, an automatic setup wizard will be launched to assist you in creating your first table. However, if you are already familiar with the plugin or would like to get started immediately, you can create new tables at any time by navigating to Post Tables → Add New.

Follow the steps below to finish creating your first table:

  1. Start by giving your table a name and selecting the post type you wish to display. If you do not yet have a content type, you can create one using the free Easy Post Types and Fields plugin.
  2. On the page for adding posts or pages to your table, you can select from posts, pages, and Custom post types. The available options will depend on the post type you selected in the previous step. If your post type has custom taxonomies, they will also be listed here for you to select.
    PTP table builder select posts to include
  3. You can determine which columns to display and in what order. To add a new column, choose the column type from the dropdown menu and click "Add". For example, title, content, event start date, and event categories. You can also reorder columns by dragging and dropping the sort icon or column heading.
  4. Filters appear as dropdowns above the table, and you can add as many as you like. For example, you can add categories and locations as filters. It is important to note that available filter options will vary depending on the post type selected on the first page.
  5. Enable lazy loading to improve the table's performance, even when containing hundreds or thousands of items.
  6. Choose how to sort the table. You can set the default sorting option and the sort direction.

Step 3: Add the posts table to your site

To display your table created with the Post Table Pro plugin on your WordPress site, follow the instructions given by the setup wizard once you've completed creating the table. You can choose from two options for displaying the table:

  • Using the 'Post Table' block available in the Gutenberg editor, or
  • Copying the shortcode from the table builder and pasting it anywhere on your site. This allows you to place the table on any page regardless of its content.

And your list of custom post types will look something like this:

Or maybe your WordPress CPT table will look more like this on the front end:

WordPress document library plugin with links

Of course, you may want to use Posts Table Pro to display multiple tables on your site. For example, you might have more than one custom post type and want to create a separate list for each of them.

There are also lots of options to list specific post types, custom posts, or specific custom post types in the table, instead of all of them. For example, you can list custom posts by category, tag, and more. Users will still be able to search it using the text input type.

Then, your list of custom post types will look more like this:

Separate categories

The sky's the limit when it comes to the different ways you can list your content types!

The easy way to list custom post types in WordPress

Custom post types help you display your site's CPT content in a way that makes sense to your users. With Posts Table Pro, you can list your custom content in a way that's logically organized and clearly navigable. In addition, you can enable custom search for it.

In this article, we showed you how to easily list WordPress custom post types in a searchable CPT table or search form:

  1. Install and activate Posts Table Pro.
  2. Create and customize your table,
  3. Add your table to your site wherever you want to list custom posts.

Do you have questions about how to list WordPress custom post types on your site? Leave them in the comments section below!

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