themify ptb

Introduction

The Themify Post Type Builder (PTB) is a plugin for creating Custom Post Types (CPTs) and their display templates.  It is easy to work with and has some advanced features.  In this post, I want to do an overview of the features so that you can get a sense of whether it would fit your needs.

Video version

There is also a video, if you prefer.  The video provides a walk-through of how to use the PTB by creating two related custom post types and their display templates.  This post focuses on an overview of the features and more general information.

Overview

Themify offers a number of themes and plugins.  The themes are very stylish and many of them sport unique display features targeting particular niches.  The Ultra theme is their general purpose flagship theme that includes a number of pre-designed templates, or “skins,” that are similar to the templates available for some page builders or themes.  Themify themes include the Themify builder plugin that is integrated into the themes.  It is a capable builder, but it can be disabled if you prefer Elementor or Beaver Builder.

The Themify builder can be used with any theme, not just those from Themify.  I use the Themify Ultra theme in the video, but near the end, I switch to the Astra theme to show that the functionality and Content Display are not theme dependent.

Themify Post Type Builder

The plugin itself is $49, or you can purchase it with an annual or lifetime club membership.  There is basic documentation for all of the plugins and themes and a very active support forum.

Pros: The Themify Post Type Builder is one of the easiest options available for creating CPTs and creating display templates. It has a relationship field for linking CPTs together. The Template Display builder is very nice.  It is kept up to date, uses a GPL license, and there is a lifetime purchase option. Support is good.

Cons: There is no conditional logic. Occasional glitches. There is not a large community for user assistance.

Visit Themify Post Type Builder Site

PTB & PTB Addons

There is a base PTB plugin and 5 addons.  There are a number of custom field types provided.  In the base PTB Builder plugin you get:

  • Checkbox
  • Email
  • Image
  • Link Button
  • Number
  • Radio Button
  • Select List
  • Textbox
  • Text Area

PTB Extra Fields addon adds these additional field types:

  • Video
  • Slider
  • Gallery
  • Progress bar
  • Map
  • Audio
  • File
  • Rating (author and visitor options)
  • Date and
  • Icon

The PTB Relation addon provides

  • Relation field type

It also adds the ability to create Display Templates for the relation (more on that below).

PTB Map View addon works with the Map field type.  In your Custom Post Type you include an address field and this addon allows you to plot that on a Google map.

The PTB Submissions addon allows you to created front-end submission forms for your CPTs.  In addition to some basic functionality, such as email notification when a form is submitted, there are features allowing site Admins to manage submissions of all users and for users to have an area to manage their own submissions.

The PTB Search addon provides search and filtering capabilities.  You can setup searches based on fields from the CPT and you can also filter using their categories and tags.

Creating Custom Post Types and Display Templates

If you have used other plugins for creating Custom Post Types then the Post Type Builder edit screen will seem familiar.  The options are pretty standard.

PTB edit screen

One of the main features that sets the Themify Post Type Builder apart from other options is the ability to create templates for your Custom Post Types. This is the easiest interface for creating Display Templates that I’ve used.  All of the fields are available at the top (in purple) and you can create rows and columns for the layout.

ptb template builder

When you expand the fields there are options specific for that field type.  Also, there is the option to display the field “inline”, which is used to float the fields next to each other in the row.  That ability to float fields inline made it easy to create, for example, the row of post meta (post date, title, author, rating, and category).  Here is the expanded view of the rating field:

ptb template builder expanded view

This builder interface is used throughout the Post Type Builder screens for creating the Display Templates for CPTS, Relations, Submission forms, and Search forms.  The ability to create templates for relations is pretty cool.  For example, in the companion video I setup a “Book Review” and related “Book Author” CPT.  I use the Relation Template for the Book Author CPT to provide a book author box that gets included on the single review page.  Here is a screenshot of the Book Review single page.  I’ve highlighted the “author box”, which is the relation template:

book single with author box

The interface is similar when you create the archive view,  but there are archive layout options:

ptb creating the archive template

And here is a screenshot of the archive display I created:

ptb archive view

Here is the same archive view after switching to a vanilla install of the Astra theme:

ptb archive view using astra

Some Other Features

I tested the Search and Filter functionality.  The documentation on it was a bit sparse, but  I was able to puzzle it out.  You create the layout for the search section using the template editor.

ptb search layout

You get some options on how you would like the field filters to show:

search field expanded

I chose the drop down select box.  When you save, there is a shortcode that you insert in your page where you want the search filters to show.  For my Book Review CPT I added a category of “Genre” and assigned the books to different Genres.  Here is a screenshot of a page with this search filter added.  Selecting different Genres from the drop down filters the list of all of the book reviews.

ptb search page example

Some of the other features of the PTB are:

  • The option to show images in a light box when clicked.
  • The ability to export and import your work, in case you want to use it on other sites.
  • And WPML support for multilingual sites.

Summary and Conclusions

As you can see from the above discussion of the features, some of them are more advanced than your vanilla plugins, such as CPT-UI, provides.  Custom Post Types are an advanced WordPress function.  For the most part, there is a focus on keeping this advanced functionality as easy as possible.

Some of the choices to make things easy might impinge on the overall flexibility.  For example, instead of a “URL” custom field type, there is a “Link Button” field type.  This makes it easier for simple use, but a more generic link field might have allowed the field to be used more widely, such as for image links.  I didn’t find the date picker tool as flexible as some other ones I’ve used and I hit a couple of minor snags during testing, such as how to set the image size for the archive template, but was able to easily work around these issues.

I’ purchased a membership for the Lifetime Club back in 2015 and have seen the company in action since that time.  I used the Ultra theme for over a year on one of my sites, and liked how it looked and the customization options.  As I started to manage more sites, I used MainWP and ManageWP for keeping them up to date.  Back then, Themify only offered updates via their own admin panel and so the theme could not be updated using these site management tools.  Last year, in response to customer requests, the team offered the option to update through the regular update channels.

I noticed that once in a while there are small glitches when new versions come out, but that these are quickly handled by support.  Speaking of support, in my experience, the support team is responsive and willing to help investigate issues and offer CSS snippets for customers who want a certain look.

I am impressed by the creativity of the Themify develoers.  The layout builder functionality for creating Display Templates is a huge boon for users and it greatly simplifies what can otherwise be a difficult side of using CPTs.  It was as easy or easier to create templates with the Themify PTB as when using Beaver Themer or Elementor Pro.  I’ve used Toolset extensively for creating CPTs and Display Templates.  The Themify Post Type Builder does not cover all of the edge cases and advanced “enterprise ready” functionality of Toolset, but it is easier to use and packs a surprising number of advanced features that would make it an attractive choice for projects of simple to medium complexity.

I hope you’ve found the video and this article helpful.  Thank you for reading and let me known in the comments if you have any questions.

Visit Themify Post Type Builder Site

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. You will still pay the same amount so there is no extra cost to you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

Similar Posts

  • I enjoyed this review alot, it is hard to find good reviews like this. I own several of the products that you reviewed here. Will you be updating this since this review was in March 2019?
    Thanks Mel

    • Thank you. I’m glad you liked the review. I took a look at the change log and it doesn’t look like there have been many big changes to the Post Type Builder. The theme builder has had a huge update.

  • Great walk-through! Having ditched Elementor, seems I will have to decide between Meta Box and Themify PTB in order to be able to build single and archive templates for my custom post types. I watched the Views video on YouTube by the Meta Box team. Is the use of Twig templating compulsory (then I would opt for Themify PTB) or is there an easier way? I would be glad for a little hint here from you since I don’t know when your View review will be out 🙂
    BTW: Neither your above info “The plugin itself is $49” nor the Themify website are specifying whether this is for a single site or for unlimited sites, nor, whether this is a one time payment or an annual payment. I don’t want to opt for a membership, just buy the plugin and use it with Kadence Theme and Kadence Blocks. Would you happen to know any more details?
    Thanks again, this CPTS series of yours is very helpful!

    • The Themify plugin is for unlimited sites. I’m pretty sure that the price is per year.

      The Meta Box Views solution involves code and Twig. I think when the Full Site Editing matures it will include the ability to create content templates for Custom Post Types, but it is not here yet. Are you building a couple of sites ore lots of sites?

  • Thanks for the price info. $49 for unlimited sites per year would be a very fair price, IMHO, seeing the features included. The main reason for my asking, however, was rather the fact that such missing details in a price tag are a pet peeve of mine and generally make me a bit hesitant to buy a software product. But I trust the positive judgments you make about their product and support during the above walk-through, and I like what I see in your video and in theirs on YT.

    The fact that your plugin overview and some edit screens in your video show the “classic editor” does not mean the PTB plugin is not compatible with the new “block editor” in general, I hope – and assume? In case I have to use the classic editor for some editing steps in the PTB plugin (and, judging by their YT video, in the Meta Box Views plugin, too), how does that go together with using the new block editor for the rest of a site? That’s one thing I would be glad to have cleared up before buying this plugin.

    One more thing, probably of rather minor importance — In Themify’s PTB forum, there recently are several topics referring to a PTB warning that goes like, e.g., “The following plugins are not compatible with plugin PTB”, but I cannot read any details since I am not a member. The earliest one (1 week, 4 days ago) asks “PTB not compatible with PTB add-ons?” Sounds a bit strange and seems to refer to some of the add-ons belonging to the PTB bundle, so, unless you happen to know more about that, I am going to check back with Themify next week and, if these messages prove to be of no real importance, will come back here and buy via “Visit Themify Post Type Builder Site”. That would be the correct button to get you the affiliate commission, right?

    Have a nice weekend!

    • Hi Chris,

      When the classic editor is show in the video it is to create the content in the content area. You can use Gutenberg for that. Post Type Builder doesn’t provide blocks like Toolset (I don’t think you were asking that, but I’m not totally clear on the concern). I looked in the Themify forum and it appears those issues were resolved. People have complained about Themify updates breaking things and then requiring an update to fix. I haven’t had that issue, but it was several years ago that I used their products on one of my sites. So, if you go this route then it is probably good to test updates on a staging site or wait to see if other users have issues. The Visit link / button is my affiliate link.

      If you would like to test out the Post Type Builder you can send me an email via the contact form and I can create a test site or something. I see on their site they say 30 day money-back guarantee, but it wouldn’t hurt to play with it first so you can judge if it will work for you.

      • Hi David,

        Thanks a lot for your quick answer and for looking up the issues reported in the PTB forum, much appreciated.

        Thank you so much for your extremely kind offer to create a test site, but if I can also use the Gutenberg editor for the content area, I think this is no longer necessary, since, after having watched your video and the one by Themify, it seems clear to me that this is what i am looking for right now.

        If, one day, conditional logic should be indispensable, I might come back to the Meta Box or to Toolset – the latter, for my taste, unfortunately with too many gotchas and, above all, “disincentive” support reactions in your walk-through, although I really wanted to like it.

        I will just check back next Monday with Themify to get the price info for the PTB plugin confirmed and come back here.

        Thanks again for your kind help.

        • Hi Chris,

          I went ahead and installed the Post Type Builder and its addons. I got the notice about the extra fields not being compatible. I installed the Themify Updater and tried reinstalling them and that didn’t fix the issue. I looked on the forum and saw that the notice saying the issue was fixed was from a day ago and it says a new version will be released ASAP. That was a disappointing and I added a comment to the YouTube video and updated the review of the options page.

          I created a CPT and everything worked fine. Gutenberg showed up as the editor for the content.

  • Hi David,

    Wow, I really appreciate your kind help, thank you very much for even running the test! Sounds promising that a new version will be released ASAP.

    May I express my gratitude for your kind help and your great reviews here by sending you an Amazon.com eGift Card? (Just checked, they can only be used to purchase goods and services on Amazon.com. Or would you prefer a card for use on an Amazon website in another country?)
    If so, please send me an email address of yours (even a temporary one will do and will only be used for this particular purpose) to the one that is connected with my name in the comment address field.

  • Hi David,

    Great news from the friendly Themify support:

    “The issue is already resolved and the update that will remove the notice will be released soon, but there is no real issue on your site, so there’s nothing to worry about, you can still use all PTB plugins.”

    So it’s just the notice, but the plugins are working alright.
    And $49 per year for unlimited sites was confirmed.

    So I just bought the PTB bundle via your above “Visit Themify Post Type Builder Site” link which led me to their home page, with no session identifiers etc. visible in the URL, so I hope you will still get your well-deserved commission. If not, please contact me and we are going to solve this with an Amazon eGift Card. 🙂

    Best wishes and happy holidays
    Chris