I thought I would share some useful resources I have found for understanding how custom post types work in WordPress 3.
Firstly, to get an understanding of how custom post types work, check out the Codex at http://codex.wordpress.org/Post_Types.
Creating custom post types is pretty easy and straightforward using Custom Post Type UI. With over 100,000 downloads of this plugin and rated 4.5 stars, you’re crazy not to use this. CHeck out the screencast at http://vimeo.com/10187055 for more information, or if you’re a codemonkey, have the free time, or enjoy doing things the long way as a learning exercise, check out the following tutorial to create your first WordPress custom post type.
From there you’re probably going to want to display your custom post types, but efore we get to that, you might want to capture some extra fields to display, and that’s where Advanced Custom Fields comes in. There’s some good documentation on that page to accompany the plugin so you can create associated metadata for the post type. From there you might want to look at creating some custom field templates, so that you can associate a group of custom fields to the write post/page area in WordPress, so you’ll want to grab yourself a copy of Custom Field Template. At over 1/4 million downloads, this is definitely a good plugin to have in your arsenal. Again, read the documentation and wrap your head around it.
Custom Post Types can cause some issues with your Permalinks -read this page. Long story short, I had a conflict with a custom post type and a page being named the same, which completely screwed the Permalinks. Make sure you use unique identifiers for ALL fields, custom post types and pages!
Finally, once you start gathering a lot of data for a custom post type, you’re going to want to sort and filter the data in the administrative back end, so check out Yoast’s awesome article that clearly explains how this is done.
If you’re wanting to do a faceted search on the front end, check out this plugin.
Happy customising! Remember, if you’re mind was just blown and you’re trying to pick up the pieces. Feel free to contact me and I can help you out.