Custom Meta boxes are used to create associations to text in posts on screens. This feature is present in Word press, but is not very user friendly. So, Meta boxes help, simplify these associations. Meta boxes are stored as arrays and can be added to a post screen. Creating and using Meta boxes requires some knowledge of coding and cannot be attempted by total beginners. However, this is not as difficult as it seems and can be learned through practice.
Tutorials make the issue more complex and seem to intensify difficulties instead of explaining them better. There are several ways of manipulating and using Meta boxes.
• Create Meta boxes
• Handle Meta box data validation
• Saving meta box Meta data
• Retrieval of custom Meta data
• Association of Meta boxes with posts
The term post refers to any post not just a blog posts. Word press is a very strong platform for managing blog posts and custom Meta boxes helps manage these posts better than the WordPress interface. Once you know how to use coding to customize the Meta boxes, you will be able to use coding for any further creation or editing of Meta boxes.
A post Meta Box can be defined as a box that can be dragged and shown on screen. The aim of such a box is to allow a user to enter and add text. It is just important that the Meta boxes should contain information relevant to the post.
There are two main type of post Meta boxes you will come across: One is the Meta data box and taxonomy boxes. The post Meta table contains data that relates to post Meta data where each entry is saved as four custom fields. This ability to assign custom fields to Meta boxes makes it easy for users to edit or add information or text to the screen.
The four different fields that associate with Post Meta boxes are:
• Post-id: A key that is used to identify data (this is one of the most common) Meta value: This is the field that relates to the value of the Meta data.
• Meta key: The key that is used to identify the Meta data
• Meta id: This is a unique ID. This is used to verify where the Meta data came from and its authorization for use.
• Meta value : quite simply the value of the Meta data
A specific post will have a pair of Meta key and Meta value fields saved for it. This is useful to customize post.
One Meta key can be assigned several Meta values: This makes it an invaluable tool to customize Post Meta data.
However it is important to remember that the users should be able to define which Metadata they want to use before getting down to creating the code. Here is a sample code to define e Meta box:
The prefix is very important as this prevents confusion with other scripts using Meta boxes.