• Posted: 2012-04-05
  • Author: Filip Stefansson
  • Tags: Reviews

Advanced Custom Fields: Powerful fields for WordPress developers

As you may know, I’m not a big fan of plugins. Don’t get me wrong, I use plugins a lot but way to many people just install a bunch of plugins without even taking a look at the code.

Mostly, however, I don’t use plugins because they either do a lot of other stuff than the feature I actually need, or they don’t really do that much and are easily replaced with a small snippet of code in the functions file.

Until now, I have always created my custom meta boxes using this great PHP class. It’s nothing wrong with it, but when I first got my hands on the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, I was blown away. Not only is it extremely powerful, it is also very, very good looking and easy too use.

Good looking

The beautiful UI makes the plugin really easy to use and understand. Simply drag n’ drop the fields and meta boxes to change the order of them.

Loads of Field types

There are loads of different field types, like simple text field, image upload, date picker, select boxes and a wysiwyg-editor. There are 13 different types of fields, and the complete list can be found in their documentation.

There are also a bunch of more advanced field types, like the Page Object or the Repeater field, which allows the user to add infinite rows of any chosen field type. Perfect for image galleries or sliders.

Note: Parts of ACF(like Repeater Fields) are premium content, which means you have to pay for it.

Easy implementation

While it’s easy to create the custom fields and meta boxes, one could imagine that it would be hard to implement the rather complex repeater field for example. Well, it’s not. The documentation gives you all the example code you need to get started.


<?php
# Display a field
the_field('field_name'); 

# Get a field
$variable = get_field('field_name');

# Working with array values
$values = get_field('field_name');
foreach($values as $value)
{
    echo $value;
}
?>

For more advanced examples, check out their documentation!

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Conclusion

Advanced Custom Field sets a new standard for how a WordPress plugin should look and work. It’s extremely well done, and if you haven’t tried it already you should give it a shoot for your next project.

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