Developer vs. Average User: The Advanced Custom Fields Arena

RAFAY SAEED ANSARI | November 27, 2017

Want to add custom fields to your blog posts? Looking for ways to improve your content's readability? Are WordPress' default options too difficult to use?

Advanced Custom Fields

Quick Review

Advanced Custom Fields is a powerful, free plugin that lets choose from over 30 different field types and add them to posts, taxonomy, media, comments, and options pages. The plugin has a Pro version that offers even more fields types and advanced features.

I did a review of Advanced Custom Fields for Nimbus Themes that you can read if you'd like some more information or you can head over to ACF's Getting Started page to learn how to use it.

A Developer's Perspective

Out of the box, WordPress supports custom field functionality though its option is hidden from your post editor screen by default. Once you enable it, you can choose from the available options and add them to your posts. However, there aren't a lot of built-in field types to choose from.

Advanced Custom Fields comes with over 30 field types right out of the box that are incredibly easy to use. You can also add conditional logic to it through its back-end interface instead of adding a function to your functions.php file.

Pros

  • 30 field types to choose from.
  • Define rules for which screens can use these custom fields.
  • Includes options for conditional logic.

Cons

  • You have to install a plugin.

An Average User's Perspective

As an average user, getting started with Advanced Custom Fields does require you to have a little bit of understanding of custom fields. That said, once you know the basics you'll be able to use the plugin quite easily. Its interface is intuitive and very easy to use.

One of the things I like best about it is that it comes with a lot of really cool field types that allow easy user input. If you were to, say, create a travel blog then you could use the Google Map field type to select a location or address. Basically, it makes it really easy for website owners to manage custom fields and require their contributors to use them, too.

Pros

  • Makes it easy to manage custom fields in WordPress.
  • Tons of different, interactive custom fields to choose from.

Cons

  • Have to add code to display the custom fields on the front-end.

To Sum It Up

As a developer, if you're having to add different types of complex custom fields to WordPress websites then Advanced Custom Fields will take most of the heavy lifting out of it for you. Plus, it's free!

And if you're an average user, you'll be able to provide user input for each custom field that you add quite easily. It's really easy to manage and come to grips with.