Support » Plugin: Advanced Custom Fields » Best Custom Fields plugin EVER !!!

  • Full disclosure: I have the WP Types Toolset (lifetime license), and ACF Pro 5. Even though the Toolset has a complete set of tools, it is huge, not so easy to use as publicized, and the entire library of plugins is about 118 MB uncompressed, which really makes it almost unusable on shared hosting.

    Ok, that said, ACF is not for a person who does not have simple understanding of the terms needed to set things up, like CPT, Taxonomies, and Custom Fields. Having a good understanding of database design will take you long ways, but ultimately this plugin is an ideal “framework” for coders to create custom tailored websites. Unlike the Toolset, the ACF’s ability to include the plugin within a theme or plugin is invaluable, and when you buy the Pro version, the honesty of the licensing terms by this developer is very refreshing.

    ACF does not make CPT or Taxonomies, so I use the plugin Custom Post Type UI, and just like ACF, you can export all your work in php form, making both plugins ideal to easily implement your work within a theme or plugin. The backsite work can be achieved very easily with the help of these 2 plugins, but you need to be a WP coder, to fully take advantage of everything and make meaningful front end pages. For that, instead of creating page templates, I manage to do everything within WordPress with the also excellent plugin Custom Content Shortcode. Again, you will need some basic knowledge of the terms used, what is the loop for example, and some patience to put all the pieces together. I’m at a place where I can create pretty complicated applications with these 3 plugins within a few hours.

    Again, ACF is the greatest tool for coders, but non coders will have great difficulties making real powerful and meaningful front end pages.

    The only thing missing to make ACF more mainstream, to be more readily used by the masses and not just the coders, is to provide more shortcodes. The current shortcodes are only for the simple fields, one is left out in the cold when it comes to the more complex fields like the repeater, gallery, taxonomy, and relationship just to mention a few… Providing shortcodes for all field types will exponentially increase the popularity of this plugin, while probably hurting people like me, as almost anyone would be able to produce good looking front end pages, especially when used along with one of the dozens of available page builders.

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  • Nice review, Nick.

    Thanks for introducing Custom Content Shortcode. I’m not aware of this plugin. I’ve been building pages using custom fields and a custom HTML template. ACF is not my choice, but your approach is a good reference.


    Tran, take your time, and study the documentation of the Custom Content Shortcode. It is found in the Settings menu once you install it in WordPress. In 2-3 days and after several testing, you will be able to loop things easily, and also even do mathematical calculations for almost anything, like finding the total of a numeric sub-field in a repeater field. Let me know if you want to see a demo site for all this.

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