Support » Plugin: Advanced Custom Fields » It is good for certain things, but know your/its limitations

  • As I’m seeing non-stop five star reviews for ACF, I wanted to throw a different perspective. Consider this review a heads up, as well.

    ACF is good at basic metaboxes on the backend. Full stop. It is not – and I repeat- is not good for front end forms that result in posts UNLESS you are proficient with PHP. ACF seems all cute and easy, but listen up and listen well, if you are doing anything other than the basics, it will eat up your time and may not work period.

    Don’t believe me? Read their forum, which is certainly just a microcosm of possible issues. It is pure and simple a developers tool, and a deceptively complex (and buggy) developers tool at that.

    Some of that can be attributed to WordPress…but not all of it. ACF will drive you up a wall. It is not gravity forms. It is not any type of form-like plugin. Everything you will want to do will involve some coding. And even then, it is not guaranteed to work. It’s data is handled separately from standard WP data. If you move beyond the basics, almost nothing works like it should.

    They are slick and great marketers. At first glance their online documentation looks robust. It isn’t. It is sparse and poorly written. I’ve seen political speeches with most actual substance than ACF’s documentation.

    I eventually gave up. My sense reading the forum is that I am not alone in this. I also would be willing to bet most of those providing positive reviews only did basic things as well. Once you start getting beyond the basic back-end metaboxes, you’re not going to be having a good time.

    But know what you are trying to accomplish before starting down a path with ACF (or frankly, WordPress as a whole).

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