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Advanced Custom Fields Plugin Review: All Features You Wanted to Know
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Anastasiia Usichenko
WordPress Copywriter
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Advanced Custom Fields Plugin Review: All Features You Wanted to Know

Do you want to create custom fields but can’t find a suitable tool? Or do you need to create a custom post type and don’t know how? Today we will analyze one of the most popular plugins for this task—ACF.

ACF is a plugin that helps you add the necessary metadata to a post without custom code. That’s why you do not need to write new lines of HTML or rewrite everything if you decide to do some site updates. Instead, ACF will complete those tasks independently. 

Another useful functionality is creating custom post types and taxonomies. Users have been asking developers to add it to the plugin for a long time. And in 2023, it was finally implemented.

The plugin is owned by WPEngine, which acquired it from Delicious Brains in June 2022. So let’s examine what ACF does and how you may use it.

Table of Contents

ACF WordPress Plugin Capabilities

The ACF plugin allows you to create custom fields and make publications the way you want. For example, if you create a recipe site, you need a resource where users can add:

  1. description of the dish;
  2. ingredients;
  3. photo or video of cooking steps;
  4. comments.

Also, it’s essential that:

  • adding each item was easy;
  • the posts looked the same;
  • no one accidentally knocked down your formatting settings.

You can use one of the 35 fields. For example:

  • photo/video;
  • text;
  • email;
  • checkboxes;
  • dropdown lists, etc.
ACF custom fields

Another valuable feature of ACF is the creation of custom post types and taxonomies. They made it possible to create a single custom post template applicable to new posts. Using the CPT feature, you can create the required post type, add the necessary fields, and apply a taxonomy to the resulting post.

You have complete control over your custom post type: add featured images, individual URLs, descriptions, and other fields. It’s very handy for creating a unique and functional website.

ACF complements the WordPress functionality and allows users to decide which content they want to see on their website and how it will look.

How to Get Started with ACF?

Working with ACF is very easy. First, install the plugin on your site and activate it.

ACF website homepage

Go to the console and choose Custom Fields.

  1. Click “Add New.”
  2. Create a name for your group of custom fields and write a Title in the corresponding field.
  3. Click “Add Field” and select the field type.
  4. Set all necessary settings, such as field visibility, instructions, title, etc.
  5. Save and click “Publish.”

Ready. You can now use the configured ACF fields to create posts.

If you want to add a new custom post type:

  1. Click on the Post Types tab.
  2. Name your post type and select a label for it.
  3. Apply a taxonomy to the created post type.
  4. Add required fields and descriptions.
  5. Save the created custom post type and use it.

The ACF plugin contains many built-in features that allow displaying the data in a given order. So you can place content on the website however you want.

Alternatives to ACF Functionality 

Is there an alternative to ACF? Of course.

You can create custom fields or custom post types with HTML code. However, this method is not always convenient because you need to be able to write code and quickly adapt it to changes on the site. Moreover, if someone accidentally deletes a line of code, content and pages may stop showing, and the entire website may not work correctly.

Other alternatives to the ACF plugin are plugins with similar functionality. Let’s analyze some of them.

JetEngine

Developer: Crocoblock

JetEngine is a plugin that helps to create:

  • dynamic content;
  • custom post types;
  • custom fields;
  • taxonomies.

To do this, it has all the necessary functions often lacking in analogs. Among these:

  • dynamic site structure;
  • Dynamic Functions and Listing elements;
  • ability to configure meta fields and user data;
  • glossary;
  • data visualization tools (tables, charts, etc.).

That is, JetEngine holds a massive number of functionalities you can apply to help create a site exactly the way you envisioned.

The plugin manages static and dynamic elements, allowing you to establish relations between entries and collect all parameters and data in one place.

Toolset

Developer: OnTheGoSystems

Toolset is another popular plugin for creating custom post types and fields. In addition, in the arsenal of its functions, you will find the possibility of creating:

  • templates, archives, and content lists;
  • site search;
  • record links;
  • catalogs and WooCommerce pages;
  • taxonomies.

The main feature of this plugin is its ability to create multilingual sites easily.

But among the list of custom fields, you will not find Datetime, Textarea, or Switcher, which are present in ACF or JetEngine.

MetaBox

Developer: MetaBox.io

MetaBox is another ACF alternative. Web developers love it, but it isn’t easy for the average user.

This plugin is open source, so you can modify its functionality to suit your needs. It helps to create complex CPTs and add more than 40 types of different meta fields to them. It is compatible with any theme and plugin.

Users find that MetaBox is highly flexible because the open-source allows changing its functions to suit your needs.

FAQ

How does the ACF plugin work?

Using ACF is very simple. But first, you must install this plugin on the site, activate it, and start creating the custom fields and custom post types you need.

What does the ACF plugin do?

It extends the default WordPress functionality and helps to create custom fields, custom post types, and taxonomies. With ACF, you can take full control of the content and website design.

How much does the ACF plugin cost?

Advanced Custom Fields Pro has several packages. ACF for one site is $49/year. For ten sites, it’s $149/year. For an infinite number of sites, it’s $249/year.

Which advantages and disadvantages does ACF have?

ACF advantages:
– It’s very simple to create custom fields, taxonomies, and custom post types.
– ACF has a lot of free features.
ACF disadvantages:
– The ACF plugin has changed ownership for the second time.
– It’s rather pricey.

Final Words

ACF is a great helper if you need additional fields for the content. It dramatically extends the features of WordPress and makes your work easier. Its second useful function is creating custom post types and custom taxonomies, which helps to take complete control of the website content. 

You choose what the future posts and pages will look like and what fields should be there, and the plugin does all the work for you.

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