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Anastasiia Usichenko
Content Manager
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Useful Resources

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? Today we will analyze one of the most popular plugins for this task—Advanced Custom Fields (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 update. Instead, ACF will complete those tasks independently..

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.

ACF WordPress Plugin Capabilities

The main thing that the ACF plugin allows you to do is 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.

That’s what ACF is for. It allows the creation of a single custom post template that you can apply to new posts.

Now, if a new user wants to add their pasta recipe to the culinary site, they will only need to fill in the appropriate fields you have already prepared.

ACF complements the WordPress functionality and allows to take complete control over the content and decide which fields will be displayed and how it will look graphically.

You can add the following fields:

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

There are over 30 field options to choose from.

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.

The ACF plugin contains many built-in features that allow displaying the data in a given order. In addition, it formats and processes everything you enter into custom fields.

Alternative Ways to Create Custom Fields

Is there an alternative to ACF? Of course.

You can create custom fields 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, custom fields may stop showing, and the entire website may not work correctly.

Other alternatives to the ACF plugin are custom field 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 to establish relations between entries and collect all parameters and data in one place. In general, the plugin’s capabilities are much more comprehensive than simply creating custom fields, but it easily copes with this task.

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 you need.

What does the ACF plugin do?

It helps to create custom fields and take control of the creation and appearance of pages. It extends the default WordPress functionality.

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 has ACF?

ACF advantages:
– It’s very simple to create custom fields with ACF.
– ACF has several free features.
ACF disadvantages:
– The ACF plugin has changed ownership for the second time.
– You can’t create custom post types with the ACF plugin.
– 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.

Have you tried creating custom fields? What method do you prefer for this task? Feel free to share in the comments. 👇🏻