Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.
What can you do with Advanced Custom Fields Pro? An awful lot, but not quite everything.
It’s definitely worth the $100 for the developer license for the Flexible Content Field, Repeater Field, and Gallery Field, but remember that custom fields don’t replace custom post types and that you can’t search on custom fields.
ACF is definitely a tool for developers: the fields won’t display if you don’t add code to your template, and the layouts don’t style themselves. (Plus those gallery tutorials require jQuery.)
There’s an ACF Demo Site to go with Sallie’s presentation.
Included in the ACF Presentation/Demo Site
- Creating ACF Field Groups and Displaying Fields
- Using Repeater Fields in a Portfolio
- Creating Sliders and Galleries with the ACF Pro Gallery Field
- Building Page Layouts with Flexible Content Fields
- Building Page Layouts without Flexible Content Fields
- Replacing the Header Right Widget Text
- Displaying ACF Field Keys
- Using ACF for Front-end Posting
Don’t forget to look at the handout for links to the tutorials used to create this presentation.
In addition, Anca Mosoiu demonstrated exporting ACF Field Groups to PHP (in order to keep clients from editing the field groups) and to XML (for import into new WordPress installs). You can also export field groups as .json files so that you can re-use them on other sites.
Anca also showed us the amazing proliferation of post_meta database rows when one uses ACF. On the wine database site she’s building, there are 2211 posts…and 187,000 post_meta rows.
It’s important to point out that WordPress doesn’t search custom fields BY DEFAULT, but you CAN certainly perform a search on custom fields (even ACF) using a search plugin or coding your own! I don’t want anyone to be deterred from putting their important content into custom fields because they think that makes it completely undiscoverable through search: it’s definitely not true. There are some plugins that can enhance the search functionality of WordPress that will allow you to search custom fields.
https://searchwp.com/ (a paid plugin but very awesome and powerful)
http://codecanyon.net/item/wordpress-meta-data-taxonomies-filter/7002700 (also paid plugin)
and lots more.
Sallie Goetsch says
Thanks for the correction, Jamie. It’s true that there’s a difference between built-in search and enhanced search.