Quite often, marketers want to get the work done without having to work with developers to change text and pictures. With Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), it’s straightforward for interns or marketers without much expertise with content management systems to update a page, employ repetitive blocks and modules, or even create a new page based on a pre-built template. It works well for marketing teams who need to replace outdated material without changing the overall design.
Suppose you have a development team at your disposal. In that case, making layout adjustments or creating additional pages while laying out the page according to the marketing manager’s preferences will always be advantageous. A development team, however, is not always available.
What happens if a business already has a marketing team but needs to bring on a development team to help with page refresh initiatives? Sounds costly, huh? Wouldn’t it be nice if just a content editor could make the changes?
Sometimes the editing isn’t so simple. For example, if you have four products goods in one row, How would you add a fifth product while maintaining the page’s original layout of all-in-one-row? What if we could adjust the layout and structure, add animations and use parallax effects all without writing a single line of code?
This is where ACF comes in handy. In this blog post, we have laid down everything you need to know about ACF. Let’s get started!
What is ACF?
Advanced Custom Fields is a plugin that simplifies pretty much all aspects of custom data fields in WordPress.
It streamlines the front-end procedure for displaying data from custom fields and the interface for adding and updating custom fields in your WordPress dashboard.
It will enable you to build user-friendly meta boxes with pre-selected field types on the backend. You will thus be able to employ data selectors, checkboxes and more in place of the basic key-value pair interface you saw before.
Including articles, users, taxonomies, media, comments and even custom options pages, Advanced Custom Fields offers more than 30 distinct field types in total.
With its well-documented functions, shortcodes, Gutenberg blocks and other features, Advanced Custom Fields also makes it much simpler to show that data.
ACF Free Vs Pro
A cost-effective premium edition and a free version of Advanced Custom Fields are available. The free version is quite adequate for the majority of simple purposes.
With it, you can utilize practically all field kinds and all of the time-saving and user-friendly aspects mentioned above.
The free version is sufficient if all you wish to do is save more content data.
The Pro edition does have a few useful additions that make it easier for you to use Advanced Custom Fields in novel ways:
- Repeater fields enable post-by-post repetition of certain fields or groups of fields. A repeater field, for instance, would be helpful if you were adding speaker information to an event and there were many speakers.
- ACF blocks (Gutenberg) — Instead of using a meta box, show your fields as a Gutenberg block. This is particularly useful if you’re developing a website for a client and want to provide them with a simple method to enter and see custom field data.
- Flexible content field — Layouts can be made from other fields. It resembles a simple page builder that uses data from custom fields.
- Gallery field — Numerous photos can be uploaded to a single field.
Other changes include:
- Options pages.
- The capacity to duplicate data.
- Enhancements to the related fields.
- Other smaller adjustments.
ACF PRO costs $49 per year for use on one site, $149 for use on ten sites, and $249 for usage on an unlimited number of sites.
If in doubt, begin using the free version until you determine the precise capabilities you want. If you need to update later, you can.
Advantages of Using ACF
You have more control over your content, thanks to the ACF plugin. It incorporates structured data into your text by using a custom post meta. Editing posts, pages, custom post kinds and much more enables you to construct and customize the data fields in meta boxes.
So we have laid down a few of the benefits ACF offers. Let’s have an overview:
1. Visual Composer
An effective website created using Visual Composer may quickly turn a marketing intern into a coffee-sipping coder. It is not even necessary for them to have any programming experience. Knowing HTML and CSS will help you better comprehend layout and styling.
However, the drag-and-drop capabilities of Visual Composer allow the content editor to adjust the content, layout, and aesthetics. It also allows you to choose how each module or row on the page appears on a tablet or smartphone.
With the help of this robust page builder plugin, you can construct pages or even portions of a page as templates that you can easily reuse on other pages. For instance, if you want to reuse a testimonial carousel from the About page on the Careers page, you may save it as a template.
3. Drag and Drop
Marketers may alter the layout’s structure and section placement with this capability. You may change sections’ column counts, move sections up or down, swap column 2 for column 1, and perform many other things with the drag and drop tool.
4. Elements and Add Ons
You may reuse many of the included pieces and add-ons in Visual Composer without hiring a developer to do it for you. Let’s assume the home page features four of the most current blog entries. Include a blog post item and instruct it to display the four most recent entries.
These posts will be dynamically displayed in accordance. Once more, without writing a single line of code.
By no means does this demonstrate all of the Visual Composer’s capabilities, but we believe the above elements are sufficient to persuade a client or marketing manager that they need this potent plugin to complete their task.
The key lesson from this is that although ACF provides you with the fundamental tools to update content, Visual Composer enables you to make structural and layout changes without requiring an extensive understanding of HTML and CSS.
Comparing these two plugins should help you decide which is ideal for updating your WordPress website.
5. ACF Plugin Features
With many fantastic features, ACF can also assist you by simplifying site management. Inputs like the rich text area and image upload allow us to build on WordPress’s predefined set of inputs and create templates that are much easier to manage and customize than the ones WordPress comes with by default.
As a result, your templates may include as many WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) sections or image upload forms as necessary.
The picture gallery field in ACF is another fantastic feature. You can choose as many images as you want from your site’s media library using this field, directly linked to it.
The Flexible Layout field has also revolutionized WordPress development. Since this field may be copied, removed and reordered, it comprises numerous fields or modules, offering WordPress the content flexibility and modularity that many CMS editors lack.
Using this you may add as many pre-set modules as you’d like in any sequence to your template. This function opens up a world of options for more intricate template designs.
You can easily add extra data and information to your websites and blog posts by using Advanced Custom Fields. More: You may begin to gather extra data for any content on your site and show it to users on the front end.
You have three ways to achieve that:
- Through the template files for your theme
- Utilizing a shortcode
- Using Elementor Pro
With the information you’ve obtained from this tutorial, you can use WordPress to create 100% bespoke websites that go well beyond its blogging beginnings.