Easy extensibility is one of the main reasons why WordPress has become so popular. Custom fields are one such extensible feature. If you have heard a lot about the custom fields but don’t have a clear idea about these, you have come to the right place.
Our today’s post is going to introduce you to the WordPress custom fields, why they are important, and how to create them on your website. Are you ready? Let’s get started on this WordPress Custom Fields tutorial.
What are WordPress Custom Fields?
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), we all know that. Being a CMS, it offers all the essential features for publishing your content as posts or pages. You can provide a title, choose the category, assign tags, use featured images, and so on.
The default WordPress fields are targeted at publishing simple posts or pages. They are not enough to cater to your specific requirements when you are developing specialized websites like a movie archive, online streaming service, book listing site, etc.
For these type of websites, you need lots of different fields like the genre, year, director, producer, artist, writer, duration, rating, and so on. You need extra fields to provide all this information to the visitors.
That is when WordPress custom fields come into the play. The custom fields allow you to publish any type of additional field depending on your website type. It could be a normal text, number, color, date, image, or any other type of data.
Why are Custom Fields Important?
As you can understand from the previous discussion, WordPress custom fields are crucial for creating custom websites. They allow you to provide customized information to the visitors. As a result, you can publish the necessary type of content according to your website type.
One of the biggest advantages of using custom fields is the simple way of making site-wide changes. For instance, if you are creating a movie database, you are likely to offer a custom rating. You will show the rating in check out portion of the post.
What happens when you want to change this and display the rating on another location of the post? You just need to edit your template file and the change will automatically take place on all of the movie pages.
Custom fields also play a crucial role in enhancing the user experience. We often talk about the user experience on the front-end, but the same principles could be applied to the back-end as well.
When you are creating custom websites for a client, you can totally customize the admin interface by adding the necessary custom fields. This will make it a lot easier for the client to manage the custom website.
Custom fields have so many potentials that it can’t be covered in a single post. Instead, let’s take a quick look at some of the most important uses of the custom fields –
- Adding special style for the title,
- Adding and displaying subtitles,
- Showing additional author information,
- Setting expiry date for posts or pages,
- Sharing weather updates,
- Showing date and time for events,
- Indicating the price for products, services,
- Rewriting the guest author name and
- Displaying custom sidebar, header, footer, etc.
How to Create Custom Fields in WordPress?
While it is possible to create custom fields on your own, that requires some experience in coding. If you are not confident with your coding skills, or just don’t have the time to do this, there are lots of WordPress plugins which can help you create custom fields. Let’s check out some of the best WordPress custom fields plugins you can get your hands on.
Advanced Custom Fields is the most popular solution for creating custom fields in WordPress. It allows you to use 20+ field types including the common ones like the text, number, email, password, image, file upload, checkbox, dropdown, radio, date, color, and so on.
The plugin allows you to manage the custom fields by grouping them. You can include the similar custom fields into a group, which makes it a lot easier to set up the related fields. For each new field, you can define the name, label, field type, any instruction, mark it as necessary, a default value, limit the characters, etc.
It is also possible to set the custom field groups to appear only on specific content like the post, page, custom post types, sidebar, and so on.
This is another widely used plugin that allows you to create both custom fields and custom post types. Toolset Types allows you to use all the standard field types including single and multi-line text, email, date, number, phone number, checkbox, radio, image, file upload, color and date picker, and so on.
Like the previous plugin, this one also allows you to combine similar custom fields into groups. The illustrated field type choosing screen makes it a lot easier to pick your desired type. It is also possible to customize any of the previously created custom fields.
For each custom field, you can provide the name, slug, field type, description, placeholder, default text. It is also possible to set up the conditions and validation rules for the custom field.
3. Meta Box
Meta Box is a very powerful WordPress plugin for creating custom fields and custom post types. The plugin comes with 40+ field types for creating as many custom fields as you want. You will also find the relevant management options depending on the field type.
The default setting of the plugin will create the custom fields for custom post types. It is also possible to create and show these fields for the posts, pages, settings, user profile, and other locations. You can choose to show the custom fields in groups, columns, or tabs.
The plugin is fully compatible with WPML. Which means you can use this plugin to create custom fields for your multi-lingual website as well.
Adding custom fields opens up a whole new field of opportunity for WordPress. You can use custom fields to meet the specific requirements of your clients and display relevant information in the proper way.
If you are planning to get started with custom fields, feel free to choose any of the plugins mentioned above. Hope you had a blast going through our advanced WordPress custom fields tutorial. Let us know if you need any more help in using custom fields. We will be glad to help you out.