Best WordPress Custom Field Tips and Tricks

If one feature distinguishes WordPress from other content management systems (CMS), it is customization. WordPress Custom Field is a built-in feature of WordPress that allows you to extend not just the meta-data and information shown but also radically modify the functionality and usability of a post or page. 

What are Custom Fields?

WordPress Custom Field provides additional information to a post or page.

They can store vital data through WordPress plugins and themes. You may also utilize custom fields to hold your data, which you can subsequently use on your website.

When you create a new post, page, or other material in WordPress, it will save in two places. The first section is the post’s actual content, which you enter using the post editor.

The second section contains post-specific information. This comprises the title, author, date, and time of publication, and this data is referred to as metadata.

WordPress Custom Field is a sort of metadata that allows you to add more information to your posts and pages. The data isn’t in the post itself, but it does offer information about the post.

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How to Add WordPress Custom Field 

WordPress custom fields are disabled by default in the page and post-editors. It’s simple to activate them if you’re using the Block Editor. Simply click the Gear Icon in the screen’s upper-right corner to begin. Choose Options.

wordPress custom field

Then, select Enable Custom Fields at the bottom of the screen that appears. You will need to restart the page, so save your work first.

enable custom fields

Your custom fields meta-boxes will display at the bottom of the screen once you’ve enabled and refreshed them. Below is the content editing section of the screen.

content editing section

While custom fields in WordPress are quite powerful, the basic ones will restrict to a text value. PHP and development are required to make them more resilient. 

Fortunately, some plugins will perform the job for you, and we’ll show you how to install them. If all you need is a text field on some articles and don’t want to use a plugin, you may move on to the section about adding WordPress custom fields to your theme’s front end. This is true for both default fields and those produced by plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields.

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Adding WordPress Custom Field 

Navigate to the custom fields meta box in the post or page where you want to add the custom field. 

Following that, you must give your custom field a name and then input its value. Press the Add Custom Field button to save.

The field will be saved and presented in the custom fields meta box in the following format:

add wordPress custom field 

You may edit this custom field whenever you like and then save your changes by clicking the update button. Also, you can remove it if necessary.

You may now save your post to save your custom field settings.

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Making Use of the Advanced Custom Fields Plugin

You have two alternatives for implementation, like with most things in WordPress. You may either manually alter the PHP files or utilize a plugin to enable custom field functionality. In this instance, we strongly advise using a plugin. 

On the other hand, if you feel the need to alter the PHP and go inside the code, you may do so via Appearance – Theme Editor. Here’s a link to the WP Codex page on custom fields to get you started. It refers to the many template tags and hooks required to make it operate.

However, we strongly recommend utilizing the Advanced Custom Fields plugin rather than tinkering with code. We don’t see the need to reinvent the wheel when the plugin already does everything you’d expect from custom fields (and then some). It works when it works. Make use of it.

Once ACF has been installed and active, you will see a Custom Fields entry in the WordPress admin panel’s left-hand sidebar. There are three options available: Field Groups, Add New, and Tools.

making use of the advanced custom fields plugin

Field Groups can compare to sets. You will add in the same group whatever you wish to appear in the same box. Add New allows you to create a new group as well as a new custom field. At the same time, Tools allows you to import and export various existing collections of custom fields from other WordPress sites.

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Using ACF to Create Custom Fields

After giving your Field Group a name, click the Add Field button. You can have as many fields as you like inside the same group as long as they are all connected. ACF allows you to create practically any input field you can think of.

We’re operating a pop culture WordPress site that looks at movies and wants custom fields to indicate a rating if the movie is streaming and where to locate it if it is.

using acf

All of them would be in the same Field Group but distinct fields. As shown above, the Is It Streaming? field is set up as a radio button with a yes/no option that must be filled out before publishing.

Furthermore, we want a conditional field to appear if the field is set as Yes. Simply hit Add Field again to accomplish this.

add field again

With the Conditional Logic toggle activated, you must specify which field it is subject to and what the value must be. Is It Streaming in this case? It must be equivalent to Yes.

The custom fields entry in the post editor will look like this:

custom fields entry in the post editor

The metadata you’ve supplied will be included when you publish your content. But there’s one more issue, and it is invisible to you and your visitors.

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