Custom fields are a powerful development tool. Their availability and ease of implementation is one of the factors that sets WordPress above all others in the CMS world. We prefer to use the Advanced Custom Fields Pro plugin.
Custom Fields: What Are They?
Adding a custom field to a WordPress record like a page or post adds a field to the database table, adds the corresponding data entry field to the selected template and stores values entered in the data entry field in the database. Put another way, adding a custom field allows the developer to enhance the WordPress CMS by making page and post templates behave like data entry forms. There are corresponding “hooks” in the WordPress Codex which allows a developer to easily access data stored in each custom field and display it when the associated page or post is viewed.
Custom Fields: When Are They Used?
There are a zillion potential uses for custom fields. A classic example of when to use WordPress custom fields is for a post in the category of “team member” or “staff”. By adding custom fields for data values such as phone number, email address, etc., the person adding data fills out a form to add new “team members” to the website. The developer then uses hooks to pull the data onto the post when the post is viewed and the data is wrapped in the correct styling so it appears in the correct place on the page and looks the way the designer intended. This is A LOT easier than having the user enter the data into the content editor and manually apply styling.
Thinking about a new website or a website improvement project requiring custom fields? Call [allen] or [luke] today at [phone] for more information.