ACF is a powerful plugin that allows you to add custom fields to your website’s content and gives you greater control over your website’s design and functionality.
With over 2 million active installations, ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) is among the most trusted tools used by WordPress Developers. It is the top-rated plugin in the WordPress directory with a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Let’s explore the various benefits of ACF’s Flexible Content Field and how it can help you with effective WordPress website development.
What Is ACF?
Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is a structured, block-based editor that allows users to add custom fields to their website’s content.
ACF makes content management effortless with its organized grouping and repeater options. You can quickly reuse fields across your site. It offers versatile features like over 30 custom fields that help to optimize your WordPress interface and present your content more effectively.
ACF’s Flexible Content field is a popular feature that allows users to create custom layouts for their pages. It enables you to develop a website that aligns with your brand’s vision and values.
Benefits of Using ACF’s Flexible Content Field
ACF’s Flexible Content field offers several benefits that can enhance a website’s design. Some of them are as follows:
1. Custom Page Layouts: Flexible Content Field allows users to build page layouts according to their vision. It is easy to add or remove blocks to create unique layouts.
2. Drag-and-Drop Functionality: Rearranging blocks on webpages is effortless with ACF. The easy drag-and-drop functionality helps users achieve the desired order.
3. Unlimited Content Panels: Flexible Content Field allows you to create unlimited content panels. Users can add as many panels as required to achieve the desired layout.
4. Complete Control: ACF enables users to design available blocks using layouts and sub-fields in any way they want. Users have complete control over creating, defining, and managing the content.
5. Content-Driven Design: Flexible Content field allows users to create new pages with custom layouts in a hassle-free manner. Users can design the page around the content rather than force the content into predetermined templates.
ACF’s Flexible Content field is highly effective in elevating website designs. It offers limitless possibilities for customization and allows for content-driven creation.
How to Set up Flexible Content Field Using ACF?
Users can set up flexible content using ACF by logging in to their WordPress admin dashboard. Creating custom page layouts involves the following steps:
Step 1: Create a new field in the ACF fields section of the WordPress admin dashboard. Select “Add New” in the field section. Next, choose “Flexible Content” from the field type drop-down menu.
Step 2: Create sections under the field. Select “Block” as the layout for each section. This will create different layouts for each section of the page or post.
Step 3: Set the location rules for the Flexible Content field to determine where the field will be visible on your website. For example, if you want the field to appear on all pages, select “Post Type” and set it to “Page.”
Step 4: The Flexible Content field will now be visible on the page edit screen, along with the various other sections that were created.
Step 5: Choose the desired section from the list to add it to the page or create new sections from scratch. In the image below, the Testimonial section has been selected.
Step 6: Other sections can be added as desired. It is also possible to edit content to go with it. In the Testimonial section, for instance, users can add customer reviews or feedback.
Step 7: Users can use the drag-and-drop functionality to move sections to the desired position or to re-order the section panels.
As is evident, creating custom page layouts with ACF’s Flexible Content field is a straightforward process.
Optimize Your Website’s Design with Powerful Field Types
In addition to the standard field types, several other powerful field types can help further improve the website’s design. These include:
1. The Repeater Field
You can use the Repeater field to add repeatable sub-fields.
This feature can be used to create pages with similar content structures, such as product listings or event schedules. It allows developers to add and customize repetitive fields easily.
Additionally, the Repeater field simplifies content management by providing a single interface to manage all repeated fields.
2. The Relationship Field
The Relationship field allows you to select specific posts, pages, or custom post types to include in a section of the page. It is a valuable tool for organizing and presenting content as well as improving user experience and navigation.
This field type links relevant information across pages, making it easy for visitors to browse and explore the content. For example, a restaurant may use this field to connect various chefs to their respective signature dishes on its website.
3. The Taxonomy Field
Websites that sort content by category or subject can benefit from using the Taxonomy field. This field groups content based on shared characteristics, making it easier to find related posts.
You can select one or more taxonomies or custom taxonomies to categorize your posts by location, topic, or any other category.
For instance, a food blog can use the taxonomy field to categorize recipes by cuisine, meal type, and dietary restrictions. As a result, visitors can easily find the content they’re looking for.
There are two types of taxonomies in WordPress:
- Categories: These are hierarchical and allow users to create a parent-child relationship between terms.
- Tags: These are non-hierarchical and function as keywords.
ACF offers numerous possibilities for creating custom, unique, and dynamic content that engages website visitors. The above-mentioned field types are just a few examples of ACF’s features that can improve a website’s functionality and design.
The Importance of ACF Plugin for Developers
As mentioned, ACF is a powerful tool that web developers can use to create highly customizable and user-friendly websites.
Here are some key reasons why developers should use this plugin:
1. Track Custom Fields
You can easily track custom fields and their settings within the code repository rather than the database. This ensures consistency across multiple environments and saves time when working on complex projects.
2. Repopulate Fields across Environments
Custom fields can be stored within the code repository, eliminating the need to recreate fields every time a new environment is accessed. This streamlines the development process and saves time.
3. Streamline Workflow
ACF’s reusable field groups can be imported into other projects. This promotes consistency, saves time on repetitive tasks, simplifies collaboration, streamlines workflows, and ensures consistency across multiple projects.
4. Create Custom Content
ACF provides an intuitive interface, making custom content creation possible for non-technical users. Hence, you can create and execute content marketing campaigns without learning to code.
ACF has earned the praise of WordPress expert Chris Coyier, who referred to it as the “Swiss Army Knife of WordPress development.”
With its powerful features and intuitive interface, ACF is widely considered the top tool for developers who aim to build custom, dynamic websites.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Advanced Custom Fields a paid plugin or is it free?
The basic ACF version is free to use. It also comes in a paid-for PRO version, which offers more advanced features such as the Repeater and Flexible Content fields.
2. Does the free version include a Flexible Content field?
No, the Flexible Content field is only available in the PRO version of ACF. Users can buy it to make the most of its powerful functionality.
ACF is a valuable tool that can help developers create innovative WordPress websites, regardless of their coding experience. This post has covered the various aspects of ACF, including its Flexible Content field setup, benefits, and advanced features.
If you have any questions or need assistance with your WordPress development projects, feel free to reach out to us. We’ve got you covered!