6 Best WordPress Plugins to Create Custom Fields

Updated: February 1, 2021

If you want to create a professional website with WordPress, one of the prerequisites you need to fulfill is to understand the concept of custom field. In the context of WordPress, a custom field is an additional field used to store additional information about a post. Be it default post type (blog post), page, or custom post type. In many cases, users create a custom field group (that consists of several custom fields) for a certain need. For example, if you want to create a movie database, you might need to create a custom field group that consists of fields like score, genre, writer, cast, and so on. Whether you have PHP knowledge or not, using a custom plugin can streamline your workflow in creating the custom fields.

Here are 6 WordPress plugins that you can use to create custom fields.

1. Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields (also known as ACF) is the most popular WordPress custom field plugin with over 1 million downloads according to a stat on WordPress.org. Two main reasons why many WordPress users use ACF is that it supports a wide range of field types. From a basic field like the field text to jQuery-powered field like data picker. Second, ACF is quite easy to use. You just need a little knowledge about form fields to be able to use ACF. Here are the field types offered by ACF:

  • Text
  • Text Area
  • Range
  • Email
  • URL
  • Password
  • Image
  • File
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • oEmbed
  • Select
  • Checkbox
  • Radio Button
  • Button Group
  • True/False
  • Link
  • Post Object
  • Page Link
  • Relationship
  • Taxonomy
  • User
  • Google Map
  • Date Picker
  • Date Time Picker
  • Time Picker
  • Color Picker
  • Message
  • Accordion
  • Tab Group

If you need more field types (e.g. image gallery), you can use the pro version. In addition to more field types, the pro version of ACF also offers more advanced features.

In many cases, the use of ACF is paired with Custom Post Type UI (CPT UI). Users use CPT UI to create a post type. While to add custom fields to the created post type, they use ACF. There are two ways to display the custom fields you created with ACF. First, you can edit the template file (e.g. single.php) where you want to display the custom fields to. Or, you can use a page builder plugin that supports custom fields like Elementor (the pro version), Divi Builder, and Brizy (the pro version).

If you use ACF on Elementor, you can add dynamic content like video and star rating.

2. Pods

If you are looking for a single solution to create a custom post type and custom field group then Pods is a great option. Not only it allows you to create custom fields for an existing post type, but it also allows you to create a new custom post type. When creating a new custom field group, you will be asked whether you want to assign it to an existing post type or create a new one instead. You can simply select the second option to create a new custom post type. Pods is completely free to use. It supports the following field types:

  • Plain Text
  • Website
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Password
  • Plain Paragraph Text
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Code (syntax highlighting)
  • Date/Time
  • Date
  • Time
  • Plain Number
  • Currency
  • File
  • Relationship
  • oEmbed
  • Checkbox
  • Color Picker

Pods can be integrated with other WordPress plugins like YARPP (Yet Another Related Post Plugin), Polylang, and Conductor. Or, if you use Elementor Pro or Brizy Pro, you can also display the custom fields you created with Pods more effortlessly. You can read our previous article to learn how to create custom fields with Pods.

3. JetEngine

JetEngine is a WordPress plugin from Crocoblock. It is developed exclusively for Elementor. In other words, you need to use Elementor to use the plugin. JetEngine is not just a custom field plugin. It is a versatile plugin. In addition to allowing you to create custom fields, JetEngine also allows you to create a custom post type, and a custom form. You can even use the JetEngine’s form builder to create a user registration form in WordPress. When creating a custom field group using JetEngine, you can add the following field types:

  • Text
  • Date
  • Time
  • Date Time
  • Text Area
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Switcher
  • Checkbox
  • Icon Picker
  • Media
  • Gallery
  • Radio
  • Repeater
  • Select
  • Number
  • Color Picker

You can use JetEngine as an alternative to Elementor to add dynamic content to your Elementor page. JetEngine supports custom taxonomy in case you need more parameters to manage your content. JetEngine also has the capability to create a dynamic calendar and dynamic map thanks to the calendar and maps module. Furthermore, you can also use JetEngine to create a listing website like a property listing site, car rental site, and other website types that require listing elements. JetEngine itself is a paid plugin. You need to spend $26 per year to use it.

4. Meta Box

Meta Box is another popular custom field plugin with over 500,000 users. It is released as a freemium plugin like ACF. The way Meta Box works is a bit different from the three plugins above. If you use the free version, you won’t be able to create the custom fields from your WordPress dashboard. Instead, you can do so from Meta Box’s online custom field builder. Once done creating the custom fields, you will get a PHP code which you can paste to the theme’s functions.php file. A bit hassle indeed. Meta Box supports the following field types:

  • Button
  • Checkbox
  • Checkbox List
  • Email
  • Hidden
  • Number
  • Password
  • Radio
  • Range
  • Select
  • Select Advanced
  • Text
  • Text Area
  • URL
  • Autocomplete
  • Color Picker
  • Date
  • Date Time
  • Fieldset Text
  • Google Maps
  • Image Select
  • oEmbed
  • Slider
  • Text List
  • Time
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Post
  • Taxonomy
  • Taxonomy Advanced
  • User
  • File
  • File Advanced
  • File Input
  • Image
  • Image Advanced
  • Video
  • Divider
  • Heading

5. Toolset

Toolset is a powerful plugin to create custom fields on your WordPress site. Unlike other plugins above, Toolset is released as a paid plugin. There is no option to use it for free. That being said, Toolset tends to ideal for web agencies that develop websites for clients. Toolset itself is a great solution if you are looking for a plugin that is capable of creating custom fields, custom post types, and custom forms.

6. Custom Field Suite

Another custom field plugin that you can use for free is Custom Field Suite. It is a simple custom field plugin that supports 13 field types. When creating a custom field group using Custom Field Suite, you can assign it to default post type, page, or custom post type. Here are the field types supported by Custom Field Suite:

  • Text
  • Text Area
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Date
  • Color
  • Checkbox (True/False)
  • Select
  • Relationship
  • Term
  • User
  • File Upload
  • Loop
  • Tab

The verdict

The understanding custom field is a key to unleashing the potential of WordPress as an open site building tool. By understanding how custom field works, you can create a professional website with WordPress without installing too many plugins. You just need to a custom field plugin (which you can select from the list above) and a plugin to create a custom post type if needed. ACF is by far the most custom field plugin as it supports more field types. However, you need an extra plugin if you want to assign the custom fields to a post type as ACF has no capability to create a custom post type.

Pods, on the other hand, offers a solution if you are looking for a plugin that has two functions: to create custom fields and custom post type. If you use Elementor, JetEngine can also be a great solution, especially if you want to create a listing website.

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