/ Blog / Tutorials / 6 Superior WordPress Custom Field Plugins to Consider

6 Superior WordPress Custom Field Plugins to Consider

Jun 10, 2024

Custom fields in WordPress allow users to add and store additional, specific metadata to posts, pages, and custom post types that aren’t included by default in the platform. This additional metadata enables the storage and display of unique and dynamic content tailored specifically to the needs of the website. 

While WordPress includes basic functionality for custom fields, it is quite limited for advanced use. So, if you want to get the maximum out of custom fields, you’ll need a dedicated plugin. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the best plugins for implementing custom fields in WordPress and discuss how Admin Columns can enhance the management of this data within the WordPress admin panel, making site customization more effective and user-friendly.

Top WordPress custom field plugins for enhanced content management 

⚠️ The pricing mentioned below is accurate at the time of writing. For current prices, check out each tool’s website.

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)

Advanced Custom Fields homepage

Advanced Custom Fields, commonly referred to as ACF, is a powerful WordPress plugin that simplifies the process of adding and managing custom fields on your website. Considered by many to be the de facto solution for adding custom fields in WordPress, it allows users to create custom input fields for practically any part of their WordPress site, helping to extend the functionality and customization of the content management system. 

It comes with many useful features, such as:

  • User-friendly interface: Although it’s marketed as a tool for developers, ACF offers a straightforward interface that makes it easy for non-tech folks to add data fields to posts, users, media, comments, and even custom options pages.

    How to make a custom field with ACF
  • Variety of field types: Supports text, text area, number, range, email, URL, password, and more, including choice fields like checkboxes, radio buttons, and select dropdowns. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, you can create your own custom field from scratch.

    Example of custom field types by ACF
  • Flexible content layouts: The flexible content field enables administrators to design and implement versatile layouts by selecting predefined groups of sub-fields. You can also clone and reuse custom fields and field groups.

  • Integration and compatibility: Works perfectly with WordPress’ native functions and developer APIs, ensuring compatibility with most themes and plugins.

  • Simple and intuitive API: Developers can use different functions like get_field(), the_field(), and get_field_objects() to build powerful templates. There are also functions to loop and update fields, add front-end forms, and modify the default Options Page.

<h1><?php the_title(); ?></h1>

<?php if( get_field('sub_heading') ): ?>
	<h2><?= get_field('sub_heading') ?></h2>
<?php endif; ?>

<div class="hero">
	<?php $image = get_field('hero_image'); ?>
	<img src="<?= $image['url'] ?>" alt="<?= $image['alt'] ?>" />
</div>
<?php if( have_rows('event') ): ?>
	<ul>
	<?php while( have_rows('event') ): the_row(); ?>
		<li>
			<a href="<?php the_sub_field('url'); ?>"><?php the_sub_field('title'); ?></a>

Pricing: ACF offers a free version with a reduced feature set. There are three pricing tiers for the paid plans: 

  • Personal – $49/year for one website. 
  • Freelancer – $149/year for ten websites. 
  • Agency – $249/year for unlimited websites.

Pods

The free WordPress plugin Pod

Pods is a free WordPress plugin designed to manage all your custom content in one place. It allows for the addition of custom fields and facilitates the creation and management of custom content types and taxonomies, making it a comprehensive tool for structuring and displaying unique content.

  • Custom post types and taxonomies: Easily create and administer new post types and taxonomies, which are essential for categorizing content beyond standard posts and pages.

    Example of custom post types and taxonomies with Pods
  • Advanced relationships: Supports relationships between various content types, including one-to-many and many-to-many associations, which is invaluable for linking related content dynamically.

  • Translation component: The plugin integrates with WPML and Polylang so you can translate any content type and custom field into multiple languages. 

    Example of translating content type and custom field into multiple languages
  • Extensive field types: It offers a wide range of fields, from simple text boxes to more complex fields like date pickers, color pickers, and even file uploaders.

    Example of custom field types in Pods
  • Template and display extensions: This package includes tools to embed custom fields and taxonomies directly into your templates as well as additional components for extending admin interfaces and front-end displays.

Pricing: There is a free version of the plugin, but you can also get Pods Pro for more advanced add-ons. This version is divided into two categories: 

  • Basic Pack: License for one site for $49/year and a license for unlimited websites for $89/year. 
  • Pro Pack: License for one site for $79/year and a license for unlimited websites for $119/year. 

Meta Box

The WordPress plugin Meta Box

Meta Box is another powerful free WordPress plugin that provides website owners with a fast and simple way to create custom fields and meta boxes in WordPress. It’s geared towards developers who need to efficiently handle custom data with minimal overhead.

Here is what you can expect from Meta Box:

  • Wide range of field types: Includes over 40 different field types, such as text, checkbox, radio, select, date, time, file, image, and many more. It also allows you to create your own fields with code.

    Meta Box example field types
  • Conditional logic: Fields can be shown or hidden based on the values of other fields, enabling complex forms and user interfaces that adapt to user input.

    Example of conditional logic in Meta Box
  • Cloning and grouping: Allows duplication of fields and grouping them, which is useful for repeating fields like multiple phone numbers or addresses.

    Meta Box field cloning feature example
  • Integration with popular page builders: Compatible with many leading page builders like Elementor and Beaver Builder, making it easy to include custom fields directly in your layouts.

  • Developer-friendly: It provides a powerful API for developers to extend functionality, integrate with other plugins, and customize behaviors to fit specific project requirements.

Pricing: Meta Box has a free base version, and if you need more functionality, you can get separate free or paid extensions or purchase a bundle of them. 

There are three bundle plans for both personal needs and agencies. 

Personal plans are: 

  • Basic bundle for $49/year: This is for one website and includes 12 current PRO extensions. 
  • Ultimate bundle for $99/year: This plan allows for three websites and comes with all the current and future PRO extensions and the Meta Box All-In-One plugin. 
  • Lifetime bundle for $299: This includes all the current and future PRO extensions and the plugin and also works with three websites. 

The Agency plans allow for unlimited websites, and they offer the same features as the personal plans, with the only difference being the price:

  • Basic bundle for $149/year.
  • Ultimate bundle for $229/year.
  • Lifetime bundle for $699.

Toolset Types – Custom Post Types, Fields, and Taxonomy

The WordPress plugin Toolset Types

Toolset Types is a dynamic plugin that creates and manages custom post types, custom fields, and taxonomies without programming. It’s part of the Toolset package, which includes additional features such as blocks, maps, user role access, forms, and WooCommerce views. 

When it comes to custom fields, here is what you can expect: 

  • Custom post types, taxonomies, and fields: Allows you to define and customize post types, fields, and taxonomies beyond the default options, enabling structured content that fits your site’s specific needs.

    Example of how you can enable structured content by defining and customizing post types, fields, and taxonomies
  • Ease of use: Provides a user-friendly interface that makes it straightforward to implement complex structures without touching code.

  • Repeating field groups: Users can create data matrixes and complex structures with repeating fields and groups.

    Example of how you can edit repeating field groups
  • Parent/child relationships: Define the connections between different post types or groups for easy management.

    Example of how you can define connections between post types or groups

Pricing: There are three pricing plans depending on how many sites you need the toolset for: 

  • One site: €69 renewing at €51.
  • Three sites: €149 renewing at €111.
  • Unlimited sites: €299 renewing at €224.

JetEngine – WordPress Advanced Custom Fields

WordPress plugin JetEngine

JetEngine – WordPress Advanced Custom Fields is part of the JetPlugins collection by CrocoBlock. They specialize in creating dynamic content plugins for Elementor including one to manage custom post types, taxonomies, and fields. It is particularly useful for users who rely on Elementor for their site design and want to integrate advanced content features seamlessly.

  • Dynamic content widgets: Offers specialized widgets for displaying custom fields and meta, fully compatible with Elementor.

  • Relations manager: Helps in creating and managing relationships between different post types, enhancing the interconnectivity of content.

    The relationship manager can help create and manage relationships within post types
  • Custom post types and 18 custom field types: Simplifies creating and managing custom structures which are integrated into the Elementor interface.

    The 18 different custom field types
  • Listing and grid layouts: Allows for the creation of custom listings and grid layouts that display custom content attractively and functionally.

  • Conditional logic display: Incorporate conditional logic for displaying elements based on custom rules.

    JetEngine conditional logic example – booking in a restaurant

Pricing: Users have two options: 

  • Getting the JetEngine subscription for $43/year, which comes with 17 widgets and the JetEngine plugin
  • Getting the All-Inclusive subscription that starts from $199/year and comes with 150 widgets and 20 Jet plugins. 

Custom Field Suite

Custom Field Suite WordPress plugin download page

Custom Field Suite (CFS) is a straightforward and lightweight free plugin that adds custom field management capabilities to your WordPress site. It focuses on simplicity and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for those who need basic custom field functionality without the overhead of more complex plugins.

  • Easy-to-use field editor: Provides a simple interface for adding and organizing custom fields to posts and pages.

    CFS custom field editor
  • Loop control: Features a loop field that allows users to create and manage repeatable groups of fields, ideal for repetitive data like team members or event details.

  • Essential field types: Supports 14 field types, including text, textarea, date, relationship, select, true/false, and more. Keep in mind there are no plans to add more.

  • Lightweight solution: Designed to be as minimal as possible, ensuring that it doesn’t slow down your site while offering the essential features needed.

Pricing: The tool is completely free, and there are no pro versions available, but keep in mind that there is no support for it.

PluginStandalone/BundleKey FeaturesBest ForPricing 
Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)Standalone.Flexible content layouts, variety of field types, great support, simple API.Customizing content with diverse data types.$49/year
PodsStandalone.Custom post types and taxonomies, advanced relationships, translation component, extensive field types.Managing complex content structures.Free, Pro from $49/year
Meta BoxStandalone.Wide range of field types, conditional logic, cloning and grouping, integration with page builders.Developers needing extensive custom field control.Free, Pro Bundles from $49/year
Toolset TypesPart of the Toolset bundle.Custom post types, fields, taxonomies, ease of use, repeating field groups.Creating structured content without coding.€69 (about $74)
JetEnginePart of the JetPlugins collection.Dynamic content widgets, relations manager, custom post types and field types, listing and grid layouts.Elementor users integrating advanced features.$43/year
Custom Field Suite (CFS)Standalone.Easy-to-use field editor, loop control, essential field types, lightweight solution.Basic custom field management without overhead.Free

Leveraging Admin Columns for better custom field management

Admin Columns Homepage

Any of these plugins would be a good choice if you want to add custom fields in WordPress, but managing the data stored in these custom fields is a whole different issue. The default WordPress configuration doesn’t allow you to display, update, or filter custom field data directly from the admin panel, making it difficult to handle, especially on larger or more complex sites.

Admin Columns is a powerful solution to this problem. It is a plugin that enhances the WordPress admin panel, allowing you to display, update, sort, filter, and export your custom field data with ease.

Example of Admin Columns list views with custom fields

Here are some of the key features that make Admin Columns a valuable tool for managing custom field data:

The bulk edit interface in Admin Columns
  • Display custom field data: Admin Columns enables the inclusion of all types of custom field data in WordPress list tables, making it easy to see everything at a glance.

    Example of some of the custom field types Admin Columns supports
  • Filter by custom field data: With smart filters, you can filter listings by almost any type of field. This feature also allows you to save filtered views for quick access, streamlining the process of segmenting and accessing specific data.

  • Inline and bulk editing: Admin Columns allows you to edit custom field data directly from the list table, either one at a time with inline editing or in bulk. This significantly reduces the effort required to manage content details across multiple entries.

    Bulk editing custom field columns with Admin Columns
  • Export custom field data: You can export your custom field data to CSV in seconds. Use that for reports, analysis with third-party apps, or whatever else you might need it for!

    Exporting custom post type data using Admin Columns
  • Seamless integration: The plugin integrates flawlessly with popular custom fields plugins such as ACF, Pods, Meta Box, Toolset, and JetEngine. No matter your choice, you can use Admin Columns with zero problems!

Admin Columns is an excellent choice for WordPress users who need an effective and efficient way to manage extensive custom field data directly from the admin panel. 

Next steps to make the most of your custom fields

Custom fields in WordPress can be a great ally in adding structured metadata and enhancing site functionality and content management, but in order to get the most out of this powerful feature, you’ll need a top-notch custom fields plugin like the ones we’ve covered today. 

It’s important to remember that even with a custom fields plugin in place, the standard WordPress interface may fall short in managing and updating custom field data efficiently. This is where a tool like Admin Columns becomes invaluable, as highlighted by one of our happy customers: 

Positive review for Admin Columns and its ACF integration

Admin Columns excels in displaying, editing, and exporting custom field data, offering features like inline editing and advanced filtering. It even offers built-in integrations with all of the most popular custom fields plugins, so you can be sure that no matter your data management needs, you’ll be in safe hands with Admin Columns!

Integrate your plugin of choice with Admin Columns today to take advantage of the power custom fields can give you! 

Get Admin Columns Pro

Effortlessly sort, filter, edit, export, and organize content in the WordPress admin.

$ 99 / year