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STRUCTURING CONTENT 
with ADVANCED CUSTOM FIELDS 
WordCamp Buffalo 2014
Hello! 
I’m Jamie Schmid. 
EX-DESIGNER, CURRENT WORDPRESS ENTHUSIAST & INFORMATION ARCHITECT 
FREELANCE, CORPORATE & IN-BETWEEN 
PORTLAND, OR 
@jamieschmid
Why Custom Fields? 
 Structuring content is more important than ever 
 Take site out of WYSIWYG box 
 Chunks vs blobs: break content into manageable blocks 
 Serve together on one page, or divide & send to mobile, API, 
anywhere else 
 COPE: Create once, publish everywhere 
 Good experience for content publishers
Custom Post Types vs Taxonomies 
vs Custom Fields 
 Custom Post Types: WP has 2 different “post” types: post & page. 
 Taxonomy: Means of classifying things. Puts the post into a group. 
Category and Tags are examples of taxonomies. 
 Custom Fields: Data items consisting of a key/value pair, that must be 
bound to a content type. Store custom information about the object 
they are attached to. Default page already has fields: title field, 
WYSIWYG field, featured image field. These are the same thing, 
except custom to your own content. You’re just making up field 
name, value, and adding the tag to the template field ( the_title(); 
the_content(); ) yourself!
Why Advanced Custom Fields? 
o Difficulty in entering content interrupts the 
editor’s workflow 
o Core custom fields interface is confusing, 
not user friendly - lots of work to customize 
and limit 
o ACF provides an extremely easy to use GUI, 
fantastic documentation and support 
http://www.advancedcustomfields.com/
ACF - Available Fields 
Basic Fields 
 Text / Text Area 
 Number 
 Email 
 Password 
 Date/Color picker 
Content 
 WYSIWYG full or ltd 
 Image 
 File 
Choice 
 Select 
 Radio Button 
 Checkbox 
 True/False 
Relational 
 Page Link 
 Post Object 
 Relationship 
 Taxonomy 
 User 
jQuery 
 Google Map 
 Date Picker 
 Color Picker 
Layout 
 Message 
 Tab 
 Flex Content * 
 Repeater * 
 Gallery * 
 Options * 
* Pro only: $25 single site, $100 lifetime unlmited
Fields Demo!
Examples of 
ACF in Action
OPTIONS FIELD use case: content that is repeated in various places across the site
REPEATER FIELD use case: content whose format is repeated numerous times on a page
REPEATER FIELD use case: easy for user to add their own accordions on a page
Conditional Statements 
 In Your Theme: 
 Best practice to display CF’s with a 
conditional 
 Can display certain support 
elements only if field exists 
 Add class to body 
 Display alternate data 
 Only display posts with a specific 
custom field 
 In the Admin: 
 Setting expiration date for posts 
 Page-specific content types 
 Extended publish statuses
The (Not So Scary) Code
Basic Field 
Conditionals with image and text field
REPEATER FIELD uses the same syntax as the WordPress loop!
Content Modeling 
Planning your content types before you build 
is important. 
 Wireframe every page 
 You will probably find there are 
more pages than you thought. 
Maybe even whole sections, 
navigations and layouts. 
 Use standard naming conventions & 
language the user will understand 
 Identify unique blocks 
 That require special tags, special 
format, or shared content: these 
are probably good custom field 
candidates! 
But be realistic. 
 Draw a balance between strictly 
structured content, and freedom for 
the author to enter all the content 
they need 
 We don’t want to make the author 
bend their content to fit your 
structure 
 Get content as early as you can! 
Build out all your Custom Post Types, 
Custom Fields and Taxonomies at 
the onset; develop the template 
while your client populates their 
content on staging!
Admin UX 
Custom Fields Can GREATLY improve the Admin Panel User Experience! 
 Hide unused page elements 
 Field & Metabox naming conventions 
 Logical grouping of related fields 
 Tabs 
 Page placement – top, main, sidebar 
 Conditionals for showing different inputs 
 Input Validation 
 Notes/directions
Potential Issues  
 ACF Plugin must be installed for metadata fields to show 
 Can export as PHP for mu_plugins 
 wp_search: only searches the_content() – no custom fields 
 Search WP & Faceted Search plugins 
 rss: only feeds the_content() 
 Localization plugins: only translates the_content() (typically) 
 ACF text output is not escaped like native WordPress functions 
 https://github.com/10up/secured-advanced-custom-fields 
 http://codex.wordpress.org/Validating_Sanitizing_and_Escaping_User_Data
Questions / Examples? 
Thanks :) 
Jamie Schmid 
@jamieschmid

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Structuring Content in WordPress using Advanced Custom Fields

  • 1. STRUCTURING CONTENT with ADVANCED CUSTOM FIELDS WordCamp Buffalo 2014
  • 2. Hello! I’m Jamie Schmid. EX-DESIGNER, CURRENT WORDPRESS ENTHUSIAST & INFORMATION ARCHITECT FREELANCE, CORPORATE & IN-BETWEEN PORTLAND, OR @jamieschmid
  • 3. Why Custom Fields?  Structuring content is more important than ever  Take site out of WYSIWYG box  Chunks vs blobs: break content into manageable blocks  Serve together on one page, or divide & send to mobile, API, anywhere else  COPE: Create once, publish everywhere  Good experience for content publishers
  • 4. Custom Post Types vs Taxonomies vs Custom Fields  Custom Post Types: WP has 2 different “post” types: post & page.  Taxonomy: Means of classifying things. Puts the post into a group. Category and Tags are examples of taxonomies.  Custom Fields: Data items consisting of a key/value pair, that must be bound to a content type. Store custom information about the object they are attached to. Default page already has fields: title field, WYSIWYG field, featured image field. These are the same thing, except custom to your own content. You’re just making up field name, value, and adding the tag to the template field ( the_title(); the_content(); ) yourself!
  • 5. Why Advanced Custom Fields? o Difficulty in entering content interrupts the editor’s workflow o Core custom fields interface is confusing, not user friendly - lots of work to customize and limit o ACF provides an extremely easy to use GUI, fantastic documentation and support http://www.advancedcustomfields.com/
  • 6. ACF - Available Fields Basic Fields  Text / Text Area  Number  Email  Password  Date/Color picker Content  WYSIWYG full or ltd  Image  File Choice  Select  Radio Button  Checkbox  True/False Relational  Page Link  Post Object  Relationship  Taxonomy  User jQuery  Google Map  Date Picker  Color Picker Layout  Message  Tab  Flex Content *  Repeater *  Gallery *  Options * * Pro only: $25 single site, $100 lifetime unlmited
  • 8. Examples of ACF in Action
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  • 14. OPTIONS FIELD use case: content that is repeated in various places across the site
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  • 16. REPEATER FIELD use case: content whose format is repeated numerous times on a page
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  • 18. REPEATER FIELD use case: easy for user to add their own accordions on a page
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  • 22. Conditional Statements  In Your Theme:  Best practice to display CF’s with a conditional  Can display certain support elements only if field exists  Add class to body  Display alternate data  Only display posts with a specific custom field  In the Admin:  Setting expiration date for posts  Page-specific content types  Extended publish statuses
  • 23. The (Not So Scary) Code
  • 24. Basic Field Conditionals with image and text field
  • 25. REPEATER FIELD uses the same syntax as the WordPress loop!
  • 26. Content Modeling Planning your content types before you build is important.  Wireframe every page  You will probably find there are more pages than you thought. Maybe even whole sections, navigations and layouts.  Use standard naming conventions & language the user will understand  Identify unique blocks  That require special tags, special format, or shared content: these are probably good custom field candidates! But be realistic.  Draw a balance between strictly structured content, and freedom for the author to enter all the content they need  We don’t want to make the author bend their content to fit your structure  Get content as early as you can! Build out all your Custom Post Types, Custom Fields and Taxonomies at the onset; develop the template while your client populates their content on staging!
  • 27. Admin UX Custom Fields Can GREATLY improve the Admin Panel User Experience!  Hide unused page elements  Field & Metabox naming conventions  Logical grouping of related fields  Tabs  Page placement – top, main, sidebar  Conditionals for showing different inputs  Input Validation  Notes/directions
  • 28. Potential Issues   ACF Plugin must be installed for metadata fields to show  Can export as PHP for mu_plugins  wp_search: only searches the_content() – no custom fields  Search WP & Faceted Search plugins  rss: only feeds the_content()  Localization plugins: only translates the_content() (typically)  ACF text output is not escaped like native WordPress functions  https://github.com/10up/secured-advanced-custom-fields  http://codex.wordpress.org/Validating_Sanitizing_and_Escaping_User_Data
  • 29. Questions / Examples? Thanks :) Jamie Schmid @jamieschmid