WordPress Data Management on your clients’ websites can be difficult. Often, clients want to be able to update every aspect of their website, but this can be difficult when you have hard-coded functioning components such as sliders, modals, and tabs. What’s the best way to integrate these components into WordPress? Should I download a plugin for each of these?
We have found a great solution in a user graphic interface plugin call Advanced Custom Fields (ACF). The ACF plugin allows us to add custom fields on pages, posts, custom post types, and even create a Theme options panel with 20 different field types. Not only is the ACF plugin great for managing all your basic elements like copy and images in the WP Dashboard, but it can be great for managing your more complex components on your website.
Here is just one of many examples of how powerful this plugin can be:
Let’s look at a simple component such as a slider. There are so many WordPress slider plugins out there. Believe me, we have tried them all and there are some great ones out there, however, we often run into road blocks when a client makes a request that the plugin doesn’t accommodate. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves restricted to the Slider plugin options which only allow you to do so much and have a limited number of layouts and functionality built in. Some of these requests may be things like having the slider image open in a pop up window, a thumbnail navigation menu, or having clickable CTA’s inside a slider.
Hacking these slider plugins to make them function does get messy, and these slider plugins are often vulnerable to hacks, and decreased site speed and performance. We have found that using the ACF Repeater fields to create user friendly sliders is secure, extremely customizable, faster, and more scalable than any WordPress slider plugin ever could be. Often WordPress themes get bogged down with a plugin for your slider, a plugin for testimonials, a plugin for your photo gallery, the list can go on and on. The ACF plugin can replace all these plugins and quickly you will realize you have 5 to 8 fewer plugins to maintain.
Having a great user experience is always important on the front end of a website, but we often feel that it gets over- looked when it comes to the backend … and a clean organized backend experience will save you loads of time and headaches. This often starts with your plugins and anytime you can find one plugin that replaces 5, that is a win.