Top 10 Advanced Custom Fields Tricks for Developers: PHP-Powered Tips to Enhance WordPress Websites

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is a powerful WordPress plugin that enables developers to easily extend and customize the functionality of their websites.

With ACF, you can create custom fields and meta boxes, allowing you to add extra data to posts, pages, and custom post types.

In this article, we will explore ten advanced ACF tricks that will help developers take their WordPress projects to the next level. Each trick will be accompanied by PHP code examples for easy implementation.

Conditionally Display Fields

ACF allows you to show or hide fields based on certain conditions. This is useful when you want to display specific fields only when certain criteria are met. Here’s an example of conditionally displaying a field based on the value of another field:

if (get_field('field_name') === 'value') {

Repeater Fields for Dynamic Content

Repeater fields in ACF allow you to create sets of sub-fields that can be repeated and dynamically populated. This is particularly useful when dealing with flexible content. Here’s an example of using a repeater field to display a list of testimonials:

if (have_rows('testimonial_repeater')) {
    while (have_rows('testimonial_repeater')) {
        echo '<blockquote>';
        echo '<cite>';
        echo '</cite></blockquote>';

Group Fields for Better Organization

ACF provides the ability to group fields together, which improves the organization and readability of your custom fields. Here’s an example of grouping fields within a group:

if (have_rows('group_field')) {
    while (have_rows('group_field')) {
        // Add more sub-fields as needed

Programmatic Field Creation

ACF offers a powerful API for creating fields programmatically. This is helpful when you want to automate the creation of fields during theme or plugin activation. Here’s an example of programmatically creating a text field:

    'key' => 'field_key',
    'label' => 'Field Label',
    'name' => 'field_name',
    'type' => 'text',
    // Add more configuration options as needed

Frontend Form Submission

ACF allows you to create frontend forms to capture user input and store it as custom field data. Here’s an example of creating a frontend form with ACF:

    'post_id' => 'new_post',
    'post_title' => true,
    'new_post' => array(
        'post_type' => 'post',
        'post_status' => 'publish'
    'submit_value' => 'Create Post'

Relationship Fields for Related Content

ACF’s relationship field enables you to establish relationships between different post types. It’s useful when you need to link posts, pages, or custom post types together. Here’s an example of displaying related posts using the relationship field:

$related_posts = get_field('related_posts');
if ($related_posts) {
    echo '<ul>';
    foreach ($related_posts as $post) {
        echo '<li><a href="' . get_permalink() . '">' . get_the_title() . '</a></li>';
    echo '</ul>';

Flexible Content for Custom Layouts

ACF’s flexible content field allows you to create custom layouts with different sets of sub-fields. This gives you the ability to create highly flexible page structures. Here’s an example of using the flexible content field:

if (have_rows('flexible_content')) {
    while (have_rows('flexible_content')) {
        if (get_row_layout() === 'layout_1') {
            // Display sub-fields for layout 1
        } elseif (get_row_layout() === 'layout_2') {
            // Display sub-fields for layout 2
        // Add more layouts as needed

Export and Import Field Groups

ACF provides a convenient feature to export and import field groups. This is useful when you want to reuse your custom fields across different installations or share them with others. You can export field groups as PHP code and import them easily. Here’s an example of exporting a field group:

$export_code = acf_export_field_group('group_123456789');
echo esc_html($export_code);

Dynamic Field Choices

ACF allows you to dynamically populate field choices from various sources like posts, taxonomies, or custom arrays. This is beneficial when you want to provide users with a dynamic set of options. Here’s an example of populating a select field with posts:

$posts = get_posts(array('post_type' => 'product'));
if ($posts) {
    foreach ($posts as $post) {
        $choices[$post->ID] = $post->post_title;
        'type' => 'select',
        'name' => 'product',
        'choices' => $choices

Validation and Error Handling

ACF allows you to validate and handle errors for custom field submissions. You can define validation rules for fields to ensure that the data entered by users meets specific criteria. Here’s an example of validating a required field:

if (empty(get_field('field_name'))) {
    echo 'This field is required.';


Advanced Custom Fields is a versatile plugin that empowers developers to create dynamic and customizable WordPress websites.

By implementing these ten advanced ACF tricks with PHP code examples, you can take full advantage of the plugin’s capabilities and enhance your development workflow.

Experiment with these tricks and unlock new possibilities for your WordPress projects.

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny is a highly skilled Lead Senior Developer at GALTON Brands, specializing in WordPress development, PHP, and databases. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creating exceptional online experiences, Jan consistently delivers top-notch solutions that drive results. His extensive expertise in WordPress, coupled with his deep understanding of PHP and database management, enables him to design and develop robust, scalable, and user-friendly websites.