As a WordPress design agency, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face when building custom websites for clients is whether to use Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) or to write custom PHP code. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right approach depends on the specific needs of each project.
ACF is a plugin that allows you to easily add custom fields to WordPress posts, pages, and custom post types. With ACF, you can create custom meta boxes that allow your clients to add and manage additional content, such as images, videos, and text fields. ACF also allows you to create repeatable field groups, making it easy to add and manage content that needs to be displayed in a specific way, such as team members or testimonials.
One of the biggest advantages of using ACF is its ease of use. ACF makes it easy for your clients to add and manage content, without needing to know how to write code. This means that your clients can make changes and updates to their website without needing to rely on you for every small change.
Another advantage of using ACF is that it can save you time and money. Writing custom PHP code can be time-consuming, and requires a high level of technical expertise. ACF allows you to quickly and easily add custom fields to your website, without needing to spend hours writing and debugging custom code.
However, there are also some disadvantages to using ACF. One potential downside is that it can be limiting in terms of customization. While ACF allows you to add custom fields to your website, it doesn’t provide the same level of flexibility and control as writing custom PHP code. If your project requires highly specific functionality, writing custom PHP code may be a better option.
Another potential disadvantage of using ACF is that it can slow down your website. ACF is a plugin, and like all plugins, it adds additional code and functionality to your website. This can slow down your website and affect its performance. While ACF is generally well-optimized, it’s important to be mindful of how many plugins you’re using on your website, and to make sure that your website is well-optimized for speed and performance.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to use ACF or to write custom PHP code depends on the specific needs of each project. If your project requires a high level of customization and flexibility, writing custom PHP code may be the better option. However, if your project requires a simpler solution that is easy to manage and update, ACF may be the right choice. As a WordPress design agency, it’s important to have a strong understanding of both options, so that you can choose the right approach for each project.
Another factor to consider when deciding between using ACF and writing custom PHP code is the level of support and documentation available for each option. ACF is a widely used plugin with a large community of users, which means that there is a wealth of documentation, tutorials, and support available online. This can be helpful if you run into any issues or need guidance on how to use ACF.
In contrast, writing custom PHP code can be more challenging if you don’t have a strong understanding of PHP and WordPress development. While there are resources available online, it can be more difficult to find the right guidance and support for custom PHP code.
Another advantage of using ACF is that it can help streamline your workflow and make it easier to collaborate with other designers and developers. Because ACF is a well-established plugin, other designers and developers may already be familiar with it. This can make it easier to share code and collaborate on projects, which can be particularly useful for larger design agencies that work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Cost Analysis for 10 websites:
updated cost analysis table:
|Cost Item||Single Site License||Unlimited License|
|Initial Cost||$49 per website||$249 per year|
|Year 1 (10 websites)||$49||$249|
|Year 2 (10 websites)||$49||$249|
|Year 3 (10 websites)||$49||$249|
|Year 4 (10 websites)||$49||$249|
|Year 5 (10 websites)||$49||$249|
|Total Cost over 5 years||$2,450||$1,245|
As you can see from the updated table, purchasing the unlimited license can still result in significant cost savings over time, especially if we plan to use ACF on multiple websites.
Furthermore, the unlimited license provides access to all ACF premium features, including repeater fields, flexible content fields, gallery fields, and more.
In conclusion, both ACF and custom PHP code have their advantages and disadvantages. As a WordPress design agency, it’s important to have a strong understanding of both options so that you can choose the best approach for each project. Ultimately, the choice of whether to use ACF or custom PHP code depends on the specific needs of each project, including the level of customization required, the level of technical expertise available, and the long-term goals of the website. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and build websites that meet the unique needs of each client.
- Advanced Custom Fields official website: https://www.advancedcustomfields.com/
- ACF documentation: https://www.advancedcustomfields.com/resources/
- ACF on WordPress.org: https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-custom-fields/