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I have been building websites with WordPress for a couple years now, and have become very reliant on the Simple Fields Plugin. Essentially this plugin lets me attach extra fields to the bottom of my "edit" pages; for example: repeatable image upload fields, extra text fields, etc...

This plugin is currently out-of-date and does not work properly with WP 3.3. I have seen a few other similar plugins - but many aren't free - or don't offer the 'repeatable' aspect I seem to need so often.

My real question is how do the big-boys in the field approach this kind of thing. Would you use a plugin, or is this something I should do custom on a per-site basis (like creating custom post-types). Or should I be taking a different approach to the back-end altogether.

For example, if I were building a footer 'page' and I wanted the edit page to:

  • have a section to upload different images and associate them with links.
  • have fields for phone number, fax, address, etc...
  • have another 'repeatable' field of links
  • other repeatable text fields

Sorry for being long-winded, and thank you!

edit : just checked out Magic Fields - I love it except that it doesn't allow you to choose apply the fields to a specific post-ID - just a specific post type.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

While you can create this all from scratch in your theme, I have really been liking the plugin Advanced Custom Fields as an alternative. It has a few flaws, but the major ones (such as slowing down your site) seem to have been fixed, and it's super-easy to use.

Best of luck to you!

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I got really excited as this is a very nice looking plugin - but alas - for repeatable fields I gotta pay. I'm sure its worth it, but it goes against my nature to pay for code. –  Zach L Feb 21 '12 at 22:17
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And... nearly 2 years later and this is the approach I'm taking! Was worth every penny. I paid for every premium add-on for this plugin, and can't work without it. WPAlchemy is still the way I do stuff ACF cannot - though I imagine if I learned to write ACF add-ons I could do just about anything! –  Zach L Jan 13 at 23:28
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From the looks of it, Simple Fields seems to be an easy way of making custom metaboxes. WPAlchemy has created a PHP Class which makes this process of creating metaboxes much easier. It does require you to know a basic understanding of PHP, though.

http://www.farinspace.com/wpalchemy-metabox/

There is very helpful instructions though that should help you understand your way around it.

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OK, this looks like the way to go for me. I don't have the time right now to dig in too much - but i'll go ahead and give you that check-mark. –  Zach L Feb 21 '12 at 22:19
    
i use wpalchemy all the time. i think it does have a learning curve, you will need to know some php, but the instructions are very, very thorough. –  helgatheviking Feb 22 '12 at 0:34
    
try my class which needs practically no learning curve and has a filed repeater block functionality en.bainternet.info/2012/how-i-add-a-wordpress-metabox –  Bainternet Feb 22 '12 at 1:57
    
@Bainternet - I've already dug into wpalchemy and so far I'm really liking it; but if you add an answer with your class - ill throw an upvote at ya. I took a look and it looks pretty legit. –  Zach L Feb 22 '12 at 4:50
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