Sorry if this isn't the best place but was hoping for some clarification on something that has been bugging me.

I have several custom post types

  • Artists
  • Counties
  • Venues
  • Events
  • Festivals
  • Line Ups

At the moment I am using ACF relationship fields so for example when adding/editing an event, I can relate it to festival and a venue. For a line-up, I can relate it to an event and artists.

What I was wondering whether some of this functionality could and should be replaced by using taxonomies (tags)? Furthermore would it be worth creating custom taxonomies or using the standard "tags" one? What would the advantages be beyond not having to rely on a plugin?

A main reason for using ACF was that it would hopefully reduce user error as they will be linking to something that already exists whereas entering a taxonomy, they could misspell it. Also using ACF, in my head, there's no duplication of something that already exists whereas if I were to add a taxonomy, I'm adding something that is already there

So rather than querying posts using the ACF API to search for posts with a specific meta key, whether I could just search for posts with a certain tag?


  • 1
    By what you've described, whether you use ACF or not, I say stick with the concept of relating posts to posts directly. This doesn't sound like what taxonomies were designed for (grouping content). Sep 24, 2015 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


MHO is that you should stay away from ACF as much as possible, but putting this a side your question is really what is better to use post meta fields or taxonomies, for which the answer will depend on other factors.

For example do you want to easily see in the value as a filter to seeing all relevant post on admin side, or at the front-end then taxonomies are a good way to reduce the amount of required work, but if not, there is just no point in cluttering your admin with taxonomy menus which will never be used.

  • Thanks :-) out of interest, why would you stay from ACF?
    – pee2pee
    Sep 24, 2015 at 11:29
  • ACF is a nice tool for people that don't know how to code, but its drawback is that it hides the lower layer which makes it harder to understand what is actually in the DB in the end of the day and associate it with your code. And most things that are done with ACF do not require a very deep understanding of wordpress API for a coder to write by himself. Once you start getting outside of what ACF supplies out of the box the time you saved writting the initial code will most likely be spent in trying to work around ACFs limitations. Sep 24, 2015 at 11:51
  • ACF is awesome for a slick admin interface. What most don't know is that you can completely avoid it on the frontend and minimise your dependency if you ever switched tools in the future. Sep 24, 2015 at 12:32
  • Thanks both. I think I may move away from ACF for the basic things but for the more complex stuff, I'l stick with it, especially if for whatever reason, I move away from this particular project.
    – pee2pee
    Sep 24, 2015 at 14:01

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