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This plugin is currently out-of-date and does not work properly with WP 3.3.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.

3 Answers 3


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!

  • 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. Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 22:17
  • 1
    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! Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 23:28

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.


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

  • 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. Commented Feb 21, 2012 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. Commented Feb 22, 2012 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
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 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. Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 4:50

Check out the Meta Box plugin. This plugin can do everything you asked, plus it's very easy to work with and to extend. The codebase is simple and you can understand it easily.

It also has many extensions which can help you to improve the appearance of the fields, re-organize them in groups and many things.

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