Blog: What is your favorite plugin in the WordPress Plugins Directory? Tell us about it on your WordPress website and link to it in the comments.
We used to do all kinds of weird hacks with WordPress before ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) was released in 2012, using category archives as content hubs, tag clouds as navigation, hard-coded stuff everywhere…
Sure, there were meta box options out there and some custom database solutions, but nothing on the level of what Elliot Condon achieved with Advanced Custom Fields.
WordPress + ACF transformed what were essentially simple blogs into proper CMSs. It was released around the same time I started freelancing, which allowed me, as a fledgling business, to offer so much more as a WordPress developer.
For many years, I had been building what were essentially blogs with a few content pages for clients, but ACF opened up so many possibilities. Before that, you really needed to use something like Rails or Drupal to create ‘proper’ websites. Then came ACF.
In conjunction with custom post types and custom taxonomies, it supercharged WordPress and was incredibly easy to use. The documentation was amazing, and the support was incredible. The original pro licenses for repeater, flexible content, gallery, and options, priced at $25 (AUD), made even more things possible. It not only benefited me, but also empowered my clients to have more control over their own content without having to ask someone else to modify hard-coded values.
Since 2012, it has been the first plugin I install on every site, and I still do so to this day.