Beginner’s Guide to Custom Fields in WordPress: Explanation + Tutorial

Beginner's Guide to Custom Fields in WordPress: Explanation + Tutorial

It can become time-consuming to repeatedly add the same information to multiple posts, especially for content-heavy sites such as blogs. This is a task you can accomplish much faster using custom fields in WordPress.

With custom fields, you can create a place in the editor to add a specific type of information to each of your posts or pages. For instance, you may incorporate a product rating for reviews or a disclaimer for affiliate content.

In this post, we’ll explain what custom fields in WordPress are and how they work. We’ll also walk you through the process of adding and using them. While this is a somewhat advanced technique, it’s simpler than you might expect. Let’s get to work!

An introduction to custom fields (and where to find them in WordPress)

The custom fields feature is hidden by default in WordPress, but it can be a useful option to know about. In a nutshell, it lets you customize your posts and pages by adding extra metadata to them.

For instance, let’s say you run an affiliate website and frequently publish new product reviews. You can add a custom ‘score’ field to your posts in order to clearly display a rating for each product:

In the above example, the custom field’s name is Review Score, and the value is the score itself (e.g., 3.5/5). When added to a post, custom fields are stored as ‘metadata’. This is information that’s associated with a particular piece of content (such as post titles, meta descriptions, and other elements).

After you store and categorize your custom metadata, you can display it on the front end so your site’s users can see it. In the review score example above, for instance, you might want to show your product rating using a star system (which is how most review plugins work, in a nutshell).

If this all seems a bit abstract, don’t worry. We’ll continue demonstrating how custom fields work throughout the rest of this post.

How to use custom fields in WordPress (in three steps)

A quick note: In this section, we’re going to show you how to use the native WordPress custom fields function because it’s useful to understand the basic principles. However, most people find it easier to use custom fields plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), Pods, Toolset, or Meta Box. More on these later.

There are two ways you can go about adding custom fields in WordPress. One is to use a plugin, such as Advanced Custom Fields. The second is to use WordPress’ native functionality. It’s not as straightforward, but tackling custom fields manually means you have absolute freedom over the metadata you include. Even if you use a plugin, it’s also useful to understand what’s going on underneath the hood.

Below, we’ve demonstrated how to access and use this feature. Note that we’re going to edit some of your theme’s core files during

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This article was written by John Hughes and originally published on ThemeIsle Blog.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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