Custom fields are inbuilt parts of WordPress. They can be added to any WordPress site out of the box. But the field content isn’t automatically output in most default templates like the main editor is, so one would need to know PHP to include them in the template pages.
- Content is completely separate from styling. You can define the layout in a custom page template php file. All your client needs to do to choose a layout is pick a custom post type or page template.
- UX is simple and straightforward. Using these will be a breeze for your client, creating a new page is just a matter of filling in the forms.
- Developers should also supply defaults if the field is repetitive or in case any of the fields is left blank or renders incorrectly.
- Design anything you want. Since the templates are created in html/css from scratch there really is no limit to what can be made with them. You can create any layout you want and give your clients lots of choice.
- Editor is customized to your client’s needs. Instead of generically named content headings and help text you can use text that is relevant to the client, their industry and their goals. With these you can guide your client by putting in useful help text and headings that reminds them of the design’s purpose for the content.
- Consolidated css, the css is exactly where you expect it to be, in your style.css file. Maybe you’ll allow some customization through the customizer, but even then you know what you are allowing.
- You can get the kinds of content they put in. Restrict the character count of the text or the size of a picture to enforce a coherent look. You can also give them conditional options and allow them to choose between different content-types and apply custom styling to those types. For example you can allow them to either output a picture icon or a glyphicon and output html accordingly.
- You can control the look of common plugins by including their .php files in your theme.
- You can also use shortcodes with this sort of template and the developer can set it up so that it outputs only if it is valid. You can also use html for markup like defining something as a list.
- A good developer can future proof a site by creating a custom plugin for these fields. You can then switch themes or port it to another site and not lose the functionality. If your client has multiple sites in the same industry, you can use these fields in all of those sites as well.
- You’ll need a developer who knows PHP. They have to include code to retrieve the fields in templates. They also need to understand error catching and coding best practices because the site could break if they don’t.
- The developer also needs to know WordPress. It’s not just a matter of knowing PHP but understanding themes, plugin development and custom taxonomy best practices is crucial. If they don’t understand it, you might find yourself having the same issue of data portability that drag and drop builders have.
- It’s more upfront cost to hire a good developer and it might not be justified for sites that don’t really need to run for too long.