ACF

What is ACF and why does it work?

Digital marketing is filled with acronyms that can be more than a little intimidating to those of us who are unfamiliar with them. Talking with someone who works in digital marketing can feel like a conversation in a different language. You’ll hear things like, “The best way to go about optimizing your SEO is through things like PPC and ACF. Of course, updating Alt Texts help because then you’ll be ADA compliant.” Then you’ll just nod along and smile and hope they don’t notice that you have no idea what they are talking about.

 

If you read that example and knew exactly what it said, then congrats! You should probably check out one of our other blogs instead (also, I’m impressed). This big world of web page building is still relatively new, so don’t feel bad if you are still learning about it.

 

And in case you were wondering, yes, I do fall into the group of not knowing what ACF is (at least until the writing of this blog). I’m a content writer. Someone says, “Write,” and I say, “How many words?” I’ve never really had to worry about what exactly goes into websites that isn’t written out on a word doc. But learning new things is fun, so let’s do it together.

 

ACF stands for Advanced Custom Fields. It is a plugin that you can install on your WordPress site. It essentially allows you to organize your site better. It makes it so you can add categories to posts and pages on your site. This blog post gives an example of a dog rescue center. ACF allows the volunteers to specify what gender and breed the dog is when making a post about them on the site, as well as adding their name and a description. This form of indexing makes it easier for those looking for a dog to rescue to find one that will work best with their lifestyle.

 

ACF allows your site to look cleaner and work in a way that is much more efficient. It allows for more control over your content and as a result, making your site easier for your employees to use and your clients to browse. The easier a site is to use, the more likely it is to draw people in. After all, how much does it suck to try and browse someone’s site, find it confusing, and then just give up? ACF could help you avoid that.

 

That link to that blog above (and I’m just going to throw it here again, because why not) goes into a lot of detail about how exactly ACF works, the best way to go about using it, and all other kinds of detailed information. If you’re like me and don’t know a ton about web development, it’ll probably go over your head. But if you are a web developer or understand it well, then check it out. ACF is not a tool to just toss aside. If your site needs to handle complex data tables at once and still be accessible to a layman, ACF could potentially make or break your site.

 

Of course, if you want your site to be lovely, easy to use, and pretty, but don’t want to build it yourself, then may I recommend the services of Avant8? This is what we do (don’t worry, I won’t be building the site, I’ll just be writing your content).


Is WordPress right for my site?

WordPress is undoubtedly popular.  Twenty percent of the internet uses WordPress but is it the magic bullet for all website needs? For many the answer is yes, but to understand if WordPress is the solution for you consider the following:

Pros:

1) Cost - WordPress is free, with thousands of free themes and plugins to make your website look spectacular. Premium content is also available (for a price) if you want to give your site that extra edge. Cheap templates are also available to make your website responsive, modernizing your site and boosting your search results.

2) Convenience and Flexibility - Designed to be used by professional web designers and the masses, WordPress is simple enough for beginners but has enough depth to be used by even the biggest of sites. Many small personal blogs use WordPress, but major names such as Fortune, BestBuy, and the worlds  use WordPress sites as well.

3) Easy Installation - One of the most remarkable advantages of WordPress is how fast it installs on a hosting server. Webmasters need to wait only a short while before they can start adding content to their site.

4) Large and Friendly Community - WordPress has developed a robust and helpful community. The vast majority of the time you can know that someone has asked a question you have and you will be able to find an answer online.

Cons:

1) Open Source - WordPress's greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness. All of WordPress's content is available to be manipulated, changed, and republished, allowing hackers to find loopholes in security to attack sites. There are ways to prevent this, but this can substantially increase the cost of your site.

2) Update Issues - While themes and plugins you buy will be updated along with the rest of WordPress, free content may or may not break with updates. Free content creators have no obligation to updating their code, causing problems with sites using their creations.

WordPress is what a CMS should be: Flexible. Many of the problems associated with WordPress can be solved with the aid of a professional, and depending on the size of your site you may not have problems at all. WordPress dominates the internet for a good reason, and you can be certain that isn't going to change anytime soon.