First, we’ll list excellent plugins that you can install in WordPress:
- Advanced Custom Fields
Fully customise WordPress edit screens with powerful fields. Boasting a professional interface and a powerfull API, it’s a must have for any web dev
This is an excellent plugin to help you add custom metaboxes to save your metadata. The user interface is very polished and all metaboxes are created from right within the WordPress Admin.
- Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields
Pods is a framework for creating, managing, and deploying customized content types and fields.
This is another excellent plugin, but is built with developers in mind. If you need to build something very advanced, and want to manage it from the WordPress dashboard, I recommend you dive into Pods. The developers are very responsive, and the documentation is excellent.
- Types – Custom Fields and Custom Post Types Management
The complete and reliable plugin for managing custom post types, custom taxonomy and custom fields.
Another advanced solution that will do a lot more than meta-data related fields.
This is a list of code libraries that allow you to add meta data fields by adding some code to your theme or plugin. These are generally preferred if you would like to release your theme or plugin without another plugin dependency, or if you prefer managing your metaboxes and fields from your code editor rather than the WordPress admin interface.
- Custom Metaboxes and Fields for WordPress
Custom Metaboxes and Fields (CMB for short) will create metaboxes with custom fields that will blow your mind.
This is a library that lets you manage your metabox configuration all in one place via a filter hook. Originally created by Jared Atchison and maintained by Bill Erickson and Andrew Norcross, It’s development has been taken over by the crew at WebDevStudios* and is in active development. Definitely check out the wiki for in-depth examples.
- Custom Metadata Manager for WordPress
This code-only developer WordPress plugin allows you to add custom fields to your object types (post, pages, custom post types, users)
Another recommended library and is by the fine folks at Automattic, the people behind wordpress.com, so you know you’re in good hands.
- HM Custom Meta Boxes for WordPress
Custom Meta Boxes is a framework for easily adding custom fields to the WordPress post edit page.
Another “CMB” flavor, that was originally forked from Jared Atchison’s Custom Metaboxes and Fields for WordPress. It’s unique in that it has “a basic layout engine for fields, allowing you to align fields to a simple 12 column grid”, among other things.
Fieldmanager is a toolkit for developers to create complex administration screens in WordPress.
Another advanced toolkit recommended by the folks at Automattic.
This is just a few of the more well-known plugins and libraries that will help you get more in-depth with post meta. Each resource listed here has documentation and tutorials associated with it, so I recommend you look them over and choose the plugin or library that most closely aligns with the needs of your projects.
Thanks for reading along with this series about post meta. Being able to properly work with post meta is one of the most important skills you can learn when it comes to developing with WordPress, as it really increases the flexibility of what you can do. I hope you’ve gained some valuable knowledge, and added a few new tools to your toolbelt.
*Full Disclosure, I am the primary developer on the WebDevStudios Custom Metaboxes and Fields library.