ACF PHP vs. JSON Overview

This article list the pros and cons of ACF JSON and ACF PHP. This article already assumes you know what ACF and WordPress is, and have working knowledge of the WordPress directory.

I was recently given the pleasure of researching the pros vs. cons of ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) PHP vs. JSON export to identify future maintenance of existing WordPress stack utilizing ACF.  Prior to this project I have always been taught to use the ACF JSON export when working with multiple devs. Even in my research ACF JSON seemed to be the solution to managing your ACF with multiple devs. My assumption based on my research was to use ACF JSON for collaboration among other devs. But in previous projects maintaining ACF utilizing JSON I found syncing issues and fields would go missing between environments.

In addition utilizing the ACF JSON feature with Git we would run into issues with version control. I found to be the real benefit of the ACF JSON is you get to use the nice ACF JSON GUI in the WP-Admin which can make for easier for development but if you are willing to take make the effort, utilizing the ACF PHP to maintain isn’t so bad. Plus utilizing the ACF PHP export it allows for easier version control with Git, and control of the ACF instead of exposing them in the WP-Admin for Administrators (Note: you most likely can control ACF viewing in the WP-Admin utilizing functions.php file). For now going moving forward with future projects I will try to maintain ACF utilizing PHP and see how it goes, can always change in the future.

ACF PHP Pros and Cons

Pros​ of ACF PHP

  • It does help with binding field logic to a theme.
  • This feature is a one-way export.
  • Allows for greater control via customfields.php
  • May avoid Git versioning conflict
  • May avoid ACF JSON syncing issues

Cons​ of ACF PHP

  • ACF PHP export does not help with version control and local development? – Not neccarsily, see pros above.
  • To perform CRUD (create, updated, delete) on existing ACF there isn’t a way to do this. ​- Has to be done via PHP, see here.
  • Now, there is a plugin that enables you to do this, but ACF doesn’t do it by default
  • Because of the one-way export, once it has been exported and transferred to another environment, you cannot easily change or extend the ACF settings.​ – Again you can register fields via the PHP export
  • Also, this method doesn’t work well with merging two different setups that has been developed separately.
  • A field group in PHP file will not show up in the ACF admin unless you import a JSON file.

ACF JSON Pros and Cons

Pros of ACF JSON

  • If you only require a solution for distribution across multiple environments, please familiarize yourself with the local json feature as this solves the issue with minimal effort.
  • Local JSON is a new feature added in version 5 which saves field group and field settings as .json files within your theme. The idea is similar to caching, and both dramatically speeds up ACF and allows for version control over your field settings!
  • The real power in ‘local JSON’ is the ability to sync changes. This allows multiple devs to work on a project, use git to push / pull files, and keep all databases synchronized with the latest field group settings!
  • JSON field groups will be available for sync when either the JSON field group does not exist in the DB, or when the JSON field group contains a higher ‘modified’ value (within the JSON array) than the DB post’s modified date.
  • When fields groups are detected for synchronization, you will see a new tab above the field group list where you can select the groups to be imported.
  • ACF’s Local JSON feature can dramatically boost performance when it comes to your custom fields. It works similar to caching in that it saves both field group and field settings as a .json file on your web server.

Cons of ACF JSON

  • ACF JSON Conflicts with Syncing and Git versioning.
  • Keep ACF field groups out of the production site’s database.
  • Only make changes to field group settings locally.
  • Hide the ACF Field Groups admin page on the production copy of the site.
  • Good article on possible conflicts with JSON: and why we should follow the above instructions.

This article was put together by the following resources:

Conclusion of ACF JSON vs. PHP

It’s really depends on the project and your personal preference. Do you want to make the development harder on yourself/team, to avoid versioning/syncing issues with ACF? Or do you want to have easier CRUD via WP-Admin GUI? The choice is up to you, be flexible and figure what works out for you and your team.


WordPress as CMS

Can WordPress Be Used As A Content Management System?


The default WordPress

There has been talking about using WordPress beyond the typical blog set-up, into the realms of a full-fledged content management system or CMS or even an application development framework. Yet, most people have no idea how this is even possible. I have to stress that the default WordPress software was intended to be a blogging tool, so if you’re trying to make it work like a different type of content management tool you’ll have to use the correct plugins (enhancements) and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

While the exact step-by-step method is out of the scope of this article, let’s explore some of the ways you can use WordPress, as I have personally done before.

1) WordPress as Business Directory

To make WordPress work as a business directory, you’ll need a special plugin and a source for the articles. The Business Directory Plugins is the perfect tool for this, as the business, there are usually human-approved.

Business Directory Plugin allows you to build a local directory, a directory of business providers, a Yellow-Pages style business directory, Yelp-like review sections, create a church directory, build an address book directory and much more. You can add any kind of directory using Business Directory plugin.


2) WordPress as a Membership Site

You can set-up a free or paid membership site using WordPress. All it takes is a few simple plugins to get the job done. Once you’ve installed the plugins, members will need to login to your site in order to view the content. You can also place a login form in your WordPress theme files to make it easy for users sign in and out of your membership site.

However, the plugins only create a simple membership system, so if you’re looking to create different membership levels and more advanced features, you’d probably want to sign-up with a professional membership system.

3) WordPress as a Classified Ads System

WordPress can work like any other classifieds website too. Users can sign-up on your site and place classifieds in the form of new blog posts. They can even set expiry dates for their ads and specify listings or “wanted” ads.

However, you will need to create all the necessary categories and even create a sign-up information page to teach your users how to place ads. The upside of using WordPress as a classifieds site is that you can also use tagging tactics to get traffic from social bookmarking sites.

4) WordPress as an Audio / Video Training Site

Using the membership plugins or WordPress compatibility plugins, you can create a membership site with WordPress. Then, all you need to do is to add the “Podcast or Videocast” plugin which takes care of all audio and video elements on your website.

You will be able to display and stream MP3 audio or FLV video using their built-in players. The Podcast plugin is really robust and allows you to specify setting on iTunes, so you can make this commercially and available to the entire iPod / iTunes community.

As you can see by now, there’s a lot of possibilities when it comes to using WordPress to the extreme. Every day brings new possibilities to using WordPress as a complex CMS instead of the modest blogging tool it was designed to be.

What About WordPress Plugins?

What About WordPress Plugins?


Huge range of WordPress plugins

The function of WordPress has opened up endless possibilities recently, taking it to a new level no longer limited to a blog site. With a huge range of WordPress plugins already available, and many more being added constantly, website owners can put up custom designed pages in a few minutes with a little help.

WordPress plugins are scripts developed by various programmers to give users more options for their blog pages. For example, a WordPress plugin can be used to display recent comments, or as a spam prevention tool. WordPress templates are proving to be extremely popular for externally hosted websites, so having the ability to add more features makes the WordPress plugins a very handy source of free programming!

While many people set up WordPress blog pages to share personal and social stories, blogging has become an essential part of the marketing and promotion sector. With a separately hosted website, WordPress users can include advertising links or Adsense, and promote affiliate products. WordPress plugins provide excellent tools for customizing these types of sites, with add-ons in a wide range of categories including:

  • Adsense management
  • Advertisement rotator
  • Search engine optimization
  • User restrictions and password options
  • Visitor and click statistics
  • Search boxes
  • Tracking tools
  • Social bookmark tags

Since there are a large variety of WordPress plugins to suit all sorts of users, the level of expertise required to install some of these varies. You’ll need an understanding of FTP, and Zip files, and some knowledge of HTML. More advanced website owners can even develop their own plugins. A degree of PHP programming is required, and some WordPress plugins also use JavaScript or CHMOD to function properly.

A note about and

Although these two sites sound the same, the services offered by each one are different and this often causes confusion for people. The difference lies mainly in the hosting side of things. While a free WordPress blog will be hosted on, the themes and templates are limited and users are not allowed to include advertising or affiliate links. on the other hand requires you to have your own domain and hosting in place, but is a better option for advertising and marketing purposes, and this is where the WordPress plugins come into the equation!

Self-hosting website owners can make light work of designing their sites with WordPress plugins, creating unique personalized pages to attract their visitors!

How to Make Your WordPress Install Spam Proof

How to Make Your WordPress Install Spam Proof


There will be spam

As long as there is Internet marketing, there will be spam. A lot of it comes from overseas, but some of it is from people who just don’t know any better. They learn to go about doing things the wrong way, and some of them can get into trouble, as with email spamming. But the people who spam blogs, are, by and large, just wasting their time.

Rather than waste valuable Internet marketing effort, people should do something much more effective like writing articles or posting on their own blogs. But some spend their money on “blog blasters,” which randomly spam blog comments throughout the blogging universe. What these people don’t realize is that they’ve wasted their money. But then, for every Internet marketing success story, there will be thousands of Internet marketing failures. People just don’t get it. Spamming WordPress blogs, at least, is a total waste of time.

Activate Akismet

WordPress blogs come with a plugin, already installed, called “Akismet,” and it will automatically pick out the spam comments and hold them for you until you delete them. It’s pretty efficient and catches about 90% of the spam comments that come in. To activate the plugin, click on the “Plugins” tab from your WordPress dashboard. You’ll see Akismet in a grey or green bar. If the bar is grey, you’ll need to activate the plugin so click on the link on the right-hand side that says, “Activate.”


To complete the process, you’ll need to get an API key from WordPress. This is a simple line of letters and numbers, and to get it, you just need to register with Word Press at Once you’ve signed up, WordPress will email the API key to you. When you see it in your Inbox, go back to your blog and click on the Plugins tab again. To the far right, you’ll see “Akismet Configuration.” That will take you to a page that has an empty box for that API key. Fill it in and click “Update API Key.” Bang! No more spam.

Manage from your Dashboard

Now, you’ll have to monitor the spam, so go to “Manage,” from your Dashboard screen. You’ll then see that “Akismet Spam” link. When you see there are spam comments, if there are only a few, you can check to see that they’re all spam. If so, then, click on “Delete All!” and they’re gone. Before my blog had so many spam comments, I found some legitimate comments and could weed them out to be approved. Now, we get hundreds of spam comments every day, so they’re just all deleted. Anyone wanting to spam my Internet marketing blog is out of luck.

If you have a blog, you need that spam control. So, it’s not enough to just activate the spam filter. You have to approve your comments. From the WordPress dashboard, click on “Options,” and then “Discussion.” Set your preference to: “An administrator must approve the comment.” Then, you’ll be able to see every comment before it hits your blog. Akismet is a great blocker, but not 100%.

Akismet will handle most of the problem. When your blog is new, you may not have much spam, but once it hits the search engines, you’ll see it grow daily. Akismet is one great way to control this quickly and easily. Let someone else waste their Internet marketing time on stupid tricks. You won’t have to.

Are WordPress Templates Difficult To Understand

Are WordPress Themes Difficult?


Are WordPress Themes Hard to Understand?

One of the things that seem to put people off using the WordPress software on their own site (as opposed to the hosted WordPress blog site) is the technical side of the process involving WordPress templates and themes. There’s a lot of talk about code, PHP, CSS, and plenty of other confusing abbreviations that don’t mean a lot to many people! This is unfortunate, as a WordPress blog can make such a big impact on web pages, and can even be used as a standalone website once you get your domain name and hosting sorted out.

Understanding the way WordPress works, installing the software, and figuring out how the templates fit into themes does require a bit of techie know-how. It is not as hard as it first appears though, and thankfully, for those of us who are a bit technically challenged, there are some excellent guides and resources that can help make the process a whole lot smoother.

The WordPress templates are the backbone of the themes used to build the WordPress blog pages. Themes come in all manner of styles and designs and can be customized by altering the layouts, installing WordPress plugins and by adding or changing the templates. WordPress templates are basically just a bunch of files that together make up the themes for your WordPress blog site.

Essential WordPress Theme Files

Generally, a default set of templates for WordPress themes would include some of these essential files:

-> index.php this is the main template file for your WordPress blog
-> header.php the header template
-> footer.php the footer template
-> page.php for creating WordPress pages
-> single.php for creating WordPress posts
-> sidebar.php the WordPress blog page navigation
-> style.css the stylesheet that makes up the layout for your WordPress blog.

These are just the basics; there are much more WordPress templates that can be added to customize your blog; for example, links, search forms, archive posts, and WordPress blog comments.

Another confusing aspect for some people is the mention of template tags. Again, these are not as difficult to understand as they first seem. They are basically just bits of code to help the WordPress templates to perform their job properly. The tags within the templates contain the instructions to make your WordPress blog a cleverly designed set of pages!

Customize WordPress Pages

One of the great things about WordPress templates is that you can customize them to design individual blog pages as well as post pages. The pre-defined templates will usually apply to all the pages on your WordPress blog, but you can add, remove or change the other template files to create unique items on each page.

If you consider the WordPress templates as the mechanics of the themes, you can hopefully begin to understand how they work together to create a WordPress blog.

5 Factors Of Effective WordPress Themes

5 Factors Of Effective WordPress Themes


In case you’re building on the WordPress, I’ll wager my whole life funds that the primary thing you ever did was an attempt to introduce another WordPress themes. I’ll wager my future profit that even today you’re still once in a while changing themes and squandering a great deal of time doing minor adjustments that when summed up just diverts you from blogging itself.

However, it’s straightforward why subjects ask for so much consideration. With the right subject, you can suit all the clever little gadgets and codes, and may likewise mean better web search tool rankings and huge amounts of crisp activity consistently.

So what components do you have to consider to make this entire topic chasing business simpler? Here are five critical components for your WordPress Theme:

1) Theme Layout

Normally, WordPress subjects come in 2-segment or 3-segment positions, with widths running from 500 pixels to 960 pixels wide. In case you’re blogging for non-benefit purposes, a 2-segment topic can look smaller and peruse benevolently. Since you have fewer pictures of items or connections to different destinations to show, you can concentrate only on the substance without driving perusers far from your site.

Then again, in case you’re blogging revenue driven, you might need to consider a 3-section WordPress subject that will have the capacity to oblige your Google Adsense, Chitika and Text Link Ads codes easily without crushing everything in the substance zone. 3-segment topics permit space for development, yet in the occasion that you’ve topped off all accessible space with advertisements, then it’s an opportunity you expelled the non-entertainers and utilize just the promoting administrations that work for that specific blog.

2) Use of Images and Icons

A topic with pictures and symbols can look great, however, it seldom expands your web movement or supporter base. Truth be told, most “A-rundown” bloggers have plain vanilla subjects with a basic logo on top. Lessening the measure of pictures likewise implies quicker stacking time and less weight on your servers. This essential part of server load gets to be distinctly obvious just on the off chance that you have a huge number of guests a day, yet it merits planning for what’s to come.

A picture loaded subject likewise occupies perusers from the substance itself. This is the motivation behind why web journals like Engadget and Tech Crunch utilize pictures seriously in the substance territories to increase the value of a post, yet the topic itself is straightforward and rather moderate.

In a perfect world, a subject ought to permit you to utilize your own particular header picture for more grounded marking purposes, yet supplant pictures and symbols with connections and content, or just not utilize them at all unless completely essential.

3) Compatibility with Plugins

Some other time-sucking action is introducing modules that enhance the usefulness of your site. There’s a module out there for nearly all that you need to do with your blog, yet while the majority of them are free and effortlessly reachable, it’s not generally simple to introduce the modules and embed the codes into your WordPress subject.

In the event that your subject is excessively muddled, it might be a cerebral pain to try and embed that one line of code you have to make a module work. This is regularly the case with cutting-edge AJAX-based WordPress topics that have an excessive number of records and overwhelming coding. I’ve generally favored less complex subjects that adhere to the default WordPress topic however much as could be expected, so I can reduce the expectation to learn and adapt and simply move on.

Keep in mind that the reason for your blog is to convey auspicious, pertinent substance to your perusers, Any subject that jam or enhances the per-user experience is great, any topic that subtracts from the experience is terrible.

4) Search Engine Optimization

A considerable measure can be said in regards to website improvement, however toward the day’s end on the off chance that you have content worth perusing, in the long run, you’ll get the rankings you merit. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply that you needn’t bother with SEO; it just implies that to the extent streamlining is concerned you should simply to ensure:

(a) Your labels are organized appropriately, with the name of the post initially took after by the name of the blog – a few subjects can do this naturally without alteration to the code or utilization of a module

(b) All your blog content titles utilize the H1 tag, with the primary watchwords utilized rather than non-engaging content for better SEO importance

(b) Your topic has clean source codes, and if conceivable all organizing is connected to an outer CSS document which you can alter autonomously

5) Plug-And-Play Ease of Use

Will the topic be introduced effectively on a current blog without moving things around? Could a similar subject be utilized and altered effortlessly on your different websites? These are some extra things you might need to consider when topic shopping, particularly if each moment of downtime on your blog may mean lost income.

While it’s difficult to make correlations because of the sheer measure of free and paid subjects out there, it’s still a smart thought to have a test blog web page. Test any topic you anticipate utilizing, and ensure your test blog is likewise fitted with all the modules and various gadgets utilized on your genuine blog. The exact opposite thing you need is for your perusers begin seeing irregular blunder messages on your blog.

By the day’s end, a topic is only a topic. Rather than investing your energy introducing them, it might be more shrewd to outsource the undertaking and concentrate more on your perusers. On the other hand, you may likewise need to consider purchasing “attachment and play” subjects at a sensible cost. Dennis De’ Bernardy of has most likely one of the best topics around, however, in the event that you’re short on money, there are positively less expensive options.

Start Blogging with WordPress!

Start Blogging with WordPress!


After attending the WordCamp US 2016 in Philly, I felt the motivation to write this post.

Blogging with WordPress

WordPress is one of the many options available to bloggers who are looking for free software online which makes it incredibly easy to publish their own blog. This software is easy to use, provides a variety of templates and offer excellent support to bloggers. There are many options available to bloggers and other blogging programs may be better known and offer slightly different features but many bloggers are quite pleased with WordPress. This article will offer some useful information for bloggers who are considering starting a blog with WordPress such as reasons to choose WordPress, tips on starting a blog and information about the support offered by WordPress. Based on this information as well as their own research bloggers can decide whether WordPress is right for them or whether they should seek out a different blog network.

Reasons to Choose WordPress

There are many great reasons to choose WordPress to start a blog. Some of these reasons include a great variety of templates, the ability to categorize and tag posts easily, features such as spell check, previews and autosave, the ability to post text, audio files and video files, a variety of privacy options and the ability to track statistical data related to the blog in addition to other great features. Some of these features may be more important to some bloggers than others so deciding whether or not WordPress is right for you will largely be a matter of personal preference. For example bloggers with little or no programming experience may enjoy the myriad of templates available on WordPress while bloggers who are concerned about privacy issues may be more interested in the privacy options available through WordPress. Carefully investigating these features will help bloggers determine if they should start a blog with WordPress.

Starting a Blog with WordPress

Bloggers who opt to start a blog with WordPress will certainly not be disappointed by the amount of time it takes to start a blog. A blogger can literally start a blog with WordPress within minutes. This is tremendously important to bloggers who are eager to get started and do not want to deal with a long process to start a blog. The only requirements for starting a blog are a valid email address and a username. The blogger enters this information into the signup page and receives a password almost instantly. Next, the blogger simply has to check his email, follow the activation link provided and use the password provided and the process is complete. The blogger can start blogging immediately.

Support Offered by WordPress

For many first time bloggers, the type of support offered is very important. This is because first-time bloggers may have quite a few questions about the process of starting a basic blog and once they establish a basic blog they may have additional questions about using advanced features and customizing the blog. WordPress offers a great deal of support for bloggers of all skill levels. The support offered by Word press includes the ability to contact the support staff as well as the ability to receive support from other members through online forums. Although the support staff is incredibly responsive some bloggers enjoy the ability to communicate with other bloggers in forums. This is because the forums are active 24 hours a day and bloggers can find support from peers at any time.

Difference between Blogger and WordPress

Difference between Blogger and WordPress


Differences between Blogger and WordPress

The two main hosted blog types, are Blogger and WordPress – you’ll find that whenever a discussion about where its best to host your blog if you’re not hosting it yourself, that these two are rated the highest.

So which of the two services is better? Ultimately, both services will offer you a strong and solid base to blog from, but there are a couple of distinct differences between Blogger and WordPress.


WordPress hosted services are not designed to be used for commercial purposes – nevertheless, most people do. You get a choice of themes (and without paying, you can’t design your own theme) and a choice of plugins. You can ‘map’ your domain to the site, for a fee, giving you the appearance of hosting it yourself.

WordPress hosted (at is almost identical to hosting it yourself, other than the obvious ‘bonus’ of not actually needing to look after your install. But its disadvantages include being at the mercy of a third party site and needing to pay for additional ‘services’. These still cost less than buying hosting and setting the blog up yourself.


Blogger is owned by Google and is designed around ease of use. You can ‘FTP’ your blog onto your own site or host at a domain ( of your choice. Blogger doesn’t use plugins but does let you use your own theme, within certain limits.

A huge community has been built around Blogger, but unlike they allow commercial based blogs as well as non-commercial, which means they are more prone to spam.

In conclusion. If you really can’t host your own blog at your own site, play with both WordPress and Blogger, because ultimately, the main difference will be between which one your more comfortable with. And that’s the one you should use.