I am looking for a free way to design a CMS website quickly and easily. Easily means with the minimal requirements of technical knowledge and skills – in particular, no programming. I have now evaluated six non-premium CMS plugins – Magic Fields, Advanced Custom Fields (non-premium features only), Types (non-premium features only), Pods, More Fields (with More Types and More Taxonomies) and Custom Content Type Manager. No plugin ideally matched all my requirements but Magic Fields 2 supports 3 features – related custom post type fields, repeatable fields and repeatable group of fields – which I consider to be essential and is very easy to understand and use. None of the other plugins satisfied these 3 features and was easy to understand and use. However, does not appear to be under active development. I have decided on Magic Fields because I consider feature set and ease of use to be more important than other factors. This site is my notebook on Magic Fields.
Update: April 8, 2013 – I have written some of my own tools to help Magic Fields 2 do somethings that it doesn’t currently do. I have bundled some of them in a plugin – Magic Fields 2 Toolkit. I will add the others later after some more refining and testing.
Update: August 5, 2013 – I have begun trying to port my toolkit to Types. This is proving to be quite difficult as Types lacks some key features that Magic Fields 2 has – in particular, related post field and repeatable groups. I am not sure if this can be done but I like Types because its code quality is very high.
Update: October 20, 2013 – I have released version 0.4.1. This implements about 90% of my original design for the toolkit. There are still a few enhancements that I am currently working on but the next release 0.4.2 will probably implement close to 100% of my original design for the toolkit and I will end active development of this toolkit. Of course I will continue to support the toolkit with maintenance releases as long as Magic Fields 2 is viable. I have some more ideas for CMS and I will probably work on another toolkit maybe using Types.
Update: November 18, 2013 – I have released version 0.4.2. This completes all the features I have envisioned for this toolkit and is the final version. Of course, I will make maintenance releases as necessary.
Update: May 5, 2014 – I improved the search widget. Unfortunately, this made the search widget incompatible with the existing toolkit so I released an upgraded version of the toolkit with the new search widget and some new media fields. I have tried to port the toolkit to Types but due to some very basic design differences this seems to be very difficult to do. So, for now I have stopped working on CMS.
Update: December 7, 2014 – After failing to port the toolkit to Types I have decided to restart the development of the toolkit on Magic Fields 2. In the end, although not ideal Magic Fields 2 seems the best CMS plugin to use as a basis for developing a web design plugin for non-programmers.
How to report problems, ask questions, …
Please post your problem reports, questions, requests and comments to the Magic Fields 2 Toolkit support forum.