Quick tip: set post connector using PHP code

I actually wrote about this back in April, but it’s such a nice feature that it’s worth mentioning again (also: I had forgot about this myself!):

You can use PHP to set the Post Connector for a post. This has some nice benefits:

  • Post Connectors can be set automatically (no user has to select something is a dropdown)
  • Post Connectors can be set based on Post ID, Tags, Categories, what ever you want or need
  • If you set the Post Connector using code you can then hide the post connector dropdown completely from the edit post screen = much cleaner and more easy to use interface

Some code examples to get you started:

Define Post Connector in Page Template

Today version 1.4.2. of your favorite WordPress custom fields plugin was released.

This version addresses GitHub issue #72: Feature request : Assign connectors to templates, meaning that it is now possible to add a page template like this:

Template Name: Test template for Simple Fields
Simple Fields Connector: attachments

And then all posts or pages that use that template will also use the “attachments” post connector.

Now easier than ever to use wp_query and sort posts using values from a field in Simple Fields

Today version 1.3.3 of Simple Fields is out. The full changelog is available at WordPress.org.

This update features a new and simplified way to sort posts using wp_query.

When using wp_query to fetch posts sorted by meta values you usually do something like this:

$args = array(
	"orderby" => "meta_value",
	"meta_key" => "my_custom_field_key",
	"order" => "asc"
$my_query = new WP_Query($args);

Then if you wanted to sort posts by a value that was stored by Simple Fields then you had to find out what the meta key for the field was and then use that in the query like this:

$args = array(
	"orderby" => "meta_value",
	"meta_key" => "_simple_fields_fieldGroupID_2_fieldID_0_numInSet_0",
	"order" => "asc"
$my_query = new WP_Query($args);

Pretty much the same, but a bit more difficult since you have to get the meta key and then you have to keep in mind that the meta key can change if you have a dev, stage and production server.

Here’s where the latest update come into play. Since we know the slugs for the field group and the field (we kinda entered them ourself in the GUI or using code, didn’t we?) we can use those slugs instead:

$args = array(
	"orderby" => "meta_value",
	"sf_meta_key" => "my_field_group_slug/my_field_slug",
	"order" => "asc"
$my_query = new WP_Query($args);

And boom! Simple Fields automatically gets the correct custom fields key and places that in the “meta_key” argument. No more worries about changing field ids between development and productions servers.

Altough it works great, you have yo remember that different field types store their values in different ways. it works really good for plain text, date/timepicker, and probably some more too, but there are field types that store their values as serialized objects and so on.

Oh, this update also adds the method get_field_by_fieldgroup_and_slug_string() that you can use yourself in your code if you for any reason want to get information about a field based on the slugs of the field and the field group is belongs to.

global $sf;
$field_array = $sf->get_field_by_fieldgroup_and_slug_string("my_fieldgroup_slug/my_field_slug");
echo "Here is some info about the field:";

This week Simple Fields celebrates it’s third birthday

This week, three years ago, I wrote the first blog post about Simple Fields.

Since then I’ve used the plugin in almost every WordPress project that I’ve been involved with. Honestly I don’t know how to make a site any longer without using Simple Fields.

It’s been three great years; I’ve heard from many happy and thrilled users of the plugin. I’ve moved the development of the plugin to GitHub so other can report bugs and help out with pull requests and such. And best of all: I have not bloated the plugin with costly add ons or promotional boxes (I do however accept donations).

My vision was – and still is – a plugin that’s so discrete that your users don’t realise it’s a plugin.

So happy three year, my favourite little plugin.



Import & Export your fields with the brand new 1.3 version


The new import and export screen

Version 1.3 of your favorite WordPress Custom Fields Plugin is now here. Some of the highlights in this version:

  • The GUI in the settings now have tabs. Makes the GUI a bit less messy, and with it comes some filters and hooks that makes it possible for plugin to also add tabs there.
  • Import & Export: finally you can export and import fields. Currently you can choose what to export, and during import you can overwrite all your existing fields using that export. Pretty lame right now with only replace as an import option. But stay tuned, an import option to add fields that don’t already exist is comping in next version.
  • Using filters you now store fields by its slugs instead of ids. Very useful when ids have been messed up between development server and production server. Also useful when working with import and export, since ids are easily increased. I will try to post an intro/tutorial about this since it’a pretty cool and useful feature.

That’s it for now. Grab you update from wordpress.org or in your WordPress Plugins menu.

Oh, finally: if you like this plugin please give it a nice rating so other will know, and I will be a little bit happier. Thanks.

Status Board panel to show WordPress Plugin Downloads

Last week Panic released Status Board for Ipad,  a nice looking app that shows different kinds of data in beautiful way. Pretty much right away I knew I wanted to show the download stats for my Simple Fields plugin.

So today I made a little PHP script that fetches the downloads stats, using the API from wpapi.org (lots of thanks to @deanjrobinson for creating it!) and outputs the data in a format that Status Board understands. Very simple. But damn good looking:


My first plan was to just create a panel for the Simple Fields-plugin, but since it was so easy (just plain JSON) I added the option to add multiple plugins to the panel.


Usage is pretty straightforward:


This will show stats for three of my plugins plugins (Simple Fields, Simple History and CMS Tree Page View) and it will show the downloads stats for each day the last 30 days.

Just change the arguments to “slug” to whatever your plugins slugs are and it should show your stats instead.

If you’re reading this on an Ipad with Status Board installed you should be able to just click this link to add the above graph:


Update 17 april 2013: source code is now available in this gist.

Encourage further development of Simple Fields

As you already may have understood, development of Simple Fields takes a lot of time. Sometimes a few hours per week, sometimes a couple of hours each day.

Most of the time I really love my plugin! But there are sometimes when I get a bit tired of it. Spending whole evenings fixing weird bugs and spending weekends implementing new features is not always fun.

But you know what helps? What gives me inspiration and energy? Feedback from you users out there! A tweet, a blog post, or just an email saying that you like the plugin. Getting a bit of appreciation makes all the difference. And it makes all the work worth it.

So this blog post is a little reminder: if you like this plugin then let me know it. Send me a kind Tweet, a nice email. Or give me a small donation or send me something I want from my Amazon Wish List.

Thanks! /Pär