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WordPress Fields API

WordPress Fields API v0.0.6 Alpha

Travis Scrutinizer Code Quality License

The WordPress Fields API can be used by developers to build forms with a common structure. It makes it possible to efficiently build settings pages, meta boxes, profile fields, and other elements in WordPress.

This plugin is an evolving prototype as part of a proposal for inclusion in WordPress core.

This was initially a project of the WordPress core Options/Metadata team but is currently led by Scott Kingsley Clark and Eric Andrew Lewis with oversight by WordPress core lead developer Helen Hou-Sandí.

Please note: This Feature Project is still in the early stages of development and should not be used on production sites. It should be assumed that until the v1.0 release, the Fields API could change significantly due to core scrutiny and the final merge proposal response.


Visual Structure for Forms, Sections, and Controls

You can add new sections and controls to different sections of WordPress, but we're also in the process of replacing entire admin screens in WordPress with Fields API powered forms too.

Structure Example

Example Code

User Profile Form:

Term Add / Edit Form:


  • WordPress 4.4 - No previous or more recent major version can be 100% supported and confirmed as working.
  • Fields API installed as a plugin or included as a library

Every Fields API release has to be based off of the latest WordPress stable release. This means that over time, we can only support the last stable release of WordPress.

At the end of each WP release cycle we have to merge all of the Customizer and other implementations we have with the latest changes from core.

Why a Fields API?

There are over a hundred (I had to stop counting) plugins in the plugin repository that add meta boxes and fields to post types, settings, users, and even more if you include all of the themes and plugins that hook into the customizer. Many plugins build their own abstraction level for doing this, and custom field plugins are the biggest culprit of not following any standards for which to there is a significant need to unite these APIs to make them more consistent. At the same time, being able to provide a detailed structure for a site will take the capabilities of apps that extend WordPress (or interact with it) to the next level.

Each of the APIs that this aims to unite all have the same essential needs. Based on the Customizer, we can enable developers to do more because they won't have to jump between different interfaces.

What about Fields UI?

I am not focusing on any UI aspects at the moment besides implementation of the API underneath getting the field data for UI to use in core itself. It will be easier to tackle the API and the UI separately for both the purpose of development and core inclusion.

Where we need help

There are still a lot of areas the API is not represented in code or in examples.

Check out a full list of things we currently need help with


If you are interested in contributing, feel free to contact us in #core-fields on WordPress Slack and we'll help you get into the mix.

There are also GitHub issues you can feel free to chime in on or provide Pull Requests to.

Pull Requests

To submit a pull request, please base it off of the develop branch which we use for ongoing development towards the next release. The master branch represents the last stable beta release.


There are a few things that can be enabled for testing purposes:

  • define( 'WP_FIELDS_API_EXAMPLES', true ); Enable example section, controls, and fields for each form.
  • define( 'WP_FIELDS_API_TESTING', true ); Enable Fields API testing, as used by below.
  • ?fields-api-memory-test=1 Enable memory testing of 25 example sections, set to any number greater than 1 to customize how many example sections to add. Requires WP_FIELDS_API_TESTING on
  • ?no-fields-api=1 Disable Fields API from loading, useful for memory split testing. Requires WP_FIELDS_API_TESTING to be turned on
  • ?no-fields-api-late-init=1 Disable Fields API Late Init, which means when any form, section, control, or field are added, the object will be setup right away instead of only as needed by current page. Useful for memory split testing. Requires WP_FIELDS_API_TESTING to be turned on

Related Plugins

There are also a few other related plugins that may come in handy:

  • WP Fields Admin UI plugin: Build and demo how the Fields API works with an easy to use administration interface that actually lets you create new Fields API configurations.
  • WP Fields API Debug Bar plugin: See details on how many forms, sections, controls, fields, and other stats about your current Fields API configuration.


GPLv2 or later. See License.


Fields API proposal for WordPress Core (2015-2017)







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