ACF Custom Database Tables

Storing ACF-driven meta data somewhere other than {$wpdb->postmeta}.

Plugin demo by Phil Kurth

What is it?

ACF Custom Database Tables is an ACF extension plugin that makes it possible to store ACF data in organised, structured database tables instead of WordPress' core meta tables.

What's the difference?

Why bother?

  • Portability   export a whole table with ease
  • Searchability   structured data can be searched much faster
  • Speed   structured data can offer less work to database engines
  • Scalability   faster, more efficient queries == less strain on resources

The gist

  1. ACF Field Groups dictate the structure of custom tables
  2. when a field group is saved, a JSON file containing the table structure is generated
  3. The JSON is used to generate database tables and a table/field map
  4. The table map is used to store/retrieve data in its appropriately

Demo Time!

  • Demo 1: Capturing leads with the Advanced Forms plugin
  • Demo 2: Object/entity data rows

Cool features

  • Relational fields can form their own tables
  • Data storage in core meta tables can be deactivated entirely
  • Filters for disabling fields on a per table, per field type, or even per field name/key
  • Arrays are JSON-encoded instead of serialised

Future Plans

  • Complex field support   repeaters, groups, clones, flexi-content
  • Data migration   existing data >>> newly created tables
  • GUI   powerful interface for opening up more flexibility and control
  • WP CLI   run processes from the command line
  • Import/Export   take control of your data from the admin
  • Developer Tools   tools for advanced data queries without SQL
  • …and plenty more…

Got questions?

You can reach me at

Plugin will be available soon at