Bst WordPress CRUD plugins and solutions compared

Best WordPress CRUD plugins and solutions compared

Written by Casey Burridge

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Categories General WordPress

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WordPress, with its flexible architecture and extensive plugin ecosystem, offers several powerful solutions for implementing CRUD functionality. 

A CRUD system enables you to add and edit data in the WordPress database, visualize it, and remove it, all from the front end.

Whether you’re a developer looking for custom coding options or a beginner seeking user-friendly plugins, this guide will walk you through the best methods to handle CRUD operations in WordPress.

Let’s dive in!

Can WordPress do CRUD operations?

WordPress can handle CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations, and it does so quite efficiently. While it’s widely known as a powerful CMS, WordPress’s flexible architecture and robust API make it capable of much more, including complex data management tasks. 

By default, creating, updating and deleting information happens on the WordPress backend, and is something that only Admins are allowed to do. However, using custom code or specialized plugins, you can build powerful front-end CRUD systems as well!

Here’s a quick rundown on how WordPress manages CRUD:

  • Create: Adding new content in WordPress is a breeze. Whether it’s posts, pages, custom post types, users, or comments, you can do it all via the admin interface. This is also easy to do programmatically using WordPress functions.
  • Read: Fetching and displaying content is what WordPress does best. With functions like get_post(), get_user_by(), and WP_Query, you can pull content from your database and showcase it on your site in any way you like.
  • Update: Modifying existing content is straightforward, whether you’re doing it through the WordPress block editor or with code. 
  • Delete: Removing content is just as simple. You can delete posts, users, or any other content type either from the Admin panel or by using functions like wp_delete_post()

For those looking to do even more with their data, WordPress doesn’t disappoint. You can create custom tables, write custom SQL queries, or leverage powerful plugins like Gravity Forms and GravityView for more intricate CRUD operations!

Let’s take a deeper look at some of these options.

Custom code

Code

The first option to consider is the most obvious: coding your own custom CRUD plugin in wordpress. If you don’t have experience developing for WordPress, this may not be a viable option, and you should rather select one of the simpler options below!

Coding a custom CRUD plugin for WordPress starts with organizing the file structure. The next step is to create a PHP script that will perform the CRUD operations. Essentially, you need a way to accept data from the front end, process it accordingly, and send it to the WordPress database.

There should also be ways to update existing data in the database and remove database entries altogether.

The next step would be to construct the front-end of your CRUD system using HTML and JS and have a way to output this using a shortcode. Finally, you’ll need to connect the back and front end, possibly using AJAX calls.

Level 

Advanced. Building a custom CRUD solution for WordPress is only suitable for developers with experience in PHP and plugin development.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Coding your own solution gives you a lot of flexibility in deciding how to implement the functionality.
  • Con: Time consuming
  • Con: Requires extensive testing and refinement

Pricing

Free!

Gravity Forms with GravityView

Turn Gravity Forms entries into anythig

If you’re looking for a simple way to build CRUD apps that’s easy to set up while giving you flexibility over the design and functionality, use Gravity Forms and GravityView!

Gravity Forms enables you to input data via various different field types, from text fields to file uploads. GravityView adds a powerful front-end interface on top, enabling you to View, update, and delete that data, directly from the front end.

GravityView includes a range of layouts for building different kinds of CRUD apps, from job boards to directories and basic CRUD tables. Moreover, GravityView has a drag-and-drop builder for creating front-end interfaces, making it easy for non-developers and WordPress beginners!

Developers can use GravityView to save time; the plugin has a rich feature set and plenty of hooks to tap into. You can build on top of GravityView’s framework to speed up your development process!

Key features

  • Scalable: GravityView includes a Pro option with additional layouts and extensions, giving you more control over your data.
  • GravityView is well integrated with other tools in the Gravity Forms ecosystem
  • Includes built-in searching, sorting, filtering, and exporting!
  • Allow users to edit their own submissions

Level 

Any. GravityView is used by developers, web designers, business owners, and WordPress beginners.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Easy to set up: Create a CRUD app in 5 minutes or less.
  • Pro: Flexible drag and drop builder
  • Pro: Choose different layouts and preset templates
  • Pro: Powerful ways to manipulate data
  • Pro: Can handle any data type
  • Con: No direct integrations with popular page builders (yet!)

Pricing

  • Gravity Forms starts at $59/year
  • GravityView starts at $129/year

Advanced Custom Fields

A screenshot of the ACF backend

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is a plugin that enables developers to “take full control of their WordPress edit screens & custom field data”. ACF enables you to create custom post types, add custom fields, and display data from those fields in theme template files.

Using the ACF framework, you can also build a custom CRUD app for WordPress. To do this, you’ll need to first create a form on the front end of your website to add or edit content.

In ACF, you can do this using one of two functions: acf_form_head() or acf_form(). According to the ACF documentation, these functions accept an array of settings to customize the form element output. This includes the ability to create a new post, edit a specific post, select which field groups to show, and customize HTML elements.

Key features

  • Integrate with the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) to create custom blocks using ACF fields.
  • Easily create a wide variety of custom fields, including text, image, file, number, email, URL, and more.

Level 

Advanced. ACF is a plugin that’s geared towards WordPress developers.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Enables you to customize WordPress with advanced fields
  • Pro: Streamlines WordPress development
  • Con: Difficult to use if you’re not a developer

Pricing

ACF Pro starts at $49/year.

Elementor

The Elementor builder

Elementor is a user-friendly WordPress page builder that lets you create stunning websites without needing to write a single line of code. 

Elementor makes it easy for anyone to build beautiful, professional-looking website pages in no time. Building pages is one thing, but what about CRUD apps? 

Although the Elementor plugin does not support CRUD functionality, you can use it to create the front-end part of your CRUD app, while relying on custom code for the backend functionality.

To build a custom CRUD, you’ll need Elementor Pro to design the front-end interface. Next, you can use custom PHP functions and the Elementor forms API to send data that the user enters on the front end over to the database!

Why use this approach over purely custom code? Elementor speeds up the process by enabling you to build the front-end using their intuitive visual builder. Then, all you need to worry about is coding the CRUD operations on the backend.

Key features

  • Visual, drag-and-drop builder for page design
  • Supports a vast library of pre-designed templates and blocks

Level

Intermediate. While Elementor does make the process easier by removing the need for a custom, front-end interface, you still need to write custom PHP functions to allow for CRUD operations.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Easily update the front-end interface
  • Con: Requires knowledge of PHP and the Elementor forms API

Pricing

Elementor Pro starts at $59/year.

Other WordPress CRUD plugins

If none of the above solutions seem right for your project, here are some other WordPress CRUD plugins to consider trying out.

User Profile Builder

User Profile Builder WordPress plugin

User Profile Builder enables you to create simple CRUD systems for profile pages. The plugin makes it easy to register and manage users for online communities, eLearning platforms, as well as news and resource websites.

The plugin helps you personalize your website with front-end user login and user registration forms, giving website visitors a convenient way of signing up or accessing their profiles.

Users will also be able to edit their profile information after registration (i.e., the Update part CRUD). You can display the registration and profile update forms on your site using predefined shortcodes.

The plugin also has a drag-and-drop profile builder for customizing the user profile layout.

Key features

  • A full CRUD system, specifically for user profiles
  • Customizable user login widget
  • Support for user role management.

Level

Beginner. User Profile Builder is simple to use and can be an effective CRUD tool for WordPress beginners and experienced users alike.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Easy to set up and use
  • Con: Restricted to user profiles; it won’t work for other CRUD apps.

Pricing

The basic plugin is free. The Pro version starts at €99 / year.

WPDataTables

A table and charts built using wpDataTables

wpDataTables is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create CRUD tables for managing different kinds of data. You can pull data in from a variety of sources, display it in a table/spreadsheet, and update it as necessary.

The power of wpDataTables lies in its ability to visualize complex datasets; your data source can be a MySQL query, a Google sheet, an external URL, or a form plugin. The plugin also supports inline editing for quickly updating values from the front end.

If you’re torn between using GravityView or wpDataTables, read our detailed comparison of both plugins: GravityView vs wpDataTables.

Key features

  • Visualize your data with charts
  • Supports a range of different data types

Level

Intermediate. wpDataTables is perfect for more experienced WordPress users that are looking for a versatile CRUD plugin for displaying data in a table.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Create CRUD tables from different data sources
  • Pro: Filter, sort, edit and export data from the front end
  • Con: Only supports tables, no other layouts

Pricing

wpDataTables starts at $149/year.

Ninja Tables

A table of WooCommerce data built with Ninja Tables

While Ninja Tables isn’t known as a CRUD plugin, it can be used like one. Ninja Tables Pro enables you to display data in a table, and edit it from the front end. You’ll only be able to create and delete data from the backend (WordPress Admin area).

However, there are ways to create table entries from the front end. For example, you could create a custom form using Gravity Forms or ACF that enables you to create WordPress posts. These posts can then be displayed using Ninja Tables.

If you’re torn between using GravityView or Ninja Tables, read our detailed comparison of both plugins: GravityView vs Ninja Tables.

Key features

  • Extensive styling options for your tables
  • Import and export tables from CSV or JSON files

Level

Intermediate. Ninja Tables is a helpful WordPress plugin that’s best suited for users with some WordPress experience.

Pros and cons

  • Pro: Create good looking tables with minimal work
  • Con: No built-in way to create new entries from the front end
  • Con: Does not support Gravity Forms entries

Pricing

The basic plugin is free. There is a Pro option starting at $79/year.

Optimize your WordPress site with CRUD tools

Whether you opt for coding your own CRUD solution or using plugins like Gravity Forms with GravityView, Advanced Custom Fields, or wpDataTables will depend on your level of expertise and the needs of your project.

By leveraging these tools, you can streamline your workflows, enhance your site’s functionality, and provide a seamless user experience. Choose the solution that best fits your needs and level of expertise, and start building solutions today!

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