You have probably noticed that plugins and themes are now using custom fields for saving preferences and settings. Often these are saved on a page by page basis when you use a special feature of a theme or when, for example, your SEO plugin saves some meta data about a post. There is nothing wrong with this practice, but over time, as you switch themes and change the plugins you use, these old custom fields get left behind.
I imagine over time these orphaned custom fields could slow down the loading of pages or perhaps I’m just too finicky, but I like to periodically clean up this type of thing. Up to now I’ve used data queries or maybe even a tool like WP Sheet Editor, but I recently found a free plugin that is a real time saver. It is called “Edit Custom Fields.”
I have a site that has been around for a long time where I’ve gone through a number of themes and plugins. To test out Edit Custom Fields I created a backup staging version and put the plugin through its paces. I’m confident in how it works now and am ready to do a little cleanup on the live site. To start with, I took a backup using using All in One WP Migration.
After installing Edit Custom Fields there is a new admin menu item under the Tools menu.
Click on that takes you to a list of all of the custom fields. When I look through the list I saw old fields from Toolset, Astra, and the Page Builder Framework, which I’ve not used on this site for a couple of years.
If you are unsure it is safest to leave the fields. I select the old ones that I know are not in use. At the bottom of the page there are two buttons, one for delete checked fields and one for edit checked fields. After clicking the one for delete there is a very long page. At the top are the fields to be deleted and then down the page is a list of all of the places they are used. After reviewing the list I click the “Yes” button and remove them.
The other button at the bottom of the page is for editing field names.
If you check a field and then click the edit button you go to a screen where you can change the custom field’s name.
That’s it! I found Edit Custom Fields to be a real time saver.