How to Use the Metadata Control


Features in this article require Block Visibility Pro

Control Overview

With the Metadata control, you will be able to easily display blocks based on post and/or user metadata. Metadata is often referred to as custom fields and can be easily added to posts, pages, and custom post types in WordPress core. User metadata, on the other hand is a bit more restrictive. Adding custom user metadata requires a bit of custom coding. That said, WordPress provides a decent amount of default user metadata, such as first_name, last_name, etc., that can be useful in configuring block visibility.

If you are looking for additional control over metadata, many great third-party plugins provide more sophisticated solutions than WordPress core, namely Meta box and Advanced Custom Fields (ACF). Note that if you are using ACF on your website, we recommend using the ACF control directly, which is included in the core Block Visibility plugin. The ACF control provides more direct integration with ACF fields.

Configuration

How to Enable

Click on any block in the Block Editor and navigate to the Visibility panel. You will notice an ellipsis icon in the Controls Toolbar. See the screenshot below. Click on the ellipsis, and all available visibility controls will appear. Select “Metadata” and the Metadata control panel will be added to the selected block.

Enabling the Metadata control in Block Visibility Pro.
Enabling the Metadata control in the block settings sidebar (Pro v1.2.0)

How to Configure

Instructions are always better with examples. Let’s assume your website has a custom field on posts that indicates if a banner image should be displayed. Assume the post metadata key is show_banner_image and the custom field is configured like so.

Custom field configuration using core WordPress functionality.

You want to conditionally display an Image block if this field is set to true.

Steps to Complete

  1. Select the Image block and navigate to the Metadata control settings in the Visibility panel.
  2. Select “Post Metadata” from the rules selector.
  3. In the meta key field, enter show_banner_image.
  4. Choose “Value is equal to” for the condition.
  5. Finally enter true for the meta key value.

The resulting configuration should resemble the screenshot below. While this is a relatively simple example, you are limited only by your own creativity!

How to Disable

If you would like to disable the Metadata control at the block level, simply click on the ellipsis icon in the “Controls” toolbar and deselect it. The control can also be disabled globally in the plugin’s Visibility Control Settings.

Note that if this control is disabled globally, any blocks that are actively being hidden by the Metadata control will become visible again.

Rules & Rule Sets

Similar to other controls in Block Visibility and Block Visibility Pro, the Metadata control is powered by rules and rule sets. All rules within a rule set must be satisfied for the selected block to be visible. However, you can also create multiple rule sets. Only one rule set needs to apply for the block to be visible. 

Within a rule set, you are creating AND conditions between multiple rules. Between two rule sets, you are creating OR conditions.

There are instances when rule errors can occur. For example, if rule inputs are not completely filled out or if the rule is based on a product that has since been deleted from your store. In these situations, the plugin defaults to showing the block unless other rules apply, which would hide the block.

Metadata rules and rule sets in the block settings sidebar.
Metadata rules and rule sets in the block settings sidebar (Pro v1.2.0)

Metadata Rules

When creating a new rule, you will have the option to choose either “Post Metadata” or “User Metadata”. When post metadata is selected, the plugin will check if the current post, page, or custom post type has the provided meta key and satisfies the rule. If user metadata is selected, the plugin will check if the current logged-in user has the provided meta key.

Note that if you select “User Metadata” and the current user is not logged in, the rule will fail, and the block will be hidden.

When a specific meta key is entered, you will then have the choice of 6 operators. These include:

  • Has any value
  • Has no value
  • Value is equal to
  • Value is not equal to
  • Value contains
  • Value does not contain

Once the operator is selected, you then enter the value to test the meta key against.

Hide When Rules Apply

By default, the block will be visible if the applied rules are satisfied. Simply toggle the “Hide when rules apply” setting to hide the block instead.


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