I’m doing exactly what you need to do. I can’t go into granular detail right now, but I even tried BuddyPress 2.0 but it was lacking too much as far as the richness of the profiles.
Here’s what I’m doing:
1) Setup a custom post type for the profile, and then a role for that post type. Use the Members plugin by Justin Tadlock to do that, and reference this article on registering the post type with the right capabilities: http://wp-snppts.com/create-a-custom-post-type-and-define-custom-role-capabilities.
2) Once you’ve done the above, you’ll have a role that has rights to the CPT. Now, get the USP Pro plugin. This plugin allows you to setup a registration form for users. When they register it creates their “profile” (the CPT) and assigns them as the author and also assigns them with the right role. Jeff, the plugin author of USP Pro is pretty helpful.
3) Define whatever ACF fields you want for the CPT to build beautiful profiles.
4) The Simple User Profile plugin by Innovative Solutions will let you dial in what a user can and cannot see when they sign in.
It took some time to figure out all of the above, but it works beautifully.
Welcome to the Advanced Custom Fields community forum.
Browse through ideas, snippets of code, questions and answers between fellow ACF users
Helping others is a great way to earn karma, gain badges and help ACF development!