11 Jun

ACF Chat Fridays: June 7th Open Forum

By Mike Davey

ACF Chat Fridays are your biweekly chance to tap into the collective knowledge of the ACF community. Join the developer team and other users for live discussions, Q&A sessions, and insights into the future of Advanced Custom Fields. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, these open office hours are the perfect opportunity to learn and grow.

The June 7th session of ACF Chat Fridays was a lively discussion that looked at the challenges and opportunities of building custom WordPress sites with ACF, with an in-depth discussion of what’s next for ACF Blocks.

Co-hosted by Iain Poulson, Matt Shaw, Liam Gladdy, Phil Johnston, and Anthony Burchell.

Sign up for the next session →

ACF Chat Fridays Banner Image.

Session Recording

You can see the entire session in the player below, or catch the highlights in the session summary.

Session Summary

The session began with a discussion on the recent release of ACF 6.3.1, which included fixes for block validation and the icon picker, and an enhancement that allows Options Pages registered in the UI to be duplicated. Liam Gladdy also gave an update on two recent releases for ACF PRO, 6.3.1.1 and 6.3.1.2, which included bug fixes for ACF Blocks and the Repeater and Flexible Content fields.

If you’ve visited the ACF website recently, you may have noticed that it’s had a bit of a refresh and is sporting a modernized logo. This is part of WP Engine’s wider brand refresh, which of course included all of the company’s tools and plugins.

Iain Poulson also announced that the team was hard at work drafting the 2024 ACF User Survey. Last year’s survey drew more than 2,000 respondents from across the WordPress ecosystem. The annual survey provides incredibly valuable feedback to the team, helping them determine how ACF should continue to innovate and evolve to fit the changing landscape. Please make sure to watch for the official survey kickoff announcement, coming soon.

Q&A

We’ve included some of the questions and answers from the latest session below. Minor edits have been made for clarity and style.

Q: How do you decide when to use ACF Blocks versus native WordPress blocks?

A: It really depends on the client and their needs. If the client wants a specific design and layout, we’d use ACF Blocks. But if they want a more DIY approach, we might use native WordPress blocks. We know agencies that disable all core blocks and just build custom blocks with ACF. It’s about giving the client what they need, not what we prefer as developers.

Q: What’s on the roadmap for ACF Blocks, and how will they integrate with the WordPress block editor?**

A: We want to make ACF Blocks feel native. A new WordPress admin is coming at some point, and that’s going to be all React, so we want to build what is essentially a React version of every ACF field.

If you’re in an ACF Block and you’re editing inline, and we’re showing you all the fields we’ve detected from your template, would you expect the toolbar to let you just hit a button and your field that way? Is that the flow people want? Do they want to edit fields inside the block? Or would they want the edit form, where it’s just a list of fields, because that’s what they’re used to? There’s a lot of UX work to do on this topic.

We know that there are folks out there who use a Select field to completely change the template that gets rendered. How do we handle that sort of situation? “Hang on, this text field is no longer visible in your template, so you can longer edit it.” We need to define where the boundary lies for that sort of thing.

What we’re thinking is that we want it to feel like editing pretty much anything else in the block editor. Text fields, WYSIWIGs, all of that kind of stuff: you would just click on the ACF Block like you would with a core block and type away. That’s the end goal there.

Longer term, we’ll start sharing more previews and screenshots of what you can expect. We’re looking to get stuck into that now that we’ve shipped block validation in ACF 6.3.

We share relevant resources during the call. We’ll sum them up here and try to provide a bit of context:

Coming Up on ACF Chat Fridays

Register today for the next session of ACF Chat Fridays, taking place May 10th, 2024 at 2pm UTC. Questions and suggestions for the development team are always welcome.

Register for the next session of ACF Chat Fridays here:

https://wpeng.in/acf-chat-fridays/

The list of upcoming sessions is below.

  • June 21, 2024
  • July 19, 2024
  • August 2, 2024
  • August 16, 2024

Tag or DM us on Twitter to let us know you’ll be there. Suggest new topics, let us know what you’d like to see, and send us feedback with #ACFChatFridays on Twitter.

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