ACF Chat Fridays brings the development team and users together every two weeks for a no-holds barred discussion of everything related to ACF. Keep an eye out for special themed sessions coming soon. In the meantime, keep reading for a recap of the latest session.
The April 28th forum looked at the upcoming first annual ACF User Survey, using ACF with page builders like Bricks, and whether it’s better to use the REST API or WPGraphQL when building headless WordPress sites with ACF.
Co-hosted by Iain Poulson, Liam Gladdy and Damon Cook.
Did you miss us? Hey, it happens. To show there are no hard feelings, you can catch the whole session here, or skip to the session summary for the highlights.
Iain Poulson kicked off the April 28th session with the announcement of ACF’s first-ever survey, dedicated to discovering how you use ACF, how you’re building WordPress sites, and what needs to be improved or added to make ACF even better.
To participate in the survey, make sure to sign up for ACF’s newsletter and emails. We’ll also make the announcement on Twitter, but signing up for emails ensures you’ll get a link to participate in this year’s survey and help guide the development of ACF.
This was followed by some discussion with participants regarding the ability to add custom post types and taxonomies directly in ACF, a feature added in 6.1. None of the call’s participants reported any issues with the feature.
Every ACF Chat Friday gives you the opportunity to ask the ACF team questions about technical challenges and the best way to achieve a specific objective. We’ve included just a few of the questions and answers below. Minor edits have been made for clarity and style.
Q: Other than checking the screen ID directly, is there an action that would make it easier to determine if an Options page is being saved to do something? Basically, when saving the Options page, I’m flicking the toggle on or off. When it’s on, I’m dynamically generating a page in WordPress and copying a template to the theme. When it’s off, I’m deleting the page and removing the template from the theme. Right now, I’m checking the screen position of the screen ID to see if it equals “ACF Options.” It works, but it’s slow and it feels like a hack.
A: There is currently no action to do this in ACF. This is because when you get to the point in the stack where it’s being saved, it’s treated just like any other Options page. We can certainly look into adding something like this in the future.
You could do something like this with the
update_option hook, which is WordPress core. It fires every time an option is updated or saved. That would let you manipulate the data based on the fact that this option is being saved, and that the only place that option is likely to be saved is through our Options page.
Q: Are we going to see more integration with page builders like Bricks?
A: Figuring out more about how you’re using ACF is a central part of the survey. Hearing from people who use page builders will certainly help us a lot. Aside from opt-in systems within the plugin, we don’t have a good way to directly measure the scale at which any page builder is being used. The survey will help us patch some of the holes in our knowledge and allow us to make more targeted development decisions.
Q: Looking at headless WordPress, I’m wondering about the differences between the REST API and WPGraphQL. I’ve used REST before and I would lean towards using it again, but it seems like everyone is using GraphQL. Is there a reason for that?
A: We strongly suggest attending one of Jason Bahl’s talks on the subject, either in person or online. He’s a great speaker, and as WPGraphQL’s creator, he can go in-depth on exactly why so many people prefer WPGraphQL when it comes to headless WordPress.
With that said, one of the most striking differences is that, unlike REST, WPGraphQL can merge requests so you get more than a single object with each request. This tends to make it much more performant for headless WordPress.
Atlas, the WP Engine headless solution, is very tightly coupled with WPGraphQL. ACF is now integrating tightly into that workflow as well.
Jason is currently working on the next version of WPGraphQL for ACF, which will take into account custom post types and taxonomies created with ACF.
The next session of ACF Chat Fridays is scheduled for May 2, 2023, at 2pm GMT.
We share relevant resources during the call. We’ll sum them up here and try to provide a bit of context:
Join us on May 12th for the next session of ACF Chat Fridays. This session will take place at 2pm GMT.
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