6 Jul

Introducing the all new Support forum

By Elliot Condon

Today marks another great milestone for the ACF plugin; The unveiling of a new and improved Support forum!

The aim is to address many of the issues that were present in the old support forum. Here’s a quick overview of what’s news:

  • Agile: Moving to a WordPress + bbPress combo will allow for quick improvements to be made on a regular basis
  • Search: The new platform allows for a tailored search which will produce much more relevant results
  • Points: Answer topics, gain points and win badges! You will now get visual credit for your contribution to the forum

Migration troubles

Early on in development, I realized that the previous forum software (Vanilla Forums) did not offer any way to export the data, only to import it. I can only hope that they had not yet ‘got around to it’, as not providing any way to export data is pretty nasty.

I asked myself ‘what should I do’? The move to WordPress + bbPress was necessary, the point above just proving why, and perhaps a fresh start on the database would be good for the support forum. Now that it had been used for over a year, many topics were outdated and irrelevant.

The outcome is that no data will be migrated from the old support forum.

Hopefully the lack of data will be a good thing and we can start building a faster and more relevant knowledge base. If you require access to the previous support forum, I will leave it up and running on the domain: http://old.support.advancedcustomfields.com/, however, I will not be actively replying on that forum any longer.

Knowledge Base

In building the new support forum, I gained a clear vision for the future of the ACF website. The documentation resources are fine for developers, but as many of the ACF users are new to the development world, there is a need for a more simple ‘tutorial based’ section to the site.

This new section will be titled ‘Knowledge Base’ and will contain many tutorials which connect the support forum topics to the documentation articles. Hopefully, we can build this library so large, that there will be no need to even use the support forum for questions, only to submit bug reports!

You can expect to see this section over the coming months

Answers, Points and Badges

The new badge system is a simple and fun experiment to build a community of developers who actively help out one another. Every time your reply is marked as the topic solution (by the topic author), you will receive a point. At so many points you will be awarded a badge! There are 4 Badges available: User, Helper, Expert and Guru. Check out the screenshots bellow to see them in action:



Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoy the new support forum. I’ll be busy working on new additions to the site, and beginning the next version for the ACF plugin!

Cheers Elliot

About the Author

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