Press This: New Options in ACF 6.1

by | May 25, 2023 | Etcetera | 0 comments

Welcome to Press This, the WordPress team podcast from WMR. Every episode choices guests from around the team and discussions of an important issues going via WordPress developers. The following is a transcription of the unique recording.

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File Pop: You’re paying attention to Press This, a WordPress Workforce Podcast on WMR. Every week we spotlight folks of the WordPress team. I’m your host, File Pop. I enhance the WordPress team via my serve as at WP Engine, and my contributions over on TorqueMag.Io where I get to do podcasts and draw cartoons and educational motion pictures. Check that out.

File Pop: Complex Customized Fields is a popular plugin designed to allow WordPress developers to have further keep watch over over their custom designed field wisdom. And it’s moreover a two time Plugin Insanity winner. In recent years Complicated Custom designed Fields introduced fashion 6.1. With this fashion, website online developers can now enroll custom designed post sorts and custom designed taxonomies from all the way through the plugin.

To talk about the ones new choices in ACF 6.1, we’re joined via Iain Poulson. A product manager at WP Engine operating on Complicated Custom designed Fields. Iain, you’ve been on the show. It used to be as soon as a few year previously that we had you on in all probability moderately much less when you introduced 6.0. So I know we’ve already gotten to this, then again can you merely remind our listeners, how did you first get into WordPress?

Iain Poulson: Oh yeah. I started building plugins a long time previously, and then in the long run moved from freelancing, building WordPress internet sites for customers to operating for Scrumptious Brains, a WordPress plugin development company. And along the best way by which we won ACF and I was the product manager for ACF. 

And then fairly under a year previously or just a bit bit lower than a year, Delicious Brains and the plugins have been won via WP Engine. And so proper right here I’m now as ACF product manager inside of WP Engine. The ACF product is going from power to power, which is very good.

File Pop: Do you imagine what fashion ACF used to be as soon as when you was product manager?

Iain Poulson: Oh I assumed you have been gonna ask when I first started using it, however it used to be as soon as 5.10 or something like that. We have been operating on what used to be as soon as next. We have been searching for to get our toes underneath the table with merely the product and building new choices. As the new team operating on it, I believe 5.12 used to be as soon as our greater liberate, which used to be as soon as the REST API integration.

It sort of feels like a long time previously.

File Pop: Yeah. And so like I said, we had you on in October talking about 6.0, and 6.1 is out and it’s a huge liberate. It sort of feels to be one of the vital a very powerful exciting Complicated Custom designed Fields releases I can imagine. Can you tell us what are in all probability the one or two largest choices of bear in mind in 6.1?

Iain Poulson: You’re totally right kind, it’s a if truth be told massive liberate. It’s a big liberate for quite a lot of reasons. It brings the ability for people to enroll custom designed post sorts and taxonomies in WordPress throughout the ACF admin, which is kind of like a huge issue that folks do all the time.

People do it with other plugins, they do it with code. And ACF consumers have all the time been doing it. It’s the sort of problems that you just usually do when you’re building a website online that merely has some other wisdom moderately than posts and pages, which is with reference to all the time. People need custom designed post sorts to build their internet sites.

However it’s all the time something that ACF hasn’t finished, and it’s worked with out a topic answer, and it’s been predominantly spherical together with fields to those post sorts or taxonomies. 

However it was so clear that the workflow spherical building a website online, creating a custom designed post sort and then together with fields to that post sort used to be as soon as so more or less entrenched in how our ACF consumers have been building internet sites that it merely gave the look of a really perfect idea to place it into the plugin. 

However it’s the principle time the plugin’s kind of moved into doing further than just custom designed fields. I talk about it throughout the liberate post jokingly to say it’s now we’re most probably referring to it as ACF now, slightly than Complicated Custom designed Fields, because it does further and talking regarding the plugin as Complicated Custom designed Fields, Put up Varieties and Taxonomies is a little bit a great deal of of a mouthful.

So yeah, it’s a change throughout the manner of like, we’re searching for to give a boost to the workflow spherical custom designed fields, spherical custom designed wisdom, spherical content material subject material modeling, spherical building WordPress internet sites, structured wisdom with WordPress internet sites, and making it upper for our consumers. So it used to be as soon as a big shift there, however it’s moreover a big chunky liberate.

There used to be as soon as a ton of work that went behind the scenes underneath the hood. Refactoring how the admin of the plugin worked. Moving merely from the registering UI of custom designed fields to now to incorporate custom designed post sorts and taxonomies and making that whole UI and all the engineering art work that is happening. Making that reusable so we will then switch onto other problems later on, which we’ll most probably talk about throughout the show. 

So yeah, it’s a big chunky liberate. It’s been smartly won. I believe that there’s a ton of people to be had available in the market that have merely gone, “Certain, I’ve been taking a look ahead to that for a while.” 

And it merely makes my workflow much more straight forward. I can use one a lot much less plugin, for instance, or despite the fact that I’m however registering post sorts with code because of I wanna put it in fashion keep watch over or having it on the file tool, I can use the ACF registration UI to go and have complete keep watch over over the post sorts that I’m registering.

We reveal all the different settings, then again make it slightly simple so that you’ll have the ability to break out with the quickest amount of settings, tweaking to enroll a post sort, otherwise you’ll have the ability to if truth be told delve into all the sophisticated settings. And also you’ll have the ability to then take that definition and export it to PHP, and put it in Git or fashion keep watch over, otherwise you’ll have the ability to use our JSON export and sync that we have for field groups so that you’ll have the ability to make changes and push them up to your production website online.

So it kind of fits within the identical workflow as field groups, then again merely throughout the ACF method with post sorts and taxonomies. So it’s if truth be told cool.

File Pop: And that’s available totally free? The ones two number one choices that we’re talking about are available for pro and free consumers?

Iain Poulson: Certain, exactly. This isn’t a qualified highest serve as. This is for everybody. This is kind of similar to the bedrock of making wisdom heavy internet sites with WordPress. We had to make it available totally free. It’s great to have to be had available in the market understand that.

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File Pop: Mm-hmm. In step with your blog post about this liberate, you said, and that’s gonna be quoting out of your weblog, “Registering CPTs and taxonomies has been on a roadmap for slightly some time. When Delicious Brains won the plugin from Elliot, the principle e mail we sent our consumers used to be as soon as to ask them the best 3 problems they wanted to see throughout the plugin, CPTs, and taxonomies throughout the plugin used to be as soon as right kind up there and the best 5 requests.”

So I’m kind of curious, we discussed things like your history with the plugin, why if the ones have been the most well liked problems, why did it take this sort of very very long time as a way to in any case mix them?

Iain Poulson: Yeah, I indicate, I believe obviously there’s one of those a longer history of ownership with Elliot having it for goodbye, he used to be as soon as the founder, he used to be as soon as the creator, he used to be as soon as the person who did one of these lot heavy lifting and hard art work with it. I believe he probably had a distinct view on what it will have to do. And that opinion used to be as soon as different to most likely how we thought to be it. 

And we now view it differently even at WP Engine compared to Delicious Brains. So I believe these things are subjective, right kind?

You’ll have the ability to have a couple of of our consumers say, smartly, I don’t want ACF to do that because of I use every other plugin to do that. Or I’ll use my tried and tested approach with code. They typically don’t see the need. And then there’s 5 other consumers that may merely be like, certain, this is exactly what I would really like.

We’ve taken that manner with it. There’s moreover a piece with headless. WP Engine’s Atlas platform is built on modeling wisdom in WordPress, growing custom designed post sorts. Rising custom designed fields, and exposing those all over WP Graph QL requests, and, um, making that wisdom available on the headless front end.

So ACF is working inside of that platform to supply consumers the ability to taste wisdom throughout the UI briefly, merely without mucking spherical with PHP code or other plugins. It’s taking part in into the fact that ACF and WordPress can create great improving evaluations, great content material subject material improving evaluations, and create excellent headless evaluations as smartly for WordPress builds.

File Pop: That’s a great spot for us to take a at hand information a coarse ruin. Once we come once more, we’re gonna continue talking with Iain Poulson about what’s coming in long term diversifications of ACF, along with talk about a few further choices that we haven’t gotten spherical to however, and this liberate of 6.1. So stay tuned for additonal Press This.

File Pop: Welcome once more to Press This, a WordPress Workforce podcast on WMR. My identify is File and I’m joined via Iain Polson, a product manager at WP Engine operating on ACF, which merely introduced ACF 6.1. Previous to the ruin, we discussed one of the vital difficult new choices that have been introduced with ACF 6.1, at the side of registering custom designed post sorts and taxonomies.

Iain, I believe you have been in terms of to kind of touch on something proper right here that I was thinking about. The ones are new choices and strong new choices with numerous alternatives and numerous complexity. And in addition you’ve even mentioned that it’s more or less changed the best way by which all the product is being thought to be.

And, Complicated Custom designed Fields, by some means, is just about too restricting. And allowing yourself to take into consideration it as ACF, you’ll have the ability to uncover further of the ones possibilities which could be to be had available in the market and now not being limited to just certain ideas from the former. On the other hand the issue I’m wondering is when you’re together with one of these lot power to a plugin like this, how is that changing the revel in for brand new consumers?

Is this in all probability by chance making the plugin kind of harder to use for additonal basic consumers?

Iain Poulson: Yeah, that’s a excellent degree. I believe given that 6.0 liberate, which had the new UI, we’ve been searching for to think further purposefully about how we onboard consumers and have a better revel in when you arrange the plugin and in addition you activate it and also you’ve were given an empty state with problems. You don’t have any field groups, you don’t have any post sorts, and in addition you don’t necessarily know what you want to do. 

There’s further art work to be finished there understand that, then again something we did put into 6.1, which I’m if truth be told glad how it turned into out and I believe it’s, it’s already showed precious for people.

It’s a better method to select and make a choice the sector sort that you want. So if you end up defining your fields and in addition you’ve created a field team and also you’re defining the fields that you want, you want to make a choice what type of field is it? Is it text field? Is this gonna be a WYSIWYG Editor?

Is it gonna be a internet web page link? Is it gonna be further of a complicated field sort? Is it a repeater field, a flexible content material subject material field, a clone field? On the other hand in truth what are they, what do they do? 

And previously in diversifications forward of 6.1, the sector sort selection workflow may well be you go and use a dropdown, a very basic HTML dropdown and make a selection your field sort.

And you would have to know which one you’re in search of, know which one you want and what it does, and take a look at and glean all that knowledge from a make a selection field. So now we’ve kind of added this Browse Fields button next to the make a selection, which we’ve stepped ahead just a bit bit with Upper Search as smartly and easily upper visibility about what you’re deciding on.

On the other hand this Browse Fields button brings up a modal, which is a field picker. It shows you all the fields, and it’s categorized them, so that you’ll have the ability to more or less tab throughout the opposite categories of each a basic field, a choice field, the relational fields and things like that, similar to the layout fields.

It’s searching for to be in agreement new consumers, then again provide consumers as smartly to seize what are the ones fields. What are the 30 field sorts that they’ve got at their disposal and why they’d use them. So we’ve got kind of a sidebar of the modal that has an summary about each and every field. There’s just about like a visual representation of what the sector would appear to be the edit visual display unit.

I indicate, it’s a little bit of a pseudo UI part. It doesn’t show wisdom, however it merely provides that example of what it in truth will appear to be. And there’s documentation links and there’s moreover educational links where now now we have them for field sorts and also you’ll have the ability to kind of like click on on in and get some additional info.

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So hopefully it’s making the revel in of defining fields more straightforward for those who don’t most likely know what they’re in search of. On the other hand there’s 30 different field sorts. Some are named in this sort of method that it’s slightly hard to seize when and why you’d use them. And there’s some fields which could be extremely difficult, extremely useful to oldsters. On the other hand they’re now not very available. 

Identical to the clone field, for instance, could also be very hard to seize when you first take a look at that as a name. What that if truth be told does and the flexible content material subject material field could also be very similar. So we’re searching for to call out and make it easy to seize what these things are and have additional info spherical it.

There’s some if truth be told excellent tutorials that the team are placing together and we’ve got other folks from the content material subject material team, the Dev Rel team operating on tutorials around the clone field and we’ve got them for the flexible content material subject material field, which could be if truth be told difficult fields that people who are building internet sites rely on. A couple of of them are with reference to turning into internet web page builders with the flexible content material subject material field, growing layouts for customers. However it’s so hard to seize if you are a number one time client. 

So yeah, this is about discoverability searching for to understand the most efficient time to use it.

And it calls out the great fields that we’ve got. So yeah, I’m if truth be told pleased with that piece of work. It sort of feels great and it in reality works. It in reality works if truth be told smartly, and it’s having the desired affect.

File Pop: I imagine Gutenberg and its many stages kind of being introduced and in any case in WordPress. 6.2, I believe we’ve gotten necessarily probably the most whole and kind of final fashion of the website online editor. Do you think that the ones changes are gonna be seeing numerous drastic changes or do you kind of in reality really feel like y’all waited to roll them out by some means that this is most probably gonna look the identical in fashion 6.3 and 6.4 of ACF.

Iain Poulson: Yeah, I believe for necessarily probably the most phase, in particular the sector picker most probably won’t exchange a great deal of. I believe we definitely try to take an iterative manner on some problems where you want to get to a point where you ship some stuff and also you’ll come once more to it and give a boost to it. 

And a if truth be told excellent example of that is that throughout the custom designed post sort registration piece, if you end up registering a post sort, you want to supply it a menu icon if it’s gonna be a throughout the left hand side, throughout the admin menu.

And other plugins and other ways of doing that come up with most likely a better revel in than we’ve got at this time. You’ll have the ability to supply a URL to an image. You’ll have the ability to supply a slightly icon class that can use the identical type of icon, from the Icon library that is throughout the left hand side of the menu. 

On the other hand, that’s now not a really perfect revel in. So we’re operating on bettering that and that neatly ties into in truth what’s coming down in a long term fashion that we’re operating on these days is, taking this idea of, you’ll have the ability to enroll problems in code, like a custom designed post sort then again in truth making it more straightforward to do that throughout the UI.

A number one example of 1 factor that we’ve had in ACF for a long time is, the decisions internet web page serve as part of ACF Skilled. So it’s a best magnificence serve as, however it provides people the ability to create fields and stick them in a internet web page throughout the admin that can be an international, it’s like a website online settings internet web page or an alternatives internet web page. So it’s now not part of a post sort or the rest like that. 

And it stands alone. And you set international settings in there of fields that will likely be used across the internet website online. And these days, ACF Skilled signifies that you’ll be able to create the ones alternatives pages, then again it’s vital to enroll them in code first, and you then unquestionably define your fields and say, I would really like the ones fields to show up on this alternatives internet web page.

So we’re operating on a UI for this alternatives internet web page registration to make problems merely one of these lot more straightforward. And numerous the art work that went on with the custom designed post sort piece, the refactoring that the team did behind the scenes kind of paves the best way by which for us to build out further UIs. To be in agreement enroll other problems, and the decisions internet web page is gonna be the first thing.

On the other hand the reason why I’ve offered that up is that, over again, with the decisions internet web page, when you say, right kind, smartly, I would really like this internet web page on the left hand side, and if it’s a top level menu products, you moreover wanna make a choice a menu icon to take a seat down similar to all the other menu items which could be on the left hand side. 

And so the designer Dale, he’s been operating on a significantly better picker revel in that it will be used for the decisions internet web page, and we’re gonna port it once more onto the custom designed post sort stuff as smartly.

So we’re slowly bettering problems that aren’t most likely as polished to start with, then again I believe, you don’t wanna get into that entice with software development where you highest ship when it’s highest because of highest is a moving state and in addition you in no way get there. So it’s vital to get it out and keep moving forward.

So that’s what’s coming temporarily in 6.2, we hope. And we’ll give a boost to the decisions, the menu icon picker throughout the custom designed post sorts as we do it.

File Pop: That’s interesting. And I know you’re predicting when problems come out, so we won’t talk about timelines. This is just a random question that’s been on my ideas, we mentioned you took on ACF at fashion 5.10 or 5.11 and 5.12 used to be as soon as a large liberate.

I’m merely kind of curious, Iain, can you tell me exact briefly, when do you comprehend it’s time to go bump up to the next amount? What made 6.0 a brand spanking new massive amount liberate?

Iain Poulson: Yeah, I believe it’s typically each a big serve as, that’s a big challenge in itself, similar to the custom designed post sort taxonomy. That’s a big products that if truth be told deems worthy of a big liberate. 

There’s some circumstances where like 6.2 might not be gonna be as grand throughout the sense that it won’t have this primary serve as, then again it’ll have two or 3 problems that altogether are stunning large and are gonna be kind of very important and give a boost to the usual of life of the developers that altogether make up slightly a excellent sum to warrant a large liberate. 

And then things like 6.0 with the new UI is a huge exchange, so it felt like that used to be as soon as the right kind time to make that jump from 5 to 6. On the other hand yeah, I believe we kind of follow the WordPress versioning tool just a bit bit.

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So 6.1 isn’t any a lot much less very important than 6.0, even if 6.0 is bigger than a 5 kind of issue. We aren’t doing semantic versioning for releases. So we will go to 6.2 and that it will be our next primary liberate. And hopefully we will send enough worth in that liberate that folks merely can take a look at it and go, certain, that’s a big one.

Moderately than going, is that it? It’s hard. This is a little little bit of a juggle between, maintaining a excellent cadence of releases because of we wish to keep delivering worth on a excellent timeline to the purchasers, then again we moreover wanna get the right kind problems, on the right kind degree to make it worthy of that liberate.

File Pop: I love you answering that Iain and that’s a great spot for our final ruin. Once we come once more, we’re gonna continue talking with Iain Poulson about Complicated, Custom designed Fields and their massive victory that that that they had in March. We’ll assist you to know further about that when the ruin. 

File Pop: Welcome once more to Press This, a WordPress team podcast. I’m your host, File Pop, and I’m talking to Iain Poulson, a product manager at WP Engine, operating on ACF. And forward of this ruin, I teased a few primary victory, and of course, I’m talking about Plugin Insanity 2023, which is the annual bracket style pageant that we run on Torque Magazine.

We started this pageant in 2016 using client submissions for their favorite plugins. We weeded it all of the approach all the way down to 64 plugins so that we can have a pleasing even bracket, get a divorce ’em up into different categories to begin with, then again they in the long run weed down to just two finalists. 

And Complicated Custom designed Fields, once more when, when Elliot used to be as soon as working it that they had been our very first winner of Plugin Madness. So that they’ve all the time had a special place in our center. And this year, 2023’s Plugin Madness champion used to be as soon as over again, Complicated Custom designed Fields, or ACF. 

So Iain, massive shout out to you and your team. I merely briefly used to be as soon as wondering, do you’ve were given any advice for pageant in 2024 Plugin Madness on how you can get their fan base to vote for them in Plugin Madness competitions?

Iain Poulson: Yeah. I dunno. I believe we didn’t if truth be told wish to more or less indicate it a great deal of. We did talk about it a few circumstances and mentioned it when we had some administrative center hours and stuff, and we tweeted it a couple of circumstances. I believe you’ll have the ability to take it in all probability too seriously from a promoting and advertising and marketing perspective, then again I believe it’s great to see the the recognition that ACF has got over again this year.

And it definitely method such a lot this year to myself and the team, because it does in reality really feel like a pleasing piece of recognition. The product itself is still there in people’s minds as a precious part of the gang. It’s a precious software in people’s software belts.

And obviously the problems that we’re doing and the releases that we’ve finished no longer too way back are ticking boxes for people and it’s a pleasing testament to the team’s hard art work and self-discipline. I’ve said that on the Torque Mag quote. It’s great and we love ACF.

It’s now not merely the product that we art work on and liberate and take a look at to give a boost to we’re ACF enthusiasts ourselves and we unquestionably don’t bring to mind ourselves since the team or WP Engine as homeowners. It’s stewards of the plugin because it’s this sort of massive pillar of WordPress. And the ecosystem and as a developer software.

It’s merely great to see that reputation and people loving ACF because of we do too.

File Pop: At Torque, we recognize all the individuals who voted and nominated their favorite plugins. I’m gonna give a shout out as smartly, we had ACF to begin with place, WooCommerce used to be as soon as 2nd place for this year’s Plugin Madness pageant and Managed WP Worker. The ones have been all plugins that have been client nominated and so they’re free throughout the WordPress repository.

So check those out. Check out that little acquire, WooCommerce [laughs] you might now not have heard of forward of. On the other hand yeah, loads of great results this year and we stay up for doing this over again next year. 

And speaking of next year, Iain, it’s been great having you on the show. I’m hoping it’s now not every other year forward of now now we have you on the show over again.

It’s if truth be told fun taking note of about ACF from your standpoint, cuz you’ve been a fan for this sort of very very long time. If people wish to follow what you’re operating on, what’s a excellent place for people as a way to stay involved, and notice what’s what you’re operating on at this time?

Iain Poulson: We’re stunning vigorous on the ACF Twitter account. I’m moreover slightly vigorous on my Twitter, which is PoleVaultWeb. We’re searching for to be further to be had available in the market with people, talking to the gang, chatting to ACF consumers, and we’re doing the ones biweekly administrative center hours these days which is, I believe we’ve finished about 5 now which works if truth be told smartly. So mainly, on a Friday afternoon, or depending for your time zone, we’d spend about 45 minutes with the team. So myself and two or 3 of the developers and one of the vital Dev Rel individuals are on a Zoom and people can merely turn up. For many who’re using ACF, for individuals who’re rising with ACF, if you want to know about a serve as that may be coming or you want to speak about how you can assemble X with ACF in a different way you’ve got a topic.Come along, it’s our ACF Chat Fridays that we’ve been doing and we’ve had some excellent feedback and it’s merely nice to speak to other ACF consumers.

File Pop: Thanks for paying attention to Press This, a WordPress team podcast on WMR. Once over again, my identify’s File and also you’ll have the ability to follow my adventures with Torque magazine over on Twitter @thetorquemag otherwise you’ll have the ability to go to where we contribute tutorials and flicks and interviews like this on a daily basis. So check out or follow us on Twitter. You’ll have the ability to subscribe to Press This on Pink Circle, iTunes, Spotify, otherwise you’ll have the ability to download it instantly at each and every week. I’m your host Doctor Not unusual I enhance the WordPress team via my serve as at WP Engine. And I love to concentrate on folks of the gang each and every week on Press This.

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