V1 of ACF Post Types plugin is now released and live at https://wordpress.org/plugins/acf-post-types/. This version puts in place almost every single option available when registering CPT (Custom Post Types) ranging from archives to public querying all the way to rewrites. All the label options are available, yes, all 20+ label options that CPT’s provide are available to be set from ACFPT. And it’s all organized into a compact tabbed interface, thanks to ACF.
For developers you can get the release on GitHub if our look through issues there at https://github.com/goldhat/acf-post-types/releases/tag/1.0.0. We are looking for ongoing help and support from the developer community, it’s been a solo project for Joel Milne so far and he needs some help. Contributors will definitely receive honorable mention, and credits on the WordPress.org project page. It’s a big factor in hiring developers, their community contributions or plugin developments, so get in touch with us at contact @ goldhat . ca to tell us you’re interested in helping out. We’d greatly appreciate it and of course we give first preference to our contributors when we have contract development work.
Roadmap for ACF Post Types
Biggest issue that came up during the v1 build is that our new post types were not working in terms of rewrite rules. We needed to flush rewrite rules after creating a new post type. So we did that, and to avoid the resource load we set that to run only when the post type is created. Which worked fine until we actually added Rewrite Options such as changing the CPT slug. Well when the CPT slug changes, rewrite rules need to run again. And we ran short of time trying to selectively determine if the user had changed the rewrite rules. It will take a bit of thought and a couple of new methods to check the existing CPT configuration to the one being currently saved. This will be added in the next version, until then the flush rewrite does run every time you edit a CPT which is not ideal but seems to be okay given you’re not normally changing CPT options that often.
Capabilities was the one setting group that we couldn’t fit into the v1 release. We wanted to be able to say look our CPT builder has 100% coverage of every setting. And it almost does… except it doesn’t because every time we started setting up capabilities we either broke the CPT and got errors, or we had to limit the options available. It’s hard to describe the issue exactly, but if you read the docs about custom post types capabilities, you’ll find you can set a lot of different options. And you can choose between one route or another, and setting up arrays and so on. Now we can handle the option between true/false or array data, we faced that with rewrites. The difference is with capabilities if you get the formula wrong you can end up with settings that block access to everyone or that just don’t work. The challenge is restricting what can be entered to ensure it fits the model. And in this release we had so many other options to look at we decided let’s make this a challenge we tackle on it’s own. Look for this around release 1.2 and if you’re very familiar with CPT permissions and have some time to help out drop us a line and we’ll discuss how to solve this.
How ACF Post Types fits into the ACF Dev Framework
The concept for ACFPT started with us wanting to build our own custom apps in the WordPress admin. And being huge fans of ACF, we opted to use ACF as the field handler and the base even for option pages. We realized we could actually do a lot of the building in the WP admin, except for a few stumbling blocks. Making a CPT of course is the first step when you have an idea for an app, given you always need to store some unique data. And you need fields. We know there is a dozen other plugins we could use to make CPT’s, including some used in over 300,000 sites! They are probably quite good! Many even offer taxonomy setup, which we haven’t even looked into yet. But we wanted the consistency of the ACF interface. I’m not the first to write this, I wish every WP plugin had the ACF interface. It’s not a small issue, if you love software and you are using software to build more software, you want the software you use to look and feel great. WP does that, but most plugins, including most Custom Post Type plugins just don’t do this. Scrambling around to find where a certain option is in a long scrolling maze is not my idea of a fun day at the beach. Sadly finding options on a nice tabbed interface, is my idea of a day at the beach!
To recap ACF Post Types, along with it’s sister plugin ACF Option Pages work to give you step 1 in building a custom app with no coding using only the WP admin. Step 2 of course is to define ACF field groups and add them to your newly created ACF Post Type. Having done this, you already have an admin-only app. Now if you want a public app, well there are some more hurdles to jump in that goal and that’s what we plan to address in future development of the ACF Dev Framework plugins.
Chip in to the Next Version
We mostly run on coffee but once in awhile we also have to pay the rent and bills. Every contribution is greatly appreciated no matter the size. Just head over to PayPal where we are firstname.lastname@example.org or click the donate button below. THANK YOU.