Insights from the First-Ever ACF Annual Survey


As the preferred content material administration system (CMS) on the earth, WordPress serves because the artistic springboard for net builders and inventive professionals to craft web sites of all styles and sizes. 

Many WordPress Builders depend on the Superior Customized Fields (ACF) plugin to assist create very good digital experiences, and simply create new fields, customized publish varieties, and taxonomies.

With ACF put in on over 4.5 million WordPress websites, its customers are sometimes on the forefront of WordPress growth. Their insights provide a window into greatest practices and helpful suggestions you’ll be able to incorporate into your personal site-building efforts.  

The just lately performed (and first of its variety) Superior Customized Fields (ACF) Annual Survey reveals these insights, compiling responses from greater than 2,000 respondents. The survey outcomes showcase their most well-liked methods of working with WordPress and ACF, in addition to the plugins, themes, and extra builder instruments they use for mission-critical websites.   

Within the following sections, we’ll break down the survey findings in addition to the traits and growth practices they illuminate. Let’s dive in!

Survey Demographics:
Who’re ACF Customers?  

Earlier than we dive additional into the survey outcomes, let’s take a better have a look at who precisely “ACF customers” embody, per the 2023 survey outcomes.   

Out of the survey’s 2,031 whole respondents, 81% described themselves as builders. Of these, 46% work at an company, whereas 38% work as freelancers.

However ACF customers aren’t restricted to purely technical roles. Enterprise house owners and designers every made up roughly 7% of the pattern, whereas editors, entrepreneurs, and a smattering of “different” roles rounded it out.

Nonetheless, it’s honest to say the majority of ACF customers are technically savvy and sometimes concerned within the enterprise of constructing WordPress websites. 

In terms of the dimensions and scope of those customers’ groups and tasks, simply over 11% recognized as solo builders, greater than half (52%) represented small groups (of 1-3 devs), almost 25% have been from mid-sized groups (4-10 devs), and shut to five% have been from bigger groups (11-20 devs). 

Apparently, that proportion went again up barely (6%) with regard to groups of greater than 20 builders. 

By way of web site administration, greater than 35% deal with 0-10 consumer websites month-to-month, almost 43% handle 11-50 websites, 18% oversee 51-200 websites, simply over 2% deal with 201-500 websites, and fewer than 1% are liable for managing greater than 500 websites.

ACF: The Spine of WordPress Initiatives

Think about having a secret weapon in your WordPress arsenal that makes your websites stand out. For simply over 70% of respondents, ACF is that secret weapon. They use it for each single considered one of their WordPress initiatives.

The remaining 29% go for a extra selective strategy, reserving ACF for a few of their websites.

In terms of the way in which these web sites are constructed, the survey revealed an attention-grabbing tapestry of approaches.

Whereas a surprisingly massive section (56%) of builders are nonetheless utilizing the normal WordPress route (full with PHP templates and the block editor disabled), almost 34% additionally favor the block-based future. 

A barely bigger proportion (38%) takes a balanced path, incorporating features of Full Web site Modifying, block enhancing, and conventional WordPress growth into their workflow.  

Devotees of web page builders and people exploring headless WordPress have been additionally represented within the outcomes. It must be famous that customers might select a couple of reply, so the totally different approaches aren’t unique. For instance, many builders create conventional WordPress websites, block-themed websites, and headless WordPress websites, relying on the wants of the state of affairs and the wishes of the consumer. 

Block Modifying: The Artwork of Constructing

Because the introduction of the Gutenberg (Block) Editor in WordPress 5.0, block enhancing has change into one of many transformative options of WordPress, because it permits for huge customization and allows builders to create blocks particular to their distinctive wants.

The survey reveals that greater than 55% of respondents use ACF Blocks for this goal, harnessing the facility of ACF throughout the (nonetheless comparatively new) WordPress block editor.

A smaller fraction (~4%) opts for React to craft customized blocks. In the meantime, 28% keep on with WordPress native blocks, whereas the “Different” class hints on the various methods builders are wielding their block-editing instruments.

Most popular ACF Plugins and Fields

WordPress growth wouldn’t be full and not using a treasure trove of plugins, and the survey unearthed a listing of generally used third-party ACF plugins builders use to reinforce their WordPress workflows. That listing contains:

Be sure to take a look at the complete listing right here

As for ACF fields, builders definitely have their favorites. The survey revealed that Textual content, Textual content Space, and Picture fields are essentially the most ceaselessly used ACF fields, whereas Repeater, WYSIWYG Editor, True / False, and Hyperlink, additionally acquired a big share of responses.

The Builders Behind the Blocks

Web page builders play a pivotal function within the WordPress ecosystem by democratizing net design, permitting customers of all talent ranges to create visually beautiful and practical web sites with out intensive coding information.

They empower web site creators to save lots of time, improve person experiences, and customise their on-line presence with ease, finally contributing to the widespread reputation and flexibility of the WordPress platform. However which web page builders are WordPress builders actually utilizing? 

Per the survey outcomes, Elementor reigns supreme amongst web page builders, adopted by Divi, Bricks Builder, and Beaver Builder (with WPBakery and Oxygen not too far behind).

These instruments assist form the WordPress panorama into the gorgeous and practical web sites we see right this moment, they usually proceed to serve an necessary goal, at the same time as builders uncover new methods of constructing with WordPress.

The Way forward for WordPress

In terms of the way forward for WordPress, the outlook is brilliant.

76% of survey respondents mentioned they’re prone to proceed constructing websites with WordPress, affirming the enduring attraction of the world’s favourite CMS. 

In the meantime, preserving WordPress updated is important for safety and performance, and the survey discovered that almost all (75%) respondents are very comfy updating their WordPress websites with the newest ACF model. 

It’s an indication of a vibrant and adaptable neighborhood— each amongst ACF customers and the bigger WordPress neighborhood as an entire.

Instruments of the Commerce

In terms of further instruments of the commerce relied upon by ACF customers, the survey outcomes mirror numerous attention-grabbing approaches. 

For instance, model management is a typical observe in software program growth, and WordPress is not any exception. The survey reveals that greater than 60% of respondents use model management of their website growth, guaranteeing easy crusing via code adjustments and updates. 

Multisites, which permit a number of websites to be managed from a single WordPress set up, are embraced by greater than 40% of respondents, showcasing WordPress’s versatility.

In terms of native growth, almost 40% of builders favor Native as their go-to instrument, offering a secure surroundings for crafting and testing WordPress websites.

In the meantime, Composer, a instrument for managing dependencies, is utilized by 27% of respondents, streamlining the event course of. 

Lastly, deploying WordPress websites requires a methodical strategy. The survey reveals that FTP, Git Push on WP Engine, and WP Migrate are all prime decisions in relation to launching web sites.

Conclusion: Two Vibrant Ecosystems in One

The ACF Annual Survey paints a vibrant image of the WordPress growth ecosystem, in addition to the huge world of customizable performance and highly effective extensions you achieve entry to with ACF. 

From the varied roles of ACF customers to the multitude of instruments they like to work with, this neighborhood—of ACF and WordPress customers— thrives on innovation and adaptableness. 

As WordPress continues to evolve, these insights provide a worthwhile have a look at the methods and preferences of these shaping the digital world, one WordPress website at a time.

See the entire survey outcomes right here, or be taught how one can get began with the ACF plugin right here.


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