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ACF’s 2023 Annual Survey Results Reinforce Plugin’s Focus on Improving the Block Building Experience

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), one of the plugins WP Engine acquired from Delicious Brains in 2022, has published the results if its first annual survey. Although ACF reports more than 4.5 million active users, including PRO site installs, the survey only gathered feedback from 2,031 respondents.

These results are more representative of the plugin’s developer community, as 81% of respondents are developers who maintain between 11-50 websites. 63% use version control for their codebase, and 27% manage dependencies with Composer.

The survey showed that ACF is still an important tool for its early adopters, as 50% said they have been using it since its early days and 70% of all respondents use the plugin on all the websites they build.

When asked what type of sites they are building, respondents had the option to choose multiple answers. Sites using Classic WordPress themes are the most popular followed by Hybrid themes, Block themes, and page builders. Surveying those who use the block editor, 56% report that they build blocks using ACF blocks.

“It was cool to see the strong representation of hybrid and block themes,” WP Engine Product Marketing Manager Rob Stinson said. “It shows us that there is growing adoption of the modern WP editor experience amongst the PHP friendly crowd that is the ACF user base.

“We had this scoped for upcoming releases anyway, but it reinforces our focus on improving the block building experience in ACF.”

Among those ACF users building sites with page builders, the most popular selections include Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, and WPBakery Page Builder. Naturally, ACF Extended is the most popular extension used with ACF, followed by Gravity Forms, Yoast SEO, and ACF Better Search.

Respondents demonstrated high confidence in those maintaining the plugin, as 98% of them are comfortable updating ACF to the latest version. They are also confident in continuing to build on top of WordPress, as 91% of survey participants said they are likely to continue with the platform. For a more detailed look at the questions and responses, check out the 2023 annual survey results on the ACF website.