I’m dealing with a site right now that has a lot of fields and I’ve been thinking about this issue. I’m using ACF as a page builder of sorts, and while I’ve found ways to reduce the number of fields in use the slowdown is noticeable on large pages.
I’m wondering if some sort of alternate saving option might be viable? For example, if top-level repeaters and flexible content fields were saved as a single post meta (encoded in some format), then only decoded and cached when have_rows() is called, that might help with this sort of issue (I assume all large field quantity issues come from repeaters and flex fields). I am not at all sure what other repercussions this might have though, nor if there are better options. If there are tradeoffs, making it an option on the field group level might be sufficient so that we can choose the best save method for our intended use case.
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