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Inherited a site using ACF, after an update it no long works

  • Hi,

    I have been asked to look at a website that includes a function to filter businesses by type and subcategory.

    The businesses pages have been created using ACF and are displayed on the front end by selecting type from a menu and (if required) a dropdown where a subcategory can be selected.

    Once I had access to the website the outdated plugins and wordpress versions were updated and the filters continued to work UNTIL the category display page was updated then the filters no longer worked, the subcategories are not shown and, and all business of all types are displayed. If I use revisions to go back far enough the filters work again.

    I’m not really familiar with ACF so this has thrown me as the client wants to edit the category pages to change the descriptions and images – but by doing so it kills the filter.

    I’m hoping those of you who are more familiar with ACF recognise something here, or if not can give me some clues of where to find a solution.

    I’m going to contact support but also wanted to run things past the community to get some ideas.

    I have set up a clone of the site here and the link show an example of them working (unsaved) and not working (opened and saved)

    working: https://www.project-404.co.uk/ne250-231218-test/what-to-see-do/accommodation/
    broken: https://www.project-404.co.uk/ne250-231218-test/what-to-see-do/whisky/

    Thank you!

  • The question I have is, what version of WP to you start on when you started making updates? Was it 4.3 or lower?

    This reminds me of a split terms issue. In WP4.0 and earlier a term ID could be shared across taxonomies, so if there was a “Business Category” and a “Post Category” that shared the same name they would actually have the same ID. This was changed over several version until at WP4.4 terms were completely split during the WP update.

    On top of this term meta was also added during this change. Before this ACF stored values for terms in the options table and ACF was updated to save values to the term meta table.

    So, if you updated from WP4.3 or earlier then you are probably suffering from one or both of these issues.

  • Hi John,

    That’s useful, thanks, but it looks like the project went live around 4.8. It is as if saving the page (I don’t have to change anything, just hit the ‘update’ button) overwrite / deletes some sort of identifier. It’s an odd one and being new to ACF it’s thrown me.

  • That’s all I can think of and the only thing I can remember that will cause an ACF field to be disconnected from a term when it is edited, or a post to become disconnected from a term. However, there is no end to the way filters and actions could be also effecting it, but this is probably where I’d start, first carefully looking at the term ID values and the term/taxonomy relationships. Maybe these categories are older that you think they are.

    What happens to the values selected for the business type and subcategory when you edit one of the types or subcategories associated with a post?

  • Thanks John – your feedback is much appreciated. I need to run some more tests I think.. I’ll feed back when I get to bottom of this- for posterity!

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