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Layout Builder

  • Dear Elliot,

    I don’t know if this is a new feature or if someone did it already (or if there is a way to do it).

    I’m searching for a way to have a drag & drop system directly in the page creation to chose number of column and call inside ACF fields. Please see the screenshot in attachment. I was using flexible content, trying to combine with repeater, for example, using a Flexible content for each row, and inside, a repeater for the number of columns, and inside again, flexible content, for items, buttons, images etc. But it’s not the best for administration, and it makes administration heavy.

    So I tried a plugin which is Page Builder
    This permits to call widgets and create your layout and configure your items directly in the page. But ACF is definitely really good for configuring fields and I would like to mix both systems. Build columns, call ACF field, and configure it directly in a popup.

    Any ideas? Way to do it? Suggestion? or maybe tutorial to start consideringt this feature as a new field? I don’t know, it’s a topic we should speak about cause I think it could be amazingly powerful.

    Thanks in advance 🙂


  • Hi @cleocq

    Thanks for the question. The above can be accomplished by just using the flexible content field by itself.

    In each layout, you will need a sub field which defines the column width. That way, you can add as many layouts as you want, and use the width value to define the width of the column.

    Some simple logic in the template PHP can decide when the widths have hit or are going over 100% and then perform a clear / break.

    Does that help?


  • Hi Elliot,

    I agree with you, I can use flexible content, I was using it for long so I know it now. But if you look at the screenshot, it makes page administration pretty complexe for customer. In my example is have:
    – A repeater for each row
    – Inside, a repeater for each column
    – Inside, a flexible content for each item (title etc.)

    In my example, there is only one tab and it’s already pretty complexe. Shouldn’t we consider this? Well, I’m not doing the job so.. 🙂

    Thanks anyway for your efficiency while managing your forum 😉

  • Can we try your widget addons? Page builder permits to include widget in the layout.

    Thanks in advance,


  • Hi @cleocq

    Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean by widget addons…


  • Hi Elliot,

    Sorry, my bad. I’ve heard that u were working on a widget addon. Is there a way to call ACF fields in a widget ? (image, repeater etc.) I know they don’t register as post but I can find a way to do it (cause page builder call widget directly in the page/post and I can get the id).

    Thanks in advance,


  • Hi @cleocq

    ACF widget compatibility is something that I will be working on post version 5.
    Your right, going back a few months, I did attempt to add in the compatibility, but I never finished the work completely.


  • @cleocq – I’ve been trying to do the exact same thing you’re doing, using the Page Builder plugin in combination with Widgets that use ACF. Guess we’ll just have to wait for the widget compatibility with ACF to accomplish this…

  • Apparently, ACF V5 allows you to interact with widgets. However, I don’t understand why ACF fields do not appear in page builder?
    ACF and Page Builder seems to be a perfect couple !

  • @will83 – ACF v5 isn’t yet available. ACF fields won’t just appear in the widgets section. We’ll have to wait and see how this process will work. I’m super excited to start using ACF in this capacity!

  • @Adam : ACF V5 Beta is available, and I can use ACF fields in a widget :
    Example ACF Gallery Field in a widget

    But when I try to use this widget with page builder, the modale window is empty, and I don’t know why !
    Empty modale window while using page builder with an ACF widget

  • Ouch. That screenshot posted in November is scary. I can’t imagine expecting a client to use that. Clever use of nesting of reporters and layouts though. My thought on this would be that maybe you could keep your fields setup as they are and use the admin_head action to inject some custom CSS into the dashboard to clean up the UI.

  • That’s why @cleocq want to use Page Builder (and me too), it’s simple and clean. I’m afraid that flexible content is not the best way to do that (it is excellent, but not for building complex web pages) !

  • I’m also looking forward to ACF5 widget compatibility with the Page Builder plugin. Thanks for working on this, Elliot!

  • Hi @Elliot Condon — can you point us to how to call ACF via JS from the Page Builder layout builder? Compatibility with this plugin would be the ultimate!

  • I join the request of @chris Lanphear, but it would be even better if the usability of Flexible content field would be improved, so it will work similiar to the Site Origin plugin.

  • It’s not too hard to create a layout builder effect with the flexible content field. You just need a little js to change the widths of the fields and you can achieve something like this:

    Flexible Content Builder

  • @fullsteamlabs: Can you share the code? It looks fine, but could be even better if it would be implemented in native version of ACF.

  • I tried similar with ACF only, but its native UI is to bulky for a good user experience when it comes to more than two columns and many elements within.

    ACF support for Page Builder would be awesome. I’m following this thread for a while now hoping to get good news one day 🙂

    Page Builders slim UI and the way it handles content editing makes it suitable for simple and complex layouts.

    In a perfect world I see the Flexible Content Field improved to do just this natively.

  • I gave myself an hour to prototype something for a client a month or so ago:

    This is just the Flexible content plugin, with a bit of JS+CSS to make the content of each sub sub flex content field appear in a model window.

    I can share this code shortly if anyone wants it, though it is pretty crude JS and CSS that probably is full of bugs (not tested at all). I can’t dedicate any more time to it but it might make a good starting point for someone else?


  • Hi @atomicsmash, you’re really great and I’m massive Impressed!
    I think, this can be the “Next Big Thing” for ACF and Elliot.

    this is really funny, because I create for a few minutes a Mockup for a alternative UI of the flexible-field 🙂

    what do you mean?

    1.image : examplefields of ACF
    2.image: New UI – standard view
    3.image: New UI – hover CF
    4.image: New UI – edit CF

  • @atomicsmash (Dave) – I’d like to give your flexible content / page builder a go… I’ve been testing 5 other page builders, and none have been 100% successful so far (a couple are extremely close though). I’d like to test this also. Looks promising!

  • @atomicsmash – Wow, that`s exactly what I was talking about. Can you share the code?

  • Hi @adamb, which builder you have tested?
    I tested also several Page Builders. But these have in my opinion the problem, that they use the WPeditor to generate the custom content).
    For interest, do you found a Builder that works with Custom fields?

  • @davelee – Personally, I’m Ok with a “page builder” that uses shortcodes to generate / organize content, just as long as I don’t have to put the shortcodes in by hand. I’m trying to think from my client’s perspective (no programming skills, or nunchuck skills… JK).

    I’ve tested:

    • Azexo Composer
    • BoxBuilder (not yet released)
    • Unyson Page Builder
    • Visual Composer

    So far, BoxBuilder and Unyson are the best. They only give me / my client what’s truly needed, and don’t offer too many unnecessary, confusing, and possibly design-destroying features such as border style options and font choices (never give those options to a client! Given the opportunity, they will ruin the design and the readability of their own site and not even realize it!). Right now, I’m leaning toward BoxBuilder, but it hasn’t been released yet.

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