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Performance of group field

  • Hi all,

    I’m not a PHP expert so please excuse what may be a novice question.

    I was wondering whether using the group field improves performance, is negligible or makes the queries slower?

    How does the group field store the metadata in the database? As JSON? Or is each meta field stored separately as normal?

    When we do a query to retrieve the data from a group field it returns it as an array. Is the data in that array coming from a JSON string in the database or does ACF then do multiple database queries and build the array?

    What I’m hoping is that the array is stored in the database as JSON and that only one database query is done to get all the data. To my mind, that would be much more performant that multiple queries for each field using the_field() if I was to not use the group field.

    I hope all that makes sense and am looking forward to hearing from people way smarter than me 🙂


  • The values of a group field are stored in a similar manner to repeaters. The group field and each sub field is a separate entry in the DB. A group field is a repeater field that always has exactly 1 row.

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