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Posts not saving (intermittent bug)

  • Recently, one of my clients encountered a very strange bug: Some of his posts would not save anymore, the “update” button would get the spinning throbber, but no page request would be made and the post would never save.

    I looked into the matter, and found ACF to be the problem, but for the life of me I couldn’t say why. Some facts/findings:

    • It’s a custom post type, it contains a repeater field
    • Curiously, if I remove the first two (of 17) entries there the post would save again
    • Anything else — modifying field content, reordering the entries, adding additional fields — would not restore saving
    • It only happens on the production server, not on my local development server (with exactly the same installation and database content)
    • When I disable ACF on the production server, the post would save as usual
    • When I follow saving the post in Firebug, it makes a validation request that eventually returns “errors:0” in the JSON, but apparantly the script stops then — no JavaScript errors, no followup POST request

    I’m a little at a loss about what to do. There is clearly a condition in ACF that leads to posts not saving, but again, it doesn’t reproduce on every server. I could supply a database/installation archive if needed.


    Edit: ACF 5.2.2 on PHP 5.6, however I tried down to ACF 5.1.0 and PHP 5.3 with the same symptoms

  • Usually, when this happens, it means that a PHP error occurred on the server during the AJAX request.

    If you’re still experiencing this problem. Can you enable error logging on your production server? If you can then try the action and see what, if any PHP errors are logged during the request. This will help me diagnose what the problem might be.

  • Hello John,

    thanks for answering. In the last two months since I reported this here, I was in direct contact with the ACF support who was very helpful, even though the problem was not directly connected to ACF.

    It was indeed not a problem with ACF itself but a rather obscure server bug that triggered an error with another plugin (IWP Client) which in turn prevented the AJAX call to be completed. Strato, the hoster in question, has since updated/bugfixed their servers.


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