Home Forums Add-ons Gallery Field Programmatically Inserting Photos Into ACF Gallery Field, But….


Programmatically Inserting Photos Into ACF Gallery Field, But….

  • …only the first photo shows up.

    I have a script that is supposed to upload photos from an external url, match them to the post it should belong to in WordPress, add them as a WP attachment, and then add the attachments to the gallery ACF field.

    And it works fine, except, when I go to the post in question in wp-admin, only the first photo in the gallery is actually in the gallery. If I check the database, I see no differences between the first photo and the rest of the photo, nor between manually uploaded gallery images and these. I have no idea what the disconnect is.

    Here is the relevant code:

    $uploads_dir = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . "" . "/" . $photo["photo"];
        $url = "{$photo["photo"]}";
        //$uploads_dir = $uploads_dir . "/" . $photo["photo"];
        file_put_contents($uploads_dir, file_get_contents($url));
        //attach the photos to the post
        // Check the type of file. We'll use this as the 'post_mime_type'.
        $filetype = wp_check_filetype( basename( $uploads_dir ), null );
        // Get the path to the upload directory.
        $wp_upload_dir = wp_upload_dir();
        // Prepare an array of post data for the attachment.
        $attachment = array(
            'guid'           => $wp_upload_dir['url'] . '/' . basename( $uploads_dir ), 
            'post_mime_type' => $filetype['type'],
            'post_title'     => preg_replace( '/\.[^.]+$/', '', basename( $uploads_dir ) ),
            'post_content'   => '',
            'post_status'    => 'inherit'
        $attach_id = wp_insert_attachment( $attachment, $uploads_dir, $post[0]->ID );
        require_once( ABSPATH . 'wp-admin/includes/image.php' );
        $attach_data = wp_generate_attachment_metadata( $attach_id, $uploads_dir );
        wp_update_attachment_metadata( $attach_id, $attach_data );
        //insert the ACF magic bits
        update_field("field_5693402ab8561", $attach_id, $post[0]->ID );

    At my wit’s end here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • A gallery field in ACF stores an array of image IDs. I believe that the following line overwrites what’s stored with the new value each time.

    update_field("field_5693402ab8561", $attach_id, $post[0]->ID );

    You will need to get what’s already in the field, append the new image to the array and then update it. Something like this might work.

    $array = get_field('field_5693402ab8561', $post[0]->ID, false);
    if (!is_array($array)) {
      $array = array();
    $array[] = $attach_id;
    update_field('field_5693402ab8561', $array, $post[0]->ID );
  • I am in the process of needing to do something very similar to this. Did this end up working for you @jeffthefish?

  • It almost works but because he is missing the “not” operator it fails to add the first entry. Here is the pseudo code.

    $gallery_array = get_field($key, $post_id, false);
    if (!is_array($gallery_array )) {
    	$gallery_array = array();
    $gallery_array [] = $img_attachment_id;
    update_field($key, $gallery_array , $post_id);
  • Sorry about the type in my code above, sometimes when I’m typing code into a comment here I can miss important things. A missing ! completely changes how it will work. I have edited my original comment.

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