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Text area & repeater stopped saving after updating field group

  • I have opened a support ticket but I’m posting this here as well in hopes that someone has had a similar issue & to have a public record that would be helpful to others in case I find a solution.

    TLDR; A bunch of custom fields are set up for a custom post type. After updating the field group the last two fields won’t update anymore, but the rest of the fields in the field group are still working. The two fields that won’t update are a text area and a repeater field that contains one image field. When you save the post it commits changes to the other fields but the text area and repeater just go back to how they were.

    I’m using ACF PRO and I have set up a front-end form to allow authorized users to submit new posts using a set of custom fields that stores various URL, radio button and text area fields as well as a repeater field with an image inside of it for a photo gallery. I have gotten this form to successfully create a custom post type with all of those fields filled in.

    Here are some things I tried and I got some interesting results:

    – I tried creating new text area fields in that field group with different field names, they wouldn’t update.
    – I tried deleting and recreating that particular text area field and giving it the same field name (vendor_full_description), it still wouldn’t update.
    – I tried creating a new field group with some test fields and those saved.
    – I tried creating a basic text field in the new field group with the same name as the original text area and that DID save, and when it did, it also updated the original text field too. Updating the original text area field after that still did not save though, and didn’t update the new text field.
    – I tried turning the working text field with same field name (vendor_full_description) into a text area field, it stopped saving after that.
    – I also tried creating a new repeater field in the new field group and that won’t save either
    – Created a text area field with a new field name (test_field), and it WAS saving, so then I added my instructions, my label and character count, and after that it stopped saving (actually I did this in multiple steps and found each of those things individually caused it to stop working)

    I’m using Chrome. I have WP_DEBUG on in my staging site and not seeing any PHP errors or console errors.

    This site has been running for a long time with no issues of this kind but we’ve recently been working on a big update that added WooCommerce to the site as well as some other custom code to the theme. I’m a little suspicious that it could be a plugin conflict so I’m going to be investigating this today.

    Recently added plugins:
    – WooCommerce – 2.4.10
    – Follow-Up Emails – 4.4.8
    – WooCommerce Stripe Gateway – 2.6.3
    – WooCommerce Subscriptions – 2.0.6
    – WooThemes Helper – 1.5.9

  • I’ve made an important discovery – all fields are having their field keys overwritten when they are updated or created:

    Creating a new field:

    Creating a new field

    New field after saving the field group:

    New field after saving the field group

  • I’m not sure about the second comment you made, but the OP sounds like a problem with a php setting max_input_vars This can happen when submitting more fields that is allowed by PHP. Try installing this plugin and then saving the post where you’re having problems with things not saving. If this is the problem you’ll get a popup that will tell you what you setting is. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-max-submit-protect/

  • Hi John,

    I had extensively googled the issue and multiple times ran into this max_input_vars suggestion so I had already tried adding the following lines in my .htaccess file:

    php_value max_input_nesting_level 128
    php_value max_input_time 300
    php_value max_input_vars 3000
    php_value max_execution_time 300
    php_value post_max_size 32M

    Unfortunately this didn’t seem to help with my particular problem.

    I have found that after I was able to change the field keys back to what they were supposed to be set as from phpmyadmin the fields were saving again. (I looked them up on the staging server where the field keys were still correct since I hadn’t updated the field group)

  • I would start disabling plugins and figuring out what filter is in place that’s causing the field keys to be altered when you save a field group. It was some time ago, but I recall something similar being reported here. If you can narrow down what’s causing it I can look at it and see if there’s any way to correct it.

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