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wp_insert_post and repeater fields

  • I’m using a plugin which uses the wp_insert_post function to create posts from user input. My posts in particular contain ACF fields. Fields which take a single value are no problem. But I’m having trouble populating repeater fields.

    Let’s I have a repeater field, “my-class”, which may contain any number of sub-fields, “my-class-item”. The user fills in a form and we get an array for “my-class-item” (e.g. array(‘class 1′,’class 2′,’class 3’)).

    Something like the following is sent to the back end using wp_insert_post…

    $some_post = array(
      'post_title'          => 'Title',
      'post_content'        => 'Content',
      'meta_my-name'        => 'Tom', // ACF text field
      'meta_my-city'        => 'New York', // ACF text field
      'meta_my-class-item'  => array('class 1','class 2','class 3') // ACF repeater sub-field

    I know that the above code won’t work. But I hope that it communicates what I’m trying to do. Are there any suggestions?

  • Hi @friendofdog

    I’m not sure if you already now this, but ACF has acf_form() to create a form on the front end. This page should give you more idea about it:

    I hope this helps.

  • Thanks for pointing me towards those resources. I pieced things together and came up with the following…

    $field_key = 'field_123123123123';
    $subfield_key = 'field_456456456456'; // corresponds with my-class-item in my previous post
    $post_id = $the_post_id; // gets current post ID
    $items = array('class 1','class 2','class 3');
    foreach ($items as $items_value) {
    	$value[] = array($subfield_key => $items_value);
    	update_field( $field_key, $value, $post_id );

    It’s not a game changer, but is there any way to use the name of the custom field instead of the field key (e.g. “my-class-item” instead of “field_456456456456”)?

  • Hi @friendofdog

    Could you please tell me why you don’t want to use the acf_form() instead?

    You can use the field name as long as the reference for a value already exists. Please take a look at this page to learn more about it: field_name

    I hope this helps.

  • Hi James,

    Ends up that I cannot use the field names, for the reason that you mentioned.

    I want to use acf_form() but I couldn’t get it to work for me. It’s not really a big issue, as I found a workaround.

    Below is the end product. I’m pretty satisfied with this (in that it works), but any further suggestions/comments are appreciated.

    $some_post = array(
    	'post_title' => 'Title',
    	'post_content' => 'Content',
    	'post_content' => '',
    	'post_status' => 'publish'
    $the_post_id = wp_insert_post($some_post);
    update_field('field_111111111111', 'Tom', $the_post_id);
    update_field('field_222222222222', 'New York', $the_post_id);
    // repeater field with one subfield
    $classs_field_key = 'field_3a3a3a3a3a3a';
    $classs_subfield_key = 'field_3b3b3b3b3b3b';
    $classs_items = array('class 1','class 2','class 3');
    foreach ($classs_items as $classs_items_value) {
    	$classs_value[] = array($classs_subfield_key => $classs_items_value);
    	update_field($classs_field_key, $classs_value, $the_post_id);
    // repeater field with multiple subfields
    $fruit_field_key = 'field_4a4a4a4a4a4a';
    $fruit_subfield_name = 'field_4b4b4b4b4b4b';
    $fruit_subfield_colour = 'field_4c4c4c4c4c4c';
    $fruit_names = array('Banana','Pear','Grape');
    $fruit_colours = array('yellow','green','purple');
    foreach ($fruit_names as $index => $fruit_names) {
    	$fruit_value[] = array($fruit_subfield_name => $fruit_names, $fruit_subfield_colour => $fruit_colours[$index]);
    	update_field( $fruit_field_key, $fruit_value, $the_post_id );
  • When importing several CPTs, this was accumulating row fields values.
    Updated like this:

    $the_values = null;
    foreach ($years as $index => $years) {
      $the_values[] = array(
         $subfield_key_1 => $years,
         $subfield_key_2 => $tax_01[$index],
         $subfield_key_3 => $tax_02[$index],
         $subfield_key_4 => $tax_03[$index],
    update_field($field_key, $the_values, $post_id);
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