COMING VERY SOON: Use Block Smart action to turn any HTML element into a WordPress Block (aka Gutenberg)

Hey @schpengle off course you have your own situation going on and I understand that. Momentarily I’m a little privileged on the money front and perhaps I spoke too carefree because of it. I was speaking in general terms, trying to put some things into perspective by referencing their competitors. Trying to help others who may be dealing with this dilemma as well. But if I came across as patronising I sincerely apologise, that was not my intention.

As for how long they’ve worked on this. I think it can’t be more than two weeks. I posted my workflow on making blocks 17 days ago of which the team informed me (in the form of a reply on my comment on Facebook) that it was apparently my writeup that served as an inspiration for the new block action (as there was previously no way to register a block in pinegrow and had to be done manually in the functions.php) Now this can be done entirely without leaving Pinegrow. As the docs regarding the block action are about 90% the workflow I posted, I think it is highly plausible to assume that it hasn’t taken them longer than two weeks as most of the code to make this work is already part of Pinegrow and needed just the registration part to work more smoothly. Also, about the short notice I really believe they were caught by surprise as well. Which is probably why they announced this feature before it was officially released in order to give everyone one last chance to purchase a one time licence. ACF announced their revised pricing in November if I recall correctly but remained relatively quiet about it at the start of the year, even though it was announced for the start of 2020. Only a few days ago they announced it would be time to finally change, something the pinegrow dev team may not have noticed until it was (almost) too late. I agree, it is unfortunate and it is true that in the marketing department Pinegrow could still grow significantly but I do believe this was something they could barely control.

Yes, cheers both, to @Roel and @dcneuts, thanks for the replies, Yes, that is right along the avenues I was thinking on both inputs - apart from the pure code work that you have to do for corporate clients - I was intrigued by the use of PG for version control and Git etc.
-That has moved on a bit since the last postings in the whole Work Flow topic we had on here a while ago. (I might just search for that and link it in an edit now)

Edit, here we go , this
What is your workflow?

Yes, I could see it being really useful to @dcneuts, but after seeing how he actually uses PG, Im not so sure as it appears quite a bit of the work is bare metal coding. oh!
You, know, this makes me want to ask just HOW PG is implemented in that work flow, but you know, tbh, I have hardly used PG much as of late, (not that Im not using other tools, just life as changed so much over here for me that I am not really doing any web stuff atm - god knows I NEED to do a site or too atm, … for information and my own protection (and of my horses) right now due to a horror story situation I am stuck in… and my housing and and… oh god! my life!)
But… I would be actually taking up other peoples time, creating a response, about a topic I am interested in, but… have no time to study and carry out, or indeed, the abilities to implement in PG or outside… due to my lack of knowledge in both WP and the more recent, advanced PG features.

I have quite simply… dropped of the knowledge cliff and been left behind.
So it is for this reason that this funky new blocks feature… for the likes of me (not you guys :slight_smile: ) is a damp squib :frowning:

BUT… I see how it may be excellent for the likes of @Roel and somehow useful for @dcneuts in your professional theatres.

So, not dissing it! however just providing feedback, that due to this most unfortunate timing, and infinite price hike (Large number * Eternity = Financial Misery) kills it dead in the water, UNLESS your a pro and it saves you so much time/ increased capabilities markedly.

But for the likes of me, a non starter, that I will never be implementing in the current scenario and now all potential to leave a way out for the future are quashed.

Its like buying online courses, on vastly reduced sale prices - in the hope that I will actually use them, finish them and LEARN some new skill - with competence.
This hasn’t gone well, so far, but I STILL HAVE THEM and the hope.

I MIGHT have gone for 100 AU dollars, to check it out and keep it in my repository for the future. SO I get the ACF points about thier massive user base/value provided/low returning revenue from these users/but awesome word of mouth advertising for new users.

And I see their point on subscription model.
But I was interested in PG because I OWNED the software, and NO subscription model.
But to each their own and for some this is the way, so PG offers both Props!

However, for myself (and maybe the likes of me… if other such creatures exist) then this dependance on a paid, subscription model 3rd party tool -which I can neither afford/justify/actually honestly put in the time to study and implement effectively…gah! you get it.

Much the same as the Greensock/ Animator thing.
A subscription model , to use PG, with a free Greensock Library.
I don’t get it. and neither do some others that contacted me, who were also trying to work this model out. (because, as noted, Ive been around for a while)

I’ve already fallen off the edge of the knowledge/capability feed trough, I am just hoping that for me, this isn’t the start of a trend to implement new 3rd party PAID/Subscription model plugins/addons/party hats, that push standard dev further away from me.

HOWEVER! PG… as it stands WITHOUT these things… STILL has enough capability to tax my knowledge and push my abilities to learn more! It’s great for that.

BUt, this timing sucks.
THE ACF would have got 100 dollars out of me, which would have bought quite a few coffees, and seriously would not have been ripped off by my productiveness with it!
Really! :slight_smile:

now they get nothing :frowning:
But maybe a much better future, so good for them!
Bad for me.
Due to this belated news release on here (my Mac is dying and I wasn’t online for a few days)
Too late.

I and the likes of myself (Hello Singular doppelgänger, how’s tricks? :slight_smile: )
Are the losers, and for us, this is

Defeat, snatched from the jaws of Victory!


Oh yes, sorry @Roel there, cheers for the clarification of your point of view (I have new stopped chewing the edge of my table :smiley: ) and as you say, the timing is pretty well implemented! It just really does appear to be bad timing, too short notice etc.

Oh well, I might just drop Elliot another line… we shall see

Edit number 2
I have just dropped Elliot a line (over at ACF team) to see if they could consider some sort of extension/deal for us PG users who have just had both the New feature AND… the prohibitive future pricing model news - at the same time :frowning:

Ive passed him @matjaz’s email too, to see if maybe they couldn’t maybe, arrange something.
so hey! @matjaz! Ive got the ball rolling for you, if your interested in checking out Elliot and asking. :slight_smile:

Either way, I hope that there will be some good tutorials… along with ones to show how to best use whatever capabilities the FREE ACF fields etc is capable off.

I was on time and able to make the purchase, for the ACF Pro “one time offer”, but decided not to buy it!

For me WordPress is not for my business or to offer as a service to my clients, not now and not in the future. It was and is only for me to play and experiment to see what WP is and how it works, to experience why everybody is using it and is so excited about it. And maybe to build a few simple personal project with it, build and maintained only by me.

That’s the reason for me, why it’s on my list to dive into WP one day. More out curiosity than a new business opportunity! For me WordPress is not something I would make money with, pay my bills or going to offer to my clients.

I have just not the time to learn all the “ins and outs” and master WordPress completly and bring it to a level to know everything/enough about it. That will probably take too long even for me as an experienced webdeveloper/webdesigner. (My time is valuable, and I can do only one thing at a time).

And besides that, if I want to go use WP commercially and want to offer it as a service, I also need to feel confident and experienced enough to start and build “commercial” project for my clients. Going that direction, will also mean I need to give support on it. And with ALL the responsability and expectations I put myself into to my clients. And to keep them (always) satisfied and happy, and knowing that they will come with WP questions and request which I maybe can not deliver directly and takes me a whole lot of time to figure out to make it happen and implement for them in WP. That’s not a situation I want to put myself into!

I don’t mind to challenge myself and looking for inventive solutions. (I do that already almost every day, that’s inherent to the webdevelopment business). But learning and maintaining a whole new platform and eco-system, which WordPress is, is not something you “just” do. Next to all other things that need to be done. It has consequences, and It would probably be very time consuming.

Every hour or day I spend on WP, is one hour or day less I could spent on other things, the things that need to pay my bills. Already keep myself busy enough with all kinds of things!

For the ones that do business with WP, I totally understand and see why ACF Pro is needed and important (and even essential) for them. And is a real time-saver that’s worth every penny, to provide them with a tool that’s very powerful and flexible where the sky is the limit.

About pricing and costs, it was also not questionable if it’s worth the 60 euro’s for ACF Pro (developer license). If you need it (or even rely on it), it’s a bargain. But I was wondering if it was worth it to me. That ended up, after some quick research, being no.

So for now I decided not to invest in it and purchase ACF Pro. Because I didn’t buy it now, would not mean that I never going to do something with WP. I still always can, and also can use the free ACF version if I want to use some of those features. Maybe I explore WP one day, time will tell…

Webdevelopment and webdesign is constantly evolving, with new standards, techniques, technologies and posibilities. It’s already really difficult and impossible to keep up with everything that is going on.

Every day there is something new on the horizon, even when I get 48 hours in a day it’s not possible to track everything. Always need to make choices what to keep up with and which new things I want to learn to extend my knowledge. There are just too much things interesting I like to learn and know, but imposssible to master them all!

And I also think it’s better to know 10 things very good, than a little bit of 50 and only scratched the surface of them! More is not always better, quality above quantity. (Note: The mentioned number 10 is figurative, to make a point. its not the actual number of skills I have. Not easy to count them all… :innocent: :grimacing: :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

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what he said, him there, the duck! (@Marf)

…except for the bit where he COULD Have bought the lifetime licence
I couldn’t find that option.

It’s not available anymore. Yesterday was the last day it was offered. From today they have new price plans! I could have bought it yesterday, which I eventually not did (for mentioned reasons above).

Well I went to buy it yesterday… but couldn’t find the option!
Just the 3 tier versions, NONE of which were relevant to myself (for much the same reasons, NAY! ALL Of the same reasons you stated :frowning: )

It must have been that weird time zone thing (Australia etc) My yesterday was their Tomorrow I guess.

… I hope to have some better tomorrows :slight_smile:

Sorry to hear that you were too late, they are indeed in a different “earlier” timezone (Australia).

But to be honest, I think you must be glad you didn’t burned money on it, and making a maybe impulsive buy. You already have your hands full and already struggling with basic HTML and CSS.
Which can be already a big challenge for you…

So I really wonder, if you were able to use and figure out how to setup and work with WP.
(I hope you feel not offended, it’s just a realistic and honest view I think).

Informing you on Facebook does not really inform other “Pinegrow Wordpress” users however and certainly does not coincide with the promise of openness in 2020 by @matjaz.

If they informed you a few weeks ago and knew they were choosing to lock their products into ACF PRO for Gutenberg Blocks. Then when “Advanced Custom Fields” announced on February 16th that February 24 would be the actual date of the pricing change and they subsequently updated the blog post with that actual date (absent of ACF stating the time of expiration which was added to the blog late on the 23rd to accomodate the timezone debacle). Then the PInegrow team had a clear opportunity to make this announcement directly to “Pinegrow Wordpress” users an entire week earlier and not less then 24 hours before the pricing change for the mandatory ACF based upon their workflow decision in their products for Gutenberg Blocks.

I find that extremely hard to ascertain if they were hinging their products directy upon ACF for this feature. Other people whom use ACF in their products were making users aware of it directly after the February 16th announcement that February 24 would be the date of the pricing switch. I don’t think @Emmanuel is that oblivious to the WP community and would not have known until less than 24hrs.

Its merely a matter of principle and courtesy to the “Pinegrow Wordpress” users. Sadly they again fell short on this opportunity of informing users properly regarding a feature they were already aware of.

@Pinegrow_User They didn’t inform me weeks ago. They informed me around two days ago when they first notified everyone because I commented on their Facebook announcement. I was as oblivious of this new feature as you were until that time. But as I said before, I agree that the timing could have been handled better (even though I really think they did what they could in a difficult situation). Stating that they decided to lock in their gutenberg development to ACF is perhaps a little premature though. Maybe they simply did it because it was relatively easy to implement and other gutenberg implementations may follow in a little while (just speculating here) just as post meta fields are not locked into ACF in pinegrow either. It’s merely an option that is also supported.

I’m not sure that Matjaz will be able to intervene before Wednesday, so to confirm that we read your feedback carefully, I give you here my own point of view about this situation.

Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. We have been offering features related to the free version of ACF for a long time but for the first integration of a feature intrinsically linked to the paid PRO version, we have been unlucky.

The final decision to implement this functionality was taken very recently (February 17th) and with our nose in the handlebars, we hadn’t anticipated this change in pricing for ACF Pro.

The time needed for the corrections and additions normally planned for the next version + the integration time for this new feature in particular (which we weren’t sure to integrate in the next version) + the testing time and here’s where we are today.

When last Saturday we found out that a price change for ACF Pro was going to take place on February 24th, as our functionality was still not available, we did our best to communicate and inform about the situation.

Everyone will be able to judge according to their own criteria as to the quality of this communication operation and its appropriateness in view of the comments posted from here.

One thing is sure, this emergency communication was not planned, it was carried out with the means available at the time, i.e. social networks and the forum, and we are sincerely sorry for those who did not have the opportunity to read our mention on the change in price and model of ACF Pro.


OH well! Nice try, keep up the good work.
2nd Place = 1st Loser :stuck_out_tongue:

In this case, us without the ACF pro or means thereof to own it UNLESS professional or wealthy, so just asking, if and when Us non pro people get to tinker with the ACF things in PG, can we TURN OFF, all the advanced options in the views?
As seeing stuff like that with Reminders to upgrade now, in order to …blah blah

…will drive me nuts and remind me of this unfortunate timing debacle, every time I see boxes I can do nothing with!

ah well, you snooze, you loose.

I don’t have much to add to Emmanuel’s post.

The story is quite simple:

We got an idea for implementing a useful and powerful feature and then implemented it in record time of just few days. Meanwhile we noticed the planned ACF price increase. Our target was to release the new version on last Thursday, but couldn’t do it because we were still fixing bugs. Over the weekend we realised it would be good to let people know about the upcoming feature, so that they can take advantage of getting ACF. We used our social channels to do that.

Looking back, it would have been better to email users on Friday. Do and learn…

I think that professional use-cases PG and ACF PRO combo, create much more value than what they cost, even with new ACF pricing.

That said, we aren’t fans of this situation and understand that it puts the block feature out of reach of many users.

Still, using ACF lets us have this feature at all.

But we’re not married to ACF. If we find another approach that lets us support blocks and its implementation & support is feasible with our resources, we can do that.


Personally, I very much agree with this part.

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@Emmanuel @matjaz Some quick feedback as a pro user, we don’t honestly use (or care to) anything related to Gutenberg Blocks. Those features are just bypassed with site builds and most of the time, we’re using ACF Pro, CPTs, and custom functions.php modifications to create user interfaces on the back-end. I suppose Gutenberg features are helpful for someone, but I don’t know of any peers or agencies in my circle that use them.

@schpengle My workflow is far more complicated, as it’s a team-based workflow. I’ll outline it here versus the other thread, as that’s really old. We use ClickUp for team ticketing, Asana for client workspaces to coordinate on higher levels with tasks, and Slack is used to communicate with them directly and to have team meetings. We use Zapier to provide notifications across platforms and put them into our company Slack channel to keep updated on comments, repo pushes, etc., and there are several other systems in place to track leads, project time tracking, and related.

When it comes to WordPress and Pinegrow, we’re still integrating it. I’ll be going “all in” on licenses once we have the kinks worked out with training and passing projects back and forth. For us, Pinegrow cuts development time and helps us to control “source code” for a WP custom theme, which is the HTML5 project. For our workflow, we build out a site first using HTML5, Sass, and JS with either Foundation 6 or Bootstrap 4. Then once it’s working, we’ll put it through Pinegrow to assign WP functions, control scripts, insert custom PHP, setup navbars, and all else WordPress to export a theme package. This is far easier (and faster) than using an unnecessary “software app” PHP framework, and it’s faster and cleaner than using code-based starter themes. We won’t even touch multipurpose themes like Divi or Elementor unless the client is already using it, and in that case, we’ll strip out unnecessary functions and bypass most default behaviors. In essence, we use WordPress as a PHP framework because it’s honestly perfect for customizations.

Before we even build, we design the work in-house or get a hand-off from an outside designer and we import those designs to Avocode so that devs can export assets and Sass styles for the elements.

I see Pinegrow gaining in popularity for professional users and teams, but there’s only so far that beginners and hobbyists are willing to go when it comes to costs, investment of time, and the field is overly saturated (not competitive). Things like ACF Pro are just costs of doing business, the same as Pinegrow licenses and other tools.


Yeah, you guys are not in charge of or responsible for what the ACF folks do. Most third-party providers are continuing to go up in price, I think it’s just expected. As was stated, the timing is off, not intentional, but things that are beyond our control. However, pro users will pay the cost for ACF regardless, because it’s essential for custom work.


Super reply @dcneuts there,as usual, thanks for taking the time to explain and show case that pretty impressive work flow!
Yes, I see how the big boys play now… just epochs apart from my feeble attempts. It’s also interesting to see how you use Wordpress as just a framework, ditch the themes etc and just rip into it and build it out, as one would with any framework, where you just want to leverage its potentials, value added features and time savings.
I say this because WP has become such a monolithic beast, with so much Expansions, Add ons and customisations (at my level) which NEED to be implemented… that its so easy to forget that its just a framework.

…with such massive potential for breakage, if we get it wrong.
SO thanks. This has been an interesting PG development.

Thanks for the thoughtful responses @matjaz & @Emmanuel.

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OH well, I did try.

I contacted the ACF dev a couple of times, to see if we could get some sort of last minute deal as we weren’t aware of this increase which, as we know, puts it out of reach of some of us and so will never be able to utilise the latest, greatest PG +WP feature, and unfortunately this is the reply.

Hi Schpengle

Thanks for the reply.

Gee mate, I wish I had better news to share with you, but it won’t be possible to purchase a lifetime license anymore.

Compared to the market, ACF PRO is still extremely good value. But if the subscription nature is a deal breaker for you, that’s understandable.

Wishing you all the best with your projects!


So, there we have it.

Just need to say, dang it! I wish I knew this before they jackup up their price. Ok now that is off my chest.

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Please don’t post links to unauthorized copies of ACF PRO plugin to the forum.

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