How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF

Gutenberg is a new WordPress editor for posts and pages, built on the principles of builders, allows you to write custom page builder elements.

Using the ACF plugin, you can very simply make a widget of any type. And here we'll show how.

For example, it was necessary to develop a block of selected categories.

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_1

The client wanted to be able to change icons, text, title and link, insert this block on any page or post, without reference to templates or post-types, in any part of the content part of the page.

This is how the widget looks in the admin panel in a visual format

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_2

as well as in edit mode

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_3

This block is added to the page using a custom widget built on the basis of ACF plugin.

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_4

To create a block, first we need to register it in functions.php

add_action('acf/init', 'wds_acf_init');

function wds_acf_init() {


// check function exists

if( function_exists('acf_register_block') ) {


// register a testimonial block


'name'                => 'future_cat',

'title'                => __('Featured category'),

'description'        => __('A Featured category block.'),

'render_template'   => get_template_directory() . '/global-templates/block/content-future_cat.php',

'enqueue_script'    => get_template_directory_uri() . '/global-templates/block/future_cat.js',

'enqueue_style'    => get_template_directory_uri() . '/global-templates/block/future_cat.css',

'category'            => 'widgets',

'icon'                => 'screenoptions',

'keywords'            => array( 'category', 'featured' ),





Here we register the block, its files styles and scripts, as well as a template for output.

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_5

Indicate in which category to display it

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_6

and icon’s code from Dashicons(is the official icon font of the WordPress admin)

After that, in the ACF plugin, create a new group of fields, to which we connect the registered before block.

How To Develop Widgets For Gutenberg Using ACF_7

Fill it with the necessary fields.

Next, in the PHP template file, display the contents of the block with a standard ACF loop.



* Block Name: Future category


* This is the template that displays the testimonial block.



// check if the repeater field has rows of data

if( have_rows('category_list') ):



<div class="flex flex--wrap waffle waffle--large">



// loop through the rows of data

while ( have_rows('category_list') ) : the_row();




<div class="flex__column flex__column--6 flex">


<div class="media-thumbnail">


<a class="media-thumbnail__inner flex flex--stack [email protected] waffle waffle--large" href="<?php echo get_category_link(get_sub_field('block_item')); ?>">


<span class="flex__column flex__column--shrink">


<span class="media-thumbnail__icon"><?php echo file_get_contents(get_sub_field('taxonomy_icon')); ?></span>




<div class="media-thumbnail__body flex__column">


<h3 class="media-thumbnail__heading"><?php the_sub_field('block_title'); ?></h3>


<div class="media-thumbnail__content">


<?php the_sub_field('short_description'); ?>

























If necessary, write styles and scripts in previously connected files.

That's all, building blocks is pretty simple process, it's convenient to use, and they are isolated and will always look equally good in any part of the content of a page or post.

And here in the ACF documentation, you can read more details if you need, on how the plugin works with the editor.