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Delicious Brains, the company behind WP Migrate DB Pro and SpinupWP, has acquired the Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) plugin from its creator, Elliot Condon. After 10 years, the plugin has more than 1 million active installs and a thriving business based on the Pro version. It has become an indispensable part of the workflow for thousands of WordPress developers around the globe.
The plugin allows developers to easily customize WordPress edit screens and custom field data. In 2019, the Pro version introduced ACF Blocks, a PHP-based framework for developing custom blocks. This came as a great relief to many developers who did not know how they were going to keep pace with learning the JavaScript required to use WordPress’ Block API.
General reaction to the news was positive, as ACF fits in neatly with Delicious Brains’ suite of well-maintained developer products. The company’s founders also possess a genuine appreciation of ACF and its importance to the WordPress developer community.
“I don’t think WordPress would be where it is today without ACF,” Brad Touesnard said on a recent episode of the Delicious Brain Waves podcast.
Condon cited the scale of the project and “technology complexity and user expectation” as factors in his decision to sell ACF. As a one-person team, he was unable to keep up with the growth of ACF over the years.
“Stepping away from ACF has not been an easy decision to make,” Condon said. “The reasoning behind it comes from a place of humility. As the number of installs have grown from thousands to millions, the needs of the product have outgrown my ability to develop solutions. The last thing I want to do to this amazing community is unintentionally hold back the project, so something needed to change.”
Delicious Brains’ announcement stated that the company will be reviewing Condon’s roadmap for the product in hopes of fulfilling his vision moving forward.
“Two of our greatest strengths that we’ll bring to ACF are design (UI/UX) and developer education,” Touesnard said. “We’ll be focusing our initial efforts in those areas. I have a few UI/UX improvements in mind that would make a huge difference to users. We also see a significant opportunity to produce developer-focused content focused on effectively using ACF in your WordPress projects.”
Touesnard also confirmed that Delicious Brains will not be making any drastic changes to ACF or ACF Pro, nor do they plan to adjust the pricing of the product anytime soon.
“If we ever decide to update pricing in the future, we won’t force existing customers onto the new pricing,” he said.
After the initial announcement, there was some confusion surrounding lifetime licenses that originated from a hasty response to a customer inquiry. Delicious Brains has since updated the post to clarify the company’s commitment to ACF Pro’s lifetime customers.
“We are committed to honoring lifetime licenses forever,” Touesnard said. “Lifetime license holders will get all ACF Pro software updates forever.”
More information on how the acquisition happened, as well as what customers can expect in the future, is available on the most recent episode of the Delicious Brain Waves podcast.
Whoa! This is big news. Congrats all around! So happy to see this acquisition.
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ACF is a must-have plugin for many WP developers, and I have used it in dozens of WP projects. Just hope that the new owner keeps ACF clean and easy to use.
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Touesnard also confirmed that Delicious Brains will not be making any drastic changes to ACF or ACF Pro, nor do they plan to adjust the pricing of the product anytime soon.
In a few years from now, we’ll see something like… “To best accommodate our customers growing needs we have to update our subscription plans and hike prices by 100%”. Mark my words.
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Really happy for Condon. ACF is our goto solution for projects with complex post meta data needs.
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I think Elliot made a very brave but difficult and good decision. I want to thank Elliot for his outstanding work and contributions to the WordPress community. Without his work my projects would have been a lot different and perhaps way more complex.
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Now that is an acquisition I am not worried about. Great news for everyone.
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It’s never easy to let go of a product that was a labor of love, but as the scope and success grow to degrees that would make a single person unable to fulfil the needs – it is a sign of commitment to quality. Congratulations to Mr. Condon on this huge success and good luck with future projects.
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Great news!
Looking forward to see more bright feature for ACF and ACF Pro, congratulations to Delicious Brains.
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Congrats to both Elliot and Delicious Brains. ACF is such an important part of the Custom WP Theming work that I’ve done over the years. I honestly look forward to the part of every project where it’s time to define the fields and program the templates. I really respect the amount of work and time that he’s put into the project, from developing the right balance of functionality/UX as well as all the time he and other volunteers spent in the forums.
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“We are committed to honoring lifetime licenses forever,” Touesnard said. “Lifetime license holders will get all ACF Pro software updates forever.”
This is such a big part of the announcement that I was worried about. My only concern at this point is if in the future they’ll announce a name change and ‘void’ lifetime license holders because it’s technically not ACF Pro. Given Delicious Brains’ past history, I’m not incredibly concerned, but overall with how acquisitions go, it’s definitely in the back of my mind and will continue to be there.
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