I am trying to make Gutenberg blocks using the beta version of ACF which provides support for it. I am able to do so with the GUI (as shown first) but cannot do so programmatically.

In the functions.php file, I start off by declaring the block I want to use as a block:

function register_acf_components() {

    if (function_exists('acf_register_block')) {

        $component = array(
            'name' => 'testimonial'
            'title' => 'Testimonial',
            'description' => 'A testimonial block'
            'render_callback' => 'acf_component_render_callback',
            'category' => 'formatting',
            'icon' => 'controls-reversed',
            'keywords' => array('testimonial')


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

function acf_component_render_callback($component) {

    $timber = new Timber\Timber();




And after this if I create the field group through the ACF GUI and assign its location to block === testimonial it all works great and I can add it to pages, add content to it, and display it on a page.

However, I would like to avoid the GUI if possible and declare the field group programmatically.

This is where I stumbled upon: ACF | Register fields via PHP.

Following the advice in this article, I deleted the field group from the GUI and instead added the following to the functions.php file:

if (function_exists('acf_add_local_field_group')):

        'key' => 'group_testimonial',
        'title' => 'Testimonial',
        'fields' => array(
                'key' => 'field_testimonial_header',
                'label' => 'Header',
                'name' => 'header',
                'type' => 'text',
        'location' => array(array(array(
            'param' => 'block',
            'operator' => '==',
            'value' => 'acf/testimonial',


This does create the block and I can see and edit the header field in the editor but when I save it and go to view the page, there is no data.

I investigated the database hoping to find the cause of the issue and I did notice that when creating a field group via the GUI it did add a template for the field group that it did not add when doing so programmatically. I am not sure if this is the cause or if it saves the templates in memory when doing it programmatically.

Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated.

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