De{code} debrief

Highlights from the 2023 virtual developer conference, which brought together the best minds in the WordPress industry.


DE{CODE} 2023 – WPEngine’s free premier conference for WordPress developers – took place between 21-23 March across multiple continents and welcomed a whole host of impressive guest speakers. These included WPEngine Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Jason Cohen, Director of Product Jason Konen, and Google Developer Advocate Sam Dutton.

Plus, WPEngine VP of Marketing Monica Cravotta was joined by special guests WordPress Co-founder Matt Mullenweg, and Lead Architect of Gutenberg, Matías Ventura, for a closing keynote and ‘fireside’ chat. 

Headless on the rise

Headless CMS was a prominent topic among a lot of speakers, many noting that headless has created the biggest web shift since smartphones. Jason Konen, WPEngine Director of Product Management, revealed that research shows 64% of enterprises are using a headless approach for their web presence, with 90% likely to consider it in the next year.

Konen also outlined how modern headless solutions offer a number of advantages for developers, however they can also deliver a poorer experience and reduced toolset for publishers. Atlas, WP Engine’s complete headless WordPress platform, aims to counter this by combining best in class hosting, scaling, security, and support with the CMS tools that many publishers are familiar with, ultimately satisfying the requirements of engineers and end users.

The future of WordPress 

Special guests WordPress Co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Lead Architect of Gutenberg Matías Ventura were a highlight among the attendees, especially those watching from Big Bite. As WordPress celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, the pair joined Monica Cravotta, WP Engine VP of Marketing, for a fireside chat and discussed what the next 20 years have in store for the number one CMS.

“[Gutenberg is] putting the creative tools in the hands of many,” said Mullenweg, when addressing how the introduction of the block editor has given so much more power to the site owner and the marketer. He added that as a result, we get to enjoy more of the range of human diversity and expression, versus all websites looking a little bit the same.

Additional highlights

De{code} 2023 was packed full of insightful information covering a wide range of topics, from managing migrations to simplifying payment processes. This included strategies from WP Engine Senior Product Managers Kevin Hoffman and Austin Wendt to help devs master code migrations, streamline site building, and improve maintenance workflows.

A discussion on payment processing, led by WP Engine VP of Product Sajal Agrawal, was also a highlight, covering security, compliance, transaction fees, and the importance of using the correct tools to facilitate financial transactions.

The virtual conference also provided the opportunity for attendees to network with like-minded individuals, and experts within the WordPress industry.

For a full recap of the event, or to catch up on any talks you might have missed, videos of all the sessions are now available here.

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