DE{CODE} 2023: Developer Focused WordPress Education

By Mike Davey, Senior Editor

You know code…but do you know DE{CODE}? Hosted by WP Engine, this 100% virtual event is dedicated to helping WordPress developers build smarter, maximize conversions, and modernize the user experience. This year’s conference includes sessions on how to master migrations, use new and lesser-known features of ACF, improve your Core Web Vitals, and much more.

The first session of DE{CODE} 2023 kicks off later this month, and the agenda is available now. You can register in one of three time zones, based on which is most convenient:

  • Asia-Pacific: March 21, 10 am – 4 pm AEST
  • North and South America: March 21, 10 am – 4 pm CST
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa: March 23, 10 am – 4 pm GMT

DE{CODE} 2022 drew over 5,000 registrants from over 100 different countries, making it one of the most popular WordPress conferences in the world. You can register for DE{CODE} 2023 for free at

This year’s event is the fourth DE{CODE} conference hosted by WP Engine, but it’s a first for Delicious Brains since we joined the company. Read on for a look at what you’ll see from Delicious Brains at the conference, and the other sessions we’re looking forward to the most.

Mastering Migrations, ACF’s Hidden Gems, and Core Web Vitals

Kevin Hoffman teams up with Austin Wendt for “Mastering migrations–faster, easier, and safer ways to move your site from A to B,” an in-depth examination of the benefits of using WP Migrate and Local in concert.

“I’m looking forward to sharing some powerful workflows that combine the best parts of WP Migrate and Local,” says Kevin. “Recently these two product teams worked together to create a seamless remote-to-local workflow, which you’ll see highlighted in the presentation alongside several other real-world migration scenarios.”

ACF users won’t want to miss “7 things you didn’t know you could do with Advanced Custom Fields,” presented by Iain Poulson and Rob Stinson.

“We are looking at some new and lesser-known features of ACF in a quick-fire session based on a real world site build,” says Iain. “We’ll cover bi-directional relationships, programmatically registering fields, registering CPTs, and a number of other topics.”

Interested in the process for registering CPTs and taxonomies in ACF? That's just one of the things you'll see at DE{CODE} 2023! This screenshot shows the “Add New Post Type” screen in ACF when registering a Custom Post Type. This feature will be available in a future version of ACF.

Interested in the process for registering CPTs and taxonomies in ACF? That’s just one of the things you’ll see at DE{CODE} 2023!

Optimizing site performance and SEO requires insight into your Core Web Vitals, but determining the best tools and strategies can be challenging. Sanjucta Ghose of Delicious Brains/WP Engine joins a panel of other experts including Alex Zuniga of WP Engine, Mark Davoli of Amsive Digital, Matt Chase of Vital Design, and Mike Crantea of XWP to discuss best practices in “Demystifing Core Web Vitals for WordPress.”

“There are a lot of tools available, but it’s very important to select the ones that align with your strategy,” says Sanjucta. “It’s important to understand your Core Web Vitals, but that’s really only the first step. We’re going to put a lot of the focus on the tools and practices you need to improve those scores.”

Keynote Sessions

Jason Cohen, WP Engine’s Chief Innovation Officer and Founder, will discuss how technology has shaped the power dynamics between developers, designers, and marketers with a look at how WordPress site creation has changed in the last two decades, what we can expect to see over the next 10 years, and what it will mean for those who innovate with WordPress.

Google Developer Advocate Sam Dutton will bring an insider’s view of upcoming Chrome privacy changes through the Privacy Sandbox initiative in 2023. He’ll discuss the upcoming changes, share the initiative’s goals, and help you understand how to ensure you have the data you need to keep your WordPress sites moving forward.

Headless WordPress has only grown in popularity in the last few years, especially among enterprise-class organizations. Jason Konen, WP Engine’s Director of Product, leads the first of several headless sessions at DE{CODE} 2023. Among other highlights, he’ll look at advancements to Atlas, WP Engine’s headless WordPress solution.

Ian Jones of Delicious Brains/WP Engine notes that those advancements have made it possible for developers to use any front-end stack, increasing flexibility.

“WP Engine has already done great things for headless WordPress with Atlas and Faust.js,” he says. “I’m interested in hearing about that journey and where they’re headed next.”

Headless WordPress and Composable Commerce

Four more presentations round out the headless offering at DE{CODE} 2023. Jeff Everhart, Senior Developer Advocate at WP Engine, will lead a developer-focused presentation on building your first headless WordPress project using Advanced Custom Fields and WPGraphQL, covering all the ins-and-outs of the infrastructure.

Composable commerce is one of the more intriguing use cases for headless WordPress. It focuses on combining “best-of-breed” components into an application suited to the exact ecommerce needs of a specific business. At DE{CODE} 2023, Bryan Smith of WP Engine will be joined by Jonathan Jeter, Direction of Technical Production for Click Here Labs. They’ll lift the curtain and highlight how Click Here Labs used the new Atlas BigCommerce Blueprint to build the Combat Corner online store. Blueprints are pre-built headless sites that work seamlessly with Atlas. The presentation will include a demo of the BigCommerce Blueprint.

The Blueprint dashboard in WP Engine’s Atlas headless WordPress platform.

There’s a lot of buzz around headless WordPress, but there’s no question that building a headless site is more complex than a traditional build. When does a headless build unlock new potential, and when does it make more sense to use traditional WordPress? A panel discussion at DE{CODE} 2023 will seek to answer these questions, and provide deep insight into how WP Engine’s Agency Partners and their development staff are using headless solutions to solve recalcitrant technical issues. The panel includes Rami Perry of WP Engine, joined by David DiCamillo of Code & Theory, Adam Davey of CandySpace, Dennis Ngin of Wpromote, and Scott Jones of Illustrate Digital.

Rounding out the headless WordPress presentations at DE{CODE} 2023, Blake Wilson and Teresa Gobble of WP Engine will look at the “React-Gutenberg Bridge,” Faust’s new Gutenberg block support for headless projects. This makes it possible for developers to bring the WYSIWYG editing experience content and marketing teams are already familiar with to headless implementations of WordPress.

Cutting Edge Patterns and Block-Centric Building

Getting the most out of Block Patterns requires knowing the latest features. In “Cutting edge pattern management and creation,” Michael Day and Phil Johnston of WP Engine show how to leverage the latest developments, and highlight a new tool that improves the experience of managing block patterns.

Block-centric building has advantages, but it’s vital for freelancers and agencies to determine when it’s worth the investment. Brian Gardner and Sam Munoz of WP Engine are joined by Aurooba Ahmed, Phil Crumm of 10up, and Katherine White of Kanop Studios to answer “When is it worth investing in block-centric building in WordPress?” This Q&A panel discussion will be dedicated to recognizing when block-centric building can bring more value to your clients.

Sanjucta points to this as one of the highlights of the upcoming conference.

“With so much of the development effort in WordPress centered on full site editing, I’m interested in knowing how agencies and freelancers can leverage the block and site editors to quickly deliver maintainable solutions,” she says.

Security, Performance, and Ecommerce

Security and performance are top-level concerns for every project you build. Keeping up with best practices is challenging, especially if you’re trying to innovate at the same time. In “Stay on top of performance and security in 2023,” Ramadass Prabhakar, WP Engine’s SVP and Chief Technology Officer, is joined by Lawrence Edmondson of Barbarian, Sergi Isasi of Cloudflare, Jimmy Squires of space150, and WordPress security consultant Tim Nash to discuss how they’re managing security and performance in 2023.

This may be the session Ross Wintle of Delicious Brains/WP Engine is looking forward to the most. It’s a rare opportunity to receive critical knowledge from experts.

“Performance and security are ever-present concerns in a fast-changing landscape,” says Ross. “This looks like an awesome panel of experts and I’m looking forward to a top-up of critical developer knowledge.”

Security is a fundamental aspect of payment processing as well. From a software perspective, it’s become much easier to add payment processing to your WordPress sites, but security, compliance, transaction fees, and local regulations are as important as ever, and just as difficult to navigate. At DE{CODE} 2023, Daniel Chatelain of BayPay Forum is joined by Sajal Agrawal and Enid Jimenez of WP Engine for “Simplifying payment processing in a shifting global economy,” a session dedicated to providing insights into the issues around payments, including tips for secure transactions, avoiding regulatory and compliance issues, and expanding to other regions.

WooCommerce is a widely-used ecommerce plugin, but reporting has been difficult to customize. In “WooCommerce reporting with New Relic,” Damien DeHart of New Relic and Joshua Dailey of WP Engine show how to use New Relic APM to increase visibility on the store metrics that really matter to you, with real-time data on site performance and key metrics in the same dashboard.

Register Today

DE{CODE} 2023 promises inspirational thought leadership and actionable information, all dedicated to helping developers thrive and move forward with the best information on headless, performance, ecommerce, and the WordPress ecosystem. It’s an unbeatable combination.

Registration for DE{CODE} 2023 is open now, with sessions to suit every time zone.

Make sure to secure your free ticket to DE{CODE} 2023 at before the first session on March 21.

Will we see you at DE{CODE}? What session are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Mike Davey Senior Editor

Mike is an editor and writer based in Hamilton, Ontario, with an extensive background in business-to-business communications and marketing. His hobbies include reading, writing, and wrangling his four children.