Delicious Brain Bytes: WordPress Accessibility Day, Dodge – A WordPress Game, and Improving WordPress Search

By Mike Davey, Senior Editor

In this issue of Delicious Brain Bytes, we dip into the latest from the WordPress Developer Blog, play around with making sure WordPress stays free, see how text compression saves data, and much more.

WordPress Developer Blog Looks Back on 2023

The WordPress Developer Blog’s year in review post takes a look back at 2023, with 54 posts contributed by 39 community members, covering “…everything from block development to themes and a little bit of everything in between.” The post also notes that the WordPress Developer Blog is always looking for new writers.

The latest edition of What’s New for Developers? looks at features and other developments in over the last month, including a redesign of the Developer Resources site.

Other highlights include the template management screen moving from experimental to stable in Gutenberg 17.4 and the introduction of experimental partially synced patterns.

ACF 6.2.5 Security Release

ACF 6.2.5 is a security fix release, but it’s essential to understand the details of the release before updating. From ACF 6.2.5 onward, as a result of a security vulnerability, use of the ACF shortcode to output an ACF field will be escaped by the WordPress HTML escaping function, wp_kses.

This has potential to be a breaking change if you’re using the shortcode ([acf field="field_name"]) to output potentially unsafe HTML such as scripts or iframes for textarea or WYSIWYG fields.

The ACF development team was available for questions related to this release during the most recent edition of ACF Chat Fridays, the team’s open office hours. The team will continue to take questions about this release, and any other aspect of ACF, during the next session of ACF Chat Fridays on February 2, 2024. Registration for the next ACF Chat Fridays is now open.

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Dodge – A WordPress Game

Jonathan Bossenger has created Dogde, a game where the goal is to keep WordPress free.

It’s not just WordPress-themed, it’s also WordPress-powered. The game itself is a single dynamic block, the WordPress Interactivity API powers player and game controls, and other WordPress features make an appearance as well.

A screenshot from Dodge - A WordPress game.

WordPress Accessibility Day Seeks Volunteer Organizers

Are you passionate about making the web accessible to everyone? WordPress Accessibility Day is currently searching for dedicated individuals to join their team of organizers.

WordPress Accessibility Day raises awareness about accessibility in the WordPress ecosystem, and is dedicated to promoting and disseminating accessibility best practices for WordPress websites. By participating as an organizer, you’ll play a crucial role in promoting inclusive design and development practices while contributing to the growth of WordPress’s accessibility features.

Visit to learn more about the requirements and responsibilities of being an organizer, and help build a more inclusive web.

WordPress Accessibility Day Call for organizers banner.

Why Lowercase Letters Save Data

As long as we’re talking about ASCII, we’re confident that 1 letter equals 1 byte, regardless of whether the letters are uppercase or lowercase. That’s why we were surprised to learn that swapping uppercase letters for lowercase letters saves data. The key is text compression. This article digs into how text compression works, with interactive examples, and shows you some ways this knowledge can be used to systematically save data. The author also goes into detail on how he determined that “…title case on Hacker News emits the equivalent yearly carbon as a car driving the width of Sri Lanka.”

Building a Search Page for Headless WordPress

Accurate search results ensure visitors find what they need, but out-of-the-box WordPress native search leaves a lot to be desired. It offers almost no configuration for weighting of data, doesn’t support operators to allow users to search for multiple words together, and it won’t search data from post meta.

In this tutorial, Grace Erixon shows us how to build search functionality into headless WordPress sites using WP Engine Smart Search, Faust.js, and Advanced Custom Fields.

Online Conferences for WordPress Devs

Conferences offer a blend of targeted education and networking opportunities, a combination that can advance your skills and career. They can be expensive to attend, though. Between the ticket prices, travel, and time away from work, it’s important to make sure the conferences you attend are worth your time. Virtual conferences provide many of the same benefits, but at much lower cost.

DE{CODE}, for example, is one of the biggest WordPress events in the world in terms of attendance and it’s not only completely virtual, it’s also free to attend. Hosted by WP Engine, the event is dedicated to helping WordPress developers build smarter, maximize conversions, and modernize the user experience. All sessions from DE{CODE} 2023 are now available in the WP Engine Resource Center.

DE{CODE} 2024 promises to be even bigger and better than the previous year. DE{CODE} 2024 takes place March 19 (North America, APAC) and March 21 (EMEA). Keep an eye on the WP Engine blog for more details as they become available. In this article, we look into DE{CODE} and other high-value online conferences for WordPress developers to attend in the first half of 2024.

What’s the most interesting news you’ve come across recently? Pop by Twitter and let us know.

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.