3 key takeaways from WP Engine DE{CODE} 2022

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Alex Banham
Marketing Executive

As a WP Engine partner, we were proud to be a sponsor of the 2022 WP Engine DE{CODE} event last week.

WP Engine is one of the most trusted WordPress technology companies with 66% of enterprise CMS sites built on WordPress (including The White House). 

Below we’ve outlined the key takeaways from the event and how Candyspace and WP Engine can help enterprises at every stage of their digital maturity journey to build better digital products.


1) A new headless solution for WordPress products

WordPress continues to be the solution of choice for many enterprises, including retailers such as UnderArmour. Let’s say you’re on the commute home and decide to do some online shopping in preparation for your ski holiday. Browsing through the UnderArmour website, you notice the thermal base layer leggings you’ve been eyeing up are finally back in stock.

Great! You add them to your basket, ready to check out when suddenly the train pulls in at your stop. You put your phone back in your pocket and leave the train. When you get back home, you open up your laptop and head back to the website - The leggings are still in your basket, ready to be purchased.

So how do these businesses help your customers to seamlessly move from one platform to another and continue to engage with your content and products on their channel of choice? Enter WP Engine’s new headless solution, Atlas.

One of the benefits of using Altas include an easy to use content editor experience for marketers with a WYSIWYG interface, unlike many other headless platforms which are designed with only the developer in mind.

Another benefit is the ability to create content once and publish to many channels meaning enterprises can increasingly reach their customers on their channel of choice, built on a robust and scalable solution and underpinned by enterprise grade security.

A recent WP Engine study found 53% of enterprises are currently using a headless approach and 80% of enterprises that do not currently use a headless approach would be evaluating the use of headless technology over the next year.


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2) Locking down your website security

In a time of increased global security attacks, one of the key topics for 2022 is cyber security and how to keep your WordPress sites safe. One of the key aspects highlighted during the DE{CODE} event was the importance of basics, and how laying the right foundation of security within your digital practices can help keep WordPress sites locked down.

So you know not to click suspicious links and use a password management tool to randomise your logins. What now? While WordPress Core continues to be a stable and secure tool for users to build upon, developers still need to maintain a level of scrutiny of the plugins that they may be choosing for their sites. Plugin and theme developers are contributing to a healthier digital ecosystem but there are a few key approaches developers can take when choosing third party plugins and themes.

Being critical of open source code

Finding open source code from platforms like GitHub can often appear as a beacon of light during build crunches, but it’s crucial to be critical of the code before you add it into your environment to make sure it is a beneficial addition.

Bug bounties

Don’t be afraid of inviting third parties to poke holes in your code. We’ve all fallen victim to code blindness when trying to piece together a new project. An outside source might be able to evaluate your code from a new angle, stomping out the bugs that your eye might be skimming over.

Accessible change logs

Transparency is key. Developers who are routinely updating their plugins should be able to demonstrate what they’ve changed, the health of their code and any security updates they’ve implemented. If you can’t track changes or you spot code that hasn’t been updated for a while, consider finding an alternative.

Safety in popularity

If in doubt about any code, plugin or theme, consider its popularity - Does it come from a developer with a large footprint and is it being widely used? If you’re unsure about who developed it or its lack of presence in the wider community, there’s no harm in looking at what others are using instead.


3) What's next for WordPress?

WordPress 5.9 (“Josephine”) introduced Full Site Editing in January 2022, “a collection of features that brings the familiar experience and extendibility of blocks to all parts of your site”. The umbrella of features, empowers builders and is slated as the future of traditional WordPress, includes tools such as Site Editor, Global Styles, Templates and Block Themes.

Modern theming in WordPress will also emphasise design over development, with the site editor playing a major role in how developers will design themes. More accessibility in modern theming will also usher in a new generation of users, with low-code and no-code theme development soon becoming available.

But what else can we expect for WordPress in 2022? WordPress 6.0 is on the way with a tentative release date in May. While little is known about WordPress 6.0, but we do know it’ll release with block editor, blocks and patterns, design tools, and gradual adoption.


Supercharge your WordPress experience

If your business could benefit from improving speed to market and making data-driven decisions to aid product development, speak with our Digital Product Consultant, Josh Rudofsky.

Our team of digital product experts will help to provide increased clarity over your digital strategy to help you drive actionable insights from your data, and provide a roadmap for improved digital product development.


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