XWP’s DE{CODE} 2024 Debrief

Here's our DE{CODE} 2024 debrief, with key takeaways from all of the insightful talks on AI, the future of WordPress development, and performance.

Last week WP Engine ran its fifth annual DE{CODE} event. This time, more than 4,000 attendees tuned in from 86 countries to hear insights from more than 45 experts covering topics like AI, workflows, performance, and, of course, WordPress!

The keynote session with former OpenAI Head of Go-to-Market Zack Kass is on WP Engine’s event platform for a limited time. Make sure to register and sign in before it expires!

View all of the recordings on WP Engine

Empower your development: the breakthrough features of WordPress 6.5 unleashed

The first major WordPress release of 2024 is set to launch on April 2nd, 2024. In this discussion, you can hear directly from Damon Cook, Developer Advocate, WP Engine (Host), Anne McCarthy, Product Wrangler, Automattic, Fabian Kägy, Associate Director of Editorial Engineering, 10up and Nick Diego, Developer Relations Advocate, Automattic as they unveil and demonstrate new features and functionality.


  • Introduction of WordPress 6.5, focusing on community collaboration and new features.
  • Enhancements in the Navigation Block and extensibility for developers.
  • The block bindings API, debuting in WordPress 6.5, facilitates easier custom data integration with core blocks, enhancing development workflows.
  • The new data views feature in WordPress 6.5 offers improved content management and preview capabilities, laying the groundwork for future admin redesign.
  • Highlights on performance improvements and developer tools to streamline site building and content management.

AI and the Future of WordPress Development

WP Engine Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Jason Cohen joined Product Manager Luke Patterson, Equalize Digital CEO Amber Hinds, Code and Theory Chief Technology Officer, David DiCamillo, and CXR General Manager Lucky Gobindram to discuss how developers are harnessing AI to create better, more performant digital experiences.


We learned that AI is already improving internal workflows at the enterprise level:

  • Content Creation: AI-driven drafting of blog posts, product descriptions, and social media content based on style analysis.
  • Image Manipulation: Automation of tasks like image resizing and background removal, enhancing efficiency.
  • SEO Optimization: Leveraging AI to analyze user search intent data, improving website content for better search rankings and organic traffic.
  • Personalization: Tailoring user experiences through AI-driven content recommendations, enhancing engagement and conversions.

The Business of WordPress

In this fantastic keynote session, Brainstorm Force CEO & Co-Founder Sujay Pawar; Elementor Head of WordPress Relations Miriam Schwab, and Newsletter Glue Co-founder Lesley Sim share how they’ve harnessed the power of WordPress to accelerate their businesses—and how you can do the same.


  • Take Action Early: Entrepreneurs are encouraged to start their ventures without waiting for the “perfect” time or idea, focusing on action over endless planning.
  • Find Your Niche: Identifying a unique angle or niche within the market that sets your product or service apart from competitors is crucial for success.
  • Monetization Strategy: Having a clear strategy for how your business will generate revenue from the beginning is emphasized as vital for long-term viability.
  • Product Simplicity: Keeping products simple and user-friendly can be more effective than adding numerous complex features that might not be necessary.
  • Perseverance and Grit: The journey of entrepreneurship in the WordPress ecosystem is highlighted as requiring resilience, with a focus on continuous learning, adapting, and pushing through challenges.

How to Fix a Site You Didn’t Build for Optimal Performance

In this session, Aurooba Ahmed, Senior Software Developer at WP Engine, Sergey Leongardt, CTO & Co-Founder at WEBDOGS, David Wolfpaw, Founder at FixUpFox, Ellis LaMay, Director of WordPress Operations at Americaneagle.com and Jessica Lyschik, Frontend Developer at Greyd share practical advice on how to turn an underwhelming site into an overwhelming success, including how to identify major problem areas, manage client expectations, and decide on the best course of action.


  • Comprehensive website audits are crucial to identifying performance issues.
  • Prioritizing easily addressable issues, such as image optimization.
  • Evaluate and recommend improvements in hosting solutions.
  • Managing client expectations through education and clear communication is key.
  • Utilizing empathetic communication to guide technical decisions.

Looking for a WordPress partner that can help keep you ahead of the curve.