All output should be run through an escaping function in WordPress

To escape output in PHP within WordPress, you can use the esc_html() function to convert special characters to their HTML entities. This is useful for preventing XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks by ensuring that any user-provided data is properly sanitized before being outputted to the webpage.

Here’s an example of how to use esc_html():

    $my_variable = "This is <strong>bold</strong> text.";
    echo esc_html($my_variable);

In the example above, the output will be:

This is &lt;strong&gt;bold&lt;/strong&gt; text.

As you can see, the <strong> tag has been converted to &lt;strong&gt; to prevent it from being interpreted as HTML by the browser.

Note that there are other escaping functions available in WordPress, such as esc_attr() for escaping attributes and esc_url() for escaping URLs. You should choose the appropriate function based on the context in which you are using the output.