Starting your WordPress adventure can be a thrilling yet bewildering experience, especially if you’re a newcomer to this world. As you step into this flexible platform, you’ll come across countless WordPress terms and definitions that might puzzle you.
In this comprehensive WordPress glossary, we’ll explain more than 110 essential WordPress vocabulary in plain English, making it accessible and easy to understand for beginners and seasoned users alike.
Whether you’re just starting your blogging adventure or looking to take your website to the next level, having a solid understanding of these WordPress definitions can be highly beneficial.
So, without ado let’s get started.
An API is like a set of rules that allows different software applications to communicate with each other. In WordPress, it helps to extend and integrate features from other programs or plugins to your website.
Attachments are files like pictures or videos that you can put in your blog posts or pages to make them look better.
AJAX is a tech trick that makes your website work faster by loading new information without reloading the whole page commonly used in WordPress to create dynamic and interactive features.
Apache Web Server
Apache is a popular open-source web server software used to host websites. It handles requests and delivers web pages to visitors like a waiter bringing you food in a restaurant.
The Admin Area, also known as the WordPress Dashboard is like the backstage of your website. It’s where you and your admins manage everything, like changing the menu or writing new posts.
An Administrator is a user role in WordPress with the highest level of access. They have control over all aspects of a WordPress site, including content, themes, and plugins, like the manager of a store.
Autosave is a feature that automatically saves drafts of your posts or pages while you’re editing, so you don’t lose your work if something goes wrong.
Akismet is a popular WordPress plugin that helps prevent comment and contact form spam on your website. It filters out potentially harmful or irrelevant content, saving you time and maintaining the quality of user interactions.
The back end is like the hidden “engine room” of a website. It does all of the behind-the-scenes work, such as storing data and ensuring that everything runs properly.
The Block Editor is the modern content editor in WordPress, introduced in version 5.0. It uses content blocks to simplify the process of creating and customizing pages and posts.
Regular backups create copies of your website’s files and database, ensuring you can restore your site in case of data loss or issues.
Caching stores temporary copies of web pages to reduce load times and server stress, resulting in faster website performance.
CSS is a programming language used to control the design and layout of web pages, including elements like fonts, colors, spacing, and positioning.
Cookies are small pieces of data stored on a user’s device by a website. They serve various purposes, such as remembering user preferences or enabling site functionality.
CMS (Content Management System) software simplifies content creation, editing, and organization on websites, making it easy for multiple users to collaborate.
Custom Post Types
Custom Post Types let you create special types of content on your website, like recipes or events, instead of just regular blog posts.
In WordPress, a class is a reusable code blueprint that defines the characteristics and behaviors of an object. Classes are often used in CSS and programming languages like PHP.
A Child Theme is a theme that inherits styles and functions from a parent theme. It allows you to make customizations without modifying the parent theme’s core files, making updates safer and more manageable.
The Config File is a secret note with important instructions for your website, such as where to find the database or how to stay secure.
The theme customizer is a tool that allows you to preview and customize your site’s appearance in real time before applying changes.
Custom Fields are additional data fields that can be added to posts, pages, or custom post types to store and display specific information associated with your content.
Content is what you put on your website, like words, pictures, and videos. It’s what makes your site interesting and useful.
The Classic Editor is the traditional WordPress content editor that was used before the introduction of the Block Editor. It provides a more familiar interface for content creation.
cPanel is a popular web hosting control panel that simplifies website management tasks. It provides tools for tasks like file management, email setup, and database administration.
Categories help you organize your posts into groups based on topics. They improve site navigation and make it easier for users to find related content.
Comments allow users to provide feedback and engage in discussions on your posts. You can moderate and manage comments in the dashboard.
A domain is your website’s unique address on the internet (e.g., www.yoursite.com). You register and purchase domains through domain registrars.
The database stores all your website content, user data, and settings, making it a critical component of your site’s functionality.
The WordPress dashboard is the first screen you see upon logging in. It provides access to various site management tools, including posts, pages, and settings.
The editor is the interface where you create and edit your posts and pages. WordPress has both classic and block editors, with the latter being more modern and versatile.
An excerpt is a concise summary of a post’s content, often displayed on the homepage or archive pages to give readers a preview of the full post.
Export is the process of saving your WordPress site’s content, settings, or data to a file, making it portable for migration or backup.
Front-end the client-side of web development, where the user designs and codes the website’s visible features and user interfaces, such as buttons, menus, and forms.
Functions.php is a special file in your WordPress theme that allows you to add custom code and functions to modify the theme’s behavior or add new features.
A featured image is the primary image associated with a post or page. It often appears as a thumbnail on your site and when shared on social media.
Fluid layout is a website design approach where page elements adjust in size and position to fit different screen sizes and resolutions, providing a consistent user experience across devices.
The footer is the bottom section of a webpage. It often contains copyright information, links to important pages, and contact details.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a method for transferring files between your computer and your web server. It’s useful for manually uploading or downloading files to your site.
Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar) is a service that associates a unique avatar image with an email address. Users can use their Gravatar when commenting on your site.
Gutenberg is the modern block editor introduced in WordPress 5.0. It uses content blocks to simplify the creation and customization of pages and posts.
GPL (General Public License) is the open-source license that WordPress is distributed under. It allows users to use, modify, and redistribute the software freely.
GitHub is a web-based platform for version control and collaborative software development, often used by developers to contribute to WordPress and other projects.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a European Union regulation that governs data protection and privacy, affecting how websites handle and protect user data.
The header is the top section of your webpage, usually containing your site’s title, logo, and navigation menu.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the standard language used to create web pages. It defines the structure and elements of a webpage, such as headings, paragraphs, links, and images.
HTTP is the foundation of data communication on the World Wide Web. It helps your computer ask for web pages from servers on the internet. Since it’s not secure anymore, so it’s being replaced by HTTPS.
HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP. It encrypts the data transferred between a user’s browser and a website, ensuring data privacy and security. Websites using HTTPS have a padlock symbol in the address bar.
Hosting is a service that stores and makes your website accessible on the internet. It provides server space for your website files and databases, allowing users to access your site online.
“Hello Dolly” is a fun and simple WordPress plugin created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress. It adds random lyrics from the song “Hello, Dolly!” to your WordPress admin dashboard, purely for entertainment and nostalgia.
The .htaccess file is a configuration file on the server that can be used to set various rules and settings for your website.
A file containing reusable code that can be included in other files, making it easier to manage and maintain code in WordPress themes and plugins.
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network or the internet, used for identifying and communicating with devices.
Import is the process of bringing data, content, or settings from an external source or file into your WordPress site, often used for transferring content from one site to another.
“The Loop” is a code structure that retrieves and displays posts or content from the database, typically used in theme templates to generate page content.
A term used to refer to a web server running on your local computer for testing and development purposes. It simulates a live server environment without being online.
Menus are customizable navigation links that help users explore your site easily. You can create and modify menus in the WordPress dashboard.
Meta tags are snippets of HTML code that provide information about a web page’s content to search engines and social media platforms. They help improve SEO and how your content appears in search results and social media shares.
MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system used in WordPress to store and manage website data.
Think of the Media Library as a photo album for your website. It’s where you keep all your pictures, videos, and music, making it easy to put them in your blog posts and pages.
Multisite is like having one big website with lots of little websites inside. It’s handy if you want to run many websites, like blogs or business sites, all from one place.
A navigation menu is a set of links that helps users move around your website easily. It typically appears in the header or sidebar and contains links to important pages.
Nonce keys are security tokens used to protect against unauthorized actions on your website, such as form submissions or plugin operations. They ensure that requests are legitimate.
An object is like a digital building block that you can use to create different things on your website, like posts, comments, or users.
Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm used to organize and manage code. It involves creating reusable classes and objects to improve code structure and maintainability.
Think of it as a free and open playground for computer programmers. WordPress is open source, which means lots of people can help make it better.
A permalink is the permanent web address of a specific post, page, or content item on your website. It’s designed to remain unchanged and is crucial for SEO and user-friendliness.
A plugin is a piece of software that adds specific features or functionality to your WordPress site. It’s like an app that extends your site’s capabilities without requiring custom coding.
The WordPress plugin repository is a directory of free plugins that you can install directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Posts are articles or dynamic content items published on your WordPress blog. They are displayed in reverse chronological order on your site’s homepage and archives.
Unlike posts, pages are static and don’t change often. They are used for timeless content like “About Us” or “Contact” pages.
Post types are different content structures beyond standard posts and pages. They allow you to create and organize unique content, such as products, events, or testimonials.
A parent theme in WordPress serves as the foundation for your site’s design and functionality. Child themes inherit attributes from parent themes while allowing customizations.
A page builder is a tool or plugin that simplifies the process of creating and designing web pages without needing extensive coding knowledge. It often uses a drag-and-drop interface.
Parallax effect is a special trick in web design that makes things on your page look like they’re moving at different speeds when you scroll, making it more interesting.
Pingbacks are notifications from other websites when they link to your content, helping you track mentions and inbound links.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language used to create dynamic web pages and power WordPress.
The public_html folder is where your website’s files are stored and publicly accessible on your web server.
A query is a request for specific information or data from your WordPress database, often used to display content on your site.
A responsive theme ensures that your theme adapts and looks good on all devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and desktops.
A robots.txt file is used to instruct search engine bots which parts of your website should or should not be indexed.
Revisions are saved copies of your post or page as you make changes. They allow you to revert to previous versions if needed.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a technology that enables users to subscribe to your website’s content updates and receive them in a standardized format.
A slider is a dynamic element that displays images or content in a rotating manner, often used to feature important information on your site.
A sidebar is a vertical section on your website where you can place widgets or additional content, enhancing user navigation and engagement.
Static Front Page
A static page is a web page that remains fixed and does not change dynamically based on user interactions. It’s always used for content that doesn’t require real-time updates.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results, improving visibility and organic traffic.
SALT keys are random strings of characters used to enhance the security of user passwords stored in the WordPress database.
Shortcodes are small pieces of code enclosed in brackets that allow you to add dynamic content, like forms or multimedia, to your posts and pages without coding.
A stylesheet is a file that contains the CSS code defining the layout, colors, and styles of your WordPress theme.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security technology that encrypts data transmitted between your website and users, ensuring secure connections.
A subdomain is a separate section of your website with its own unique address like a mini-website inside your main website. It is often used for different site sections or functions (e.g., blog.example.com).
A subfolder is a directory within your website’s main directory, used to organize content or create separate sections (e.g., example.com/blog).
In a WordPress Multisite network, the super admin has complete control over all the sites in the network, including user management and settings.
A slug is a user-friendly, URL-friendly version of a post or page title, used to create clean and readable permalinks. A simple and clean website address.
A theme is a design template that determines the look and layout of your WordPress website. It controls the visual appearance, fonts, colors, and overall style.
Taxonomy is a way to sort and organize things on your website. It’s like putting posts into categories or tagging them to make them easier to find.
The toolbar, also known as the admin bar, is a menu at the top of your website when you’re logged in. It gives you quick access to important options for managing your site.
Tags are keywords or labels assigned to content to help categorize and organize it. Unlike categories, tags are typically more specific and can be used to connect related content.
The text editor is like a simple word processor in WordPress that allows you to write and format content using basic HTML and text. It’s often used when you need precise control over the formatting.
TinyMCE is the name of the rich text editor used in the classic WordPress editor. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating and formatting content without needing to write HTML code.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the web address that users enter into their browsers to access specific web pages. It consists of a protocol (e.g., https://), a domain name (e.g., www.yoursite.com), and a path to the page.
WordPress offers various user roles, such as administrator, editor, author, and subscriber, each with different levels of access and permissions to manage and contribute to your site.
Validation in WordPress refers to the process of ensuring that your website’s code and content adhere to established standards and are error-free.
The Visual Editor is a user-friendly interface within WordPress that allows you to create and edit content visually, similar to a word processor. It simplifies formatting and content creation without the need for coding.
Widgets are small, customizable blocks of content or functionality that you can add to your WordPress site’s widget areas, such as sidebars or footers.
WordPress is a widely used open-source Content Management System (CMS) that simplifies website creation and management. It offers a user-friendly dashboard and extensive customization options.
WordPress.com is a hosted platform that allows you to create a website using WordPress without worrying about hosting and technical details. It’s suitable for beginners looking for a hassle-free setup.
WordPress.org is the official website where you can download the self-hosted version of WordPress. It offers greater flexibility and control, making it ideal for advanced users and developers.
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
WYSIWYG is an editing mode in WordPress that displays content as it will appear on the final webpage. It allows users to format and style content visually, similar to its appearance on the live site.
The wp-config.php file is a critical configuration file in WordPress. It contains settings and information necessary for your website to connect to the database and function properly. Advanced users may need to modify this file for specific customization.
WordPress is more than just a platform; it’s a dynamic ecosystem with its own language and culture. But one thing always stays the same: you’ve got to know the WordPress Terminologies, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
From now on, If you’ve ever felt bewildered by phrases like ‘widget,’ ‘child theme,’ or ‘custom post type,’ fear not, just take a look at this guide. This guide is your roadmap to decoding WordPress jargon and mastering the terminology that powers your website.
We’d love to hear from you about any new WordPress Glossary you think should be added to our list. Your insights and suggestions can make this guide even more comprehensive.