WordPress Glossary Terms

WordPress is the most powerful content management system in this world and supports more than 20% of websites. Unlike free site building tools, self-hosted WordPress platform needs steep learning curve and requires basic understanding of the fundamentals. Understanding the terms used among WordPress community is necessary to make the site building experience fun and quicker. Here is the complete list of WordPress glossary terms with simple explanation which you can refer and benefit for free.

If you see a term is not listed in this glossary then please contact us so that we can add it for the benefit of all webmasters.

Glossary TermDefinition
Admin BarAdmin bar is the top toolbar shown on the admin dashboard. It has quick links to site's home page, shop page, WordPress.org documentation and links from installed plugins.
AdministratorAdministrator is the highest level of user in WordPress. Administrators can do all types actions from the dashboard like modifying theme files and add / delete plugins.
AlexaAlexa is a web analytics company offering global and country specific ranking of websites which is owned by Amazon.
AttachmentAttachment in WordPress refers a file uploaded to a post or page. The uploaded files can be seen under "Media > Library" menu with the information of the post or page it is linked to.
BackupBacking up a WordPress site is a process of duplicating the live site to another place for emergency restore or testing purposes. Backup has two steps - downloading the database which has site content and copying the site files like themes and plugins.
BookmarkletBookmarklet is a button available on the browser's bookmark bar allowing users to do certain actions quickly. the "Press It" bookmarklet available in WordPress helps users to quickly link the content they are viewing on the browser to their blog. The "Press It" button is available under "Tools > Available Tools" menu of WordPress admin dashboard.
BreadcrumbBreadcrumb is a navigational structure contains collection of links that helps users to browse through the website easily. This helps the user to know at any point of time where exactly he is in the site and move to the up or down the level structure directly. Smaller sites with single category or independent pages may not require an additional breadcrumb navigation since the site's menu may satisfy the navigational need of an user. But bigger sites with large number of categories and parent-child page structure needs additional breadcrumb to inform the users where exactly the current page is located relative to the whole site.
CategoryCategories help users to group related content together for easy retrieval. By default WordPress only allows to group blog posts under different categories and pages don't have category function. But users can create custom categories for pages and other custom post types.
Child ThemeChild theme is a WordPress theme which derives functions from the parent theme. A child theme should contain a style sheet file as a minimum. Any functions added using functions.php file will be appended to the parent theme's function. Other PHP files like header.php, single.php, etc. if used in child theme will overwrite the corresponding files in parent theme.
Child theme is used to protect the custom changes getting overwritten when parent theme needs to be updated.
CMSCMS stands for Content Management System. WordPress is one of the popular CMS helps users to organize the content on the hosting server.
CommentsComments are the opinions from users for the written article on a post. Generally comments is enabled for blog posts and disabled for individual pages. The submitted comments can be approved or rejected under "Comments" section of admin dashboard.
cPanelcPanel or Control Panel is one of the popular tool to manage the hosting account. Almost all popular WordPress hosting companies like Bluehost, SiteGround, HostGator, etc. offers cPanel hosting account.
CrawlerCrawler or Spider is a piece of script used to collect the information of all the web pages available in the web.
CSSCSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets used to define the style of HTML elements in a web page. CSS instructs the browser how markup elements should appear on a web page displayed to the users. The main purpose of CSS is to define the layout and decorate the elements. All specifications of CSS are maintained by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). CSS was initially proposed by Håkon Wium Lie along with many other style sheet languages on October 1994. W3C then adopted his recommended standards along with the recommendations from Bert Bos during 1996 and released CSS1.
Custom FieldsCustom fields are created by users and can be used to control different functions based on the coding. By default custom field meta box can be viewed under post content in visual editor.
Custom Post TypeWordPress by default allows to create different types of content like posts, pages, links, audio, video, etc. If the default post types are not sufficient then users can create custom post types for their need.
DashboardDashboard is the home page of the WordPress administrator interface. It can be seen when you logged in to the interface or navigating to the "Dashboard" menu.
DatabaseWordPress uses MySQL database to store all text content of a website. For example, all posts created are stored under "wp_posts" table of MySQL database of the site. Periodic back up of WordPress database is important to keep the content safe. The backed up database can easily be restored when required.
DHTMLDHTML is not a language but a term used to describe the way of making dynamic and interactive web pages using HTML, JavaScript, CSS and DOM.
Domain MappingDomain mapping is the mechanism to instruct WordPress to use domain names for individual sites on the network.
DraftDraft is one of the status of the post or page which indicates that the content is saved but not yet published online.
ExcerptExcerpt is the summary of the article which can be entered with the "Excerpt" meta box shown under the post during editing. If not entered, it will be auto generated from the first 55 characters of the content of the post or page.
Featured ImageFeatured image is the special image uploaded to a post or page and not shown on the published article. It can be uploaded using the “Featured Image” meta box while editing the post and the usage depends on the theme in use. Generally the featured image is used when sharing content on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
FeedFeed is the mechanism to provide latest content and WordPress uses RSS to automatically create feed for a website. Generally the feed can be accessed with the URL – http://yoursite.com/feed.
FileZillaFileZilla is a free open source FTP software facilitates the file transfer between a local client and a web server.
FTPFile Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a mechanism for transferring files between a local computer and a web server using standard TCP / IP protocol.
GalleryGallery is referred to the set of files linked to a post or page. Generally, gallery is referred to the set of images that can be seen within the post or page along with thumbnails.
GravatarGravatar is a small image used in comments to show the profile picture of the commenter. It is a external service offered by Automattic Inc. the company owns WordPress.com. The image is linked to an email id and shown in the comment when the email id is used for commenting.
HTMLHTML stands for HyperText Markup Language in which web pages are written and instructs browsers the how content is to be presented to users.
HTML ModeIt is an option in visual editor to see the back end code of the content. Currently it is named as "Text" mode.
JavaScriptJavaScript is an object oriented scripting language used to create interactive web pages. Browsers can interpret JavaScript without a need of separate compiler like HTML tags.
MAMPMAMP is a free application used to install server environment in a local OS X based Mac or Windows based PC and owned by appsolute GmbH.
MultisiteAs the name indicates, WordPress multisite indicates controlling multiple sites in a network through a single installation. This is generally used for easy content management and effective resource utilization of resources.
MySQLMySQL is the database system used in WordPress to store all content. SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is an open source database system.
PageThe static content is published in WordPress as a page which generally not change with the time. Pages can be arranged hierarchically but can't be grouped into categories.
PermalinksPermalink is the term used in WordPress to indicate an URL where the content is stored permanently. This is used to generate pretty clean URLs for blog post and pages in WordPress.
PHPPHP is a reverse acronym for “Hypertext Preprocessor” and is one of the popular and most used server side, cross platform scripting language.
phpMyAdminphpMyAdmin is a open source interface for maintaining tables of MySQL database. All popular cPanel hosting services offer phpMyAdmin interface for editing and managing content of WordPress database.
PingbackPingback is a notification method to know when someone is linked to your content on their site. It is to be enabled under "Settings > Discussions > Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new article".
PluginPlugins are external programs installed in a site to enhance an existing feature or add a new feature.
PostIt is one of the content type is WordPress for creating content. Posts can be categorized into groups and generally time dependent in nature.
Post FormatThis is the format of post for creating content in WordPress. Besides standard post and pages, there are nine different post formats supported by WordPress - image, link, video, audio, chat, aside, gallery, status and quote.
Support of post formats depend on the theme and individual theme may support all or only few post types based on the design.
ResponsiveResponsive is a technique to optimize a website for all type of devices like laptop, mobile and tablets in order to provide better user experience. Huge variety of smart phones and tablet devices resulted in wide range of screen sizes and there was a definite need of simple and cost effective site layout to fit into all these devices without additional cost and effort. The layout of responsive sites automatically detects browser’s view ports and fills the width and height of the browser window.
Robots.txtA "robots.txt" is a text file stored in the root directory of a site which informs the search engine crawlers what are the content not allowed to be crawled in that site.
Screen OptionScreen options is the collection of administrative options for that screen and available on top right corner. Generally you can enable or disable meta boxes on the screen under "Screen Options".
SidebarSidebar is a column used in websites beside the main content to accommodate site-wide additional details to be displayed on all pages. The main content area is accessible using an URL and the sidebar content is loaded on all the requested URLs regardless of the main content. It is necessary to add certain widgets to all pages of your site and adding individually on each page is a cumbersome task. To avoid this difficulty and to accommodate site-wide content, most of the themes provide a sidebar. Webmasters can drag and drop widgets to the sidebar to make them visible on all pages.
SlugSlug is a term used in WordPress to indicate URL friendly version of the post or page title ad generated automatically based on permalinks.
StatusThis is the current status of a post indicating whether it is saved as a draft, published or scheduled to be published in future.
TagTag is the keyword used on the post and can be used across posts to link posts to similar keyword. Tags are like index of the page while categories are like table of content.
TaxonomyTaxonomies are used for classifying similar content so that it is easy to extract them. Post categories, link categories and tags are the default taxonomies used in WordPress. Users can create custom taxonomies to group content. For example, you can create "Glossary" as post type and "Glossary Category" as taxonomy to classify glossary posts.
TemplatesTemplates are the predefined layouts used to put together different HTML / CSS / PHP codes. For example, "single.php" is the default template used by themes in WordPress for the post layout. WordPress uses template hierarchy which means when the parent template is not found WordPress will use child template for that layout.
ThemeTheme is a collection of files to define the layouts and functions used on a WordPress site. A WordPress theme should contains at least one style sheet file and one template file.
Theme EditorTheme editor allows you to edit the theme files. You can access the theme editor under "Appearance" menu.
TrackbackTrackback is the notification service in WordPress when someone link your content on their blog. You can enable trackback notifications under "Settings > Discussions > Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new article".
Web HostingWeb Hosting is a service that allows the websites to be available online. Companies offering hosting services are known as web hosts. Web hosting companies offer services to customers to store the content of website on their servers and retrieve the data when requested through accepted protocols.
WidgetA widget is the placeholder to showcase content on the sidebar and footer of a WordPress site. Examples of widget includes social sharing buttons, related post list, advertisements, etc. The theme will have default widgets and additional widgets can be added using individual plugins. The appearance of the widgets on the sidebar and footer can be controlled under "Appearance > Widgets" menu in admin interface.
WordPress.comWordPress.com is a hosted version of the famous open source blogging platform WordPress allows webmasters to create a free blog or site.
WordPress.orgWordPress.org is a free open source content management system and popular blogging platform powering more than 20% of sites on the web.
Wp-config.phpWp-config.php is a configuration file located in the root directory of a self-hosted WordPress site contains database and security details.

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