When you start using WordPress for the first time you are puzzled by the words and abbreviations that you come across, especially if this is the first time you are owning a website
In this post I have put together a list of most commonly used WordPress terms and abbreviations that you will come across, which will help you to get a head start that you need in the world of WordPress. The WordPress terms that I have put together in this list are based on the questions that I get asked the most. So here’s the list of commonly used WordPress terms that every site owner should know.
A WordPress theme is a collection of Stylesheets and templates that control the appearance of a WordPress powered website. WordPress Themes are broadly classified as free and paid Themes. Free themes can be downloaded from WordPress.org’s Theme Directory while premium themes can be downloaded from various marketplaces Like Themeforest, WooThemes, Studiopress etc. Every theme comes with is its own unique set of features and layouts. Selection of theme is largely influenced by the end goals of a Website and personal taste of the User.
A child theme in WordPress is a theme that inherits its functionality and styling from another theme, known as parent theme. A Child theme is safe and recommended way of modifying an existing WordPress theme. If changes are made directly to a theme and it is updated, then those modifications may be lost. By using child theme it is ensured all modifications will be preserved.
In simplest words, a WordPress plugin is a set of PHP files that extends the ability of WordPress. They are used to add certain features or functionality to your WordPress powered Website so that it can perform certain tasks that otherwise would not have been possible with plain WordPress install. For Example, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that quickly lets you sell products on your WordPress Website with minimal configuration.
It is the page that your website visitor will see when they visits your website URL, it is the main page of your website. By default the WordPress shows latest posts in reverse chronigical order on home page. You can change it from admin panel by going to Settings >> Reading. Here you can select the name of the page that you wish to show as your home page. Another method of creating a home page is by adding a “front-page.php” or “home.php” if your theme.
Admin or Administrator area is also known as the backend of a WordPress website. It lets you add, delete or modify the content of your WordPress website. You can install any new WordPress plugin or Theme and configure various settings of your website in admin area. Every WordPress website has an administrator who has access to all the capabilities of WordPress. If you are the owner of a WordPress website, then it is likely that you will be using the administrator role.
A responsive theme in WordPress is a theme that is designed to adjust it layout smoothly as the screen size and resolution changes. Responsive themes are designed to offer optimal user experience across various devices such as computers, iPads, iPhones and various mobile devices. With the use of responsive themes a single can be viewed on various devices with need of any additions plugins. Note that there is a theme in WordPress repository called “Responsiove” but it not the only responsive theme that’s available.
Categories is a simple way of organizing your WordPress posts. They quickly tell your readers what this post is about. Categories also make it easier for people to find content on your site. Categories are similar to tags, but are broader than them. Every post in WordPress is filed under atleast one category, if no category is specified then WordPress automatically assigns default category to it. You can change default category of your website by going to Settings >> Writing in your dashboard.
A tag is a keyword that describes all or part of the post. Tags are like categories but cover a smaller scope and are focused to specific topics. Unlike categories tags are not added automatically to the posts, unless post author adds them. Thus tags are completely optional and are usually linked to a page which shows all Posts having the same tag.
A permalink is a permanent URL to an individual blog Post or any other resource located on your WordPress Website. By default the URLs on a WordPress website use Query strings Which look something like this: http://www.yoursite.com/?p=N
Where N is the Post ID number. It is good for server environments but of no use for humans and are bad for SEO. You can change it by going to Settings » Permalinks option page, you can modify the settings to change these query strings into human readable strings. Example: http://www.example.com/commonly-used-wordpress-terms-that-every-site-owner-should-know/
An excerpt is a short summary of the post with a link to the actual post. It can either be written by the post author or auto Generated by WordPress Theme, and can replace the full post on places such as Archive and search pages where summary is more preferable. A post author can add post excerpt by two different methods, either by adding < ! – – more – – > tag inside the post content or by adding summary in the excerpt field on Post Edit Page. Post Excerpt field is not displayed by default on post edit page. To enable this field just click on Screen Options button on the top right corner of post edit screen and then enable it.
A Shortcode is a small piece of code that lets you do nifty things in WordPress with minimal effort. With the help of shortcode you can execute code in a WordPress posts, pages or widgets without having to write 100’s of lines of PHP code. For example a shortcode for creating WooCommerce featured products page looks like this:
Shortcodes can have attributes also. So the above shortcode can be modified as:
[featured_products per_page="12" columns="4"]
to show only 12 featured products in 4 columns.
A Widget is a tool that lets you add, arrange or remove content in widgetized areas of your theme, which in most cases is a sidebar. To see the list of available Widgets in your website go to Dashboard >> Appearance >> Widgets. Widgets lets you do things such as showing your twitter feed, displaying ads, displaying recent posts and more in places such as header, footer, sidebar or any other widgetised area in your WordPress Theme.
Media library is where you can manage all of your media uploads (images, videos, audio and other uploads). Whenever a user uploads file in WordPress it is automatically available in media library. All media files uploaded to WordPress are organized based on year and month they were uploaded and are stored in wp-content/uploads/ folder. To add files directly from media library you can go to Media >> Add New.
Featured image function is used to display an image that is associated with a post or page. By using featured images you can display unique custom header images for specific posts and pages or set thumbnails for special features of your theme. Featured image is also known as post thumbnail. If your theme has support for Post Thumbnails then the “Featured Image” metabox will be visible on the Edit Post and Edit Page screens. If it is not visible then you can enable it b clicking on “Screen Options” on the top right.
A pingback is a notification that someone has linked your website or content in theirs. It appears in the comment section, and is essentially a link to the referenced website.
- I write a post on my blog.
- You write a post on your blog mentioning/linking to my article.
- Your blog will automatically send me a pingback.
- My blog will receive the pingback. It will then automatically go to your blog to confirm that the pingback was authentic.
- Then I will have the ability to display your pingback as my comment. This will only be a link to your site.
Also if you create a new article linking to another article in your blog, this will then create a self ping which at times can get annoying.
A trackback is also a method of notifying the blogs that you have linked to them but unlike pingback, trackbacks are created manually and also send an excerpt of the content. Trackbacks are more like references or acknowledgements that you see at the end of research papers or in Wikipedia.
Custom Post types
WordPress installation by default comes with 5 different Post types and they are Post, Page, Attachment, Revision and Navigation menu. Custom post types are used to create content other than these post types. Custom post types allow users to easily create and manage things such as portfolios, projects, video libraries, podcasts, quotes, chats, and whatever a user or developer can imagine.
WordPress core is the set of file that make WordPress. It is the basic code that you get when go to wordpress.org and click on “Download WordPress” button. These files are developed and maintained by WordPress Core developers. These files should never be touched in you website for whatever the reason.
Search engine optimization or SEO is a combination of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a higher placement in the search results page of a search engine such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. WordPress is search engine friendly out of the box, but it can be optimized further by making certain modification in the settings and by using WordPress SEO plugins.
Google analytics is a very powerful web analytics tool offered by google. It helps you to keep a track of traffic that’s coming on your website. It provides you various information such as how many people are visiting your website, where they are finding you, which pages they are viewing and lot more. All this information can then be used to improve your website or blog.
I hope that you found this list useful and it serves as a good reference point for you. If you believe that there are any WordPress terms that I might have missed or may be if you need a more detailed explanation on any of the above mentioned WordPress terms then just leave a comment below and I will get back to you with the best answer that I can.