WordPress Glossary

Administrator
Administrator is a user role in WordPress. When a user installs WordPress, it creates a new user with the username and password defined during the installation. That first user is assigned the user role of administrator. They can perform all actions on a WordPress website and have full capabilities.

A user with administrator role can also add and remove other users with the same role. When assigning the administrator role to a user, it is important to remember that administrators have the ability to delete content.

Administrator is the only user role that has the ability to upgrade a WordPress blog. They can change themes and edit core WordPress files by using the built in theme editor. They also have the ability to add, delete, and modify any plugins on the the site in the same way.

In most cases there is only one administrator. In the case of a WordPress multisite installation, some of the capabilities of the admin role are assigned to the super admin role. The super admin could modify themes, add new users, add and remove plugins, and administer the site network while the roles of the admin would only be concerned with managing a single site.

Akismet
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

Attachment
The term attachment is used for files uploaded to WordPress from post edit screen. When a file is uploaded using the Add Media button from post edit screen, that file automatically becomes an attachment of that particular post. Files uploaded directly to the Media Library are not particularly attached to a post or page. An attachment can be any file that can be uploaded using the media upload.

Autosave
When you are writing or editing your posts and pages, the changes you make are automatically saved every 2 minutes. In the lower right corner of the editor, you’ll see a notification of when the entry was last saved to the database. Autosaves are automatically enabled for all posts and pages. There is only one autosave for each post/page. Each new autosave overwrites the previous autosave in the database.

Avatar
An avatar is a graphic image or picture that represents a user.

Back End
The back end is the area that authorized users can sign into to add, remove and modify content on the website. This may also be referred to as “WordPress”, “admin” or “the administration area”.

Background
Background images can be used to make your website look more engaging and aesthetically pleasant.

Backlink
A backlink is simply a link from one website to another. Search engines like Google use backlink as a ranking signal because when one website links to another, it means they believe the content is noteworthy. High-quality backlinks can help to increase a site’s ranking position and visibility in search engine results (SEO).

Backup
Site backups are essential because problems inevitably occur and you need to be in a position to take action when disaster strikes.

Your WordPress database contains every post, every comment and every link you have on your blog. If your database gets erased or corrupted, you stand to lose everything you have written. There are many reasons why this could happen, and not all are things you can control. With a proper backup of your WordPress database and files, you can quickly restore things back to normal.

Blog
A blog, or weblog, is an online journal, diary, or serial published by a person or group of people.

Blogs are typically used by individuals or peer groups, but are occasionally used by companies or organizations as well. In the corporate arena, the only adopters of the blog format so far have tended to be design firms, web media companies, and other “bleeding edge” tech firms.

Blogs often contain public as well as private content. Depending on the functionality of the CMS software that is used, some authors may restrict access — through the use of accounts or passwords — to content that is too personal to be published publicly.

Category
Each post in WordPress can be filed under one or more categories. Thoughtful categorization allows posts to be grouped with others of similar content and aids in the navigation of a site.

Child Theme
A child theme in WordPress is a sub theme that inherits all the functionality, features, and style of its parent theme. Child themes are a safe way to modify a WordPress theme without actually making any changes to the parent theme’s files. When the parent theme gets updated, changes made in the child theme are preserved and applied on the updated version as well. This is why child themes are the safest and best way to make changes to an existing theme. Rather than modifying theme files directly you can simply override them with the templates in the child theme.

Comments
Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.

You can control and regulate comments by filters for language and content. Comments can be queued for approval before they are visible on the web site. This is useful in dealing with comment spam.

Content Management System
A Content Management System, or CMS, is software for facilitating the maintenance of content, but not design, on a web site. A blogging tool is an example of a Content Management System.

Contributor
Contributor is one of the user roles in WordPress with predefined capabilities. A user with the contributor role in a WordPress site can edit and delete their own posts, but they can not edit or delete published posts. This makes contributor role an ideal choice for WordPress site owners who want to allow other people to come write on their websites. There are plugins available which provide website administrators even more control on the capabilities of each user roles.

cPanel
cPanel is a popular web-based administration tool that many hosting providers provide to allow users to configure their own accounts using an easy-to-use interface.

CTA Button
The CTA button can suggest that the reader subscribes to a newsletter that contains product updates, for example. To be effective, a CTA should be obvious and should immediately follow the marketing message.

CTA Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to the next step or the action that the marketer wants the consumer to take.

Calls to action can be as direct, such as a button that says “Buy Now,” or a softer CTA such as “Read More.”

Dashboard
In WordPress a Dashboard is the main administration screen for a site (a weblog), or for a network of sites. It summarizes information about the site or network, and also external information, in one or more widgets that the Dashboard user can enable, disable, and move around.

Database
A database in computing terms is software used to manage information in an organized fashion. WordPress uses the MySQL or MariaDB relational databases management system for storing and retrieving the content of your blog, such as posts, comments, and so on.

Default theme
Every installation of WordPress has a default theme. The default theme is sometimes called the fallback theme, because if the active theme is for some reason lost or deleted, WordPress will fallback to using the default theme.

Delete
In theory, uninstalling a theme vs deleting it should be the same thing. In both cases, the code files for the theme will be deleted from the server. In both cases, any data should also be deleted. But in some cases, simply uninstalling a theme might not remove all of the related content.

If you want to permanently remove a theme and all its settings etc., you need to delete it.

Developer
A developer, or dev, is a computer programmer who is active in creating, modifying, and updating a software product.

Domain Name
A domain name is a name used for identification purposes on the Internet. In WordPress a domain name usually identifies a server where WordPress is installed. To make this work, the Internet’s domain name system (DNS) maps the domain name to a server’s IP address.

Draft
The draft post status is for WordPress posts which are saved, but as yet unpublished. A draft post can only be edited through the Administration Panel, Write Post SubPanel by users of equal or greater User Level than the post’s author.

Editor
In WordPress the term Editor may refer to a pre-defined user role in the WordPress user management system. Users with the editor role have the capability to write, edit, publish, and delete posts. This includes posts written by other users. They can also moderate, approve, and delete comments. Their privileges extend beyond just adding and removing content. They can also manage categories, tags, custom taxonomies, and even upload files. A user with Editor privileges also has the ability to read private posts and pages.

Only the Administrator user role has more privileges than the Editor user role in terms of capabilities. Limitations of this role are that it can not access WordPress settings, themes, and plugins areas. In others words, they can manage content and even delete it, but they cannot perform site management tasks.

Since editors can delete posts, even those already published, it is highly recommended that you only assign this role to a user you trust. Also keep in mind that you can add or remove capabilities to user roles in WordPress. So, if you are not sure about giving a user this much control on your site you can tweak the user role to meet your needs.

Font
Choosing the right font for your WordPress site is a central part of web design and website branding.

Font – H1, H2, H3
Headings in webpages perform pretty much the same functions as they do in a print format. However, when it comes to webpages, headings are not just about appearance. They also help search engines to find the page.

You can choose Heading 1 (H1), Heading 2 (H2) and Heading 3 (H3).

Footer Area
A footer area is a horizontal area provided by a theme for displaying information other than the main content of the web page. Themes may provide one or more footer areas below the content. Footer areas usually contain widgets that an administrator of the site can customize.

In a theme, footer areas are generated by a template file, typically named sidebar-footer.php.

Front End
The front end is what your visitors see and interact with when they come to your website, www.YourSite.com.

Gallery
As defined by Andy Skelton, Gallery, introduced with WordPress 2.5, is specifically an exposition of images attached to a post. In that same vein, an upload is “attached to a post” when you upload it while editing a post.

In the uploader there is a “Gallery” tab that shows all the uploads attached to the post you are editing. When you have more than one attachment in a post, you should see at the bottom of the Gallery tab a button marked “Insert gallery”. That button inserts a shortcode “” into the post. WordPress replaces that shortcode with an exposition of all images attached to that post. Non-image file types are excluded from the gallery.

Note: If you don’t see the “Insert gallery” button, it may be because you have not attached two images to the post.

The pretty URLs for attachments are made only after you have published the post and should be composed as the post permalink plus the attachment slug.

Gravatar
A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar (a graphic image or picture that represents a user). Typically a user’s gravatar is associated with their email address, and using a service such as Gravatar.com. The site owner to can configure their site so that a user’s gravatar is displayed along with their comments.

Gutenberg
Gutenberg is newly developed, block-oriented editor. It uses blocks to create all types of content, replacing a half-dozen inconsistent ways of customizing WordPress, bringing it in line with modern coding standards, and aligning with open web initiatives. These content blocks transform how users, developers, and hosts interact with WordPress to make building rich web content easier and more intuitive, democratizing publishing — and work — for everyone, regardless of technical ability.

Header
The Header link will allow you to change the header as needed or upload your own custom header. The images can also be cropped as needed to fit the header. Some themes also allow for you to replace the headers with your text instead of an image, or use an image as background and overlay text on top, but these are features depend on the specific theme.

The option to change the headers is usually present under Appearance » Customize, which is located in the left menu bar in the WordPress Admin Panel.

Header Image
A Header Image is a wide picture that appears at the top of a WordPress website.

Home Page
The term home or home page is used in web development to refer to the the main page of a web site. It is often used in the navigation menus and other user interface elements of the website to direct users to the main page. By default, a WordPress website shows a home page with your latest posts listed in reverse chronological order.

Hosting
Hosting is one of the most important, but commonly overlooked aspects of running your website. Without a high-quality host behind you, your site will load slowly, have high downtime, and even be less secure, or more susceptible to hacking.

By choosing a quality WordPress host you can greatly improve the performance of your WordPress site while giving yourself a ton of additional advantages.

Hosting provider
A hosting provider is a company or organization which provides, usually for a fee, infrastructure for making information accessible via the web. This involves the use of a web server (including web server software such as Apache), and may involve one or more related technologies, such as FTP, PHP, MySQL or MariaDB, and operating system software such as Linux or Unix.

HTML
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is a markup language used to describe the semantic content of web pages. It is usually used with CSS and/or JavaScript. WordPress renders web pages to conform to the HTML5 standard. The standard is set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Menu
Menus are lists of links to pages and posts that appear on WordPress websites.

Meta
Meta has several meanings, but generally means information about. In WordPress, meta usually refers to administrative type information. As described in Meta Tags in WordPress, meta is the HTML tag used to describe and define a web page to the outside world (search engines). In the article Post Meta Data, meta refers to information associated with each post, such as the author’s name and the date posted. Meta Rules define the general protocol to follow in using the Codex. Also, many WordPress based sites offer a Meta section, usually found in the sidebar, with links to login or register at that site. Finally, Meta is a MediaWiki namespace that refers to administrative functions within Codex.

Page
A Page is often used to present “static” information about yourself or your site. A good example of a Page is information you would place on an About Page. A Page should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called posts. Pages are typically “timeless” in nature and live “outside” your blog.

The word “page” has long been used to describe any HTML document on the web. In WordPress, however, “Page” refers to a very specific feature first introduced in WordPress version 1.5.

Page Attributes
The Page Attributes metabox allows you to set page parents and templates, and to change the order of your pages.

It can be found on the right side of the page editor, under the Publish metabox.

Permalink
A permalink is a URL at which a resource or article will be permanently stored. Many pages driven by Content Management Systems contain excerpts of content which is frequently rotated, making linking to bits of information within them a game of chance. Permalinks allow users to bookmark full articles at a URL they know will never change, and will always present the same content.

Permalinks are optional in WordPress, but are highly recommended as they greatly increase the cleanliness of URL. WordPress uses the Apache module mod_rewrite to implement its permalink system.

Plugin
A Plugin is a group of PHP functions that can extend the functionality present in a standard WordPress weblog. These functions may all be defined in one php file, or may be spread among more than one file. Usually, a plugin is a PHP file that can be uploaded to the “wp-content/plugins” directory on your webserver, where you have installed WordPress. Once you have uploaded the plugin file, you should be able to “turn it on” or Enable it from the “Plugins” page in the administration interface of your weblog. The WordPress source code contains hooks that can be used by plugins.

Plugin Editor
Plugin editor is a simple text editor located at Plugins » Editor. It allows users to view and edit plugin files from within your WordPress admin area.

Post
Also known as “articles” and sometimes incorrectly referred to as “blogs”. In WordPress, “posts” are articles that you write to populate your blog.

Post Slug
A few lowercase words separated by dashes, describing a post and usually derived from the post title to create a user-friendly (that is, readable and without confusing characters) permalink. Post slug substitutes the “%posttitle%” placeholder in a custom permalink structure. Post slug should not be changed and is especially useful if the post title tends to be long or changes frequently.

Post Status
The status of a post, as set in the Administration Panel, Write Post SubPanel is either: Published (viewable by everyone), Draft (incomplete post viewable by anyone with proper user level), or Private (viewable only to WordPress users at Administrator level).

Primary Menu
A Primary Menu is the main menu selected as primary menu in the WordPress Menu Editor. A WordPress theme may support single or multiple navigational menus at different locations in theme. These menus can be edited using the built in WordPress Menu Editor located at Appearance » Menu.

Publish
Once you’ve added all your content to your Page or Post you have the option of Saving the Page as a Draft or Publishing the page.

QuickTag
A Quicktag is a shortcut, or one-click button, that inserts HTML code into your posts. The (emphasis) and (stop emphasis) HTML tags are example of Quicktags. Some Quicktags, such as <!–contactform–>, insert HTML comment code that is used by plugins to replace text or perform certain actions.

RSS
RSS, standing for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, uses several standard web feed formats to publish content in a structured XML file for syndication. An XML file in this format is called an RSS Feed. This format allows automatic syndication of data and the XML file ensure compatibility across numerous machines and programs.

Revisions
Revisions is a post type and a feature in WordPress. It enables WordPress to automatically save revisions of your posts, pages, or custom post types after every 60 second while a user is working on them.

Save
To save a post as a draft, go to your blog’s admin area > Posts > Add New. Write the post and when you wish to save your progress, click on Save Draft.

To save a page as a draft, go to your blog’s admin area > Pages > Add New. Enter the content of the new page and click on Save Draft.

SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term used to describe practice and methods to optimize a web site for better representation in search results. These practices and methods are usually based on the rules and best practices provided by the major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other major search engines. The guidelines from most of the major search engines are pretty similar to each other. They generally promote use of organic backlinks, relevant and unique content, genuine discussions on the topic and discourage spam links, posts, and contents.

Settings
The Settings tab in WordPress Admin sidebar is the central hub to configure settings for different sections of a WordPress website. It contains multiple sub-panels and many WordPress plugins also add their settings page as a menu under the Settings tab. Clicking on it takes users to the Settings » General screen. Other default sub panels under the settings tabs are Reading, Writing, Discussion, Media, and Permalinks.

Shortcode
A Shortcode is a technique for embedding a snippet of PHP code into the body of a page or other content item.

Sidebar
A sidebar is a vertical column provided by a theme for displaying information other than the main content of the web page. Themes usually provide at least one sidebar at the left or right of the content. Sidebars usually contain widgets that an administrator of the site can customize.

In a theme, sidebars are generated by a template file, typically named sidebar.php.

Spam
Spam, in general terms, is an email or other forms of unsolicited advertising. Spam is very easy to spread throughout the internet, and works on the principle that if you send out thousands, or hundreds of thousands of unsolicited advertisements, scams, or other questionable methods of making money, that you only need a very small percentage of people to be fooled and you will make lots of money.

SSL
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the predecessor to Transport Layer Security. These are cryptographic protocols for secure communications across an unsecured network like the Internet.

Subscriber
A subscriber may refer to a user role in WordPress. Usually the subscriber user role has very limited capabilities. Unless the default capabilities are changed, the subscriber user role is the most limited out of all the WordPress user roles. They can create and maintain their profile on a WordPress website, but they can not write or publish articles. Because they can login to the WordPress dashboard and make changes to their profile, this means that they have a very limited ability to modify the WordPress database. Just like with the other user roles, the default abilities of this role can be modified.

Tagline
A tagline is a catchy phrase that describes the character or the attributes of the blog in a brief, concise manner. Think of it as the slogan, or catchline for a weblog.

Template
In WordPress a template is a file that defines an area of the web pages generated by a theme. For example, there is typically a template for the header area at the top of the web pages, a template for the content, a template for the sidebars, and so on. The templates are like building blocks that make up the complete web page.

Text Editor
A text editor is a program which edits files in plain text format, as compared to binary format. Using a non-text based word processing program (e.g. using Microsoft Word to edit PHP scripts) can cause major problems in your code. This is because non-text based word processing programs insert extra formatting into text files, and can corrupt the files when they need to be interpreted by the interpreter. An editor like Notepad does not insert any extra formatting.

Edit WordPress Files with a text only editor.

Theme
A Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical front-end interface with an underlying unifying design for a site. A WordPress Theme modifies the way the site is displayed and designed, without modifying the underlying core programming of WordPress. While some associate a WordPress Theme with “skinning” your site with a design, a WordPress Theme contains programming code that influences the design, changing it with each generated page view based upon the programming with PHP, WordPress template tags, WordPress conditional tags, and CSS.

Theme Editor
Theme editor is a simple text editor in WordPress located at Appearance » Editor. It allows you to modify WordPress theme files from the admin area. You can see the preview of the theme editor in the screenshot below.

Theme Options
Theme options is a custom admin page which comes with some WordPress themes. It allows users to change theme settings without modifying theme files or touching any code. These theme option pages can be very simple with a handful options or it can have tons of customization options split into either tabs or multiple pages.

Toolbar
The toolbar, previously known as admin bar, is an area that is usually visible to logged in WordPress users on top of the screen. This is a full-width horizontal bar containing shortcuts to different sections of WordPress administration screens, such as ‘Create New Post’, ‘Edit Profile’, ‘log out’, etc. It displays WordPress logo on the top left corner, and the user’s gravatar on the top right corner of the screen.

Trash
Trash in WordPress is like the Recycle Bin on your PC or Trash in your Macintosh computer. Users with the proper permission level (administrators and editors) have the ability to delete a post, page, and/or comments. When you delete the item, it is moved to the trash folder where it will remain for 30 days. This allows you, the user, to restore any item that you might have deleted accidentally. After 30 days, the item will be automatically and permanently deleted from your WordPress database. Trash functionality was added in WordPress 2.9 to reduce the chances of accidental deletion of items.

Updates
WordPress automatically checks for updates on the WordPress core as well as installed plugins and themes. WordPress highlights available updates in the Dashboard » Updates menu.

URL
An address of a specific Web site or file on the Internet.

Visual Editor
Visual Editor is a rich text editor in the WordPress post edit screen. The WordPress post edit screen has two editors, Visual and Text.

The visual editor is a WYSIWG editor. WYSIWIG stands for “what you see is what you get” which means that however the content shows up on your display is exactly the way it will be when it is published. Editors like Microsoft Word and Pages fall into this category as well.

Website
A website is a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked Web pages that share a single domain name. Websites can be created and maintained by an individual, group, business or organization to serve a variety of purposes.

Together, all publicly accessible websites constitute the World Wide Web.

Widget
In WordPress a widget is a self-contained area of a web page that performs a specific function, or the code that generates such a self-contained area. For example, WordPress has a built-in widget that displays a list of pages in a weblog’s sidebar, and it has another built-in widget that displays a list of recent comments in the Dashboard. Plugins and themes can provide additional widgets.

Widget Area
Furthermore, a “Widget Area” is a pre-defined location, in the code of your WordPress Theme, that allows users to place Widgets into.

WordPress
WordPress.com is a propriety blog hosting service provider. WordPress.com is not directly related to WordPress.org which is home of the most popular open source CMS software, WordPress. Even though WordPress.com blog hosting service uses WordPress at its core, there are several limitations to WordPress.com.

You cannot install plugins on your WordPress.com site which is one of the best features of using WordPress. We have heard from many users who switched from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org site because they did not want to be limited in terms of what they could do with their site.

You also cannot use custom themes on WordPress.com. On top of all that, you are limited in terms of monetization. You cannot use ad platforms like Google Adsense on your WordPress.com site to make money from it.