WordPress and Blogging Glossary

Not sure what a custom post type is or a post slug (no, that’s not a snail)? Don’t worry! We know there are numerous new terms and abbreviations popping up in WordPress on a daily basis. That’s why we created this short, to the point WordPress glossary that explains most words and terms you’ll use in your daily WordPress work. If we missed anything, please let us know, we’d love to add that term to our glossary.

  • 404

    The 404 or “Not Found” error message is a standard HTTP response code, indicating that the page (or some other resource on the server) could not be found. WordPress automatically generates a “404 Not Found” page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link or open a non-existing page. It’s good practice to make your 404 page as user-friendly as possible to lower user’s frustration.
  • Absolute Path
    Also known as File Path or Full Path, Absolute Path is recognized as the whole address to your file or your website. It includes everything you need to type in to get your website shown in a browser, for example: http://www.wploop.com. It is important to know the difference between Absolute and Relative path.
  • Admin Bar
    If you have ever worked with WordPress, you already know what Admin Bar is.

    You know that bar on top of your site which is shown when you’re logged in? Yeah, that’s the one! Admin Bar is useful when you want to quickly add or update your post, add a new picture in gallery or edit your profile. Admin Bar was replaced by the Toolbar in WordPress V3.3.

  • Administrator
    A person in charge of the entire WordPress installation.

    This role gives user the ability to change everything; including installation of new plugins, changing themes, deleting content, etc. Administrator also gives roles to all other users of your WP site and is the only one who can upgrade and even delete entire blog. Administrator account is created automatically once you install WordPress and only higher ranked user is Super Admin.

  • AJAX
    Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) is a collection of Web development techniques which are executed on the client-side to create Web applications.

    In WordPress, for example, AJAX is used to change status of the comment you’ve just approved or deleted. This group of techniques allows you to see the change without even reloading a page.

  • Apache
    Apache HTTP Server Project or just known as Apache is widely used web server software. It is open-source which means it’s also free, available on multiple operations systems including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and therefore it is a great solution for your WordPress site. Whether Apache is installed on a remote server which you pay for or you want to install one locally to test your site, Apache will do a great work serving you.
  • API
    Application Programming Interface (API) stands as a set of different protocols, routines and tools needed for creating software.
  • Author
    This user role determines a user with ability to write, edit, publish and delete his/her own content and one who can upload files. Author is also able to change his profile and password and that’s pretty much it. This role has a higher user level than Subscriber, yet lower than Editor.
  • Autosave
    If you write your text directly into Text or Visual editor, you will appreciate the autosave function of WordPress.

    This function saves your post every 2 minutes just in case something bad happens. In the lower right corner of your editor page, you can find the indicator which notifies you when your content is automatically saved. Each post gets only one autosave which means the previous one will be overwritten, so have that in mind while typing something important.

  • Avatar
    Image which represents a user. When we talk about WordPress, avatar is mostly recognized as Gravatar (globaly recognized avatar) which is given to a specified e-mail address. That way, a user can have its own image shown along all of his/hers comments, admin panel, etc. Want your own Gravatar? No problem, it’s free – just register you e-mail on official website.
  • Backup
    An activity which includes copying your databases and files which define your website and storing them on other locations for security reasons. You can back up your site on the same server, save one on your computer and different media or upload it to one of the many cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox. If you lose your website for whatever reasons, you can restore it using these backed up files and databases. Most of the servers which you pay to host your site include automatic backups on weekly or monthly bases but it is recommended that you do manual backups or save ones using one of many free or premium plugins which are designed to make backups easy and safe. 
  • bbPress
    bbPress is a forum software specifically designed for WordPress. It comes in a form of a free plugin which can be downloaded from WordPress plugin repository. Unlike most of the other forum plugins, bbPress is relatively simple and small in size which means it doesn’t take many resources from you. Since it is compatible with practically every other WordPress theme and plugin, it doesn’t surprise that it’s the most popular forum software designed for WordPress.
  • Blog
    Also known as weblog, blog is a web site which is written by individual or a small group of people. Blogs are usually found in a form of online journal or diary where people write about their topic of interest.

    More often than not, companies write their own blog or even hire a blogger (a person already recognized among broad audience for writing interesting blogs) to publish content for them. Companies use blogs to present their own material, products or services in an informal way which is more interesting to people.

  • Blogroll
    A list of links which all lead to blogs/news sites that one person wants to track. This list can be rendered in many ways but most usual way is to track blogs using feeds.
  • Bootstrap
    A popular front-end framework which was designed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter. Bootstrap will provide you with free collection of tools needed for creating your website or a WordPress theme. In August 2011, Twitter released Bootstrap as open-source and since it has become a big hit.
  • Browser
    Also known as Web Browser, it is a software for managing information resources on the World Wide Web. This piece of software is used to retrieve information from one computer (server) and present it on the other (client). Information is identified by a URL and it may be a web page, video, image, sound or any other form of information you have ready for presentation. Browser handles links on a website and takes care of the navigation.

    Most common browsers are Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.

  • Canonicalization
    Canonicalization is a process which describes choosing a preferred URL among many which may be available for the same content. It is mostly used to describe URL with or without “www” in it.
    For example, www.wploop.com and wploop.com might sound the same, but when it comes to some technical and SEO issues, it is important to use only one of the two. Once you choose to use “www” or go without it, the URL is referred to as canonical URL and that’s the one your visitor will see in the address bar. You can learn more about the entire process from Google. If you want to setup your own canonical URL, see how to choose one in WordPress.
  • Capabilities
    In WordPress, Capabilities are used to define permissions for each user role. For example, Administrator has more capabilities than any other user roles and those come out as different kinds of options and functionalities one user can use over another. With plugins, Capabilities can be changed as desired in order to customize your User Roles.
  • Captcha
    Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart is a method of user verification. In order to protect your site from spam and hackers, this test usually shows text, image or plays an audio file which a user has to input before logging in. By doing so, users proves that he is a human being and not a computer application which is automatically trying to login (mostly in malicious way). If you want to add Captcha to your WordPress website, see how to add Google’s Recaptcha.
  • Category
    A group of posts that are somehow linked together. Grouping your posts in categories can help in site navigation and is also important in organization of your content. It is important not to mix ‘post category’ with ‘link category’ which are used for categorizing links.
  • Child Theme
    When it comes to modifying your theme, safety is important. If you have only one theme and you change or update it, you would lose everything you’ve made so far.

    That’s where child themes come in handy. As part of parent theme which contains all the functional parts, child theme takes priority. So if you, for example, update your theme, all the functional parts will take place, but all the modifications you’ve made to the child theme will take over and make you think nothing has changed.

    If you use a child theme, it is important not to edit the parent theme and at the same time not to upgrade your child theme.

  • Chmod
    A command used in Unix and Linux operating systems. This command is shortened from the term “Change mode” and it is used to change file permissions on a server.
  • CMS
    Content Management System (CMS) is a computer software which is designed in order to help users in creating, editing, publishing and managing different kinds of content. This software serves as a central unit from which it is possible to work all round your project so you don’t have to combine different applications in order to publish your work.

    When it comes to working with and publishing articles for which CMS is mostly used, WordPress is definitely on one the best and most popular Content Management Systems which allows users of any skill to create their personalized websites without even having to write a single line of code, write and edit articles within the system, manipulate text, different files, images, videos, etc.

  • Comments
    Every WordPress installation comes with a comment section and comment management system. It is a quick and simple way of communication which allows your visitors to place some words of wisdom under your articles. Besides standard comment management system, you can always use your own, install a plugin which will allow different kind of comment section or, for example, add Facebook comments which is always a popular option.
  • Contributor
    If you are a website owner and want people to write for you but not be able to change anything on the site, you should consider giving them a role of Contributor. This user has even more restrictions than Author and is given the right only to write and change his own content. But once the article is published, Contributor loses control over it while one can still continue on writing new posts.
  • cPanel
    A web based control panel hosted on Linux server which is designed to simplify the process of managing a website. cPanel has a simple graphical interface and makes everyone capable of hosting a site. More often than not, cPanel will offer automated installation of WordPress (among few other Content Management Systems). It will help you manage e-mail accounts, domains, databases, etc.
  • CSS
    Cascade Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language which gives your site a look, good one or bad one, depends on you. Consider it as makeup for your website which allows you to change the way your elements are shown on the front-end part of the page. Once you have the structure of your website designed with HTML elements, you can use CSS to modify it – for example, change all the colors, sizes, layout, etc.

    Although you can directly edit each HTML tag with CSS or do that for each page, CSS is most commonly stored in a style.php file where one can define the “makeup rules” and then just call the file before opening each page in your website. CSS is fairly simple to learn and understand and once you get on board with it you’ll be changing the way your site looks with ease.

    Example:

    a:link {
    color: red;
    }

  • Custom Fields
    Fields that can be found below posts in visual and text editors. Custom fields are consisted of two parts – “name” and “value” fields where users can add some extra information (meta-data) about their posts. Once a custom field is registered, some value can be added to that custom field which can be used later on in posts to display additional information, show images, videos, maps or you can actually do anything with it.
  • Customizer
    A toolset which can be found under Appearance menu. This set of tools helps users in basic customization of their themes. That includes changing background colors and images, changing the way header is displayed, adding menus, favicons, site titles and descriptions, etc.

    Customizer differs from theme to theme and options depend on a developer. While it is a really good tool to help you get started, Customizer allows only the most basic customization of your theme.

  • Dashboard
    The main administration screen which you see when you first log in to your WordPress account. It gives you summary of information about your site or the entire network. Along with that, you get basic info about other plugins and widgets you’ve installed.
  • Dedicated Server
    When it comes to hosting your site on a server, there are few options for you to choose from. Unlike Shared and VPS servers, Dedicated server is given to one client only. If you rent this kind of server, you get all of its resources and no one else is able to use that machine for hosting a site. Dedicated servers are mostly used for hosting websites with a lot of information and high traffic which demand more computer power and internet resources. Of course, this kind of server is more expensive than a shared or VPS server and you most likely won’t be needing one if you’re just starting a website.
  • Default Theme
    Once you install WordPress, it will come with default theme which is also known as fallback theme. Just in case something goes wrong with your theme of choice, default theme will be loaded – it will fall back and act as an understudy. Default theme in WordPress is currently Twenty Fifteen.
  • Deprecated
    When a function or a template tag is deprecated, that means that it is no longer supported. The function will still work, but you will get a warning message. WordPress gets updated often and its developers are always trying to bring our beloved platform to its best form. That means functions and other parts of the code need to be constantly updated and sometimes a function or two need to be left behind and replaced by a better one. If you come across aforementioned warning message about specific function being deprecated, you should replace it with the new one (WordPress usually tells you what the new function is) or update theme/plugin files as soon as possible.
  • Developer
    A computer programmer who is creating software which can be used by anyone. In WordPress, Developer is a programmer who writes PHP code to create plugins, themes or creates anything to make the WordPress installation better.
  • DNS
    Domain Name System maps domain names to IP address. Once you enter a website name in your browser, this URL will be scanned by browser in order to extract domain name. Then, DNS will help in finding the IP address for that domain name and continue with connecting to your desired location.
  • DOM
    Document Object Model (DOM) is an interface which allows dynamic access to HTML and XML. It is considered as a standard and it doesn’t depend on platform on which is being used. It is a good way of connecting scripts to web pages in your WordPress installation.
  • Draft
    A post which is saved and hasn’t been published yet. Autosave function will always save your content in a draft which can be edited by any user of equal or higher user level. Draft will be saved in the same form until you decide to publish or delete it.
  • Editor
    A user role which allows one to create and edit posts, including posts of other users. Editor has a higher user level than Author yet lower user level than Administrator.
  • Excerpt
    A summary of your article which is used to shortly describe it. It is usually used to describe your posts in RSS feeds and in search results. You can manually enter excerpt into every post and describe it to fit your needs or you can let WordPress automatically create one by using first 55 words of your article. It is important to know that excerpt is not the same thing as tag (teaser) which represents all the words before the tag.
  • Feature Plugins
    Plugins which are considered to be included into WordPress core. WP Developers work specifically on these plugins so they can transform them into a standard feature in all WordPress installations in future versions. You can track Feature Plugins on official WordPress core pages.
  • Feed
    A format used to bring content to a user in a summarized form. Feeds are being managed by news or feed readers which allow person to easily organize all the content one is tracking. Once feeds are put in the same place for easy accessibility it is called aggregation.
  • Fields API
    This application programming interface (API) is designed with developers in mind. It will be used for standardizing development of Custom Fields so that one can use less code in describing a new field. It should simplify all needed documentation. This feature is currently scheduled to become a core WP feature in WordPress version 4.6.
  • File header
    WordPress is consisted of different files which, when put together, create backend and frontend of your site. Each of those files (theme files, plugin files, templates…) have their own different structure but at the beginning of each file, you can usually find descriptive information about it, so called meta-information. That extra information about the file is called File Header and it’s used to give us information about authors, versions, URLs, etc.

    Example:

    /*
    Plugin Name: Security Ninja
    Plugin URI: http://security-ninja.webfactoryltd.com/
    Description: 30+ tests will provide a comprehensive overview of your site's security
    Version: 2.0
    Author: WebFactory
    Author URI: http://www.webfactoryltd.com/
    Text Domain: security-ninja
    */

  • Footer
    An area displayed under main content which usually contains information about your site, site navigation and widgets. In a WordPress theme, footer areas are generated by a template file where footer is stored in a file named sidebar-footer.php or simply footer.php.
  • Front-end
    A term in development which is used to describe everything which is visible to end-user and which is directly accessible to that user. Everything a user can’t see, which is executed without its knowledge is called back-end.

    So, Front-end is actually the interface between user and back-end which is used to connect them.

  • FTP
    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a client-server protocol which allows file management. It is mostly used to upload and download data to/from server on which your website is located. To connect to a server using FTP, you will need FTP client like FileZilla.
  • Functions.php
    A template file which can be found in WordPress theme. This file is something similar to a plugin and you can use it to define functions, classes, actions and filters for your WP powered website. By doing this, you can make your theme and your WordPress installation better and customize it to your needs.

    Functions.php file can be found in your theme’s folder; although you may have installed several themes with each having its own functions.php file, only the one in the active theme will actually do something to your site.  

  • GitHub
    A web-based git repository hosting service. The service was launched on April 2008 by Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath and PJ Hyett. It is free of charge and everyone can create their account in order to create repositories. It is used for development of open source projects.

    Because of its popularity, GitHub can be described as a social network for developers and programmers where they exchange their projects, codes and talk about everything programming related.

  • GMT
    Greenwich Mean Time is the time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. This time zone is recognized as a standard from which all other zones are measured. Even though it’s replaced by UTC (Universal Time, Coordinated), GMT is still often used by many.
  • Hack
    Piece of code which is used to modify software in order to change its function. This code will extend or alter functionality of affected software application. Until version 1.2, WordPress used hack-based extension system. After mentioned version, WP started using a Plugin API with hooks for extensions.

    Hacking has become a synonym of malicious acts related to computers and it’s mostly recognized as breaking into a computer system without permission. It is important to know that hacking is not always illegal change of software as mentioned before. To learn more about history of the term, visit Wikipedia pages.

  • Hash value
    A hash value is a result of transforming a simple string of characters into a totally different, unrecognizable value. The function takes any number of characters and it codes it into a fixed-sized value which is known as hash value. It is unique to each input and is often used in cryptography because it is hard to know the original value when you only have the hash one.
  • Hosting Provider
    A company which provides infrastructure for all information you want to publish online.

    It includes a web server and usually other technologies which you need to effectively run a website (like file transfer protocol, databases, etc.). Hosting providers will usually offer their services hosted on different operating system like Windows, Linux or UNIX and will have different offers for their clients. Usually, you can rent a Shared, VPS or Dedicated server for your website.

  • Htaccess
    Hypertext Access (.htaccess) is a configuration file for the Apache web server. This file allows you to change some configuration settings for the directory where it’s located and to all sub-directories on a web server.

    In WordPress, .htaccess is used along with mod_rewrite module to create permalinks. This file is by default hidden and you will have to make it visible in order to modify it.

    Modifying this file, for example, will enable you to set a password for certain directory on your server, change your content type, character set, etc.

  • HTML
    Hyper Text Markup Language is a collection of tags which are used to describe a document you want to present on web. It was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 and since it is standard in developing websites. Your browser was taught how to read the markup symbols (tags) which are not shown to end user. Instead, those tags are used to define how a web page is presented in your browser.

    For example, with HTML you can tell a browser if you want your text to be normal, bold or italic, define the structure of table, link your page to another, etc. Most tags come in set of two where one represents the beginning and other the end of tag.

  • IDE
    Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application which is used by developers for software creation. This application usually consist of collection of tools needed for developing a software, it has a source code editor where a programmer writes code necessary for program to work and a debugger which helps programmer in finding errors (if you have ever tried to write a program, you know that debugger has a difficult job no matter how good you think you are).

    Modern IDEs have built-in intelligent code completion which makes writing your code faster. When we talk about WordPress, PHP is the most important language and one of the most popular IDEs for PHP is Zend Studio.

  • iFrame
    Inline Frame (iFrame) is a place on a website where you can put another HTML document. Imagine it as a document inside of a document. Once you put iFrame code in your page, it will load content from another source and show it as a part of your page. For example, you can put a YouTube video using an iFrame code.

    Example:

  • IP Address
    Internet Protocol (IP) address is a number that represents a device connected to a network which uses Internet Protocol. Although this address is written as binary number, it is shown as a group of 4 numbers ranged from 0 to 255, divided by a dot.

    In your private, isolated network, IP address can be set at random but once your private network reaches Internet, it will be given a registered address which is unique to every device on the Internet.

    Long time ago when Internet Protocol was defined, IP address was imagined as 32-bit number (232) and was dubbed Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4). But, number of devices connected to the big network we all love is growing rapidly so there won’t enough unique addresses to assign. Therefore, a new version of IP was introduced; IPv6 which uses 128 bits for the address and looks a bit different.

    Example: IPv4 IP address: 122.14.253.12
    IPv6 IP address: 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1

  • ISAPI
    Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI), developed by Microsoft and Process Software, was created in order to step in and replace CGI programs. It is a set of standards and rules which allow developers to create web-based applications in a quick and easy way. Because it is Windows based it’s best used on a Microsoft’s web server.
  • J-blog
    This term is used to describe journalist blogs where a blogger is collecting, processing and displaying different information in order to create news.

    Also, a term is used to describe a Jewish blog. J-blogosphere or j-blog is used in Jewish community when bloggers want to show their commitment to Judaism. 

  • JavaScript
    Dynamic programming language which is mostly used for client-side code execution. As a part of browser, JavaScript has the capability of altering the browser and the way the content is shown to user. While most of the time it is done locally, this programming language is often used as a server-side language when presenting desktop and mobile applications. It is also often used in game development.
  • JSON
    Although derived from JavaScript, JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a format which isn’t dependent on the programming language. This format uses text which is easily understandable by humans to describe an object and then it passes that information between server and browsers.

    Example code:

    {"widget": {
    "debug": "on",
    "window": {
    "title": "Sample Konfabulator Widget",
    "name": "main_window",
    "width": 500,
    "height": 500
    },
    "image": {
    "src": "Images/Sun.png",
    "name": "sun1",
    "hOffset": 250,
    "vOffset": 250,
    "alignment": "center"
    },
    "text": {
    "data": "Click Here",
    "size": 36,
    "style": "bold",
    "name": "text1",
    "hOffset": 250,
    "vOffset": 100,
    "alignment": "center",
    "onMouseUp": "sun1.opacity = (sun1.opacity / 100) * 90;"
    }
    }}

  • Lazy loading
    A term which describes objects loaded only after specific event. Instead of loading objects like images or videos files immediately after page loads, lazy loading allows you to load them only if needed. Lazy loading is used when posts/pages contain a lot of big images or videos which can be loaded only when, and if, user decides to. See some of the best lazy loading plugins for WordPress.
  • Linux
    Open-source operation system which was created by Linus Torvalds. Since its open-source, it means it is free and is getting more and more popular every day. Linux has been designed to resemble UNIX computer operating system. When we talk about hosting your WordPress website, Linux is popular operating system under which your server is operating.  
  • Loop
    Besides it is the name of our site, WordPress loop is the code which is usually found in the core files. This code is used for displaying content on your website. That usually includes displaying most recent posts, posts from specific categories, search pages, etc. It is called the loop because this code will always keep checking for new content, mostly through PHP WHILE statement. Below you can find an example of the basic WP Loop:

    if ( have_posts() ) :
    while ( have_posts() ) :
    the_post();

    // Post Content here

    endwhile; // end while
    endif; // end if
    ?>

  • MD5
    The MD5 algorithm stands for Message Digest algorithm 5. It is a special kind of algorithm created by Professor Ronald Rivest of MIT in 1992. This hash function produces a 128-bit hash value which has been usually used for cryptography. The general idea behind this algorithm is to take any string (being it a simple word or the entire sentence) and make a unique hash value which is always the same size. See the MD5 algorithm in action.
  • Meta
    Although the term has few meanings, the most common one determines Meta as “information about something”. In WordPress, there are metatags which are used to give information about the site/page to outside world (search engines mostly).

    Metatags therefore give information about the site.

    Post Meta Data are used to provide “information about posts”. You can usually find those in form of a data about author of the post, time of publishing or even location from which it was published.

    Meta Rule is “information about rules” which basically defines how to use WordPress. First Meta Rule says that you have to spell word “WordPress” correctly with both “W” and “P” uppercased. Yeah, you are allowed to talk about WordPress.

    Last but not least, themes often offer Meta Sections which usually presents widgetized area where you can put you login boxes or other administration stuff you need. 

  • Moblogging
    Writing a blog using a mobile device. Because of the popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets which can be used as a writing tool, this way of blogging got a special name.
  • Multisite
    After WordPress 3.0 was introduced, you were able to create a network of websites in just one WP installation. By creating one or more virtual sites beside your original one, you get a Multisite. This feature is used to create different websites with large amount of content which is difficult to arrange just through one site. Therefore, multisite is created which makes it easier to manage all content, yet you can assign administrator roles to each one of virtual sites.

    In this case, administrator of administrators is called super administrator who can’t actually fly and shoot lasers out of his/her eyes but can manage all sites in a multisite.

  • MySQL
    MySQL is one of the most popular SQL (Structured Query Language) database implementation. MySQL is open-source and available for different platforms which include Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Because WordPress is storing all important information into databases, it uses MySQL for that.

    All of your pages, pictures, comments, etc. are stored into a database. Setting up a database in WordPress is easy because all you have to do is provide names and passwords while WP will do the hard part of the work. If you need MySQL because you want to install WordPress locally, check WAMP.

  • Network
    When we talk about WordPress, Network represents a collection of sites in your single WP installation. Although those sites are found under one WordPress installation they are not interconnected. This is considered as a Multisite feature where one Super Admin takes control over the entire Network.
  • Nonce
    A term which means “number used once”. It is a number which is used for security reasons. In WordPress a nonce isn’t only a number but a collection of numbers and letters. And they are not used only once which makes them a little bit different in WP. WordPress gives a nonce to one user during a period of time after which it disappears. As a security token, nonce in WP will randomly generate a group of numbers and letters and put them in URL identifying a person for that period of time. This makes URL unique and helps you protect a link from attacks and misuse.

    For example, if you put an article in Trash you can end up with the following link: http://www.isitwp.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=example&action=trash&_wpnonce=b242fd4114

    If someone tries to copy the link to delete a different post without your knowledge and just change the post name in URL, nonce would come up as non-working thus preventing the attack.

  • Open source
    Term which describes software with its code available to everyone to read, rewrite and modify. It also describes free software which you can use even if you don’t want to take part in coding experience.

    WordPress itself is a great example of an open source project.

  • Output Compression
    This term represents a way of removing blank spaces, carriage returns, new lines and tabs from any of your HTML document. This is a good way of making your HTML document less heavy, i.e. the document will take less space on the disk. After throwing all useless bits away, your document won’t lose its functionality. Also, that web page will load faster and use less bandwidth which may come in handy.

    There are few ways of doing this – learn how to enable output compression.

  • Page
    It is important to know the difference between a post and a page. While post is something defined in time and susceptible to changes, a page is usually considered as a static post. Pages are mostly used to present information which is published only once and which contains important information like contact information, about page, etc.

    Pages do not have chronological order but they can have a hierarchy. As an example, pages can be used as a static front page for you site.

  • Photoblog
    Also known as Photolog, it is a type of blog which is used to show photos and pictures. It is different from blog only because its main focus is on the picture material. Therefore it is mostly used by photographers and artists who want to show their pictures instead of focusing on written material. Because of its popularity there are plenty of WordPress themes specially designed for photo content, i.e. for Photobloging.
  • phpMyAdmin
    This free open source tool is written in PHP and its main purpose is to allow database administration through any browser. PhpMyAdmin allows you to create, modify and delete databases of your WordPress installation.

    Since WordPress is written in PHP and it uses MySQL databases, it means you can control the content, users, passwords, etc. directly through this tool. It doesn’t matter if you use WordPress on a hosting of your choice or you want to install a copy on a local machine, you will need phpMyAdmin to manage databases handled by WordPress.

  • Placeholder
    A text, image or any other object which is used for space reservation. For example, you could put an image in your article which will act as a placeholder for your video. Once you finish editing your video, you would embed it over the image which was used to save that space and to let visitors know where video will be located. 
  • Plugin
    Software which is used to integrate in WordPress in order to upgrade one or many of its functions. Plugins are written in PHP and can be easily installed by any user without having to know even what PHP is. Plugins are usually easy to manage and are user friendly. If you need anything for your WP site and you don’t know how or don’t what to code it, there is probably already a plugin you can download and install.
  • Podcast
    A word derived from “broadcast” and “pod” which became popular with iPod devices. Podcast is a digital medium which allows users to create audio, digital radio, PDF or ePub files for other users to download or stream online. Podcasts are being made periodically which makes them feel like a series. Because of that, they are usually available through web syndication like RSS.
  • Pop-up
    A window which is opened on the same location on which it was triggered. It is usually a small window which opens automatically or if clicked on a button/link. It may contain everything – from text to images and videos, subscription forms, intrusive ads which we all don’t like, etc. Primary purpose of a pop-up window is to attract visitors’ attention.
  • Post Slug
    A part of permalink which is user friendly (easy to read and remember). It is usually derived from your post title where all words are lowercased and there is a dash in between them. Post Slugs are used to make your URL ready for search engines and easily memorable by your users.

    For example, if your title was too long and WordPress automatically creates a permalink, you want to directly edit the Post Slug and make it shorter.

    Example: http://www.isitwp.com/this-is-the-first-post-which-is-published-on-my-new-site
    Edited Post Slug: http://www.isitwp.com/first-post

  • Post Status
    In WordPress, there are different statuses a post can have. There are eight default ones which you can find below, but anyone is free to create and customize their own statuses.

    Published: A post which is available for public and accessible to anyone
    Draft: Describes a post which is saved as unfinished (incomplete) version and is not accessible by your visitors
    Auto-draft: Drafts which are automatically created by WordPress while you’re writing a post
    Private: Accessible only to administrators
    Future: Used for scheduled posts which will be automatically published on specific time/date
    Pending: posts left for users with publish_posts capability to publish them after a review
    Trash: Deleted posts
    Inherit: A post with this status automatically gets the same status as its parent post. Mostly used for attachments and Revisions so they can have the same status as the original post

  • Post Type
    When you are ready to publish your first article it is good to know that there are different kinds of posts you can edit. Those are differently managed by WordPress and there are posts, pages, attachments, revisions and nav-menu-items which are standard Post Types in WordPress.

    Since we all know that WP is constantly growing, having more post types became necessary so WordPress gives you the opportunity to create your own types of post. You can define one with register_post_type() function. If you, for example, want a portfolio, project, podcast or whatever, custom post types are a good way to start building them.

  • Primary Menu
    WordPress allows you to create multiple menus for your site. Primary Menu defines the main menu, i.e. one which is the most important to you. Because many themes allow you to have menus on different locations (header, footer, sidebar), you are likely to end up with few different menus where only one can be a primary one.

    If you don’t use Menu Editor, WordPress will put your pages as navigation menu.

  • QuickPress
    A module located in your dashboard which allows you to, you wouldn’t say, quickly publish a post. This module will let you type in a title, put in your content and even tags without opening a post editor. Although a good way to publish something when you’re really in hurry, QuickPress will not have all the options of a Text or Visual Editor.
  • Quicktag
    Not to be mistaken for tags, quicktag is a shortcut (usually a button) which puts a piece of code in your post. Located on top of the post Text and Visual Editor, Quicktags give you the ability to place HTML code you frequently use just by clicking a button.

    If there is a code you often use but it’s not part of the standard WP package, you can use one of many plugins which will let you create a button of your choice.

  • Relative Path
    A path to a file located on your disk or server which is dependent on the directory in which is located. While Absolute Path is a full path, Relative Path is just one part of it.

    For example, let’s say we have a post with a title “Our first news post”. Absolute Path for that post would be http://www.wploop.com/our-first-news.post. But if we were about to link to that post using Relative Path, we could link only to “/our-first-news-post”. WordPress will automatically place that post into our main folder.

    Maybe you ask yourself why link Relative path when you can always use an Absolute one. Yeah, both links in this case will do the job, but image scenario where we would have to move our entire site to a new domain. If were about to use Absolute Path, the link would take you to the old domain instead of new one and you would be forced to manually change every link for the new domain.

  • Responsive Theme
    A theme which adjust itself for the device on which is viewed. Before Responsive Themes, if you wanted your site to be presented on a smartphone or tablet you had to create a different version of the site. But with a Responsive Theme, you only need that one theme across all the devices. Depending on the device and detected resolution, a viewed page scales itself so it can be arranged nicely on any screen sizes.

    With Responsive themes, you can adjust anything you want which means, for example, you could exclude slider from showing under desired resolution, make your menu collapse if resolution is too small for it to work normally, etc.

  • REST API
    Representational State Transfer (REST) Application Programming Interface (API) is a new approach to WordPress development which tends to connect popular platform with other applications. It allows all of WordPress data to be processed via simple HTTP requests and distributed in JSON format into another frameworks. This method opens up a new dimension in WordPress development and it allows our bellowed platform to become much more than it is now.

    REST API will allow integration of new programming languages, it will allow WordPress webpages to work better on mobile devices, popular plugins will get a chance to be exported, and much more. Currently, REST API can be tested via official pages but if everything goes as planned, it will be become a core WP feature.

    If you are interested into technical details about REST API, find out more about RESTful Web services.

  • Robots.txt
    A file which is used to store information for search engine robots. When search engine like Google reads your site, it will look for is robots.txt file on the first place. In that file you can provide all necessary information about indexing your site and options for your site which a search engine can use to present material in search results. For example, you can tell a search engine not to index any of your pages or categories. 
  • RSS
    Really Simple Syndication is a type of format which is used to group content with frequent updates. A user can use an RSS feed reader to receive summarized content from one or many sources and quickly find he is interested in. Of course, it will link directly to desired article. With RSS you don’t have to manually check all sites of interests but rather let them push shortened content directly in your reader.
  • SEO
    Search Engine Optimization is a method where everything is done to make your site better for search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. There are plenty of ways to make your site appear on higher place in search results. Although no one knows the exact way Google or other search engines are ranking your site, it is definitely important to have backlinks which give your site certain level of popularity and unique content. Many of the SEO methods used on your site can help you in attracting more visitors by placing your URL among first results after search, but also there are methods which search engines will punish.

    In WordPress, there are already some great plugins which can help you organize each page for search engines by helping you with titles, subtitles, naming your URLs, content, etc.

  • SHA-1
    Similar to the MD5, SHA-1 is a 160-bit algorithm created by the United States National Security Agency. It takes a string and creates a hash value known as a message digest. It is usually presented as a hexadecimal number which is 40 digits long and used for cryptography. See the SHA-1 in action.
  • Shared Hosting
    A type of web hosting mostly used by users all over the world. On a Shared Hosting server, all stored web sites are given the same resources which they use. That includes shared disk space, processor power, RAM, bandwidth, etc. Because of that, quality and speed of your site may vary depending on available resources on the server – something which may be important to you if you’re running a site with a lot of visitors.

    That’s the main reason a Shared Hosting is the most affordable one and you can get your site online in a few minutes on a Shared Hosting for under 10$ per month. If you need more resources for you website, you should consider VPS or Dedicated hosting.

  • Shiny Updates
    A WordPress feature which allows plugins (hopefully themes will get the feature in version 4.5) to be updated on the fly. Instead of navigating to updates pages, Shiny Updates allow you to update a plugin simply by clicking the button found under the plugin’s name on the list. Everything’s done while you’re browsing through list of plugins and it works incredibly fast.
  • Shortcake
    User Interface designed especially for shortcodes. Instead of typing shortcodes directly into text editor, Shortcake plugin allows you to deal with shortcodes through simple user interface. Its goal is to “make using WordPress shortcodes a piece of cake” and thus came the name of this plugin/possible WordPress feature. It allows you to easily add shortcodes via media editor and to edit them through a simple user interface. This is currently only a plugin but it’s planned to make Shortcake a part of every WordPress installation once WP 4.6. version comes out.
  • Shortcode
    A piece of code which can be called by using a simple shortcut in your Text Editor. Shortcodes are words or phrases contained between brackets and they’re defined in a PHP function. Once you write a PHP function in your theme, you may add a shortcode which will execute the function and let you enjoy benefits of it only by writing a word between brackets.

    For example, if you have a gallery you can call [gallery id=1] shortcode which will load images from your gallery. Learn how to create a shortcode by yourself and make stuff simpler.

  • Slider
    A slideshow embedded into a web page. You will probably recognize a slider as a first thing you see when you visit a web site. A slider usually contains three or more pictures that are linked directly to a page or post on that site.

    These pictures are changing automatically in visually appealing way, but mostly there is an option to change slides manually by selecting an article among attached thumbnails or navigating through slider with arrows. Sliders are popular and are a modern way of presenting material you want to highlight.

  • Snippet
    A small piece of code which, in most cases, is used to extend a larger block of code. In WordPress, these small codes are added in core, theme and plugin files in order to add or upgrade original features. Most snippets used in WordPress are written in PHP but you don’t have to know the programming language in order to install a new feature or edit an existing one. All you need to do is copy and paste a snippet on the right location in order to make it work. Feel free to browse Snippets category on our site where you can find many different snippets which can transform your simple website into a custom one which you always wanted.
  • Sticky Post
    A post which is always found on top of your page. This post doesn’t get replaced with newer ones and it doesn’t follow the same organization rules like the regular posts. Once a post is labeled as sticky, it will “stick” to the top of you blogroll, recent posts list, etc. and won’t be affected by the publishing dates. Once you remove the check from the sticky post checkbox, it gets back on the list, sorted like all the other posts on the site.
  • Subscriber
    A user role in WordPress with lowest user level. Subscribers can register to your site, but once subscriber is logged in, he or she can only change their profile information. This user role is not allowed to write or publish posts or even change anything but his/her own info.

    Why is it even a role then? Well, sometimes you want your visitor to be able to comment on your posts without entering information all the time. Also, you can enable special content which can’t be seen unless you’re not in a database registered as a subscriber.

  • Super Admin
    Most of websites have only one administrator. But when you are managing a multisite where you can have more than one site connected into a network, someone has to be in charge. That’s why you need a super administrator – one guy or a girl who will be administrator of administrators.

    Super Admin has a higher user level of each administrators in a network and is able to act as admin on each site. If you are working on a site in a multisite network, you want to be nice to this super admin guy/gal. Ok, just kiddin’ it’s not that serious. Or is it?

  • Tag
    A word or a small group of words which describe your article. Tag is similar to category, but has lesser meaning because it is used to describe a post directly and indirectly. By placing tags, you interconnect your posts by placing them in the same “tag hoop”.

    Like categories, every tag will have its own page where you can see all the posts tagged with the same word. You can also view your tags in a cloud which will show frequency of each tag – most used ones will be the biggest while least used ones might not even show in the cloud.

  • Tagline
    A short sentence which is used to describe your website. It is usually found under the title and can be used anywhere else on the blog. Tagline can also be used by search engines and displayed as your site’s description.
  • Taxonomy
    A grouping method which allows you to interconnect your posts in any way you want. Mostly used taxonomies in WordPress are Categories and Tags which define the content you are publishing. Among those two, you can always create custom posts in order to group your content differently.
  • Template
    A page which defines a certain part of your WordPress theme. Every template contains code which creates elements on the website once it’s loaded. Usually themes have few standard templates which generate content which every website is made of.

    For example, header.php is one template which will create the header part of your website. It will be loaded on every page of your site so changing any part of the header.php template would change how header is presented in each and every page of your site.

    Standard template files in almost every WP theme are: index.php, header.php, sidebar.php, footer.php, functions.php, single.php, comments.php but every theme might have its own unique template files which have a certain function. 

  • Text Editor
    Besides Visual Editor, Text Editor in WordPress allows you to insert a plain text which lacks any extra formatting. This is mostly useful when working with code such as HTML or PHP where you really want a clear text in front of you. If you type text in Text Editor, you will have to add formatting on your own, i.e. write HTML tags to make text italic or bold, insert tags to make a list, etc. and you will see the result only when previewing or publishing your work.

    It is highly recommended to use Text Editor when editing WordPress files and when using codes you want to work after you published a page.

  • Theme
    A collection of files which work together in order to display a website in WordPress. Every file in a theme has its own purpose and is in charge of some part of your site. While changing the way your site looks and feels, a theme doesn’t change core WP files which are essential for it to work. Those files which make one theme usually consist of PHP and HTML code, WordPress templates and conditional tags and also plenty of CSS to make your site look good.

    There are tons of different themes out there for you to install – many free yet many premium which you may want to buy if designing a website in WordPress is not something you know how to do by yourself.

  • Thumbnail
    A very small description or summary; mostly describes a picture which is reduced in size and quality. Thumbnail is used as a representation of your content so it has to be relatively small so you can fit many thumbnails on one page, yet big enough to get attention from a visitor.

    In WordPress, thumbnails will be shown next to summary of your articles, in your galleries, etc.

  • Toolbar
    A strip that can be found on top of your WordPress page which is shown once you’re logged in. Toolbar has appeared in version 3.1 and replaced Admin Bar. It contains few most important links and enables you to promptly access your dashboard, editor for writing new posts, gallery and any plugin/widget you need to access frequently.
  • Trackback
    Automatic way of letting other people know you have used their link on your site. Let’s say someone was writing about similar topic and mentioned your article while providing a direct link to your web site, a trackback system will notify you about that. It is a great way of discovering how frequently and where people are sharing links to your site.
  • Trash
    Introduced in WordPress 2.9, Trash is a place where all deleted content is stored. Administrators and Editors who have power of deleting articles and comments will send the page, post or a comment in Trash once they hit the delete button. Everything in Trash will be stored there for 30 days in case you decide to restore the information. After that period of time your information will be lost forever.
  • TTFB
    Time To First Byte (TTFB) is a measurement tool which can tell you how fast your site is. Once you hit a request for presenting a specific page, it is measured how long it takes from that moment to the moment of first byte is received by a browser. Of course, the faster it is the faster your site loads for a visitor which is important for general use and for SEO as well.
  • Two-Step Authentication
    Authentication in WordPress is used to check users who are trying to login to your site. Usually, a username and password are required, but many admins decide to provide that one extra step which makes the site more secure. Sometimes, a simple captcha will suffice but when you want maximum protection, you will go for two-step Authentication.

    This method includes username and password, but it adds another verification method; for example, after successful first step login, the system would send you another code via email or SMS in order to guarantee extra security.

  • Updates
    If you want to keep up with technology behind your website powered by WordPress, you will have to keep an eye on updates. WordPress will automatically check for new version of itself and also keep track of your plugins and themes. Once WordPress finds an update, it will show you a notification in dashboard. Before accepting and installing an update, be sure your themes, plugins and widgets are compatible with your WordPress version.

    Keep in mind that installed plugins or themes from third-party sources are not automatically updated and WordPress won’t be able to inform you about new versions of your plugins/themes. If so, be sure to find the updates on your own, usually tracking the developer’s site.

  • User Role
    When there is more than one user on a website, you should consider giving everyone a role. User role defines level of access to certain WordPress functions. Usually there is only one admin who runs the site and other users get different role depending on their job on the site.

    User roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, Subscriber

  • Visual Editor
    In WordPress, there are two kinds of editors – text and visual. Visual Editor makes it easier for you to write and format your document on the fly. Like in most text editing software, you will be able to directly change fonts, text sizes and formatting, tables, lists, etc. It is a WYSIWYG editor which means What You See is What You Get – the way you format your document while writing is the result of the document once published.

    Although great if you’re visual type and don’t like to mess with code, you must have in mind that typing or pasting any kind of code in visual editor will result in showing the code itself, not executing it. In that case, just switch to Text editor to make your tags or code work. Once ready to type again, you can switch back to Visual Editor and enjoy benefits of buttons and easy formatting.

  • Vlog
    Video blog (Vlog) is a term used to describe a blog which is presented in a video form. Instead of typing and publishing a traditional blog for others to read, one can record video material and present information in a video format. If this material is presented frequently and periodically, it is called video blog or vlog. 
  • VPS Hosting
    Virtual Private Server hosting (VPS) offers clients their own virtual machine to work from. Unlike shared hosting, every client gets his own virtual machine and limited resources. Because these resources are offered to a specific client, there won’t be as much fluctuation in performance as in Shared hosting. VPS servers are a combination of shared and dedicated ones; although it is physically located on one machine, virtualization technology creates a virtual server for each client. That’s how VPS mimics a dedicated server, but still all virtually created servers share the same resources on that computer.

    If you’re greedy and have enough money or really need plenty of power for your massive website with numberless visitors per day, check out dedicated servers.

  • WAMP
    Windows, Apache, MySQL and PHP (WAMP) stand together in a package which is used for developing a website on a local computer. This package gives you the ability of creating a local web server which you can use to test your site. Because you install a server on your own hardware, you don’t have to pay any monthly fees to a hosting site and you are able to work locally which means that you get more control and you can work faster. WAMP is something you should consider installing if running Windows OS and if you want to learn more about developing websites or you just want to set up your entire site before uploading it on a payed server.
  • Widget
    Widgets are used to easily manipulate sidebars where you can place almost anything you want. A widget can be a list of all your pages, recent post or, for example, calendar, photos, a Google Map, etc.

    All widgets you have installed can be found under Appearance → Widgets where you can edit them, rearrange and configure each to suit your needs. Many plugins will give you power of creating new widgets thus making your site more functional and even more beautiful. Widget Area is a predefined place in your WP theme where you can put you widgets.

  • WooCommerce
    WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress plugin which is designed to serve you as your own online store. The plugin is completely free but it features countless extensions and dedicated themes which may be free or can come in form of premium plugins. This ecommerce system allows you to create a shop, modify items, manage paying and shipping methods, and much more. Because of all the extensions which make the plugin easy to use, WooCommerce is in charge of over 30% of all online stores.
  • wp-config.php
    One of the most important files in your WordPress installation that can be found in the root directory. It contains information about your databases – something you couldn’t work without. Although WordPress will not contain this file once you download it, wp-config.php file will be created during the installation process. During the installation, you need to enter vital information which will be stored into this file.

    If you need to manually tamper with the configuration, you can do that by editing wp-config-sample.php file and then renaming it to wp-config.php. 

  • XML
    Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a collection of different rules which are used to encode a document. It is usually combined with HTML where XML defines a document and HTML is in charge of displaying it. With XML, you have a power of defining your own markup language. One of the advantages of XML is that it is easy to read both for you and the machine on which is executed.
  • Y
    Y are there no any WordPress terms for letters K, Y and Z? We have no idea but we know our OCD is working overtime to find at least one for each letter. Got one? Let us know.
  • Z-index
    This CSS property describes the stack order of an element. The element with greater z-index is shown in front of the other and thus appears closer to the reader. For example, if you put a picture and a text in the same place on your website, in order to have that text over the image, you will have to apply greater z-index to the text element.
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