WordPress is one of the most popular platforms to build fully functional websites with ease. 

The platform’s advanced plugins, customization options, and user-friendly dashboard make it a great tool for beginners as well as experts. WordPress is also SEO-friendly, which makes it the best option for bloggers who know how to implement SEO practices. However, to ensure that one can understand and use the basic functions and tools of WordPress well, knowing certain terms is essential.

Here are some essential terms WordPress designers should acquaint themselves with:

Accessibility – A term used to describe the functionality of a website being easily accessible for all users, including people with disabilities. A more accessible website attracts a larger audience.

Archive page – The WordPress archive page is a library of the old content available on the website. Archive pages are sorted by timeline, category, or post tags, as per the website owner’s choice.

Back-end – The dashboard of a WordPress website where a user can log in and make all the changes, content additions, and perform other activities is called back-end, and it is exclusively available only to site admins or authorized contributors.

Backlink – A URL used to connect one website to another. It could be a link to another website of the same business or a friendly blog. Backlinks are vital for good SEO.

Backup – Backup is the term used for a copy of a WordPress website, including the theme, databases, and files. Backups are necessary to keep the website safe before altering the look and feel so that if something goes wrong, the earlier condition can be quickly restored using backup.

Below the fold – A rarely used term inspired by journalism, implying that the most important information should be right at the top of the page so that a visitor does not scroll below the fold and miss the information.

Bounce rate – Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who reach the website but leave exploring no other pages. The lesser the bounce rate, the better a website’s performance.

Breadcrumbs – These are secondary navigation methods that help users know where they are on the website. Typically, a breadcrumb would look like this: Home > Blog > Essential terms WordPress.

Caching – Caching is the process of storing data in a cache. A cache is a temporary storage area that usually stores all types of files, including the files you access on the Internet. When you return to those files again in the future, the browser takes less time to load them as the cache already has those files. This makes for faster viewing of the website.

Categories – On the WordPress website, one can create categories as per requirements or business. They can be anything, such as marketing, technology, and web hosting, among others.

Child Theme – A child theme is a good way to customize the theme on a website. Child themes use the template of the parent theme. Changes or customizations are then built on it.

CMS – A Content Management System (CMS) is an application used to edit and manage content on a website. WordPress is one of the most popular CMSes available today.

Codex – The Codex is the complete online manual for everything related to WordPress. It can answer most of the queries and at the least, provide more information. 

Comments – WordPress comments are similar to the comments seen on Facebook or Instagram posts. Users who read the blog interact through comments.

Core – As the term suggests, every WordPress website is built on a core and it shouldn’t be tampered with. 

Customizer – A customizer is an option on the dashboard which allows preview and modification of various elements such as site header, colours, fonts, and widgets.   

Excerpt – WordPress excerpts act as summaries for a post. They allow users to share a short blurb about their content and then encourage readers to click to read more.

Favicon – The small logo in every browser tab is known as a favicon. Generally, a website’s logo is also its favicon, and it helps users identify which website it is.

Footer – One can see the WordPress footer, right at the bottom of the website. It generally contains copyright information, optional footer navigation, and contact information.

Front-end – The front-end of a website is the face of the website that any visitor sees. To a normal visitor without login access, the front-end is the entire website. 

Gravatar – It is a picture a visitor sees next to his/her name while interacting with the website, such as when posting a comment. These are optional and a user must sign up for a Gravatar first. 

Hooks – Hooks are used to enhance the functionality of a WordPress website. There are two types – action and filter. Hooks are essential for plugin and theme development. To find hooks, activate the ‘Show Hooks’ plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.

Landing page – The specific pages created for campaigns or defined purposes where a visitor first arrives on the website is known as a landing page. For instance, the default landing page for all websites is ‘Home’.

Metadata – Metadata is extra information about the content within the WordPress site. Post type, categories, and tags are all examples of Metadata.

Navigation bar – The main menu on the top of the page with the links to important pages of the website that visitors must check is known as the navigation bar.

Open source – Open source software is source code freely available in the public domain for any user to download and build upon. WordPress is an open-source CMS and any developer can use it to build a plugin or theme.

Pages – WordPress pages are the pages of the WordPress website. Depending on the website type and need, there could be a few or thousands of pages on the website. 

Pageview – Every time a page is viewed by a visitor, the number is counted as a page view. The higher the number of page views, the better that page’s performance. 

Permalink – Short for “permanent link”, permalinks are the URLs of all the posts on the website. Permalinks make it easy to find specific content pieces from the scores of pages on the site.

Plugins – Plugins are software one can use to add specific functions to the websites, such as the form plugin or map plugin. These are installed and controlled through the dashboard.

Posts – Posts are the articles one can publish on their WordPress website’s blog section. Users can create simple text and audio-visual posts. 

Responsive layout – Internet users view websites from different devices, such as desktop or laptop computers, smart TVs, tablets, and mobile phones. A responsive layout is a dynamic display that ensures viewers find the site good-looking and functional on whichever device they use and can navigate to find the desired information. 

Shortcode – WordPress shortcodes are code snippets that can be inserted into a page or a post to allow additional functionality, such as a shortcode for a contact form. 

Staging sites – It is inadvisable to use a live and popular website to test changes in layout and functionality, because if something goes wrong, it can jeopardize the website. That’s why developers create staging sites to conduct experiments. If something goes wrong, it won’t matter as the impact is restricted to just a cloned site.

Tags – Tags are essentially keywords related to the content. Tags are usually specific to a particular post or page. 

Themes – WordPress themes are the layouts defining the look and feel of the website. Users can find thousands of WordPress themes online or build their own if they have a coding background. 

White space – White space, or negative space, is the blank area on a WordPress website without any form of content on it. White space is used to make websites readable by creating gaps between different content blocks. 

WYSIWYG Editor – The What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Editor allows users to format blogs and pages precisely the way they want them to appear.

301 redirect – Sometimes there could be an old post or page on the website, making users wanting visitors to visit a different or newer page. In such cases, users can use 301 redirect to lead visitors to the new page even if they click on the old URL.

404 page – A 404 page is a page that appears on the screen when a user tries to search for a page that doesn’t exist on a website. The message, “Sorry! We can’t find the page you’re looking for” can pop up even when a user searches for a page that might have been deleted.  

This was a comprehensive WordPress Glossary you can get started with, for your initial understanding of the platform and its workings. While WordPress is easy to understand, knowing these WordPress terms is essential to get the best out of your WordPress site. You may not be able to learn them all at once, but with time and effort, you can get a grip over these WordPress terms and use the knowledge to improve your site.


I am a WordPress enthusiast. I love to explore the wide world of web and blogging.

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