Let's Learn WordPress

Common WordPress Terms

If you are new to WordPress, you may feel overwhelmed talking to a developer when she or he uses certain terms. Here is a short glossary of common WordPress-related words to make the conversation easier. Learning the WordPress lingo is a great start to becoming a WordPress guru.

Admin area This is where the magic happens. When you log in to your site, you will be taken to the admin area where you can add, edit, and remove website content. This is also where you can manage your site’s settings, such as site title and permalinks.

Apache Apache is a web server that serves the majority of websites on the Internet. It is the most popular option for serving WordPress-powered websites.

Categories WordPress allows you to group and organize similar posts with taxonomies. Categories is a special type of taxonomy within WordPress.

CMS Stands for Content Management System. It is a system that allows you to create and manage your website’s content.

GPL The General Public License is a software license that gives anyone the freedom to use, study, share, and modify software. WordPress is licensed under the GPL.

MySQL WordPress uses a database to store its content and settings. MySQL is one of the most popular open-source relational databases on the web.

Open-source The open-source movement encourages open collaboration on software projects. Instead of software being proprietary (under copyright), open-source software code is shared with the public. This allows for software to mature faster and is one of the reasons why WordPress has become so powerful. Anyone can contribute to make it better.

PHP PHP is the programming language in which WordPress is built. It communicates with the database and produces the site’s web page for your browser.

Pingback Pingbacks allow bloggers to see who references their blog posts on other sites. This only works if both sites have pingbacks enabled.

Plugins A plugin can be installed on your WordPress website to extend the functionality of your site. For example, Gravity Forms is a plugin that allows you to easily create forms on your site. Check out my recommended plugins resource for more examples.

Posts A post is simply an article on your blog. It is also a menu item in the admin area where you can add an article to your blog.

Slug A slug is the automatically generated URL for a post or page of your WordPress site. It is based on the title of the page or post. This can be easily changed at any time.

Taxonomy Classification that WordPress uses to organize your posts. Two predefined taxonomies are “categories” and “tags.” You are allowed to add your own taxonomies if there are other labels you prefer.

Theme A theme defines the look and feel of a WordPress website. You can change themes without affecting the content and functionality of your website.

URL Uniform Resource Locator is a web address of a specific web page or resource (such as an image). For example, www.example.com/image.jpeg.

Widgets A certain area of your webpage that performs a specific function. For example, a sidebar showing your latest posts.


Lee Stratman

Owner, Stratman Web Development

Lee Stratman is a Web Developer from Madison, WI. He helps small-to-medium-sized businesses build effective websites that utilize the popular content management system WordPress.