The WordPress Designer’s Glossary
New to designing WordPress sites? Then there are probably one or two (or twenty) words that you should start getting familiar with. Follow along with this glossary to simplify the jargon and make sense of some of these new terms. And if you’re ready to learn more, check out the links to master this vocab and become a WordPress pro.
Accessibility – In web design, accessibility refers to the ability to make your website easy for every user to access. This includes planning for users with disabilities so that everyone can access the information you’re trying to share.
- Design for web accessibility from the beginning
- How to improve your WordPress theme’s accessibility right now
- Maximize your WordPress accessibility
Archive page – The WordPress archive page is a collection of the site’s old content. Usually these pages are organized by month, category, or tags, but you can also create a custom archive page and sort by whatever you’d like.
- Building a custom archive page for WordPress
- How to create a WordPress archives page
- WordPress archive pages: The tutorial
Back-end – When you log into your WordPress site, the dashboard is considered the back-end. This area is private to you and any other admins or contributers; your average site visitor cannot access it.
- Make your site blazing fast: Focus on back-end performance
- How to create a WordPress back end that’s safe for clients
- Under the hood: WordPress front end vs. back end
Backlink – A backlink is just a link from one website to another. So if you link to a friend’s blog, or they link to yours, that counts. Generally, they’re great for SEO.
- What is: Backlink
- Create backlinks to your WordPress blog for better search rankings
- 101 ways to get quality backlinks to your blog in 2015
Backup – A backup is basically a copy of your WordPress site; a clone of the files, database, theme, etc. It’s incredibly important to take a backup of your site before making any major changes to it, so you don’t lose any of your hard-earned work.
- How to back up WordPress to Dropbox
- WordPress database and files backup solutions – Best of
- 5 simple steps to backup your WordPress site
Below the fold – This is an old term that stems from the world of journalism and print media. The idea is that you want your most important information at the top of the page; anything below the fold could be missed by the user.
- Why web designers shouldn’t bother designing for the fold
- Above and below the fold: Stop talking about the stinkin fold
- Life, below 600 px
Bounce rate – Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page. In other words, the lower your bounce rate, the better.
- How to reduce the bounce rate on your WordPress site
- How to improve your WordPress site’s bounce rate
- 20 ways WordPress users can reduce bounce rate
Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are a type of secondary navigation that help users know where they are on your site. The most common form look something like this: Home > Blog > WordPress Designer’s Glossary.
- WordPress: Creating breadcrumbs without a plugin
- How to enable breadcrumbs on your site with WordPress SEO by Yoast
- How to create simple WordPress breadcrumbs
Caching – Caching is a method of serving visitors a fixed HTML file, instead of the server having to build the page for your browser every time. This helps your site load faster, which your users will love.
- WordPress caching plugins – The what, how and why
- Speed up WordPress: Caching and database optimization
- The importance of caching WordPress
Categories – WordPress categories can be whatever you want; they’re just there to help you organize your content. You could use categories as topics, dates, types of content, etc. The only default category is “Uncategorized” so the options are truly endless.
- How to use WordPress categories and tags effectively
- WordPress categories and tags
- How to make your WordPress category pages search engine (and people) friendly
Child Theme – If you want to customize a theme, building a child theme is the way to do it. Child themes use existing themes (parent themes) to build off of and allow you to add or remove your own code. Then if the parent theme is updated, you won’t lose your customizations.
- The pros and cons of using WordPress child themes
- How to create a custom WordPress theme using child themes
- Creating child themes
CMS – A Content Management System (CMS) is an application that allows you to modify website content from a single interface. And if you’re reading this, you already know of one of the most popular applications: WordPress.
- 3 tips for using WordPress as a CMS
- Which CMS to choose?
- How to use WordPress as a truly customized CMS
Codex – The Codex is the all-inclusive online manual for all things WordPress. You can find documentation for everything that pertains to WordPress there, so if you have a question, The Codex can probably answer it, or at least give you more information.
- The Codex
- The WordPress Codex course
- A guide to the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress users
Comments – Comments in WordPress are just like comments on Facebook or other sites. They allow users to interact with your content, unless you don’t want them to, in which case you can disable comments.
- How to disable comments in WordPress
- How to encourage people to comment on your blog
- How I stopped WordPress comment spam
Core – The WordPress core is the foundation upon which every single WordPress site is built. It only has one rule: don’t mess with it!
- Why you shouldn’t ever edit the WordPress Core
- How and why install WordPress Core in a subdirectory
- 3 reasons why hacking the WordPress Core is a very bad idea
Customizer – The Customizer allows you to preview and modify you site’s appearance including colors, widgets, header, and more.
- The WordPress theme customizer: A comprehensive developer’s guide
- Building theme color options with the customizer
- Theme customizer tutorial
Dashboard – The Dashboard is the screen you see when you log in to your WordPress site. You can customize the widgets that appear on the Dashboard, giving you the perfect overview of your site.
eCommerce – Want to sell things on your site? Then you’ll need to build an eCommerce site, just an online store.
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify: Which is your best option?
- Tips for creating a great eCommerce experience
- Designing a boutique eCommerce site?
Excerpt – WordPress excerpts act as summaries for your post. They allow you to share a short blurb about your content and then encourage users to click to read more.
- How to set and manage excerpts in WordPress
- The 2 methods of showing excerpts
- How to add a custom excerpt in WordPress
Favicon – Look up at your browser tabs. See the small logo? That’s a favicon. Typically you’ll use your site logo as your favicon so users always remember what site they’re on.
- How to create a WordPress favicon
- 3 ways to add a favicon in WordPress
- How to: Add favicon to WordPress without plugins
Footer – Next, look down, all the way at the bottom of your site. That’s the WordPress footer, where you can add a footer navigation, copyright information, and more.
- How to remove the WordPress footer
- How to add widgets to WordPress theme’s footer
- How to edit footer copyright message
Front-end – The front-end of a website is everything that the average user can see, like your home page, contact form, and blog. The changes you make in the back-end will affect the front-end.
- Make your site blazing fast: Focus on front-end performance
- How to create a front-end login page in WordPress
- Introduction to WordPress front end security: Escaping the things
Gravatar – Gravatars are the pictures that appear next to someone’s name when they interact with a site, like leaving a comment. They’re completely optional, and you have to sign up for a Gravatar first.
- Gravatars in WordPress: What are they and how to use them
- How to get a Gravatar in WordPress
- How to use Gravatars on your WordPress site
Hooks – WordPress hooks are a way to extend the functionality of a standard WordPress site by doing “behind the scenes” work. There are two main types of hooks, action and filter, and are very important for plugin and theme development.
- Everything you need to know about WordPress hooks
- List of all WordPress hooks
- WordPress hooks, actions, and filters: What they do and how they work
Landing page – A landing page is a specific page created to target your users for a specific purpose. Typically they promote a single product or try to capture information from the user, such as their email address.
- How to design landing pages that convert
- Landing page design can make or break a campaign
- How to create a landing page in WordPress
Malware – Malware is malicious software that is used by hackers to disable or damage your site. AKA, if your site gets infected, it’s bad news.
- Why do WordPress websites get hacked?
- Malware removal checklist for WordPress – DIY security guide
- Common WordPress Malware infections
Metadata – Metadata is extra information about the content within your WordPress site. Post type, categories, and tags are all examples.
- How to create a custom WordPress meta box
- Add metadata to categories – WordPress
- Title, caption, alt text, and description: Harnessing the power of WordPress image metadata
Navigation bar – The navigation bar is how users navigate through your site; typically it includes links to the most important pages and can be found at the top of a site.
- Why the navigation bar matters (and how to optimize it)
- What belongs in a navigation bar?
- HTML formatting for custom menus
Open source – Open source software is source code that is freely available to the public to be used or modified. WordPress is open source, which is why it is free to use and why anyone can build a theme or plugin.
- Open Source Initiative
- Choosing an open-source CMS, part 3: Why we use WordPress
- Why is WordPress free? What are the costs? What is the catch?
Pages – WordPress pages are the pages that make up your site. Use these to make about pages, contact pages, and more.
- Why you need a strong about page (and how to create one)
- How to add an FAQ page to your WordPress site
- How to set a static front page in WordPress
Pageview – Pageviews are the number of times a page has been viewed. If you have a page that’s received a high number of pageviews, you know it’s performing well.
- How to set up Google Analytics in WordPress
- How to track page views and statistics in WordPress
- 10 powerful methods to increase page views and reduce bounce rate on your WordPress site
Parallax – Parallax design is a fairly recent trend in web design. These are sites in which the user typically scrolls to view content and usually consist of lots of visual content.
- 15 creative parallax portfolio sites
- Parallax scrolling: Engaging or annoying?
- Simple parallax scrolling effect
Permalink – Short for “permanent link,” permalinks are the URLs associated with the posts on your site. These make it easy to always find a piece of content, even if it’s not current.
- How to alter permalink structures without breaking everything
- Which is the best WordPress permalink structure for SEO?
- How to set up pretty permalinks in WordPress
Pingback – Pingbacks are notifications that are automatically sent when someone links to one of your blog posts (or you link to someone else’s). They appear as a comment on that post.
- What is a pingback? Are pingbacks good for your blog’s SEO?
- What’s a pingback? And how to write links
- WordPress trackbacks and pingbacks: 5 things you should know
Plugins – Plugins are another way to add functionality to your WordPress site. These are pieces of software that you install on your site, and then control through the dashboard.
- Understanding the WordPress plugin API
- Six ways to decide if that plugin is right for you
- WordPress Plugin Directory
Posts – Posts are used to publish articles to your WordPress site’s blog. You can assign categories, add media, or keep them simple with text.
- How to display “Recent Posts” in WordPress
- Creating a WordPress post
- WordPress posts vs. pages: When to use each
Responsive layout – Today, people are viewing websites on desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Responsive layouts ensure that your site looks good on any screen size so every user can find the information they need.
- The best way to test if you have a responsive WordPress site
- Questions to ask yourself before designing a responsive layout
- Why you’ve got to start practicing mobile-first development
Shortcode – WordPress shortcodes allow you to insert PHP or HTML into posts to add additional functionality. Once you get the hang of creating them, they’re a very quick way to add some customizations to your site.
- How to create your own custom shortcode in WordPress
- WordPress shortcodes: A complete guide
- Why you need WordPress shortcodes (and how to create them)
Staging sites – Once your site is live, you may not want to test changes on it in case something breaks. Staging sites are basically the experimental clone of your site; if something breaks while you’re testing it, it doesn’t matter because it’s not the real site.
- How to run a development copy of your WordPress site
- How to create a staging site for WordPress
- How to setup a staging environment
Tags – Tags are essentially keywords about your content. While categories might broadly classify content, tags can be more specific.
- Best practice for using tags in WordPress
- WordPress tags: Everything you need to know
- Tag optimization for WordPress
Themes – WordPress themes control the appearance of your site. There are thousands of themes available for download, or you can build your own.
Trackbacks -Trackbacks are similar to pingbacks in that they notify other sites when you link to them. The difference is that they must be created manually, and they include an excerpt of your content.
- The big debate – WordPress trackbacks and pingbacks: Are they dead?
- Tired of trackback spam? Steps to stop trackback completely on your WordPress blog
- How to deal with trackbacks and pingbacks in WordPress
White space – White space, or negative space, is empty space on your site without any form of content. Including white space in your design will help with readability and can help highlight important areas of your site.
- Tips for adding white space to your website
- Why white space matters
- Embrace negative space: The forgotten design element
WYSIWYG Editor – The What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Editor allows you to format posts and pages exactly as you want. What you see in the editor is what you’ll get once you hit publish.
- How to use the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor
- How to customize the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor
- 10 more tips for using the WordPress WYSIWYG Editor
301 redirect – Let’s say you have an old page on your site but you’d rather have visitors go to a new page. Instead of deleting the old page, you can add a 301 redirect to lead visitors directly to the new page.
- How to create a WordPress redirect
- How to properly set up WordPress 301 redirects to maintain SEO and inbound links
- Beginner’s guide to creating redirects in WordPress
404 page – A 404 page is the page that appears when someone tries to find something on your site that doesn’t exist. Usually they say something like, “Sorry! We can’t find the page you’re looking for.”
- How to create a custom 404 page in WordPress
- How to create a custom error 404 page for WordPress
- How to troubleshoot and fix WordPress 404 errors (Plus an essential tip on redirects)
That’s it for The WordPress Designer’s Glossary. Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Let us know what words you wish were in the list so we can update it!