Wordpress Glossary

The nomenclature of us web design & development geeks can be a little daunting. But – there’s some stuff you really need to know. Probably a lot of crap you DON’T need to worry about – but if you’re looking for some simplified explanations, easy links and answers to questions, this is a good place to look.


Web Design Glossary - A

Absolute Path (Full Path): the distinct locations of files or directories contained inside a file system or computer.

I.e. /libraries/documents/notes/wordpressTerms.docx

Absolute URI: the entire website or file address that is typed into the address bar on a search engine.

I.e.  https://www.bluedozendesign.com or  ftp://ftp.bluedozendesign.com/documents/notes/wordpressTerms.docx

http:// – is used for websites.

ftp:// – is used for file transfers.

Action: a function performed by PHP code at certain points across the WordPress Core. Custom actions can be created and added to the functionality of a site’s theme.

Admin Bar (or Toolbar): the bar at the top of the screen that is visible when an administrator is logged into a WordPress site, that allows them to perform functional tasks such as edit or add new posts.

AJAX: allows changes to occur on a webpage without having to reload the entire page.

Apache (Apache HTTP Server Project): an open source server software.

API (Application Programming Interface): collection of tools used to make computer applications and software.
Array: a code method that stores letters and numbers in a list.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange): a character set that contains standard English language characters, numbers, punctuation, etc… WordPress can use other character sets besides ASCII.

Atom: format that organizes content for news sites, the content is seen by users using aggregators or news readers.

Autosave: While creating or editing a post or page in WordPress an autosave is automatically created for each post or page. The autosave is created every 2 minutes and overwrites the previous autosave.

Avatar: an image that personifies or depicts someone on the internet.

Web Design Glossary - B

Back End: place that permitted individuals log onto to manage, edit, remove and add content to a website. On WordPress the Back End is also called the admin or administrative area.

Binaries: information files made up of numbers that a computer can read and understand but a person can’t.

Blog (or Web Log): section on a website or a website’s entire purpose where journal entries are posted by a group or individual.

Blogging: writing content and posting it to your blog.

Blogosphere: the parts of the internet that are blogs or pertain to blogs.

Blogroll: links grouped together in a list that link to different website’s blogs.

Web Design Glossary - C

Category: method of grouping together website posts using a relevant word or phrase.

Capabilities: WordPress users have different degrees of capabilities to edit or make changes to a website depending on their responsibilities to the site.

I.e. there are administrators who can edit and change most things on the site and authors who can edit posts they create but not the entire site.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface): allows information from web servers to reach web browsers and vice versa.

Character Entity: way of showing characters on a website could otherwise be read as code and cause errors on a web page.

I.e. & is the ampersand or & symbol

Character Set: characters such as letters collected together in a set to represent words. There are different character sets for different languages.

Chmod (Change Mode): command used in the Unix/Linux command shell program to change the permissions on files, which allows you to edit files as well as look at them.

Class: collection of CSS styling that is applied to HTML code to change how aspects of a web page look.

Codex: Articles compiled together that teach people how to use WordPress.

Collation: defines the order of character sets.

Comments: sections of blog posts where users can post comments.

Content: any written information, audio and/or video files, and images that are included on a website’s pages or posts.

Content Management System: Internet software that allows people to more easily manage the content of their website, from what people see on the site to the back end programming that runs it.

cPanel: a web tool that lets people configure and manage their own website accounts and databases.

CVS (Concurrent Versions System): was once used to organize the development of WordPress. Now WordPress development is organized by a program called Subversion.

Web Design Glossary - D

Dashboard: in WordPress the dashboard is the web page that you log onto to edit content, add content, etc. on your wordpress site.

Database: a database stores and organizes all the information associated with a website.

Database Version: every time changes are made to the WordPress database organization the Database Version number gets higher.

Default Theme:  Theme that is automatically installed onto a new WordPress website, this theme can be changed. If a custom theme malfunctions the WordPress website reverts back to the default theme until the custom theme is fixed.

Deprecated: things that are not supported by current browsers anymore and will eventually be removed altogether.

Developer: someone who creates or modifies software with computer programming.

DIV: an HTML container that allows CSS styling to be applied to the elements within it.

DNS (Domain Name System): allows browsers to find the corresponding IP address of a website Domain Name so that the site can be accessed by users.

DOM (Document Object Model): defines the hierarchy of how HTML pages are structured and how CSS and programming code is applied to those HTML elements.

Draft: posts that are saved in your WordPress site but aren’t visible to your website viewers.

Web Design Glossary - E

Excerpt: a small preview of a blog post.

Web Design Glossary - F

Feed: displays content, information, and updates from other sites and consolidates it all into one place, usually on a different site.

Feed Reader: the software that actually collects the content that is shown on the feed.

Filter: is a WordPress programming function that is attached to a JavaScript event, once the event is triggered the filter is added and displayed in the browser.

Footer Area: location at the bottom of a website that is used to show important site information besides the main content.

Front End: the part of a website that is actually viewed by people when it is visited.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): a method of downloading files from a server or uploading files to a server.

Web Design Glossary - G

Gallery: a group of images/videos on a page or post that a user can look through.

gettext: tool WordPress uses to create versions of WordPress in different languages.

GMT (or Greenwich Mean Time): One name for the time zone that was used to measure all other time zones. Also called UTC (or Universal Time Coordinated).

Gravatar (or Globally Recognized Avatar): an image used to represent or depict someone on the internet.

GUI (or Graphical User Interface): a visual display containing icons that can be interacted with by the user through a mouse, or finger on a touchscreen device.

Web Design Glossary - H

Hack: a hack is a portion of code that increases or personalizes the processes of a software.

Hacking: the act of creating or adding code to software.

Header Image: Image that is displayed at the top of your website.

Hook: programming code used by website developers to create events on a website.

Hosting Provider: service that puts your website on the internet.

.htaccess: back-end file that allows changes to be made to the server settings.

Web Design Glossary - I

IP Address: the individual identifying number applied to computers and other devices that access the internet.

IDE (or Integrated Development Environment): a combination of software development applications.

ISAPI (or Internet Server Application Programming Interface): defines the standards for computer programming.

Web Design Glossary - J

JavaScript:  A scripting language developed by Netscape that interacts with HTML, allowing for dynamic and interactive websites. Common JavaScript effects are mouseovers, rotating sliders, and navigation, commonly used to create drop-down menus.

JPEG: An image type – short for “Joint Photographic Experts Group,” the folks who invented it. JPEGs use adjustable compression, so you can adjust the size, quality and download speed of the images you use on your website.

Web Design Glossary - K

Kerning:  The space between letters. In web terms, this is accomplished by using “letter-spacing” in CSS.

Keywords: Although the use of the keywords meta tag is kinda dead, the actual idea of keywords isn’t. Keywords are still important to understand – these are really what folks are searching for – you need to use them in headlines, descriptions and body text. Just don’t need them in the header anymore.

Web Design Glossary - L

LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL Php/Python/Perl): are the specifications of a web server, using Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python, or Perl. (Why do I need to know this? What for What?)

Landing Page: The first page a user sees when entering a website (usually the home page.) This can also be a standalone page that ads point directly to.

Link Farm: A collection of links specifically curated to connect to targeted websites in order to increase search engine ranking, and relevance.

Liquid Layout: These are website layouts that change their width with the browser window.

Web Design Glossary - M

Menu: navigation area that includes links to other sections and pages of a website

Moblogging: creating blog posts from a cellphone or other mobile device.

Multisite: a feature of WordPress that enables more than one website to be located on a single WordPress installation.

MySQL: is a database that stores all files associated with your website.

Web Design Glossary - N

Navigation: Can include menus, links, “breadcrumbs”, pagination. Also, generally refers to how a user is empowered to move around within a website.

Nesting: Putting HTML elements inside of one another.

Non-Breaking Space ( ): A character that is added to text to assure an automatic line break will not occur on a webpage.

Web Design Glossary - O

Open Source: Software and source code available to the general public for free or low cost, which is also able to be enriched and contributed to by its own users.

Web Design Glossary - P

Page: a site’s pages contain the content that is mostly permanent.

Permalink: a permanent URL address for a source, such as another website or article.

Post: content you create to add to your website’s blog. Blog content helps SEO ranking.

Post Slug: two or three words used to describe a post.

Post Status: a post can be Published which is visible on the website or saved as a Draft. Drafts can be edited but aren’t visible on the website yet.

Post Type: Posts can be divided into different custom types, such as portfolio items or videos.

Web Design Glossary - Q

Query: In search engine terms, the “query” is the search term or search phrase entered into the search box. It can also be a server query – where your site asks your server a question or runs a script on your server.

Quicktime: A program and standard developed by Apple. It handles all kinds of rich media like video, images, sound etc. If you have iTunes or any Apple device, you have this – and, really, most browsers and computers have this already installed.

Web Design Glossary - R

Really Simple Syndication: Makes it possible for users to subscribe to a blog and receive updates from that blog using a feed reader.

Resolution: Is the physical number of pixels displayed on a computer or digital device screen.

Web Design Glossary - S

Schema: Defines specifications for how to define custom elements in an XML document. (WHU?)

Script: Code that makes certain aspects of a website more interactive and dynamic.

Selector: A CSS selector is a piece of code that tells the browser how the element within that code should be displayed or treated. Selectors include classes, divs, elements, values, active states – and a whole helluva lot more.

Semantic Markup: Adding comments next to HTML elements that describe what they are and what they do in the document.

Server: A computer (or series of computers) attached to the internet with the sole purpose of “serving” your files to the rest of the world – site files, designs, images, CSS, etc. All this stuff lives on your server (you usually just rent space,) and is waiting for someone to show up and check it out.

Server-Side: Where website code and programming “lives…” non-user interface (hosted) information that runs on a remote computer- not yours.

SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language): guidelines used to describe or define the structure of a markup language document.

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol): Allows an application on a site to use a database or application from a different site.

Specification: Describes functionality or site requirements needed or used.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. Really mostly for ecommerce sites and sites with sensitive data.

Web Design Glossary - T

Tag: HTML markers that show when an element begins and ends.

Template: A file (or set of files) that contains premade information for creating a website’s design and structure. WordPress (and many other CMS) pull the design and layout information from templates.

Web Design Glossary - U

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): A website’s internet address. Example – https://bluedozendesign.com “

Usability: Refers to how easy your website is for visitors to use.

Web Design Glossary - V

Vector Graphics: Vector graphics differ from bitmap or raster graphics in that they are not made up of a grid of pixels. They rely on computer algorithms to define paths and shapes. Vector graphics are rarely used in web design, but are very common (required) in graphic design. A logo, for example, is usually created in vector format. From there it is exported to a bitmap/raster (JPEG, GIF, PNG) format for use on a web site.The main advantage is that vector graphics are fully scalable. You can print your vector logo at any size – even large enough to cover West Asheville completely –  without any loss of resolution along the edges. To learn more – click here.

Viral: A form of marketing where the user of the product or service helps to spread the word. The idea is that a good idea or marketing campaign would be “infectious” and “spread like a virus.” If you can get a viral hit, you’re golden.

Virus: This isn’t as cool as viral. Your site can get a virus and do all sorts of nasty stuff – from being blacklisted as spammy to being completely crippled to being turned into a porn site. Protect your site. Viruses are no fun for anyone.

Visit: A metric in web site usage statistics, a visit represents one person accessing the site, regardless of the number of pages the user accessed (pageviews).

Visit Duration: The amount of time that any particular visitor spends on a site. Webmasters are usually not interested in individual visit duration, but rather in the average visit duration for all visitors to a site.  If the average visit duration is short, it could either mean that the average visitor does not find the information they came looking for – or that they found it very quickly. The type of site and the type of information offered must be taken into account if visit duration is measured.

Web Design Glossary - W

Web Page: Any individual page on a website that a user views on an Internet browser.

Web Server: A computer that hosts websites and allows those sites to be viewed on the Internet.

Web Standards: Specifications created by the World Wide Web Consortium to create consistency across the Internet.

Web Design Glossary - X

XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language): HTML that is rewritten to conform to XML language rules.

XML (Extensible Markup Language): a markup up language that allows someone to create other markup languages.

Web Design Glossary - Y

Yottabyte (YB): One septillion bytes. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. There isn’t one YB worth of computer data on the entire Web. In 2006 we were at 160 exabytes. By 2009 it was 500 exabytes. Hell, this character is probably the one that pushes it over.

Web Design Glossary - Z

Zima: That shit’s deloyshus.

ZIP: ZIP is a Windows-based compression format, handy for grouping and compressing a collection of files. ZIP files can also contain directory structures. ZIP files can be uploaded to a web site and offered as a download.

Zone File: A zone file contains the information needed to translate a domain name (www.bluedozendesign.com) into an IP address – which is what actually points to your server and all your files.