The blogging and WordPress glossary is the second part of my blogging dictionary. In the first part, I tried to explain over 20 web design and development terms, and there are many other terms that we need to talk about.
You will not only learn all these terms that other bloggers keep writing about, but this will also help you to communicate better with you designer or developer.
The Blogging + WordPress Glossary
The WordPress dashboard is the first thing you see when you log into your website. This is the administrative area of your blog. You can use it to create new post or pages, change themes, add plugins, or create new users. The dashboard will also highlight any updates that are available.
The toolbar is the area at the top or your dashboard. You can also see it when you visit your website and you are logged in. It provides easy access to your website or dashboard, it has useful links for new posts or pages, and other plugins (cache, backup). You can view new comments or updates from the toolbar.
If you visit your blog while you are logged in, you can access the WordPress customizer from the toolbar by pressing the Customize button.
Theme, framework, child theme
A theme is a collection of files that control the design, layout, and features of your website. You can easily change the look of your website, without losing your posts and pages, by changing themes. You can install free themes from the WordPress repository or you can use a premium theme.
According to the WordPress Codex, a framework is either a code library that facilitates development or a base/starter theme that is intended to be used as a parent theme.
Parent themes add functionality to the website. They are often responsible for security and SEO, and they should always be used with child themes. Child themes are responsible for the design and layout of a theme. When the framework or parent theme is updated, you will not lose the styling you added to the child theme.
One of the most popular WordPress frameworks is the Genesis framework. This website runs on Genesis and a custom child theme.
Plugins add functionality to your WordPress website. Even though you can use a theme to add different features to your website, it’s better to add them using a plugin. They help you add contact forms, shopping carts, you can use them to improve your SEO or backup your blog.
There are thousands of free plugins in the WordPress repository and you can also purchase premium plugins from third-party sellers.
Widgets are similar to plugins. They add certain functions to your website, like search forms or social media buttons, but you can only add them to certain areas. You can add widgets to your sidebar or footer. Some themes also have widget areas on the front page or in the navigation menu.
URL, Permalink, Slug
URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator. This is the address of a web page, the text you type into the browser when you want to visit a website.
Permalinks, short for permanent links, are the URLs of your blog posts, pages, and category and tags archives. They never change, unless you want to change them, and they are used to link to your content.
This post’s URL and permalink is:
The slug is a part of your post’s URL that comes after the domain name. This is usually an SEO and user-friendly version of your post’s title.
I’ve highlighted this post’s slug:
A sitemap is a list of pages on a website that is accessible to users and crawlers. In the early 2000’s many websites had an HTML sitemap for their readers, but now they are created in XML (Extensible Markup Language used to describe data) and are meant for search engines.
Sitemaps are extremely important for search engines. If you have an SEO plugin installed you can easily generate a sitemap. If you use Yoast SEO, just go to SEO > XML Sitemaps.
Ping, Pingback, Trackback
A ping is when your blog automatically sends a message when new content is published. You can ping any other website that has pings enabled. WordPress is set by default to ping other websites that you link to in your posts or pages. You can enable or disable them from Settings > Discussion.
Pingbacks and trackbacks mean pretty much the same thing. When you write a post and link to someone else’s post (or even to your own post), you can send a pingback or trackback to that post. The owner of that post will receive a message that another blogger mentioned their blog or article and they can display that pingback or trackback as a comment.
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website or your posts. Search engines use the quality and quantity of backlinks to determine the quality of your posts and search engine ranking.
Nofollow links were introduced to help combat spam. They tell search engines not to crawl the website you are linking to. Your readers will be able to visit the website, but the bots will ignore it. You should use the nofollow attribute for sponsored content and paid links.
The noindex attribute is similar to nofollow. You can use it to block search engines from accessing certain pages of your website.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to all the techniques used to improve your website’s ranking in search engines and to boost organic traffic.
Organic traffic refers to non-paid traffic that comes through search engines.
Description (meta description)
The meta description is the little snippet that summarizes your post’s content. You can usually see it in search engines under the post title and URL. The meta description is an HTML tag that you can modify using an SEO plugin or through the SEO settings of your theme. It should contain keywords, but remember that you are writing for humans, not robots.
Keywords are words that users enter in search engines to find a relevant post or page. They are also words or ideas that describe your content.
Long-tail keywords are a combination of several words that describe your content. Most people will not enter just one word in a search engine. If you want to improve your SEO, you will probably not search for “SEO”, but enter something like “best SEO tips for bloggers”.
If you want to improve your blog’s SEO, you should use long-tail keywords because they have less competition than simple keywords and it will be easier to ranks higher in SERPs (search engine results page).
The Alt tag, also known as the Alt attribute or the Alt description, is a description that you can add to an image when you upload it. You should add alt tags to all your images because they will help your readers and search engines.
It’s important for SEO because it will tell crawlers what your images are about, so you should add your long-tail keywords. The alt tag also tells your visually impaired readers what the image is about. So don’t just stuff keywords, try to describe your image for the people that use screen readers.
The alt tag was first used in HTML to specify the alternative text to be displayed should your images not load.
Posts vs. Pages
A blog post is an article on your blog. The WordPress Posts menu is where you can find all your blog posts, it doesn’t matter if they are published or a draft.
Pages are different than posts because they are for static content (content that doesn’t change regularly). Examples of pages are the About page, contact, pages for your services or policies. You can add new pages and edit them from the Pages menu.
Categories and Tags
Categories will help you sort your blog posts into topics. Your list of categories should be small and you can assign more than one category to the same post.
Tags are similar to categories. They will help you organize your content by topic, but they are more specific.
Your blog’s menu or navigation menu is the space where you add links to your posts, pages, categories, or custom URLs. It will help readers find the most important information on your website.
Most websites usually have just one primary navigation menu that’s at the top of the blog or under the header. You can also have a secondary navigation menu or even a footer navigation for important links.
The sidebar is a vertical column that displays content on your blog. This is different from your main content area and you can add widgets to it. You can use it to describe your blog, add a newsletter sign-up form, or social media buttons.
The header is the area at the top of your blog that has your logo or your blog’s name and tagline.
The favicons are the icons you see at the top of your browser near the address bar. The favicon often appears when your bookmark a page or add it to your RSS feed reader.
This is a page that all websites should have. The 404 page appears when someone visits a page that no longer exists or types a wrong URL.
There are so many blogging terms and I’m sure this WordPress glossary is not complete. Please let me know in the comments if there are any terms that you want to learn about.