We’ve brought you design terminology and web development terminology, but WordPress has a lot of terms particular to their platform. If you’re just getting started with WordPress, knowing the lingo can really help you create the website you want. Here goes!
Wordpress comes with two built in themes (Twenty Eleven and Twenty Twelve), but there are hundreds, if not thousands available. More than just “skins” for a static interface, these themes can fundamentally change the navigation, functionality, and page layout of your website, as well as the look. There are tons of free themes, but there are also premium themes. In general, premium themes are not “better” than free themes, though they do tend to include more special features like carousels or responsive design.
In addition to all the awesome customization that themes can offer, the WordPress plugin library can further tweak your website’s functionality. A plugin is an add-on, and there are thousands of them that will add different features to your site. For instance, the Ajax Event Calendar will add an editable calendar, the SEO by Yoast plugin will add search engine optimization capabilities, and the Disqus plugin will replace the default WordPress comments with a prettier, more customizable comments feature. Basically, whatever you want – there’s a plugin for that.
In order to display your website, WordPress “calls” your content through what they call “The Loop.” Let’s say you have a blog, and the homepage shows all your latest blogposts. The Loop is a block of code that retrieves information about each blogpost and shows the title, content, and meta data about that post, then loops back and retrieves the information for the next post. The Loop can be highly customized to show any information about a particular post you want!
For most themes, there are only two post types: posts and pages. The difference between posts and pages can be a confusing distinction for WordPress beginners. Posts are intended to be used for a blog. New posts will automatically be added to The Loop and displayed on your blogpost homepage. Pages, on the other hand, are intended to house static content, like an About or Contact page.
Most themes (including ours) has a sidebar. Most often, the sidebar is the same on every page and displays some or all of the following features: recent posts, a search field, archives, comments, photos, or anything else you want to display on every page!
Widgets are drag-and-drop functions that can be added to widgetable areas (most often the sidebar). In the image below, you can see various widgets which can be dropped into the sidebar. There are thousands of widgets available for download in the plugins area.
This is the term used for the WordPress admin area. From the Dashboard, you can add new posts or pages, change settings, and even see analytics about your traffic!