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WordPress Terminology Explained

blogging | resources | web design | WordPress | April 9, 2013 | 2 Comments

We love WordPress, and enjoy setting up our clients with this great CMS because it’s so user-friendly for all! One of the hurdles that new users can experience is learning the lingo and understanding the terminology used. So we gathered together a bunch of the commonly-used terms and items used in the admin panel – terms you’ll encounter if you maintain a site with WordPress so you’ll want to make sure you understand them. Check out our helpful list below and feel free to add your own terms that we might not have covered in the comments area below!


Pages and posts are the two main types of content that you’ll create in the WordPress admin panel.┬áPages are generally used for the pages on your site for things like About Us or Contact Us. Posts are typically blog posts, but can be used for other things if your site is setup that way.


Categories are a way to organize your posts, and are a great idea to use for a blog setup. Users on your site can click on a category and see other like posts.


Tags are similar to categories, they can help organize your posts into like groups, but you would typically use more tags and they describe your post in greater detail. Blogs don’t always use the tag feature since it can be similar to categories.

Featured Image

This can be used for different purposes, but is mostly used for posts, giving you a space for one special image. On our blog, we use a featured image for each blog post, which is also the image designated to be shared on social media.

Add Media

This button can be found on the editing screen for pages and posts, above the main content box, and is used to import media items like images, pdfs, and doc files that you want to upload and link to on your site.

Visual/Text Settings

This button can also be found on both pages and posts while editing, and is used to change the view in the main content box from a front end view (like what you would see on the site itself), to a code view. The code view can be used if you need to paste in code to embed something.

Custom Field

Custom fields can also be used for different things, but is generally used to make adding content easier if you have specific things to add. For one client, we needed a way for them to add certain things like a url for an audio file, and have it appear in the correct place on the site, so a custom field was used to achieve this purpose.


A trackback is when someone has linked to a page or post on your site, and you’ll receive a notification about it. You can approve the trackback and have it appear on your post, usually in the comments area, or delete it and it won’t appear.


Plugins give you a way to add additional features or things on your site. You can add a plugin to setup an easy contact form, allow for social media sharing buttons on your posts, or enable a photo gallery. There are tons of plugins available that give you more functionality and lots of cool things for your site.


Widgets are typically used for sidebars but can be used in any part of your site, depending on your setup, and allow for easy access to make changes in that area. We sometimes widgetize the footer area, so you can change out items in that area as well. It allows you to add/delete items from certain areas so you can add things like a categories dropdown, Twitter feed, or search bar.


WordPress regularly has updates available in your admin panel for the WordPress core, plugins on your site, and themes. It’s best to stay up on these updates as they help fix security holes, and make things better and easier to use.


The permalink structure in WordPress controls how the urls on your site or blog look. Pretty permalinks are nicer for search engines, helping them get more information from the url, instead of seeing something like this: A more descriptive url is nicer: and this can be changed under Settings. You can also change the specific permalink of each page or post at the top of that screen while editing, which changes the url that links to that page or post.

Are there any other WordPress terms that you’ve seen and don’t understand? Ask us in the comments below and we can certainly help explain it!


  1. Lorenzo
    April 9, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

    There are a couple videos over on that cover some of these terms.

  2. Shannon Noack
    April 9, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

    Thanks Lorenzo! Appreciate the tip!

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