50 Useful WordPress Terms: You should know in WordPress


In this article, I am going to share WordPress terms that might be useful for you. If you are a beginner who wants to have a look at all the terms that you might come across while learning WordPress or if you are a developer with years of experience who wants to brush-off his skills by revising through all the terms then this piece of writing can help you a lot.

This article contains two sections. The first section has terms that are mostly useful for beginners who want to use WordPress to setup their website. The second section contains terms useful for developers. I have made sure to arrange the terms in a way that you will come to know them while using WordPress.



1. WordPress: You don’t need to know about this for learning WordPress. But I thought it will be better for you to know how the term WordPress was coined? The name “WordPress” was originally coined by Christine Tremoulet in response to developer Matthew Mullenweg‘s desire to associate his new software project with printing presses. In this sense, press refers to the world of reporters, journalists, columnists, and photographers.

2. Dashboard: The Dashboard (wp-admin) is the first screen you see when you log into the administration area of your blog. You can get to this dashboard by adding /wp-admin to the end of your site’s url (e.g.: example.infasta.com/wp-admin)


3. Theme: A WordPress Theme is a collection of files created to modify the display of your website, without modifying the content of your website.


4. Child Theme: A WordPress child theme is an additional WordPress theme that you create to inherit functionalities from the parent WordPress theme. Why create a child theme rather than using the parent theme as it is? If you modify the parent theme, then all the modifications done by you will be lost. So, in order to preserve your changes, you must go for a child theme. May be the best way to learn WordPress development is by starting off with creating a child theme.

5. Posts and Pages: Posts are content entries listed in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page. Posts are listed by date. While pages are static and not listed by date. Posts use categories and tags but pages don’t.

6. Archives: Archives are a dynamically generated list of posts, and are typically grouped by date, category, tag, or author.

7. Post Format: Post Formats allow the user to control the display of a specific post for example audio posts and video posts can have different look based on the theme’s stylings.

8. Custom Post type: A custom post type refers to a type of data that is different from a post or a page. Custom post types allow users to easily create and manage things as portfolios, projects, video libraries, podcasts, quotes, chats etc.

9. Plug-in: A plug-in is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website to add extra features. They are written in the PHP and integrate seamlessly with WordPress.

10. Widget: Widgets provide an easy way to add little programs, such as the current weather, latest posts, popular posts etc. to a sidebar.

11. Category: Categorization allows posts of similar content to be grouped, thus helping viewers in the navigation, and use of a website.

12. Tag: In addition to categories, terms or keywords called tags can be assigned to each post. Tags act as another navigation tool, but are not hierarchical in nature.

13. Taxonomy: Both categories and tags are part of a system called taxonomies. If categories and tags are not enough, users can also create custom taxonomies that allow more specific identification of posts or pages or custom post types.

14. Media: Important parts of a blog or a website are the pictures, images, sounds, and movies, also known as media.

15. Pingbacks: A pingback is a special type of comment that’s created when you link to another blog post, as long as the other blog is set to accept pingbacks. To create a pingback, just link to another WordPress blog post.

16. Menu: Menus make it easy to define the navigation buttons that are typically present near the top of a site’s pages. The menu’s position entirely depends on how the theme author has set them up. Sometimes a website can have multiple menus like Header menu, footer menu, social menu etc.

17. Background: This tool allows the user to change the background image and color of a site.

18. Header: This tool gives the user control of the images displayed at the top of a site’s various pages.

19. Shortcode: Shortcodes are used for shortcuts. A Shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do complex things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated code in just one line.

20. RSS Feed: A feed is a function of special software that allows feed readers to access a site, automatically looking for new content and then posting the information about new content and updates to another site. Some feeds include RSS (alternately defined as “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”), Atom or RDF files.

21. Administrator: On a regular WordPress install, Administrator is the most powerful user role. Users with the administrator role can add new posts, edit any posts by any users on the site, and even delete those posts. They can install, edit, and delete plug-ins as well as themes.

22. User role: WordPress has six pre-defined roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber. Each role is allowed to perform a set of tasks called Capabilities. There are many capabilities including “publish_posts”, “moderate_comments”, and “edit_users”.

23. Permalink: Permalinks are the permanent URLs to your individual pages and blog posts, as well as your category and tag archives. A permalink is the web address used to link to your content.

24. Front page and posts page: A WordPress website can have a dynamic blog-like front page, or a static front page which is used to show customized content. Posts page shows all the blog postings.

25. Update: Updates are done in WordPress to implement bug fixes. When you do an update it means you are removing the older files and adding the new ones from the author. It is always recommended that you keep your website (theme and plug-in updated).

26. Customizer: Theme customizer allows you to modify different settings of your website with a live preview.


27. Meta box: A Meta box in WordPress is a field where you save your input data or Meta data.


28. Custom Field: WordPress comes with default fields like title, featured image etc, in case you want additional fields for your posts or pages then you can add custom fields too.


29. WordPress Revision: WordPress saves revision of your page and post. It helps you keep track of changes that you have done and in case you want to go back to an earlier change you can do that. This is quite a handy tool to have backup for your content.

30. Style sheet: A style sheet holds the CSS for your website. So, if you want to modify any CSS rule then you can do that here. But please be cautious and use child theme to modify anything on your website.


If you are a developer then you might like to know the below terms.

1. Wp-config file: This is where all the configuration data of your website is saved like – database details, user details, SALT keys etc.

Click to know how to config in wordpress 

2. .htaccess: .htaccess file is a granular configuration file for the Apache web server software, used to set or alter the server’s configuration settings for the directory in which it is present, and/or its child directories.

3. SALT keys: WordPress manages login sessions by storing the information in cookies instead of using PHP sessions. These “long random strings” used to calculate the cookie hash is called WordPress Security Keys. They are configured in the wp-config.php files.

4. php file: A theme can optionally use a functions file, which resides in the theme subdirectory and is named functions.php. This file basically acts like a plug-in, and if it is present in the theme you are using, it is automatically loaded during WordPress initialization (both for admin pages and external pages).

5. Function: A function defined in functions.php is like a mini plug-in doing some tasks for you. WordPress already has some pre built functions that you can use in your template files or plug-in files to do a particular task. For example the_title ( ) function can be used to display the title of a post or page.

6. The Loop: “The Loop” is the main process of WordPress. You use The Loop in your template files to show posts to visitors. You could make templates without The Loop, but you could only display data from one post.

7. WordPress Query: WP_Query is a class defined in wp-includes/query.php that deals with the intricacies of a post’s (or page’s) request to a WordPress blog.

8. Enqueue files: The wp_enqueue_script function is the best solution for loading JavaScript and CSS files into your WordPress site.

9. Templates: A template defines part of a web page generated by a WordPress theme. Example: header.php is a default template used in most WordPress themes. Similarly sidebar.php which is used to add a sidebar to your website.

10. Template Hierarchy: WordPress uses the query string to decide which template or set of templates should be used to display the page.


11. Hooks: A Hook is a generic term in WordPress that refers to places where you can add your own code or change what WordPress is doing or outputting by default. Two types of hooks exist in WordPress: actions and filters.

12. Action: An Action in WordPress is a hook that is triggered at specific time when WordPress is running and lets you take an action. This can include things like creating a widget when WordPress is initializing or sending a Tweet when someone publishes a post.

13. Filter: A Filter in WordPress allows you get and modify WordPress data before it is sent to the database or the browser. Some examples of filters would include customizing how excerpts are displayed or adding some custom code to the end of a blog post.

14. Theme customization api: The Customizer is a framework for live-previewing any change to WordPress. It provides a simple and consistent interface for users to customize various aspects of their theme and their site, from colors and layouts to widgets, menus, and more. Themes and plug-ins alike can add custom options to the Customizer. The Customizer is the canonical way to add options to your theme.


15. Settings API: The Settings API, added in WordPress 2.7, allows admin pages containing settings forms to be managed semi-automatically. It lets you define settings pages, sections within those pages and fields within the sections.

16. Data Sanitization: Data Validation and Sanitization with WordPress is critical to keep your creations safe from the bad guys. Unreliable data in your web can come from many sources: the system users, third parties or your own database, everything needs to be validated both on input and output.

17. Nonce Keys: A nonce is a “number used once” to help protect URLs and forms from certain types of misuse, malicious or otherwise. WordPress nonces aren’t numbers, but are a hash made up of numbers and letters. Nor are they used only once, but have a limited “lifetime” after which they expire. During that time period the same nonce will be generated for a given user in a given context. The nonce for that action will remain the same for that user until that nonce life cycle has completed.

18. I18n: Internationalization is the process of developing your theme, so it can easily be translated into other languages. Internationalization is often abbreviated as i18n (because there are 18 letters between the i and the n).

19. L10n: Localization is the process of translating a theme or plug-in into other language than English. Localization is often abbreviated as l10n (because there are 10 letters between the i and the n).

20. XML-RPC: XML-RPC is an Extensible Markup Language-Remote Procedure Call. A Remote Procedure Call (RPC) allows you to call (or request) another application and expect that application to honor the request (answer the call). So, XML-RPC allows a user to send a request, formatted in XML, to an external application.

NOTE: Image sources -Google and codex.  Source: A to Z of WordPress Terminology

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson

I am passionate developer who have wast experience in PSD conversion to websites. My passion has driven to start my own agency : MyPSDtoHTML.

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