WordPress TerminologyWordPress terminology is expansive.  In an effort to help new and existing clients gain familiarity with the design, technology, software terms, Dalen Design is pleased to share this guide to WordPress terminology.

WordPress is a free and open source blogging and content management system (CMS), used to create websites or blogs. Based on PHP and MySQL, on a web hosting service, WordPress offers many features including templates and simple plug-in architecture.


AJAX is a technique web pages use to have the server perform processing functions without reloading the web page. For example, when you approve a comment in a WordPress blog, WordPress uses AJAX to change the comment’s status. You will see the change without having to reload the Comments screen.

Back End or Back Office
The Back End or Back Office is the administrative interface authorized users can access to manage content, configure plugins or widgets, customize menus, and more.

Categories and Sub Categories are used to organize Posts into subject areas.

Content Management System (CMS)
Content management system, or CMS, is software designed to facilitate the maintenance of content on a website. From a single interface, a user is capable of creating, editing, and publishing content.

cPanel is a popular web-based administration tool. Many hosting providers allow users to configure their own accounts using an easy-to-use interface.

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a W3C open standards programming language for specifying how a web page is presented. It allows website designers to format and layout a site independently of its content.

Domain Name
A domain name is a name used for identification purposes on the Internet. With WordPress, a domain name typically identifies the server where WordPress is installed.

The front end is what your visitors see when they visit your site.

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a client-server protocol for transferring files. It is the most common way to upload files to a server, but can also be used to download files. An FTP client is used to handle the upload and download, and may be required to upload your WordPress files to a web server, especially if you use a hosting provider.

Hosting Provider
A hosting provider is a company or organization which provides infrastructure for making information accessible via the web. This involves the use of a web server, and may involve one or more related technologies, such as FTP, PHP, MySQL, and operating system software such as Linux or Unix.

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the W3C standard language with which all web pages are built.

MySQL is a popular open source SQL (Structured Query Language) database implementation, available for many platforms, including Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac OS X. WordPress requires a MySQL database to store all blog information, including posts, comments, metadata, and other information.

WordPress allows for the creation of two content types: Posts and Pages. Pages are designed to contain informative content which does not change on a regular basis. Examples include static product or service information, or an “About Us” page.

PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a popular server-based scripting language designed specifically for integration with HTML. WordPress is written using PHP and requires it for operation.

WordPress allows for the creation of two content types: Pages and Posts. Posts are similar to newspaper articles and represent pieces of topical content on a particular subject. Posts may be organized into Categories.

In WordPress, the template is a file which defines the area of the web page generated by a theme. Typically, the template will include a header section at the top of the page, a template area for content, a template for sidebars, and a template for the footer. Templates are the building block which help define and build the web page.

WordPress themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a website, without modifying the content or structure. WordPress themes have been described as the “skin” to your site, in essence the graphical interface.

Web Server
A web server can be defined both as the software or hardware delivering web content accessible on the Internet. Commonly used to host websites, a web server can also be used for data storage.

While WordPress was designed to offer highly customizable websites to businesses both large and small, not everyone has the time or ability to create, manipulate or develop web content.  Should you find yourself frustrated by WordPress terminology or stuck in the setup or design phase, we can help.  Contact Dalen Design today, and let us bring your WordPress solution to life.