A Guide to WordPress Lingo

WordPress has its own vocabulary terms, and they are used often when creating a new website. While the client is not actually building it, knowing a few WordPress terms will help the client understand our presentations, processes and suggestions more easily.

WordPress from A-Z


Category is a way to sort content into different sections. A website that publishes a lot of content can use categories to sort the content by topic.

Child Page

A child page is an internal page of the website found “underneath” a parent page. A parent page is usually found in the header menu, and any page found under a parent page is considered a child page. It is any page that is not a top-level page.

Child Theme

Themes in WordPress can be considered either a Child theme or a Parent theme. A child theme is derived from a parent theme, and it uses the similar functions and features from the parent. A child theme can be slightly modified

Content Management System

A content management system is an application that supports the creation and modification of digital content.

Custom Fields

A custom field is a feature within WordPress that allows the user to add additional information when writing a post.


A Domain Name System (DNS) is an internet service that translates domain names into an IP addresses. While the user sees the pretty alphabetical domain name, the computer wants to see the not-so-pretty numerical IP address. So every time a domain name is used, a DNS service translates that into the corresponding IP address so it will take the user to the desired website.

Domain Name

A domain name is used to identify a website. This is what humans use to find the website they are looking for, while the computer uses a corresponding IP address to actually find the website. A domain name is a simpler way for humans to navigate the web.

Featured Image

A Featured Image is a representative image for posts, pages or custom post types. It is usually the large image you see at the (relative) top of a post or page. When theme developers create themes, they usually add this theme feature.

Fluid Layout

A Fluid Layout is a term used to describe a layout that is capable of staying proportional when viewed by different devices, therefore having to adjust to screen size. A fluid layout will tactfully rearrange to accommodate to different sizes for the best user experience.


The Footer is the section at the bottom of the web page that is usually not as prominent. It usually contains information such as copyright, logos, contact, etc.


A header is the section at the top of the homepage, and possibly other interior pages, where the logo and other brief information resides. The header will also include the main navigation.


An index, often referred as a post index, is a collection of a website’s posts. This index can be displayed or used in any page or post on the website.

Open Source

Open source is a term used to describe computer programs that have their source code available for anyone to reference or study. WordPress is an open source software, so anyone can study its source code, change it or even redistribute it.


A page is a pre-defined post type in WordPress. It’s usually what you add when you want to build interior pages.

Parent Page

A parent page is usually found in the header navigation. These pages are the top tier and often have child pages under them.

Parent Theme

Themes in WordPress can be considered either a Child theme or a Parent theme. A Parent theme is a theme that is declared a parent over another theme, a child theme. This allows designers and developers to take all the functions and features of a larger WordPress parent theme and modify it creating child themes.


Permalinks are the permanent URLs of the individual posts and pages of a website.


A plug-in is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website. A plug-in contains a group of functions that can ultimately extend functionality of a website or even add new features.


A post is a one post type of a website. There are usually multiple for every website, and they are listed in reverse chronological order on the blog page.

Post Formats

Post formats allow theme developers to create their own visual representations of a post. It is an optional feature to WordPress that usually adds much value to a website.

Post Meta

Post Meta is also referred to as custom fields. Post meta allows users to add any additional information when writing a post.

Post Status

Post status allows a user to label a status in time for a post in WordPress. There are eight different statuses in WordPress: published, future, draft, pending, trash, auto-draft, and inherit. Also, the workflow status of “new” can be used to label a post that was just created.

Post Types

Post Types refers to different types of content that can be used in a WordPress site. There are, by default, five post types that WordPress comes with: Post, Page, Attachment, Revision, and Nav Menu.

Primary Menu

A Primary Menu is considered the main menu selected in the WordPress Menu Editor. Sometimes a WordPress theme can have multiple navigational menus in different locations of a theme, so a primary menu is selected for the main menu.

Responsive Theme

A responsive theme is a theme that seamlessly adjusts to any screen size. A responsive theme will smoothly adjust its layout for optimal user experience whether it is being viewed on a laptop, iPad, smartphones or other devices.


RSS, standing for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, is a standardized web feed that publishes frequently updated blog entries, news headlines, etc., from websites to which users have subscribed.


SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term used to describe ways to better a website’s representation in search results. There are practices and methods based on rules and best practices provided by major search engines.

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is a type of web hosting service plan where multiple websites share the resources of a larger web server.


Shortcodes in WordPress is an easier way for humans to code without actually coding. They allow you to do different things with a WordPress website including modifying posts, pages, and widgets without writing any code directly.


Secure Sockets Layer - Commonly-used protocol for managing the security of a message transmission on the Internet.

Static Front Page

A Static Front page is the opposite of a dynamic front page. If the website owner does not want a dynamic blog-like front page, they can choose a static front page, which shows customized content that showcases all parts of the website, and it usually stays consistent every time you go to the website.


Tags are used in many applications. WordPress uses tags to help the user find posts on a certain topic in a broad range topics. They are keywords or topics that are found in particular posts.


A theme in WordPress is a collection of templates and stylesheets. Together they shape the appearance and display of a WordPress site. Each theme comes with a design, a layout, and specific features.

Variable Products

A variable product is a product type that allows people to offer a set of variations on a product. It gives humans control over the price, stock, image, and other aspects of a product for each variation. One variable product may have several variations including a change in color, size or material.


A variable product can have different variations. Variations of a product can be the size, color, material, etc. A website usually gives the user an option to chose any one of the variations of a product if available. For instance, Robyn may buy a certain strapless dress in white, while Sarah buys the same dress in red. Those are two different variations of the same product variable.


A WordPress Widget is something a designer can add to a website that performs a specific function. Widgets are a simple way to add additional features to the current theme.