WordPress technical jargon explained

So you’re starting to dive into the depths of WordPress, that’s great! This guide aims to answer all your common WordPress-related questions.

Maybe you’re starting a new project yourself or you’re working with a developer. Either way, you’re here because you’ve come across one or two terms which you need a definition for.

Knowing just a few of these terms will save you time and help you to better manage your developers, so you can get the results you want from your website.

Glossary of WordPress technical terms

CMS (Content Management System)

A Content Management System allows non-technical editors to work on the content within a given system. For example, to move around the pages, images or videos on your WordPress website.

CMS are designed to be simple, even if you’re not at all techie. So you don’t need a developer to help and you don’t need specialist technical knowledge.

Saying that, a little knowledge of scripting languages like HTML, CSS or JavaScript can come in handy, because it can help you improve the layout of your content and fix minor bugs.

Favicon

Favicons are the tiny icons in the tabs at the top of your browser. Like the little bird on this tab, for example.

Favicons show you which tab belongs to which site at a glance, even when you have loads of tabs open. They’re useful from a user experience perspective, because they make life easier for your audience.

You can get fancy with favicons by animating them, or you can include a small logo for your business.

WordPress handles your favicons via the Site Identity panel, which you can find under the Appearance => Customize menu. Just upload a square image, at least 512×512 px and WordPress will handle the rest. Be sure to check your theme to ensure it supports the larger icon sizes for Android and iOS.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Why has your web designer sent you mock-ups with this weird Latin-esque looking text appearing throughout it? Don’t try to run it through a translator just yet, you’ll just get gibberish.

Actually, this text is just that, Latin gibberish. It’s used by designers as a placeholder to indicate text areas and labels in a mock-up.

While it’s confusing at first, using random Latin words helps you evaluate the mock-ups from a design perspective without focusing too much on the text content, which usually comes a bit later in the web development process.

If you’re not a fan of Latin lorem ipsum, there are a couple of other options you can use for displaying placeholder text, such as variable width rectangles to represent words.

Mock-up

Web page mock-ups are a series of images that show the overall layout and styling for the various page templates of a website.

Mock-ups are a crucial step in the design process, as they will help you visualise your website and ensure you have a well thought out layout and styling for each page template. They come at the end of the design phase of a project, after the branding and wireframing phases.

Mock-ups are usually created by web designers, who hand them over to web developers to turn them into functional web pages. Sometimes you will see developers offering a service called “PSD to HTML“, this is when a developer will convert a mock-up (created in Adobe Photoshop) into a web page, sometimes not as functional as you may have anticipated.

Traditionally, mock-ups are somewhat limited when it comes to displaying dynamic functionality like interactive elements, pop-ups, animations, page transitions, etc. as they are static images without animations. Some tools do allow for interactive mock-ups, however, they have their limitations and take more time to setup and are typically used for larger projects that have a complicated UI/UX.

Page Template

A page template is a unique layout that can be assigned to different pages which want to have the same look-and-feel and functionality. Examples of typical page templates include: homepage, article archive, single article, user account dashboard, event listings, custom maps, etc.

A standard WordPress theme should have a page template for posts, pages, taxonomies, error pages and a generic template to handle the rest. WordPress has a page template hierarchy, so you can have a custom page template for specific pages, or just use the default page template for every page.

Templating can get a little complicated, as there are a lot of ways to assign a page template to a post/page, so we will cover this in another, more in-depth article.

Theme

WordPress themes and the theme marketplace are two of the reasons WordPress is so popular as a CMS platform.

A WordPress theme is essentially a collection of page templates with associated styling for each page template, widget, element, etc. supported by the theme.

Some themes support advanced functionality and come with additional plugins that non-technical website editors can use to do anything you can think of, from managing a real estate portfolio, to building a social network and everything in between, including setting up your own cryptocurrency, although we would recommend against doing that one.

You can pay designers and developers to design and build a custom theme for you, or you can buy an off-the-shelf theme. If you’re on a budget, an off-the-shelf theme is the way to go, but be prepared to pull your hair out if the theme is not well documented and the developers are slow to reply to your support tickets.

Here at Wildpress, we offer custom theme design and development services. We do also help clients customise off-the-shelf themes. You can use our price estimator to get an idea of how much you’ll get out of your project’s budget.

Widget

A widget is basically that, it’s a generic component that can be inserted into different page templates, pages, sidebars, footers, etc.

The widget control panel isn’t so easy to find for first time WordPress users. It’s hidden under the Appearance menu in case you’ve not found it yet.

WordPress comes with a few standard widgets, which you can insert into various sections of your website.

Different themes support different widget layouts, therefore, the sections a theme developer has defined as being available for widgets will vary between them.

Certain plugins will add additional widgets with custom functionality, so if you can’t find a specific widget, search the WordPress plugin library, a WordPress marketplace, or contact us and we can build your widget to your specifications.

Conclusion

We’re constantly updating this list, so if you’ve scrolled through and haven’t found the term you’re looking for, please email us and we’ll be happy to update the list accordingly.

If you like this article, please consider sharing it with your friends and professional network. We appreciate your support!