What do they mean? Different WordPress terms explained

With every piece of software or tool, some terms are associated. For example, if you are using Windows, you know what Start Menu means, if you are using Mac, you know what Finder means. Same way there are different terms associated with WordPress too.

And while it is not essential to know the inner working of WordPress, knowing specific terms helps in the long-term.

So let’s see what different terms mean?

1. Dashboard/Backend/Admin

The page that you access with the URL, www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin is called as an admin. Here you can configure your website, add new themes, plugins, create new pages, add new blog posts etc. Alternatively, some people call this admin as backend or admin dashboard.

2. Posts

Posts are the articles, blog posts, tutorials, in short, the written content on your website. However, since you can embed videos and podcast episodes on the posts, they can be audio-visual content too. But at the database level, it is just text being saved.

Now, posts again have some terms associated with it. Let’s see what are those.

– Category

Every post has its category. For example, you are writing a food blog. Then you can have categories like continental foods, Chinese foods, Japanese food etc.

Sometimes a post can have more than one category. There can be categories in the category. Simple called as a subcategory.

– Tags

Although users can categorise the posts into different categories, sometimes there are many focus points and topics that one blog post covers.

For example, on your food blog, you may be writing on a healthy Mexican snack for kids. Then the tags would be let’s say, kids, snack, Mexican, healthy etc.

Wo with the help of tags, you are telling the readers that this particular post is talking about all these topics.

– Featured image

Every post on your WordPress website will have a featured image. Featured image accompanies your blog post. It is usually the graphic representation of your blog post. Many WordPress themes, while showing the list of blog posts, show the featured image along with the title and excerpt of the post.

– Excerpt

An excerpt is a short description of your blog post. It is usually shown along with the title of the blog post.

– Author

A WordPress website can have multiple people contributing to it. Therefore the author determines who has contributed a piece of content. By default, the logged in user who is writing the post is assigned as an author.

3. Media

Whatever files you upload in your WordPress media library is called media. Media can be an image, a video or a document. You, however, cannot upload all types of files in your library. There are certain restrictions on it.

4. Pages

A page is a static piece of content. Usually, the content on these pages doesn’t change that frequently, and they do have a specific structure. For example contact page, about page.

Like posts, pages have a set of terms associated with it. These are featured image, author and excerpt. Tags and category don’t apply to the pages. However, there is one more term that is only applicable to the pages. And it is

– Parent

A page can have a parent. For example page ‘Web Development’ can have a parent page called ‘Services’.


As the name suggests, comments are the opinions, critique, suggestions or something written that people can write on your blog post or even a page.

6. Widgets

There are certain content blocks that we need to to use again and again on the pages or posts or sometimes in a header to a footer. For example, a menu is a widget; a set of social media icons is a widget.

Another term associated with widgets is widget areas

– Widget Area

Your WordPress theme defines certain areas on your website, where you can add the content blocks (widgets). These areas are called widget areas. For example, a footer is a widget area.

7. Shortcode

WordPress is meant to be used by non-techies. Therefore it provides us with a shortened piece of code which when inserted in our posts or pages or widgets gets converted into a code which is then rendered as some content.

A shortcode is like an inflatable bag. It is in collapsed form when you type it in your post or page but then WordPress pumps the air into it, and you see a complete content block on the actual page.

These are specific essential terms that are used in WordPress. There are a lot more terms than the ones mentioned here. However, these are oft-used.

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