Category Archives: WordPress Words

WordPress Words is our WordPress glossary. We define the words, terminology, and naming conventions from the world of WordPress here, helping you learn more about how WordPress works. Definitions are researched and presented by students for future students.

WordPress Words: WordPress Roles – Editor

Has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and links.
WordPress Support

Example: 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. An Editor will have the third highest set of capabilities that includes the ability to: delete, edit, manage, publish, read, and upload.

About the Word

An Editor can create, edit, publish, and delete any post or page (not just their own), as well as moderate comments and manage categories, tags, and links. It is the Site Administrators job to monitor and add roles accordingly.  Be mindful of the roles that you give users on your blog. For example, if you add a user as an Editor and then they delete all the posts on your blog, they have not “hacked” your site or done anything they were not permitted to do. For this reason, it is recommend to only adding users whom you trust to your site.

When you have decided it is time to add more Users to your site you can access this form via the Users button and Invite New on the drop down menu as site Administrator. Once a new User has been you added, you will also have the ability to edit a User’s role via the All Users button seen in the drop down menu below.

This is a screen shot of the Users button being highlighted in the wp-admin role.

You may also wish to try out different User Role Editor Plugins in order to maximize the efficiency when managing a site’s pages, posts, comments and more.

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WordPress Words: Slug

A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page. Slugs are URL friendly version of the post title (which has been automatically generated by WordPress), but a slug can be anything you like. Slugs are meant to be used with permalinks as they help describe what the content at the URL is.

WordPress Codex – Glossary Definition of Slug

A permalink is a URL at which a resource or article will be permanently stored. Many pages driven by Content Management systems contain excerpts of content which is frequently rotated, making linking to bits of information within them a game of chance. Permalinks allow users to bookmark full articles at a URL they know will never change, and will always present the same content.

WordPress Codex – Glossary Definition of Permalink

About The Word

In WordPress the slug is the specific address of a post or Page after the domain name. By default, it is a number, the post or Page ID number. Through the use of pretty permalinks, WordPress generates a semantic structure for the slug, which by default is the year, month, date, and post title in readable numbers and words. This may be modified on self-hosted WordPress sites.

Example post permalink: http://wordpress.org/development/2006/06/wordpress-tips-editing-posts/

The slug for that post is “wordpress-tips-editing-posts“.

In general, most people have no need to modify the slug of a WordPress post or Page. WordPress generates it automatically when creating a post or Page, cleaning it up to remove extraneous code and adding hyphens between the words. The main reasons people edit the slug is to shorten the length of the URL if the title is long, and to put more emphasis on SEO keywords.

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WordPress Words: Domain

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.
Domain Name definition by Wikipedia

Every website is located by a domain name or address, creating a form of phone book or address book for the Internet.

About the Word

A domain is created through a domain registrar, a company that registers the address of a site and links a name to that address. The address, the Internet Protocol (IP) resource identifier is actually a set of numbers, unique identifiers and namespaces, but for usability, words are used for website addresses. When you type in example.com, the browser taps into the IP addresses to locate the number or address of example.com, which might be 1234567 and directs the web browser, thus the user, to that location on the web on that specific server and that specific address. Continue reading WordPress Words: Domain

WordPress Words: Open source

Of software: having the source code freely available for possible modification and redistribution
Merriam-Webster.

Example: Linux, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and WordPress are examples of open source software.

About Open Source

Open source really began with products giving free access to design. With the advent of the internet, the term evolved to refer widely to computer programs offering complete source code with the intent for public collaboration and improvement.

As an open source platform, WordPress allows for a large community of contributors to develop tools, plugins, features, and fixes which allow for many features and a high level of usability and security. The large, active pool of developers and WordPress experts add to a network of support to turn to when users encounter difficulties.

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WordPress Words: WordPress Text Editor

The text editor allows you to write your posts in HTML or edit a post’s HTML. When you need to add a shortcode, add some font style, or paste in code from an outside source, you can use the HTML editor.
WordPress.com Support

This editing mode is aimed at users who are comfortable working with HTML. When you need to add some font style, or paste in code from an outside source, you can use the Text editor.
WordPress.org Support

Example: When creating a new article for a website sometimes it is necessary to cite a source or author. The text editor allows the user to add HTML tags to the post or page in order to accomplish this task. Continue reading WordPress Words: WordPress Text Editor

WordPress Words: DIV

A “DIV” is an HTML element that divides sections of your WordPress site.

Example: A user can customize their site by adding DIV tags around their content sections in the text editor. Then they can add custom CSS to their DIV’s by going to the Theme Editor in
Appearance–>Editor–>style.css and adding a new line in the file.

.main-grid-content {display:inline-block;background-color:#FFF;}

About the Word

The DIV tag in HTML is used widely on most websites today. By default, a DIV is a block level element, which means it will take up all of the horizontal space  in its current container. In WordPress DIV’s are used to create new sections of content within your site, that may be linked to current classes or new ones.

New sections can help you separate portions of your site to add embedded maps, special offers, promotions, contact information, images and other content.

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WordPress Words: HTML Element

An HTML Element is an individual component of an HTML document or web page. HTML is composed of a tree of HTML elements and other nodes, such as text nodes. Each element can have HTML attributes specified. Elements can also have content, including other elements and text. Many HTML elements represent semantics, or meaning.
Wikipedia.org.

Example: The paragraph element <p></p> is made up of the opening <p> and the closing </p> tags.

About HTML Elements

HTML is a markup language which means that it is written with codes that can be read by a person, without needing to be compiled.

An HTML element is the opening tag that kicks off and tells the browser that everything between that and the closing tag in an HTML document.

For the full list of HTML elements use this index.

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WordPress Words: Avatar

An avatar is an important part of your online representation of yourself, usually a picture of you that shows up in places where you leave comments or forum posts.
WordPress.com Support | Avatars.

Example: He used a graphic of a purple penguin as his avatar on League Of Legends.

About The Word

The word avatar is from the Hindu language Sanskrit meaning descent. It’s translation refers to the English word “incarnation”, but towards more as appearance or manifestation.

How Avatars Are Used

An avatar is used to represent someone from behind a computer and/or gaming system. It is an image or an icon that symbolizes who the person is or wants to be. Avatars are commonly seen in multiplayer gaming like World of Warcraft, online communities like The Sims Online, or web forums like the one in WordPress. Avatars are also seen for users around the world to interact and chat without leaving their building.

A gaming forum for a game called Metal Gear Solid.

Dealing with the avatar settings.

see also WordPress Words: Gravatar
see also WordPress Words: Blavatar

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WordPress Words: Slug

A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page.
WordPress Codex.

Example: When a user is looking to increase their overall site traffic, they will customize their individual slugs to contain precise keywords to increase search engine optimization.

About the Word

Slugs are used in the permalink structure and are created by default in WordPress. If you do not choose to define the slug, it will be automatically generated using the title of the page or post, separating each word using hyphens. While the auto-generated permalink may contain some key words, WordPress has given the user the ability to set the slug to contain the most optimized key words.

You can edit the slug when you are editing a page or post as seen in the highlighted area below.

This is a screenshot from WordPress featuring where to change the slug.

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WordPress Words: Slug

The post slug is the user friendly and URL valid name of a post. Most common usage of this feature is to create a permalink for each post. WordPress automatically generates post slugs from a post’s title.
WPBeginner Glossary – Post Slug

Example post permalink: http://wordpress.org/development/2006/06/wordpress-203/

The slug for that post is wordpress-203.

Slugs are also used for post types, categories, tags, etc. Like post and page slugs, this is usually for creating URL friendly versions of these items.

The post slug, category slug, tag slug, Page slug, etc., are set by the Permalink structure in WordPress, customizable on self-hosted versions of WordPress through Settings > Permalinks

About The Word

Named for the lead used in typesetting. The lead was lowered into a heated container that melted the metal for pouring into forms like the Linotype typeset masters to form letters, words, or sentences as the technology improved. It also became the term for the space between paragraphs. The point system of measurement still used today in print and web design came from those days where typesetting was set in strips of 6-point led, and one line of Linotype equaled one piece of lead. Connecting the past with the present, the post slug is the line, label, or name of the web page when WordPress or a CMS is setup to display it in word form rather than numbers or conditionals.

In WordPress, the slug is a cleaned up set of the words used in the post, Page, category, or other pageview title. WordPress automatically cleans up punctuation and sets the words to lowercase so that Sally’s Pretty Dresses!” will become sallys-pretty-dresses.

To edit the slug of a post or Page, on the Edit Screen of that post or Page, click the Edit Slug or Edit next to the post title URL.

Some users edit long titles to shorten the permalink slug such as a post title “This is the Story, a Long Story, of How I Learned that WordPress was the Only Content Management System for Me” could be easily shortened to “WordPress is Only CMS for Me.” Others will edit the slug to a more SEO-friendly phrase the uses only the most important and relevant keywords, such as “WordPress CMS” for the above title.

Once published, the post slug should not be changed as it will results in a Page Not Found Error.

The slug for categories, tags, authors, and other generated pageviews in WordPress are set in the WordPress Theme through the use of template tags that automatically generate the pageview title, often based upon their names set through Posts > Categories or by the Author Username or Display Name settings.

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WordPress Words: Featured Image

A featured image represent the contents, mood, or theme of a post or page. Posts and pages can have a single featured image, which many themes and tools can use to enhance the presentation of your site.

With custom header images, you can display your own photo on your blog’s page headers. Featured images allow for even greater customization, giving you the option to display unique custom header images for specific posts and pages or set thumbnails for special features of your theme.
WordPress.com Support.

Example: A Featured Image is an image that is selected as the representative image for Post, Pages or Custom Posts.

About The Word

Featured images are used on some WordPress Themes to incorporate images into the site’s design. There are many ways this is done and the display and usage of featured images is set by the Theme. Read the Theme specifications and instructions for how to use it with your WordPress Theme.

Featured images are often displayed on the front page of the site above or next to the post title and post excerpt. Click the image or post title to access the image.

Some WordPress Themes use featured images along with a category called Featured or through the use of sticky posts to use featured images in sliders on the front page of the site. Others may use featured images to change the header image on a single post or Page pageview.

Social media sites, like Facebook, use images to highlight linked content. The usage of a featured image may be highlighted in social media posts depending upon how the WordPress Theme uses the featured images. If the featured image for the post is featured on the front page of the site and not the post itself, it will not appear in the social media stream. Only images on the post itself will appear. Check your Theme to see how this works.

To set the WordPress Featured Image feature on a WordPress site, edit a post. Look for Featured Image in the Post Edit Screen and click it to access the Media Manager to use an image already uploaded to the site or upload a new one.

This is a screen shot of the Media manager in the WP-Admin.

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WordPress Words: DNS

DNS translates internet domain and host names to IP addresses. DNS automatically converts the names we type in our web browser address bar to the IP addresses of the web servers hosting those sites. Bradley Mitchell – About Tech

Used in a Sentence

When I type wordpress.com into my web browsers address bar, DNS translates what I entered into an IP address on a WordPress server and then serves me the content stored on that server.

About the Word

The term DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS can be thought of as a translator between where a human thinks they are going to access information and what a computer needs to know to access the requested information. The DNS database is not stored on only one server, but is divided between many different servers that work together to resolve where to find information. A DNS server called the Root Server coordinates requests and resolves them to other DNS servers. Barry Brown explains the process in the following video.

What Is a Domain?

Before delving deeper into DNS the term Domain must be defined. A domain is part of every website address and contains many levels. The web address clark.edu/student/studentfile.html has the following levels: clark is the domain, student is a directory, and studentfile.html is a file within the student directory. The next level up divides the internet into domains based on the TLD or Top Level Domain. In the example of clark.edu/student/studentfile.html, .edu is the TLD. There are many TLDs such as .com, .edu, .net, and .org. The TLDs are managed by a non-profit corporation named ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) that is responsible for their creation and distribution.

DNS and TLDs

DNS is a hierarchy. The DNS Root Server stores DNS information from all the other DNS servers. In fact there are multiple servers that contain complete copies of the database so there is not a central point that can be accessed or attacked. The next lower level is that of TLDs. Each of the TLDs approved by ICANN has its own DNS server that coordinates with the Root Server for requests. Finally, DNS servers from ISPs, companies, and even individuals form the lower levels of the DNS hierarchy.

DNS and WordPress

As would be expected, a WordPress website behaves the same as any other website when it comes to DNS. If the website is hosted on WordPress.com., then the WordPress DNS servers handle the processing of internal requests. Self-hosted WordPress websites are a different matter. While it is not in the scope of this article to fully explain the DNS ramifications of a self-hosted WordPress website, the video below can act as a primer.

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WordPress Words: JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language commonly used in web development. It was originally developed by Netscape as a means to add dynamic and interactive elements to websites. While JavaScript is influenced by Java, the syntax is more similar to C and is based on ESMAScript, a Scripting language developed by Sun Microsystems.
TechTerms: JavaScript Definition

Example: A website that uses JavaScript has been proven to be more user-friendly by responding to the user’s commands more rapidly, and thus creating a more efficient site.

About The Word

JavaScript is a program that enables websites to be more interactive with the user. It continuously communicates with the server to quicken the responses, instead of having to wait for a whole new static page to load.

JavaScript is especially useful with online forms and can catch an error within a field before the user is able to proceed onto the next field. Online forms without JavaScript won’t catch an error until the whole form is completed and submitted to the server, in which case, the user will need to fill out the whole form again and resubmit.

JavaScript is also used for loading new images or scripts onto the webpage without having to refresh.

Though, not all visitors will have JavaScript, so you’ll need to make your site usable to those who do not have it installed on their computer.

JavaScript can be added to WordPress Themes, Child Themes, and template files. However, you’re not able to add JavaScript to your post content without a special Plugin.

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WordPress Words: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
Webopedia Terms: Search Engine Optimization (Optimizer) – SEO.

Example: One Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is to keep the content fresh and updated.

About The Word

Based on the search terms, search engines attempt to return the most relevant information available on internet. They have developed complex formulas or algorithms to evaluate the matches, rank them , and present the results. The higher the score, the closer to the top position of the first page it will be displayed.

The goal of most webpages is to have the content reviewed and encourage the reader to take a specific action. If search engines determine a low ranking value, it can be listed far beyond the top position/first page on the search engine results page (SERP).  The likelihood that it will be selected can be very low.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the a set of techniques used, both on and off the webpage, to assist the search engines with accurate evaluations of a webpage’s content and promote a high ranking.

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WordPress Words: Trackbacks

A trackback is one of four types of linkback methods for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents.
Wikipedia.

Example: If I’m writing about a subject, and I find an article that I think makes a bunch of good points about the issue, I can link to their page as usual. But if both my site and the owner of the linked site are trackback-enabled, then my link automatically creates a notification that will inform the linked site of the new connection. This notification also provides links back and forth between the two pages, allowing readers to easily follow related streams of information

About The Word

Trackbacks have been in use since 2002, and there are currently efforts to make it’s usage an internet standard through the IETF. Though trackbacks can be very helpful, many bloggers have stopped using them. This is mostly due to some companies who have abused the feature, linking to spam sites. Though spam filters exist, the headache of having to sift through spam has led to a decline of trackback usage. On WordPress, trackbacks must be created manually, this process is explained by the first “More Information” link below.

Here’s what a trackback looks like on a site:

A trackback displayed on a website.

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