WordPress Dictionary: The Beginner’s Glossary to Get Started

WordPress Dictionary: The Beginner’s Glossary to Get Started

New to WordPress? All of the industry jargon and techy speak can be confusing if you don’t have a background in web design. To help ease beginners into the swing of things, WPBeginner launched a glossary back in 2013.

It’s filled with commonly used phrases and terms that might be useful to anyone creating a WordPress site (but that newbies might not be all that familiar with).

Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner.com, says the idea came to him in 2012 while he was chatting with an attendee at WordCamp Columbus. The woman, a beginner, said, “What is this widget thing that you’re talking about? It would be really nice if there was a dictionary (where) I can look up this WordPress lingo.”

The rest is history.

Here’s what you need to know about the WordPress glossary (and some of the most useful terms in it):

It’s Easy-to-Use

Like everything else on WordPress, the glossary is user-friendly and easy-to-understand. The terms are neatly laid out and organized in alphabetical order, and explanations are thorough.

For a true beginner, it’s a great resource that offers all of the information needed to get started on and truly understand WordPress.

What’s Included?

All-in-all, the WordPress Glossary contains roughly 125 frequently used words and phrases most commonly used on the platform. They even have a suggestion form, so if there’s some lingo you don’t understand but you can’t find it on the list, you can request that they add it.

Below are some of the entries we find most useful, in our own words (you can find the full explanations here if you want to read more):

Admin Area

The WordPress admin dashboard, also called the admin panel or admin area, is essentially the control panel for your entire WordPress site. Usually, it can be accessed through the wp-admin directory in your web browser.

For example: http://www.testsite.com/wp-admin/

If you have a WordPress website, the admin panel is where everything happens. From there, you can create and manage content, add and remove plugins, change themes, and much more.

Note: only the site admin has full access to the admin page. Other users, such as editors and contributors, will have limited capabilities.

Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system is exactly what it sounds like: it manages the creation and modification of digital content (including blogs, images, graphs, an so on). WordPress is the most widely-used CMS in the world, and not all systems are created equal. Features vary wildly from CMS to CMS, but most include web-based publishing, format management, history editing, indexing, and search.

Dedicated Hosting

A dedicated hosting service is sometimes referred to as a dedicated server. It is a server that is dedicated to one purpose, such as a website, and it can be set up in house or at an external location. Benefits include dedicated resources, unlimited customization options, greater security, and more uptime.

Navigation Menus

Navigation menus are customizable menus within your theme. Users can add pages, posts, categories and more to a page’s menu within your site. To access your menu editor, simply go to Appearance > Menus in your admin area.


WordPress plugins is software that can be uploaded to increase the functionality of a site. There are countless choices available in the WordPress Plugin Directory–many are free, but there are also ‘premium’, or paid, options. If you want to know what plugins can do–well, if you can imagine it, they can probably do. There is a plugin for everything from installing automatic website updates, to creating a shopping cart, to improving SEO.

Learn WordPress

For more lingo–including “sidebar”, “theme editor”, and “updates”–visit WPbeginner.com (as an added bonus, each definition links to other related articles that you may find useful!).

Tell us, what WordPress lingo have you found especially confusing?