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What does that mean?

WordPress as a platform is ah-mazing!  If you follow us at all, you’ll know that it’s what we use to build all of the websites in our business.

But I have to admit, it has some pretty weird terminology that may seem intimidating if you’re just getting started.

No worries because I’ve got you covered with our cheat sheet of some of the most common terms and what they mean.

Want to see them in action?

Check out our recent Facebook Live here:

Here they are in no particular order!

Dashboard/Backend/Admin Area

These all mean pretty much the same thing.  It’s the part of your website that you see after you’ve logged into WordPress.  You reach that area by


This is the person with the highest control of your site. Be super careful who you give admin rights to because that person has full access to everything on your site!


Most people think of a blog as a place where people write stuff that other people will follow. In WordPress, your “blog” on your website is the place where you have content that’s usually displayed in chronological order. It can be tips and tricks, like we have on our website. Or it can be random thoughts or thoughts about one particular subject. It could be news articles or even embedded videos.

A blog can be whatever you want it to be but it’s content that typically changes and is added to over time.


A theme in WordPress can be thought of like a template. There are free themes and premium themes, which are the ones you pay for.

There are other terms that you may hear that involve themes, such as Default Theme. A default theme is simply the theme that’s preinstalled when you first install WordPress.  As of this writing, the “default theme” is the 2019 Theme.

You may also hear the terms Parent Theme or Child Theme. A Parent Theme is the main theme that you choose for your website. It has ALL of the files that are needed to make the theme work. 

But sometimes you need to make changes to some of the theme’s files in order to customize them to your liking. The problem is that if you make those changes to the Parent Theme and then the theme developer has an update to the theme, your changes may be overridden when you apply the update.

A Child Theme solves that problem. You can create a Child Theme of the Parent Theme (a great plugin to use for that is the Child Theme Configurator) and that’s where you’ll make your custom changes.


Stands for “Cascading Style Sheets”.   No, it’s not a waterfall! CSS controls your website’s style: page layouts, colors, and fonts are all determined with CSS. 

Featured Image

A featured image is an image you can upload on a specific page or post. That image is used in different ways, depending on the theme. The featured image is usually what’s displayed when you post a link to your website page or blog post on Facebook, among other things.


This is the top part of your website!


This is the bottom area of your website!


A plugin in WordPress is something that you upload to your website through the dashboard that adds additional functionality to your website.  I like to think of them the same way as an app for your phone. Need a calendar on your site? You can search for a calendar “plugin” to add!

Just like they say there’s an app for that…there’s usually a plugin for that!


A shortcode is code that the developer may have built into the theme or plugin that you’re using. This code can be added to a page and it displays something. 

For instance, let’s say you installed Gravity Forms on your website to create a contact form. You create the form and then Gravity Forms gives you this little bit of code to paste on the page that may look something like this:

[  gravityform id=”” title=”false” description=”false”  ] 


I think the term “widget” is the funniest one of all the WordPress terms.

A widget is a block of content or a feature that you can place in a specific predefined area on your website.  Most of the time widgets are placed in sidebars, but they can also be in footers, headers and other areas.

The areas that are “widgetized” are defined by the theme you’re using.


This is simply content that runs down the side of your website page. It’s either on the left or the right.

Domain Name

So a domain name is not unique to WordPress but it’s worth adding to the list!  Your domain name is just the name of your website or your URL, such as 

There you have it! Hopefully we demystified some of the common WordPress terms for you (and now you have something to toss out at the next cocktail party and impress all your friends!)

If you have any WordPress terms to add to the list, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

Until next time!



Hi... I'm Donna, owner of MavroCreative and creator of the BYO Website Online Course. I'm also the proud mom to twin girls, who have recently made me an empty-nester (tear wipe!)I've helped hundreds of female entrepreneurs just like you (and me!) build their own website without the tech overwhelm.If you're ready to start your next chapter and need a website to showcase your dream business to the world, be sure to check out my FREE workshop!Get all the details here.

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