The most important WordPress terms explained

WordPress is a good means for beginners to create their own website or their first blog. The installation is not complicated, the set-up is self-explanatory, and the sites can be extended and customized. If you do get stuck, WordPress’s large community will be glad to help you. But the numerous forums, video tutorials, and instructions aren’t of much use when one fundamental aspect is missing: the vocabulary. We have compiled a list of the 10 most important WordPress terms that every WordPress newbie should know:

Back end & front end

There are two important basic terms you will always find in a WordPress glossary: back end and front end. Every CMS, as well as every blog software, generally has both front end and back end areas. The term front end describes the part that the user sees. This also includes the interface of the site with all its visible content, the layout, and the design. The back end, however, is invisible to the user and can only be accessed by the site’s webmaster. The coding, including the design specifications of a WordPress site, can be found in the back end.


The core is the basic structure of a WordPress installation. You will receive this core content when you download the blog system. This basic structure can be transformed into a unique and complete site by customizing and installing themes and plugins as well as creating content.


FTP (“File Transport Protocol“) is a data transfer protocol that allows files to be exchanged between two different computers independently of which operating systems are being used. Data uploads and downloads can be controlled through the browser or special programs like FileZilla.  WordPress users always uses FTP when files are to be transferred from local PCs to the web space. Migrating servers or creating backups are examples of processes that require FTP.


MySQL is an open source database management system (DMS) and is offered by most internet providers as a server database. Data can only be added, expanded, or accessed with a DMS therefore making it the basis for every dynamic web presence. Without MySQL a WordPress blog is basically not possible.

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A permalink is a hyperlink in an article or post that permanently links to a website. You can define the structure of the links for your WordPress site under settings/permalinks in the admin area. The article name can be used for generating links, the contents can be numbered, or a simple ID can be provided for clear identification.


PHP is a script language or a programming language that is used to write websites. WordPress is based on PHP. Its broad database support and protocol integration as well as the availability of many function libraries makes PHP one of the most widely used script languages.


Plugins offer users additional features and the option of expanding the core of their WordPress site. The Plugin Directory contains an overview of all available plugins and can be installed through the admin area. Administration, deactivation and deletion also take place through the admin area as do the regular updates of each individual plugin.


Numerous keywords or ‘tags‘ can be added to every WordPress article to help categorize it. Individual topics can be classified with the help of these keywords. The use of tags is optional.


Themes are design templates for WordPress sites and can be found on the main WordPress website. You will find a large selection of free themes ranging from simple blog designs to business layouts. Other designs are available for purchase. You can activate a new theme by going to the design/themes part of the menu. There is also the possibility of creating your own theme or customizing an existing theme to make the design fit your needs better. Knowledge of HTML, CSS as well as the PHP basics puts you at an advantage.


Widgets are individual elements that can be directly integrated into the sidebar or the footer of the site. Classic widgets are, for example, a calendar, a display of the newest articles as well as their comments, or a text input field with a search function. Widgets can be managed through the admin area and can be placed wherever using the drag and drop feature.