Content Management Systems, like WordPress, are set up to make creating a website or blog easy. However, many beginners find themselves struggling to do so. Most of the confusion is resolved once new users get used to the terminology. Below is a list of common questions about WordPress terminology and what they actually mean.
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is the overall layout of your website. Depending on which theme you pick there will be different formatting options that are available for you to choose from. Some structural components that are built into themes are menu structure, page templates, and widget locations. In most themes you can change things like fonts and colors fairly easily. Premium themes (themes you pay for) with page builders are the most flexible and make is extremely easy to customize.
What is a Widget?
Widgets are the pieces of content that are standard on every page. Widgets are commonly used in sidebars and footers. For example, on our blog pages, the widgets in the side bar are the Bauen Blog sign up (you should sign up), a search bar, recent posts, archives, and categories. You can edit the widgets from your dashboard by going to appearance>widgets. Then You can customize the widgets by dragging and dropping them under the specified sections. You can click on the widgets to further edit them.
What is a Feature Image?
A feature image is the banner image at the top of the blog post, portfolio item, or web page. On this post, it is the image at the top, directly below the title. In WordPress, you can add a feature image to any page by clicking feature image, located on the right hand side of the edit a page screen. For blog posts, it is the image that will display on the main blog page. In portfolio items, it is the picture that will be displayed on your main portfolio page, as seen in our client's Fun Abounds' portfolio below. Pick a picture that best represents what the entire page is about and will entice visitors to click through and read the post. Here is more info about how to create a great feature image for free.
What are Categories?
Categories are visible on the portfolio and blog pages. They help readers find more content that is related to that topic. For example this post's categories are small business, web design, and blogging.
What is a Parent?
The option to select a parent is located on the right side of the edit page view. This helps set up how the page will be organized and how the link will look. For example, for the Our Process page of our website, the parent page we selected was Website Design Services. This helps the search engines and users understand how your site is broken up. The process that page is referring to is our web design process so that is a logical parent for this page.
What is a Footer?
Similar to Word documents, the footer is the content at the bottom of the page. It is standard on every page. Most websites include a copyright as well as any other information that they want the person visiting the site to have quick access to. Common examples of this are contact info, hours of operation, about us, and social media follow buttons. It can be edited in the widgets section, as described above.
What is a Plugin?
Plugins are how you can add on functions that are not already in your theme. Common plugins include contact forms, page builders (plugins that give you the option to add additional formatting like columns), and newsletter sign ups. There are currently 48,658 plugins available to download on WordPress. Most of these plugins are free so the support may be limited. However, they are rated by users and you can see how many active installs each plugin has so you can find one that is dependable. You can try out new plugins from your dashboard by going to plugins>add new and searching for the functionality you are looking for.
What are Updates?
You may notice that a number will appear next to Updates on your dashboard. Themes, plugins, and WordPress itself will have updates every few months. The creators make updates to their products to introduce new features and to resolve bugs. Try and keep up with updates because if you fall too far behind features may stop working.
Have any more questions about WordPress terminology? Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below!
Why Partner With The Bauen Group?
The Bauen Group is a full-service tech and digital marketing company with services including mobile app and website development based in Houston, Texas. We focus on the unique needs of small to midsize businesses. The websites are built in a user friendly content management systems making it easy for your team to make updates or maintain a company blog. Our team focuses on your brand's personality to create a professional, modern, easy to navigate, conversion-focused website or mobile app that is structured to build brand loyalty and growing your market.