WordPress was created by the developers as weblogging or blogging software. A blog, as defined in the Codex Glossary, is an online journal, diary, or serial, published by a person or group of people. Many blogs are personal in nature, reflecting the opinions and interests of the owner. But, blogs are now important tools in the world of business, politics, and entertainment.
Blogs are a form of a Content Management System (CMS) which Wikipedia calls “a system used to organize and facilitate collaborative content creation.” Both blogs and Content Management Systems can perform the role of a website (site for short). A website can be thought of as a collection of articles and information about a specific subject, service, or product, which may not be a personal reflection of the owner.
Terminology Related to Content
The term Word in WordPress refers to the words used to compose posts. Posts are the principal element (or content) of a blog. The posts are the writings, compositions, discussions, discourses, musings, and, yes, the rantings of the blog’s owner and guest authors. Posts, in most cases, are the reason a blog exists; without posts, there is no blog!
To facilitate the post writing process, WordPress provides a full featured authoring tool with modules that can be moved, via drag-and-drop, to fit the needs of all authors. The Dashboard QuickPress module makes it easy to quickly write and publish a post. There’s no excuse for not writing.
Integral to a blog are the pictures, images, sounds, and movies, otherwise know as media. Media enhances, and gives life to a blog’s content. WordPress provides an easy to use method of inserting Media directly into posts, and a method to upload Media that can be later attached to posts, and a Media Manager to manage those various Media.
An important part of the posting process is the act of assigning those posts to categories. Each post in WordPress is filed under one or more categories. Categories can be hierarchical in nature, where one category acts as a parent to several child, or grandchild, categories. Thoughtful categorization allows posts of similar content to be grouped, thereby aiding viewers in the navigation, and use of a site. In addition to categories, terms or keywords called tags can be assigned to each post. Tags act as another navigation tool, but are not hierarchical in nature.
In turn, post categories and tags are two of the elements of what’s called post meta data. Post meta data refers to the information associated with each post and includes the author’s name and the date posted as well as the post categories.
Generally, meta means “information about”; in WordPress, meta usually refers to administrative-type information. So, besides post meta data, Meta is the HTML tag used to describe and define a web page to the outside world, like meta tag keywords for search engines.
After a post is made public, a blog’s readers will respond, via comments, to that post, and in turn, authors will reply. Comments enable the communication process, that give-and-take, between author and reader. Comments are the life-blood of most blogs.
Pages often present static information, such as “About Me”, or “Contact Us”, Pages. Typically “timeless” in nature, Pages should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called posts. Interestingly, a Page is allowed to be commented upon, but a Page cannot be categorized.
Terminology Related to Design
Templates and Template Tags are two of the pieces used in the composition of a WordPress Theme. A Theme is the overall design of a site and encompasses color, graphics, and text. A Theme is sometimes called the skin.
Plugins are custom functions created to extend the core functionality of WordPress.
Terminology for the Administrator
Another set of terms to examine are those involving the Administration of a WordPress site. A comprehensive set of Administration Panels enables users to easily administer and monitor their blog. A WordPress administrator has a number of powers which include requiring a visitor to register in order to participate in the blog, who can create new posts, whether comments can be left, and if files can be uploaded to the blog. An Administrator also defines Links and the associated Link Categories which are an important part of a blog’s connection to the outside world.
Some of the main administrative responsibilities of a WordPress blog involve adding, deleting, and managing Registered Users. Administering users means controlling Roles and Capabilities, or permissions. Roles control what functions a registered user can perform as those functions can range from just being able to login at a blog to performing the role administrator.
Another chief concern for the blog administrator is Comment Moderation. Comments, also called discussions, are responses to posts left for the post author by the visitor and represent an important part of “the give and take” of a blog. But Comments must be patrolled for Spam and other malicious intentions. The WordPress Administration Comments SubPanel simplifies that process with easy-to-use screens which add, change, and delete Comments.