WordPress Semantics, Terminology

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WordPress was created by the developers like weblogging or blogging software. A blog, in the Codex Glossary, is an online journal, diary, or serial, published by a person or group of people. Many blogs are personal, reflecting the opinions and interests of the owner. But, blogs are now important tools in the world of news, business, politics, and entertainment.

Blogs are a form of a Content Management System (CMS). In Wikipedia it’s called “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 may 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. Recently the role of WordPress has expanded, WordPress developers have begun using the more general term site, in place of blog.

Content Terminology

The term Word in WordPress refers to the words that are used to compose posts. Posts are the principal element of a blog. The posts are the writings, compositions, discussions, discourses, musings, and, yes, the ratings of the blog’s owner and guest authors. Posts, in most cases, are the reason a blog exists!

To make the post writing process easier, 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.

Integral to a blog are the pictures, images, sounds, and movies, otherwise known as media. Media 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 which can be later attached to posts, and a Media Manager to manage those various Media.

An important part of the posting process is assigning those posts to categories. Each post in WordPress is filed under one or more categories. Categories may be hierarchical, where one category acts as a parent to several child, or grandchild, categories. Thoughtful categorization lets posts of similar content be grouped, thereby aiding viewers in the navigation, and use of a site. In addition to categories, terms or keywords called tags may be assigned to each post. Tags act as another navigation tool, but are not hierarchical. Both categories and tags are part of a system that’s called taxonomies. If categories and tags are not enough, users may also create custom taxonomies that allow more specific identification of posts or pages or custom post types.

Design Terminology

A WordPress Theme is the overall design of a site and encompasses color, graphics, and text. A Theme is sometimes called the skin or template, but it isn’t actually that. A skin and template are actually website paint jobs. A WordPress Theme is where code meets design, allowing a site to change based upon specific conditions that are set by the site administrator.

Installation of WordPress Themes is easy with the Themes Menu on the Administration Panels. Just search for a new Theme from within the official WordPress Theme Directory and activate it with a few clicks. You may also preview your site before installing and activating the Theme to see what your site will look like with that WordPress Theme.

At the core of WordPress, developers have created a programming structure named “The Loop” to handle the processing of posts. The Loop is the critical PHP program code used to display posts.

As the capabilities of WordPress have improved, developers added tools which allow users to easily manage a site’s look and functionality:

  • Widgets provide an easy way to add little programs, such as the current weather, to a sidebar.
  • Menus make it easy to define the navigation buttons that are typically present near the top of a site’s pages.
  • The Background tool allows the user to change the background image and color of a site.
  • The Header tool gives the user control of the images displayed at the top of a site’s various pages.
  • Post Formats allow the user to control the display of a specific post (i.e. display this post as an Aside or as a quote or as a gallery).

Administrator Terminology

A comprehensive set of Administration Panels enables users to easily administer and monitor their own blogs. A WordPress administrator has several 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 that are an important part of a blog’s connection to the outside world.

Some of the main administrative responsibilities of a WordPress blog are adding, deleting, and managing Registered Users. “Administering users” means controlling Roles and Capabilities, or permissions. Roles control what functions a registered user may perform as those functions can range from just being able to login at a blog to performing the role administrator.

Another main concern for the blog administrator is Comment Moderation. Comments 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 have to be patrolled for Spam and other malicious intentions. The WordPress Administration Comments SubPanel simplifies that process with easy-to-use screens that add, change, and delete Comments.

Help Terminology

The final set of terminology relates to helping you with WordPress. First and most important is the hanging Help tab that is displayed under each of the Administration SubPanels. That contextual help describes the function and use of the current SubPanel and provides links to other help topics. There are other help resources available to WordPress users; Getting More Help, Finding WordPress Help, Troubleshooting, and WordPress FAQ are good starting points. Also Getting Started with WordPress will jump-start readers into the world of WordPress and the excellent WordPress Lessons provide in-depth tutorials on many aspects of using WordPress. Among the most important resources is the WordPress Support Forum where knowledgeable volunteers answer your questions and help to solve any problems related to WordPress.

Hope this article was helpful for you, guys!

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