Site Glossary

API: Acronym for “application programming interface” which is a means by which software can exchange information with internet services.

API Key: Code that can be used for two systems to talk to one another without sharing a username and password.

Child Theme: The creation of a “child theme” enables a theme to be customized without having those modifications overwritten by a theme update.

Customizer: Available via the WordPress admin interface by navigating to “Appearance > Customize,” the customizer offers a quick and easy way to configure global settings for one’s theme and site.

Default WordPress Theme: Theme that is displayed by default after a WordPress site is configured. It can be changed to another theme.

Domain name: A registered internet name which uniquely identifies your website. Users will enter this name into their browsers to reach your website. Learn more about domain names on WPBeginner.

Featured image: The main image for a post or page. How it is used varies by theme.

Freemium: Pricing strategy used by some businesses where select services are available for free while additional features are to be purchased.

Hex code: Combination of letters and numbers used to accurately describe a color for use in web design and by graphics programs.

Landing Page: These pages may have unique designs compared to other parts of the website. They often are not part of a site’s navigation and are only accessible via a link elsewhere, such as in an email. These special pages typically encourage site visitors to perform an action.

Login URL: Page that displays a username and password in order to see admin area of site. WPBeginner explains how to find your login URL.

Maintenance mode: Putting your website in a state where it is actively undergoing development and a special message is likely being shown to users instead of your work-in-progress.

Plugin: A software module that can be added to a WordPress website that adds new functionality.

Sidebar: A column of text and images that appear to the left or right of a wider body of text

“Splash” Screen or Page: This may be seen when visiting a site’s home page. A special page may be shown while a site is undergoing initial development or updating.

SSL Certificate: “Secure Sockets Layer” is often abbreviated as SSL. A digital file, SSL certificates authenticate a site’s identity and encrypts data. Free SSL certificates can be obtained through Let’s Encrypt. Learn more in our Do I need an SSL Certificate? article.

“Staging Environment”: Separate system where a site can be developed and tested without disrupting what site users are seeing or doing on the main site.

Widget: These are mini “chunks” of content. The number of widget areas varies from theme to theme. To access, go to “Appearance > Widgets” in the WordPress admin interface.

Theme: Code that defines what a website should look like.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL): Address for a web page that is typed into a browser’s address bar to access

Web host / web hosting service provider: Business offering services to enable a website to function.

WordPress: Open-source content management system used to created websites

Confused by a term used on the site? Check the site glossary for explanations on technical terms.
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