WordPress Glossary Terms–Episode 2
Every beginner blogger knows how tough this whole WordPress thing can be sometimes. Even though WordPress is commonly known as the easiest CMS to use and blogging platform, there are still many things about it that need to be explained. Are you puzzled by strange WordPress terms or abbreviations? Are you looking for a WordPress dictionary that explain these WordPress terms in plain english ? Then you are at the right place. Below you can see short descriptions for basic terms related to WordPress.
Apache is the most widely used web server software. Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation, Apache is an open source software available for free. It runs on 67% of all webservers in the world. It is fast, reliable, and secure. It can be highly customized to meet the needs of many different environments by using extensions and modules. Most WordPress hosting providers use Apache as their web server software. However, WordPress can run on other web server software as well.
What is a Web Server?
Wondering what the heck is a web server? Well a web server is like a restaurant host. When you arrive in a restaurant, the host greets you, checks your booking information and takes you to your table. Similar to the restaurant host, the web server checks for the web page you have requested and fetches it for your viewing pleasure. However, A web server is not just your host but also your server. Once it has found the web page you requested, it also serves you the web page. A web server like Apache, is also the Maitre D’ of the restaurant. It handles your communications with the website (the kitchen), handles your requests, makes sure that other staff (modules) are ready to serve you. It is also the bus boy, as it cleans the tables (memory, cache, modules) and clears them for new customers.
So basically a web server is the software that receives your request to access a web page. It runs a few security checks on your HTTP request and takes you to the web page. Depending on the page you have requested, the page may ask the server to run a few extra modules while generating the document to serve you. It then serves you the document you requested. Pretty awesome isn’t it.
Autosave is a feature in WordPress which automatically saves changes made to a post, page, or custom post type. It works on the?Post Edit?screen. Since version 3.6, WordPress also takes advantage of the local storage feature of user’s browser so that changes can be saved even if a user loses internet connectivity. This feature is extremely important and useful because it prevents the risk of losing data. For example, if you were working on a post and your browser crashed all the sudden, then your work will not be lost (thanks to autosave).
The term Administration Screens is used to describe different sections of WordPress admin area. The reason for using the term screen and not pages is to prevent users from confusing an admin screen from?Pages?(post type) which can be created, edited and removed by users.
Administration Screens have a horizontal menu bar on top and vertical menu bar on the left side. The top bar or the admin bar has quick links to different administration and user tasks. The top bar contains summary information for things like comments and may show useful links from installed plug-ins, along with the sitename and link to homepage. You may also see the Admin bar display on the front end of your website. Don’t worry, this is only visible to you, not your users. The admin sidebar on the left has tabs to different administrative screens of WordPress. Most these tabs have sub menus called sub panels.
From the administration screens, users can control just about every aspect of WordPress short of editing PHP Code. The screen is similar for users as well as site administrators. The options for site administrators are much more expanded and they have access over everything while user accounts only have access to their own profile settings, and, depending on the access level of the user, they may also have the ability to create, edit, and remove posts, as well as publish or save them as draft. Users can also edit template files and the CSS code for the website’s template to adjust things like fonts, colors, and other formatting options found in template files. Plugin settings and options also show up under the left panel for many plugins.
Sometimes referred to as the file path or full path, the absolute path is the location of a directory or file in a computer. It contains the root directory as well as all other sub directories that contain the file or directory. Paths are used extensively in operating systems to represent file and directory relationships. They are also necessary to the operation of the internet and form the basis of URLs.
In addition to absolute paths, there are also relative paths. These define the location of a file relative to your working directory, or the directory you are currently located in. Absolute paths use a root directory that is usually at the top of the file tree. This means that no matter what directory you are currently in you can always use this path to locate a resource on the system.
To give you some examples, in Linux and Unix based operating systems and web servers the absolute path usually starts with a forward slash. Each directory is then separated by forward slashes.
The admin bar is a floating bar that contains useful administration screen links such as add a new post, see pending comments, edit your profile etc. It can be extended by plugins to add additional functionality for example SEO and more. The admin bar was added to WordPress in version 3.1. For registered users, admin bar is turned on for both viewing the site or the WordPress admin area (Dashboard). However, you can turn it off by going to Users Your Profile.
bbPress is free, open source forum software built on top of WordPress. It can be installed as a WordPress plugin into a WordPress powered website. Unlike older forum software, it is not clunky and doesn’t take up a lot of resources. This means it is easier to add a forum to your WordPress site and still keep the simplicity and extensibility of WordPress. It has the ability to create multisite forums, it has customizable templates, and built in support for preventing spam.
bbPress started because miniBB was too bloated for the WordPress support forums. In 2004 the WordPress team decided to code a completely new forum system from the ground up. It was first published on WordPress.org and since then it has been turned into a plugin.
Because it is a plugin, bbPress offers an easy way to add a forum to a WordPress website. It works with most standard compliant WordPress themes. The most popular open source software platforms are usually resource intensive and it is not easy to integrate them into a WordPress website. bbPress solves this problem. It is light weight and can easily blend into a WordPress theme. It was created by the same people who created WordPress so it follows the same principle of keeping things small and lightweight. It is also very extensible and capable of handling custom forums easily. There are also very active support forums with contributors willing to help fix issues and bugs.
Backlink is a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website’s prominence in search engine results. This is why they are considered very useful for improving a website’s SEO ranking. Search engines calculate rankings using multiple factors to display search results. No one knows for sure how much weight search engines give to backlinks when listing results, however what we do know for certain is that they are very important.
Backlinks should be natural, this means that a website must not use artificial ways to create backlinks for their own websites. The quality of links is far more important than the quantity.
Website A is a restaurant and it gets a backlink from Website B which is a prominent food review blog or website. This is a valuable, natural, and relevant backlink that Website A has gained.
Due to the importance of backlinks, there are lots of bad practices followed by website owners to gain backlinks. Some of these bad practices are: purchasing backlinks, link exchange networks, selling backlinks, etc. Most of these practices are not recommended by search engines. They usually deindex and penalize websites suspected of involvement in such practices.
Think of backlinks as conversations among websites.
A blogger John Doe writes a very interesting article about a sports event. Another blogger Samantha Smith doesn’t agree with John’s article and writes about it in another article for an online magazine. She links to John’s article, so that her readers can understand both point of views. John’s blog gets a valuable backlink. On the other hand, Samantha’s article gets popular and many other websites link to her article.
Samantha’s website gets many new backlinks. Even though John only got one backlink for his article, the value of his backlink is increased by the backlinks Samantha’s article generated.
World Wide Web, or “the web” for short, is a network of web pages connected to each other via hyperlinks. Each hyperlink connecting to a new document adds to the overall growth of the web. Search engines make it easier for you to find these web pages. A web page linked by many other web pages on the similar topics is considered more respectful and valuable. In the above example, John’s article gets the respect for sparking a conversation that resulted into many other web pages linking to each other. So backlinks are not only important for a website to gain respect, they are also important for search engines and the overall health of the entire world wide web.
WordPress admin dashboard also has a widget titled?Incoming Links. This widget displays links to the website from other websites, particularly blogs. It uses Google’s blog search results to show the links. There are other free backlink checker tools available online which can be used to see how many pages are linking to a particular page.