How to Speak WordPress

What the heck are you talking about?A Glossary of Common WordPress Terms

A glossary of common WordPress terms is a handy tool to have on hand when you talk to your website consultant or developer. Here are some of the most common.

Theme: A theme is a set of PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript files that together create the functionality and look of your website.

Child Theme: A child theme is based on a pre-existing theme, but changes it in various ways. Creating a child theme is much less time consuming than writing a theme from scratch. It has the further advantage of not needing to be maintained by your original developer over time. When the parent theme is updated or fixed, so is your child theme. It is therefore important to base it on a reputable and well maintained parent theme.

Templates: The PHP files in your theme create the layout of a section of your site. There is a template that creates the home page, for example, and others that create the sidebars, footers, individual post views, etc.

Pages: Pages are the ‘static’ elements of your website. They contain information that is not often changed and that give the visitor the basic information about your website. “About Us’ and ‘Contact’ for example are pages. Pages are usually accessible from the navigation bar. They don’t have categories or tags associated with them.

Posts: Articles that you write over time and that appear in a ‘feed’ are posts. In the feed you will usually see excerpts of your posts in chronological order. Clicking on one of them will show you the post in its entirety in a new view. Posts can be organized in categories or by tags.

Frontend: The frontend is what the visitor will see when visiting your site.

Backend, Dashboard, and Administrative Area: These various terms are used to refer to the area where administrators and authors create the contents of a website. You have to be a registered user and have the right kind of access privileges to see this section of the website.

Mockup: Designers create realistic mockups of sections of your website to simulate what the eventual site will look like. Any changes in design should happen when the mockups are reviewed and before the design is implemented in the website.

Widgets: Widgets are readymade pieces of code. From within the WordPress administrative area (Appearance -> Widgets), they can be dragged into a sidebar, footer or custom widgeted area. There are a variety of widgets available in WordPress by default, such as a list of pages, a list of categories, recent posts, or a list of links. There is also a text widget that allows you to add text or an image to your sidebar. There are many more widgets available as plugins.

Plugins: Plugins add functionality to your website. They may consist of a single file or consist of many files that act in concert. Plugins reside in the plugins folder and can be updated and activated from within the plugins section of the administrative area of your site.

What other WordPress words would you like to know about?

Create your own app!

create-your-own-appConduit Mobile has a great solution to many people’s desire to have their own app. They’ve created a fun web-based tool that will add as much or as little functionality as you like.

I played around with their web-based creation tool today and was really happy with my results. It’s a simple tool for individual publishers to make apps out of their content and is aimed at larger blogs and businesses like restaurants, musicians, events, etc.

If you have a simple blog or are just starting out, you should do a cost/benefit analysis before you jump in. Actually, you should ALWAYS do one before adding something new. (Yes, I know I don’t practice what I preach…)  😉  If you don’t bring in enough to cover the monthly fee, put this one on the back burner until you are.

It’s a great solution for a quick and easy custom app for iPhone (5, 4S, 4), iPad, Android, and HTML 5. The developers are also working to add Windows Phone to the list. They’ve thought of everything!

Conduit Mobile has three levels of subscription. The free level is only for 5 users and if you’re planning to grow your business in 2014…that’s not for you. The next level is $39 a month and includes their branding on the app. The third level is $99 a month and includes the removal of their branding (aka ‘white label’) as well as the ability to change the content hosting to your own domain.

PS – I didn’t finish my app yet, so don’t go looking for it…I have to do my own cost/benefit analysis!