Terms & Definitions

An accordion is a component which organizes content within collapsible items. Accordions allow complex content to be shown on one page by showing only one collapsed item at the same time.

The Admin Interface or Admin console in WordPress is often referred to as the “back end”. It is the administrative center of a WordPress site.

An API (Application Programming Interface), allows two applications to talk to each other.

The archive page is a template used to display posts by category, date, author or custom post type. It usually contains a teaser of each post with a read-me link to view the post.

Asset is a term referring to an item that is needed to successfully run a website or web application. For example the text content, CSS, JS, graphics, photographs, videos, audio files, and databases.

Breakpoints are where the layout of the template changes due to the screen size. Bootstrap uses breakpoint defined around device screen sizes such as mobile phone, tablet, and desktop for example

Caching is the term for storing reusable content in order to make subsequent requests for that content faster. Additional requests for cached content can be retrieved from a cache instead of sending the request all the way back to the web server for the content to be generated.

A carousel slider refers to a slideshow that displays elements such as images or text.  The purpose is to showcase or highlight relevant content.

A cloud server is not contained in a physical box but is a virtual server running in a cloud computing environment. It is created, hosted, delivered, and managed via the internet.

Combing assets is the process of taking many multiple CCS and JS files and creating a single or few CSS or JS files. This is done to reduce the number of HTTP requests and optimize page loading.

Comments provide a website’s visitors a platform to add their input on the topic, ask questions, and provide feedback.

The term compile has many meanings when it comes to applications.

When you compile C+ you are converting it to machine language. When Twig compiles a template it creates plain optimized PHP code.  Compared to regular PHP code, the overhead is reduced to the very minimum.

When referring to CSS, it is the process of taking LESS or SASS, which are languages that are processed into CSS. For example, Bootstrap 4.1 is written in SASS and the source files contain variables and mixins that are defined during the development process. The source files have to be compiled to CSS to be interpreted by a browser.  CSS can also be minified into a reduced file size by removing the whitespace, allowing it to be downloaded faster.  Sometimes when referring to compiled CSS, minification is implied.

When referring to compiling JavaScript, it really means bundling different modules, concatenating, and minifying the JavaScript.

A Component is “chunk of code” that creates a function that can be reused wherever you like.

CSS is used for styling a website as opposed to HMTL which is used to structure the website. CSS determines the layout, fonts, and colors.

A custom field is a feature in WordPress which allows additional information when writing a post or page. WordPress stores this information and the information can be displayed on the website through the template or theme.

Custom post types are content types like posts and pages. This allows the creation of other content that can be separated from the typical blog post.

A dedicated server is a server that is entirely dedicated to a person, business or application. All of the resources of a dedicated server are exclusive and not shared.

Elements are a specific part of a Web Component.

Emojis are visual representations of an emotion, object or symbol

The Featured Image or post thumbnail is an image that represents the contents of a post or page. It is usually displayed above the content of the post or page.

Fixed or “sticky” refers to the positioning of an element of a web page. If the element is fixed, it remains in the same position on the website during scrolling. An example would be a fixed top menu, where the menu is always at the top of the browser regardless of the movement of the content from scrolling up or down.

Font Awesome is a web font containing icons which are used to represent some content or a link. Examples would be a paint brush, a pointing finger, or a Facebook share.

The footer is the portion at the bottom of a web page or web component.

A framework is a reusable platform used to develop web applications, elements, and components. Frameworks include all the tools needed for the web development together such as dependencies, code libraries, compilers, API, and a toolset that bring them together to enable the development of an application

A function is a piece of code which takes input from different parameters. processes the information, and returns a value. The eliminates the need to code the processing of the information multiple times.

The hamburger menu gets its name from the hamburger icon on the menu which is used to expand or collapse the menu.

The header is the portion at the top of a web page or web component.

A hero image is a large web image, generally placed at the top of a web page. Being the first element visitors encounter, it represents the site’s purpose. Often the hero image is overlayed with text or other elements to help convey its message.

An HTML sitemap assists site visitors in navigating a website. It is a bulleted outline text version of the site navigation. It is not to be confused with the XML site map which is submitted to search engines so they can crawl the website in a more effective manner.

JavaScript is a Client-side Scripting Language. It is support by modern browsers. The code is placed inside the web page, and the browser loads and runs the code. Its purpose is to enhance the user experience. For example, validating forms, menu drop downs, animations and much more.

Developed by Google, mod_pagespeed is an open-source Apache HTTP Server or Nginx webservers module, which automatically applies chosen filters to pages and associated assets, to optimize the performance of a website.

A news feed is a data format used to provide users with frequently updated content.

Pages should be considered a static document. They are not integrated with any type of ordering like posts are such as category or date. Examples would be Home or About Us.

“A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress.”

Often this functionality comes at a cost.  Higher resource usage will cause slower page loading speeds. Read more about this issue.

Posts and Articles key purposes are to keep updating your site with new content. Posts are usually associated with blogs and are sorted by date, like a journal entry. Articles refer to a type of post where they are usually sorted by category. There are also custom post types like events, staff, and terms to just name a few.

A retina display refers to a display or monitor that has a resolution and pixel density so high (300 pixels/inch or more) that the human eye can not distinguish individual pixels at a normal viewing distance.

Due to the higher pixel density, web images should also be optimized for retina delivery, which requires that the image be 2x the size of the image for a normal display.

Shadows are effects used to create a separation between different elements. It adds depth and visual cues.

A shared server is where multiple websites, each having a different domain name, reside on the same physical server. The name comes from the fact that each website shares the resources of the same machine. There are usually controls set where one website’s resource usage is not allowed to affect the performance of the other sites. Shared hosting is a less expensive way to maintain a Web presence, it is not intended for high traffic sites.

The srcset is an HTML attribute where you tell the browser which image to load based on the screen-sizes, device orientation, and display-types. When used in conjunction with the size attribute, the browser does not have to make a choice, it loads the exact image it is told to.

A teaser is a short part of the post/article content. It is usually a small portion of the beginning of the post or article. Its purpose is to “tease” a visitor into viewing the whole article or post. These teasers are usually shown on an archive page.

The viewport is the visible area of a web page and it varies with the device and will be smaller on a mobile phone than on a computer screen

A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a “server running in a larger server”. The main server is segmented into smaller virtual servers through software. Each VPS is isolated from the others.

Each VPS can run its own operating system and is configured separately.

WebP is a modern image format providing superior optimization for images delivered on the web. This image format creates smaller, richer images that make the web faster.