Being Freed
Being Freed
Being Freed

WordPress & Website Glossary

A comprehensive and growing glossary of terms used in WordPress websites, SEO, responsiveness, accessibility, excerpts, posts . . .
WordPress & Mailchimp Glossary - DRM, Snippet, Audience, Referring Domain, .svg, Theme, SEO, Canonical URL, Featured image, with the Being Freed seagull, looking on

Use your Words!

As I write these posts, I find that I’m amassing quite a glossary of terms.  Always one for organizing, I can’t help but dedicated a post to words, words, words.  If you’re curious about a term that’s not here, email me from the button below and I’ll look into it.  This list will continue to grow, as we all do. 

WordPress & SEO Glossary

Accessibility – focuses on assuring that people with disabilities can use websites easily.  Best practices include using Headings, Alt Descriptions, and images visible with various types of colorblindness.  
Click here for info on Headings and Accessibility
Click here for more info on images and Accessibility
Click here for more info on colorblindness and website images.

Administrator – a WordPress user who has access to all the administration features within a single site.  Admins and Super Admins set permissions for Editors, Authors, Contributors, and Subscribers.

Alternative (Alt) text – copy that you attach to an image in your website.  It is used by screen readers, which are (in turn) used by people with sight limitations.   Click here for more info.

Anchor text – copy used for/as a hyperlink.  It’s usually underlined, and sometimes blue or another color to indicate that it’s a hyperlink.

Archive – a collection of posts

Aspect ratio – a term used for images, indicating the relation of the height to its width, written as height-x-width or height:width.  Click here for more info.

Atom feed – a syndication of digital content.  Click here for more info.

Author – a WordPress user who can publish and manage their own posts

Backend – the part of your site that users can’t see; the nuts and bolts that make it. It’s like the backstage of a theatre.

Backend performance – the time it takes the server to deliver your files

Backlink – a hyperlink that appears in someone else’s page or post and leads to your website. They’re (usually, mostly) good for your SEO.  Click here for more info.

Bitmap image – an image made up of pixels that contain data.  Click here for more info.

Block – the content components of a page or post, such as heading, paragraph, image, imbed, quote, etc.

Blog – a word derived from “web log”, which was shortened to “blog”.  It’s a modern-day captain’s log, Jim. 

Bounce – to leave a website without taking action

Breadcrumbs – a trail that indicates your place on a website: little word maps showing where a page lands in your site’s hierarchy.  Click here for more info.

Break point – a screen width at which a page changes the way it formats content.  Click here for more info.

Caching – data storage located in little pockets along the chain between your web search and the server a site is stored on. It decreases page load time.  Click here for more info.

Canonical tag – an identifier used for multiple posts or pages containing similar content. It tells search engines which one to prioritize.  Click here for more info.

Caption – the copy that appears attached to a picture, generally appearing under the image.  Click here for more info.

Carbon footprint – the amount of carbon compounds emitted by a person or entity, based on their activities.  Click here for more info.

Category – a broad system of taxonomy which describes the highest-level of classification.  Generally used for posts, categories are hierarchical so you can build subcategories.

Clear your cache – deleting all data in a cache.  Because there may be multiple caches associated with a page or post, only some caches are in your control.  Internet browsers and phone apps are good caches to clear regularly.  Click here for more info.

Click depth – the number of clicks it takes to get from your home page to the desired page

Color blindness simulator – software that tests how graphics will look to people with different variations in sight.  Click here for more info.

Compressing – fitting a ten-pound cat into a five-pound box

Content – everything a user sees when they visit your website, i.e., words and images

Contributor – a WordPress user who can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them

Conversion – the point at which a marketing goal is met, i.e., a product sale or a newsletter sign-up

Cookies – little bits of information servers store on your computer, tablet, phone, or other device, to help a website function properly.  Click here for more info.

Cornerstone content – the central information on your website: your most important pages and posts.  Also called Evergreen content.

Crawl budget – the amount of time/resources search engines put into crawling your website. Click here for more info.

Crawlability – the ease with which search engines can scan your page and understand its purpose.  Learn more here.

Crawling – the act of surveying sites so search engines can organize them into the system.  Learn more here.

Database – the files that make up your website: words, images, videos, etc.

Data center – a building where servers are stored which, in turn, store data

Dead end page – a page that has no outbound links

Decorative images – purely aesthetic images, such as a beach in the background. These are not given alt text, captions, or descriptive text.

Deep link – a link pointing to page or content that isn’t the home page

Deep link ratio – the ration of the number internal of links on your site that lead to your home page vs the number that lead elsewhere on your site

Description – a narrative of what is in an image, i.e., “a woman standing on a paddleboard, playing a ukelele and singing”.  Click here for more info.

Domain Authority – the level of trust search engines place in a site.  A site with high domain authority is very trusted. 

Domain name – what you call your website: in my case, it’s “”.  Click here for more info.

DPI – dots per inch, used for describing some images. Click here for more info.

Editor – a WordPress user who can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users

Editorial link – a hyperlink that leads from one website to another without the destination website asking or paying for it.  The Knowledge is power section at the bottom of this page is a collection of editorial links.  Also called a natural link.

Evergreen content – the central information on your website: your most important pages and posts.  Also called Cornerstone content.

Excerpt – a sentence or two that summarizes a page or post:  a synopsis of sorts.  Also called a meta description or snippet.  Yes, this is not the traditional way to use this word, but what can I say?  Someone at WordPress decided to use it and we’re stuck with it.

External link – a hyperlink that leads viewers to an outside place, such as a website or document.  Click here for more info.

Featured image – a picture or graphic which you assign to represent a post or page.  It appears in social media and search engine results.  Click here for more info.

File size – used in reference to images, indicating how many kb, mb, or gb the file is.  Click here for more info.

Focus Keyphrase – one to two words that more precisely define the purpose of a specific page or post.  Click here for more info.

Frontend performance – how much optimization you build into your site by making choices during your build

Functional images – icons such as print or share buttons. These should get alt text that describes what the button does, not what it looks like.

Gutenberg –’s interface for building a website

Hamburger menu – a menu that is represented by an icon, usually with three horizontal lines.  It’s often used in mobile layouts to save space.

Handshake – a term used with SSLs and TSLs describing the action of securing data as it moves through the internet.  You would say, “SSL handshake”, or “TSL handshake” to indicate that the host and device have communicated the data securely.

Hardware – the physical components of a computer

Head term – the primary topic of a blog or website

Headings – like headings in any other document, but on web pages they are HTML-coded elements that indicate the hierarchical structure of the page or post content.  Headings are used by search engines and page readers and are an important part of organizing content.  WordPress recognizes 6 levels (H1, H2, H3, etc.), H1 being most important.  Click here for more info.

Host – a company that provides software and storage for a site’s files.  It’s like a smart filing cabinet that allows browsers to access a site.  Click here for more info.

HTMLHypertext Markup Language – the language used to build web content

HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol – the method of communication that web servers and the internet use to communicate with each other; also, the first part of any website domain name

HTTPS – a more secure version of HTTP, a must for any website that wants to be taken seriously

Hyperlink – a link that connects you to a place or thing, such as a website, a .pdf, or a place on a page.  Click here for more info.

Image SEO – the practice of sizing, compressing, formatting, and labeling images.  Click here for more info.

Image size – an image’s actual dimensions in inches, cm, or pixels.  Click here for more info.

Inbound link – a hyperlink that directs someone to the current space, i.e., to the website you’re currently on.  “Inbound link” is synonymous with “backlink”.

Informative images – pictures and graphics that convey part of the message of the page or post.  These usually get alt text and a description, at least.

Internal link – a hyperlink that leads viewers to another place within the same website or document

JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is a JavaScript markup language used to build structured data

JPG – Joint Photographic Expert Group – pixel-based image files that use “lossy” compression so image quality decreases when you zoom in on them, so it’s important to size them properly.  Click here for more info.

Keyphrase – a synonym of keyword

Keyword – a word that indicates the intent of your page or post, also called a keyphrase or search term.  A page or post may have multiple keywords.  Click here for more info.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – the time it takes for the main content of a web page to load

Lazy load – this tool speeds up page load speeds by only loading the images that the viewer can see on a screen.  Until the viewer scrolls down, the images are not loaded.  Like a time-release capsule, content rolls out over time, which results in faster load times.

Link – short for a hyperlink

Link quality – the SEO value of a link.  Links that come from reputable and popular websites, or sites whose subjects are the same as yours, are of higher quality than links that come from obscure sites or sites whose purpose does not align with yours. 

Local SEO – focuses on making sure that people in your geographical location know that you’re nearby and open for business.  Local SEO includes on- and off-page methods.  Click here for more info.

Long-tail keywords – a phrase of (usually) three to five words in length that more precisely describes your product or service.  Unlike the focus keyphrase, long-tail keywords are used in the body of the page/post.  Click here for more info.

Lossy compression – a method of file compression that makes the file smaller but sacrifices image quality.  Click here for more info.

Malware – malicious software that hackers use to enact their ass-hattery

Markup language – code used to tell a computer how to display content, such as fonts and sizes to display headers, paragraphs, and dot lists

Meta description – a sentence or two that summarizes a page or post:  a synopsis of sorts.  Also called a snippet or excerpt.

Metadata – data that is about data.  Used in SEO, it is often code you add to your website to work in the background to help search engines better understand your content.

Natural link – a link that leads from one website to another without the destination website asking or paying for it.  The Knowledge is power section at the bottom of this page is a collection of editorial links.  Also called an editorial link.

Off-page SEO – includes everything that you do to draw people to your website.  This includes paid advertising, increasing your presence on social media, networking, and using QR codes and printed materials. Click here for more info.

On-page SEO – tools and techniques you use in your pages and posts to boost your SEO.  This can include content, design, keywords, site speed, accessibility, snippets, and featured images.  Click here for more info.

Organic traffic – website traffic that comes to your site from non-paid sources

Orphaned content – pages or posts that have no internal links pointing to them. 

Outbound link – a hyperlink that directs someone away from the space they’re currently in, i.e., to a different website

Page – pages contain static content, which is to say content that is always pertinent to the website.  Pages can include About, Contact, Events, FAQ, etc., and they usually appear on the menu.  Pages often include cornerstone/evergreen content.  Click here for more info.

Page builder – software added to a WordPress installation. It includes pre-built code to help you design responsive websites.  Click here for more info.

Page Reader – software used to access websites.  It may convert the text to speech or to Braille output and makes it easier for visually impaired people to use a website.  Click here for more info.

Pixel – in images, a dot that contains data and appears as a color defined by that data.  Click here for more info.

Pixelated – used to describe an image that has been broken down into pixels

Plugin – a piece of software that you use with WordPress to add a specific function such as SEO guidance and/or tracking, integration with Mailchimp, FareHarbor, Airbnb, Google reviews, etc.

PNG – Portable Network Graphics – pixilated image files that use “lossless” compression, so image quality is maintained when zooming in.  PNGs can be transparent or have no background, which is convenient for websites where we may have overlapping graphics or we want a cut-and-paste type look with edges that contour the subject.  Because PNGs retain detail, they are often used for graphics such as logos, so they can be scaled without losing quality.  Click here for more info.

Post Categories – a method for grouping posts, it’s helpful when a blog includes diverse topics within the central focus of the website.  Click here for more info.

Posts – at their root, are serial creatures; you publish one at a time and they build up into an archive.  Their topics relate to the overall theme of the business, but their contents can vary more significantly than a website page’s will.  Posts can include podcast episodes, Instagram, or YouTube feeds, as well as blogs.  They may announce specials, new hires, or other company news.  They’re timely and topical.  Posts often have authors and publication dates, whereas pages generally don’t.  Click here for more info

PPI – points per inch, used to describe some images.  Click here for more info.

Publication date – the date a post is initially launched.  Potentially important to let people know how new or relevant the post is.  Publication dates can be changed, and posts that are completed can be scheduled to publish at a later date.  Click here for more info

Query – a question input into a search engine

Raster image – a pixelized image where the file’s data describes each pixel.    Click here for more info.

Rasterized images – drawings and photos that are pixilated, and which need to be sized properly for the context.    Click here for more info.

RAW images – pictures that are uncompressed, so they contain all the information possible in their data.  Many phones and cameras allow you to take RAW images, and because they contain so much detail, these images are good for editing later in another app.    Click here for more info.

Redirect – a technique which sends a user from the requested site to a different site

Referring domain – the website which contains links to other sites

Relevance – backlinks that come from sites with a similar purpose to yours are more valuable than ones that come from random sources, so they have greater relevance

Resolution – the level of detail an image has.  Click here for more info.

Responsiveness – how well a web page adjusts its appearance on different screen shapes and sizes like desktops, tablets, and phones.  Click here for more info.

Rich results – search engine results that include extra information such as pictures, bylines, in-stock status, and star ratings, etc.

RSS Feed – a syndication of digital content.  Click here for more info. – “ a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond”

Scraping – the act of pulling content off a website to use for other purposes.  Put bluntly, website scraping is data extraction.

Search results – the pages a search engine offers up for your query

Search term – a keyword used to find content on the internet

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is the science and art of making search engines notice your website and suggest that their users check you out.  Click here for more info.

SEO value – how important a thing is to search engine results

Shortlinks – a condensed version of a URL; a shorthand of sorts

Sidebar – a vertical column on a web page that is often found on one side or the other, and may list metadata, ads, an index, or any other number of things

Slug – the end of the page’s name.  This page’s slug is the bold part of this link: here for more info.

Snippet – a sentence or two that summarizes a page or post:  a synopsis of sorts.  Also called a meta description or excerpt.

Software – code that organizes data in computer hardware

SSL – Secure Sockets Layer – a layer of security between your web host and browsers

Structured data – code written in a specific language and vocabulary.  It has many uses but when added to your website it can help search engines understand your site better and produce rich results.

Subdomain – a domain within a domain. For example, to find my Library, you use In this case, library/ is the subdomain extension.  Click here for more info.

Subscriber – a WordPress user who can only manage their profile

Super Administrator – a WordPress user who has access to the site network administration features and all other features

SVG – Scalable Vector Graphic – vector-based drawings: good for graphics, charts & illustrations because you can scale them up or down without losing details.  Zoom in to your heart’s delight!  One thing that makes SVGs good for charts and graphs is that search engines can detect keywords within the chart, which helps with SEO.  Emojis are often saved as SVGs.   Click here for more info.

Tag – a detailed system of taxonomy used for posts.  One post can have as many tags as you’d like. 

Taxonomy – a system of classification.  As with the science of classifying plants and animals, the internet has a system to classify content.  SEO relies heavily taxonomies to understand the content and structure of websites.  WordPress posts use a taxonomy of Categories and Tags.

Technical SEO – focuses on helping search engines understand your site.  You can tailor what a search engine sees when it crawls and indexes your site, and if you organize your content well you will rise in ranking.  This includes using outbound links and internal links, keeping your website updated, and paying attention to headings, images, and Alt descriptionsClick here for more.

The Green Web Directory –  an index of hosting companies that use energy-efficient practices.  Click here for more info.

Theme – software that provides the structure that defines how your site looks.  It’s a scaffold that may include menu, header, footer, and pre-built blocks.

TSL – Transport Layer Security – protection measures which heighten security for information being passed from one location to another through the web

Vector images – drawings based on points and paths, and can be resized without losing quality.  Click here for more info.

Web server – a system of storage and software that warehouses and then sends you website files when you ask to see them, so you can see the site.  Click here for more info.

WebP – Web Picture Format – images that have better compression than .png or .jpg and are supported by all the major web browsers.  These images help keep websites smaller and load faster.  They’re taking over JPGs and PNGs quickly.  Click here for more info.

Widget – a block included with WordPress and page builders, which is used for a specific purpose, i.e., adding a navigation menu, a calendar, or a listing of top posts

WordPress – open-source software used to build websites

WordPress installation – a package of data and software that is used with WordPress software to create a website.  Most WP websites are based on one installation.

WordPress Multisite – a WP installation controlling multiple websites. The sites share related content such as themed blogs or franchises. Click here to learn more.

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