Five confusing things about WordPress terminology

David Nash wordpress Leave a Comment

1. WordPress Designer vs WordPress Developer

A designer generally creates how the site looks, a developer takes the design and turns it into the final website. There’s overlap – many designers can write code, and many developers can design. It’s very rare to find someone who’s good at both. I’m good at taking an existing design and extending it, but it takes me a lot of time to come up with an original design from scratch.

2. Pages vs Posts

Pages are what make up the core of your site – the front page, the about page, the contact page for example. Each page might have its own template. The front page will generally look quite different to the about page (if it doesn’t, consult a designer!).

Posts are the items that get posted to your news or blog page. For example “New product launch!” or “Top five things I ate for lunch today – you won’t believe number three”.

It’s especially confusing because in the wider sense, a web page is any page you visit on a website. Which might be a WordPress blog post. But a WordPress post is different to a WordPress page.

3. vs

I’m going to refer to these as Org and Com to hopefully make this easier to read.

Org is free but also self-hosted site. You (or a WordPress developer) download the WordPress system (for free!) and install it on a web host (which usually bills you by the month). It’s good to get a developer to do this, because they can help you set up your database, upload the files, run the WordPress installer and install a theme for you.

Because the code runs on a server you control, you have complete flexibility over customising it. It’s also your responsibility to make sure your WordPress system, themes and plugins are up-to-date to minimise security issues.

Com is hosted by WordPress. You pay them. Customisation is fairly limited. You can’t use WordPress plugins (bits of code that integrate with your site to give you extra features – a system to manage your SEO on each page, for example). There are only a set number of themes to choose from.

The upside is that you don’t need to worry about hosting, installation, or maintenance of the site. does all of that for you.

4. Theme vs Template

A WordPress theme specifies how your whole site will look – the background, the fonts, the menu, everything.

template is how one or a subset of pages will look. There might be a Home template used on the front page. There might be another template for photo galleries. These pages need special layouts not supported by the default template.

Generally templates apply to WordPress Pages (see above), some themes support different Formats for blog posts (eg image, video, or just standard).

5. Front page vs Home page

In WordPress, the Home page is always the news/blog posts page. It’s a carry-over from WordPress’s early days as a blogging platform. But for businesses it usually means that the Home page is not the Front page.

The Front page is the page you first see when you go to a site without anything after the slash. So is my Front page, and is my Home page.

I really wish they’d rename this to be less confusing – if it was called News page or Blog page, it would be a lot clearer. Personally I try to use the term “Front page” instead of “Home page” for this reason.

[Photo credit: Patient Care Technician]

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