If you are new to the blogging world, you might hear other people throw around terms that mean nothing to you. What’s the difference between a plugin, widget, and gadget? And isn’t a custom domain the same as self-hosted?
The following list is a cheat sheet for beginning bloggers…please let me know in the comments if I’ve forgotten any that you’d like to add to this list!
Affiliate programs –
When you sign up for an affiliate program, you earn a commission whenever someone clicks on the ad and buys a product or service.
This widget is the most popular spam catcher!
This is an SEO term that refers to another site linking to yours. Backlinks are the best karma in the blogging world, especially when a site with more authority and ranking links to you!
Blog Hop –
This is another “widget at the bottom of a post” idea. You can either host a blog hop or join one. If you host one, you put the widget at the bottom of your post and have other bloggers enter their blogs. If you join one, you simply have to enter your information and follow the “blog hop” rules (which are usually like follow the host on twitter, and comment on at least three other blogs). The point of a blog hop is to get more traffic and visits to your site, along with a backlink.
Blog Post vs. Page –
A blog post is like a diary entry. It is dated and on a website, the most recent post shows at the top. A page is a static entity. It contains information that doesn’t usually change all that often. It is not dated.
Blog Reader –
For those who read lots of blogs, a reader keeps track of all the blogs and the latest posts. It keeps track of read and unread posts as well. Feedly is a popular reader, along with Bloglovin’ and Hootsuite. They are attached to a blog’s RSS feed so they are updated as soon as a new post goes out.
This is a list of blogs that you read regularly that displays on your sidebar. You use a widget to display them.
Bounce rate –
This term is used to describe how long people stay at your site once they get there. Do they land on your page and quickly click away, or do they stay and read?
Breadcrumbs trail –
When you have a large blog, it’s easy to get lost. A breadcrumbs trail is a great feature because at the top of the post, it shows how the person got there. For example…
Home > Cats > Kittens > How to care for a kitten
Buttons are squares or circles around 125×125 pixels and are used to paste on other blog sidebars for exposure. You also might use a button for a blog directory or a profile shot on Twitter or Facebook. Some people use the term badge or button interchangably.
Custom domain –
Otherwise known as a URL or a web address, a custom domain is when a website reads like this… fabulousblogging.com. If it wasn’t a custom domain, it would read like this… fabulousblogging.wordpress.com. These addresses are usually supplied through a free blogging platform like Blogger or WordPress.com. Their official name is “sub-domain”. Custom domains (also called vanity URLs) run anywhere from $10-15 a year.
People use this term to describe the back-end of your website on WordPress. When you log in, your dashboard appears with all your menu options.
A little tiny image that appears next to your URL address up on the left hand side of your browser window. When people bookmark your page, the little image shows up next to the blog name.
The bottom of your site where you put your copyright information.
Featured Image –
In your posts, you have the option of using one image as the “Featured” one. This image will appear right at the top of your posts, on your homepage, and perhaps in a slider (if your theme supports it). Some WordPress themes DONT display the featured image in the post at all, but it’s still important to have one for marketing and sharing.
Various themes have the option of a moving gallery at the top of the page to feature your favorite entries.
Using a widget, you can host a giveaway on your blog. It is a tool that you paste at the bottom of your post and it automatically keeps track of people who enter. Other bloggers must either comment, tweet, or share your work in order to get their name entered. At the end of the giveaway, it randomly chooses one person to receive the prize. Rafflecopter is a popular option for a giveaway widget.
Guest Posts –
This is when someone other than the blog owner writes up a post. This gives you more exposure (as well as the blog that is hosting the guest post).
The top portion of a blog that can be customized with images and fonts.
This is a “backpack” of widgets that self-hosted WordPress blog users can use to enhance their website. In order to use it, you’ll need an account with the free WordPress.com. You don’t need a blog with them, you can sign up for a username only and gain access to all the modules.
Meta Tags –
These are keywords that are placed in the header code of your website to help search engines find your site when people are searching for information. People on your site do NOT see the meta tags because they are hidden in the code. These are also different than the tags on your website that people can click on to find related posts.
A blog that pulls in revenue through ads, sponsored posts, or affiliates.
Permanent Redirect (aka a 301 Redirect) –
When people move their blogs from a free platform to a self-hosted website, sometimes you have the option of redirecting your visitors to your new site automatically. For example, if your old site was cats.com and your new site is kittens.com, when people go to cats.com, it will automatically send them to kittens.com.
If other people love your posts, they will include a link on their own blog. It’ll show up on your blog as a pingback, which is like a notification. If you delete the pingback on your blog, it doesn’t delete the backlink – just the notification of it. When people leave their Pingbacks visable, they show up at the bottom of the post underneath the comments. It is a great way to know where you are making your mark on the World Wide Web!
This is a mini-software functionality that you upload to your site to add more pizzazz, efficiently, security, etc. A plugin can be something on the sidebar or something as broad as changing your comment system or giving your website a mobile look on smartphones. All widgets are plugins, but not all plugins are widgets.
Post Screen –
This is the spot where you create your posts.
Responsive layout –
Themes with a responsive layout will change size depending on the device. So if you have a responsive theme, it will post a slightly altered view of your site on an iphone vs. a laptop, allowing your viewer to not have to enlarge or scroll too much.
RSS Feed –
Every blog has a URL address that people can use to follow your blog in a blog reader. Usually the RSS feed URL is something like http://www.fabulousblogging.com/feed.
Self-hosted WordPress –
People who run a self-hosted WordPress blog have their own server (place to store their website). Companies like Bluehost, HostGator, HostMonster, and GoDaddy offer server packages that run about $75-$85 a year. Even if you have a custom domain (vanity URL), but you signed up at WordPress.com, that is NOT self-hosted. Same goes for Blogger. You’re on self-hosted if you’re paying between $80-$100 a year for server space.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization –
This refers to how easy or difficult it is for search engines to find your site. Your titles should be SEO friendly…in other words, contain words that people might use in search queries.
Sometimes you have to pull large amounts of code on your blog (i.e. to display ads). Shortcodes are easy to remember codes that you write in place of the code for convenience. For example, you can upload a Google Adsense shortcode that allows you to paste shortcodes in your posts rather than copying and pasting a big chunk of code. There are shortcodes that work to pull your blog’s archives or embed videos.
When it is time to paste your blog links on social media, shortlinks are a cleaner, easier way to post your links. Shortlinks can be found in the post screen of WordPress, or you can use another program (like Hootsuite) to shorten your links.
A column on the right or the left hand side that holds widgets and ads.
Unwanted comments that are for the express purpose of creating backlinks or promoting products unrelated to your site.
Sponsored Posts –
Some bloggers write sponsored posts. A company will reimburse the blogger for an honest review of a product or service.
Static Page vs. Blog Post View –
Some blogs prefer to have a page that comes up every time someone types in the address. Once they are on the page, the reader clicks over to the blog. That is a static page (sometimes called a landing page). Other bloggers prefer to have the latest post/s show up right on the homepage.
Sticky Post –
This is a post that remains at the top of your blog entries and disregards chronological dates. Sometimes sticky posts get featured in a slider.
People who either follow your blog through a reader (like feedly) or by signing up with their email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.
A lot of blogs have a title and then a tagline, a sentence that describes what the blog is about.
Tags vs. Categories vs. Labels –
For people on Blogger, you have something called labels. These are words that are used to categorize AND tag your posts. In WordPress, you have categories and tags separated. Categories should be broad enough to organize all your posts (probably no more than 7-10 categories). Tags are keywords that help readers find related posts more easily. Categories are important because you create menu bars tabs with your categories.
WordPress and Blogger both allow you to customize your website with a theme – a structure that sets up your format, colors, fonts, and design. A CHILD theme is a WordPress design that sits on top of a Framework, allowing you to make customizations that won’t get overridden when there are updates.
The amount of people that read your blog and come to visit your site.
Widgets vs. Gadgets-
They are essentially the same thing. Blogger calls them gadgets and WordPress calls them Widgets. They are tiny app-like doohickeys that allow you to do things like pull your Twitter feed, display recent comments, etc. A unique feature of widgets are that they are small and movable.
Views vs. Visitors –
Blog views (otherwise known as hits) mean the number of clicks to your website or within it. Visitors are the number of DIFFERENT computers or devices that logged onto your site. If your visitors and views numbers are equal, it means each person clicked on one post. If you have a lot of views but only a few visitors, it means that a couple of people showed up and read through a lot of your posts.
Visual vs. Html view –
When you are creating your post, the visual view is like typing in Microsoft Word. The HTML view shows all the code. Sometimes when you are pasting buttons or code, you need to switch to the HTML view to paste it in. Shortcodes can be pasted in the visual view. A shortcode usually is surrounded by brackets [ ] and code will have this < />.
Otherwise known as a video log, a vlog is a recorded video of you – the blogger- speaking about a topic.
I would love to keep adding to this glossary, so please let me know in the comments what I should add!