If you are even thinking about becoming a blogger, you are going to want to get familiarized with some important blogging terms.
If you’ve been interested in blogging for any amount of time, you have most likely come across some blog terms that you aren’t familiar with or don’t understand.
Don’t worry, that is completely fine. There are many terms that have to do with blogging and some aren’t straightforward or easily recognizable.
To help you get a head start here is a cheat sheet with 21 of the most important blogging terms you can run into.
Understanding or merely looking over this sheet can help you in the future. You can bookmark this list for quick access if you ever run into a term you don’t understand.
Here it is.
Blogging Terms Cheat Sheet
- Above the fold: Above the fold means the portion of the website that is initially visible when you visit a site without scrolling.
- Alt Text (Alternative Text): Short for alternative text, alt text is the text that describes and image on the web. It is part of the HTML language and the image tag. For more information, visit this article.
- Anchor Text: Anchor text is the displayed text part of a hyperlink that you can click. For example, you could link to this website (http://www.stepstostartablog.com/) with an anchor text of “Steps to Start a Blog” and the link would look like this: Steps to Start a Blog.
- API: Short for Application Programming Interface, an API is a set of rules, protocols, and tools that are used for building software by programmers.
- Avatar: An avatar is an image you can choose to show up as your profile picture when you post a blog comment. You don’t need to set up an avatar to post a comment. If you post a comment without having and avatar set up, your will use the default avatar for that blog. B
- Backlinks: A backlink is a hyperlink from one site pointing to another site. Backlinks are often talked about in relation to SEO. The more backlinks a website has from high authority websites, the better its search engine ranking power will be.
- Backend: Opposite to frontend (the part of a website you can see and interact with), the backend of a website is the part that the user doesn’t see. This includes things like the server, dashboard, databases, and other aspects that control the website.
- Bandwidth: When used when talking about the internet, bandwidth is the amount of data that is allowed to be transferred between your website and others on the internet.
- Blog: Short for weblog, a blog is a type of website that regularly displays articles, called posts, with the most recent ones occurring first. Blogs are created and run by many different people including individuals, businesses, and organizations. Wikipedia defines a blog as:
…a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order.
- Blogger: The term blogger can mean two things. A blogger is someone who owns a blog or who writes blog posts. The second term refers to the blogging site created by Google, called Blogger.
- Blogging: This term is used to describe someone who is writing a blog post.
- Blogosphere: The blogosphere is the collection of all the blogs on the internet. For example, a study on the blogosphere would be a study on all blogs currently online.
- Blogroll: A blogroll is a list of links to other sites. In general, a blogroll is made up of other blogs that the blog owner recommends and likes.
- Blogspot: The term Blogspot is commonly confused with Google’s blog platform, Blogger. The actual name of the platform is Blogger, while the domain used for blogs created using the site is “.blogspot.com.” For example, a blog using the Blogger platform would have the domain name “example.blogspot.com.”
- Bot: Sometimes also referred to as a web robot, a bot is a computer program that does automated tasks on the internet. Bots do tasks much faster than humans and are sometimes used for mass tasks. Often, bots are used by spammers and are used to send mass spam comments or email spam. Not all bots are malicious- search engines use bots to create an index of the internet. If you want to show up in search engines, in most cases a web crawler bot from a search engine will need to first find your site by following a link to it.
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the rate at which new users leave your site without visiting more than one page. For example, if a user clicks on your site but doesn’t visit another page and leaves, they have bounced. Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the total number of bounced users by the total users (bounced visits/total visits).
- Breadcrumb: In relation to websites, breadcrumbs are navigational links that show where the user is in relation to the website structure. Here is an example of breadcrumbs on Yahoo: C
- CAPTCHA: A backronym stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” CAPTCHA’s are small challenges that users must complete that bots usually cannot. By using a CAPTCHA, webmasters are able to cut down on spam by bots. The reCAPTCHA plugin is an example of a CAPTCHA plugin for WordPress:
- Category: Categories are used into group and sort different types of blog posts.
- Child Theme: A child theme is a theme that inherits the properties of another theme. Child themes are used when you want to make edits to a theme but don’t want to change the original theme files. This is useful because when a theme gets an update, any changes made are usually replaced. To learn how to create a child theme, visit this tutorial.
- CMS: CMS stands for “Content Management System.” A CMS is a platform that is used to manage content online and is used on blogs as well as many other types of websites. Some example of content management systems are WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, and Drupal.
- Comments: On a blog, comments are responses left by other people at the end of your blog posts.
- Content: Content refers to the text, pictures, video, and any other media that makes up your blog posts and pages.
- CSS: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the coding language used to define how a web page looks. Basic knowledge of CSS is an asset for blogging and it is relatively easy to understand. Here is a user-friendly CSS tutorial. D
- Dashboard: Dashboard refers to the place where you manage your blog and write your blog posts. For example, here is the WordPress dashboard:
- Domain name: A domain name is the name that is used to identify a particular website. For example, the domain name for this site is: “www.waptechs.com.” E
- Embed: Embed means to insert a piece of content/media (audio, video, image) from another website on your website. This is usually done by placing an embed link on your page.
- Evergreen content: Evergreen content is content that is going to stay relevant and useful for a long time. Evergreen content does not become out of date, and can be used in perpetuity. F
- Favicon: A favicon is the little image usually 16×16 or 32×32 pixels in size, that appears in the tab on your web browser. Favicons must have the image format of PNG, GIF, or ICO. For example, here are the favicons for Google and WordPress.org.
- FTP: FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol” and is a protocol (language) used for transferring files between a computer and a server. FTP is a common way of transferring files from your computer to your website and there are programs like FileZilla that make this easy to do. H
- Hexadecimal value: Hexadecimal values also called hexadecimal colors, or just hex colors, are numbers that relate to a certain color. Hex colors (#000000) are used to specify colors in web design along with RBG colors (rgb(0,0,0)) and color names (red, blue, etc.) Here is a handy list of hex values and their corresponding colors:
- Host: A host refers to a web hosting provider and is the company that makes a website available online. One example of a web host is Hostinger.
- HTML: HTML is short for “Hypertext Markup Language” and is the coding language used by websites. HTML uses elements and tags to define the structure of a webpage, and CSS defines the way the page looks by selects those elements and giving them qualities.
- Hyperlink: A hyperlink, often shortened to just “link,” is a clickable piece of text that directs an internet user from one webpage to another. A hyperlink is usually a different color (blue – this can be changed depending on the website) and generally gets underlined or changes color when hovered over with the mouse. For example, this is a hyperlink to the homepage of this website. I
- Index / Indexed: Index refers to the database of websites that a search engine stores. To show up in search engine results, a website must first be indexed by search engines. Search engines do this by “crawling” (going from one link to the next) the web from one site to another and finding new web pages.
- IP address: An IP address is a string of numbers and letters usually following the form 0.0.0.0 (number.number.number.number). An IP address is a unique number given to each device that accesses the internet. Both web pages and people on the internet have an IP address. K
- Keywords: Keywords are words or phrases that relate to what a page is about. Keywords are important when optimizing a page for search engines. Simply put, when a user types in a phrase, the keywords in that search query are matched to pages that contain those keywords. For example, a search for “blogging terms” would show pages that have these keywords in them. For search engines, the placement of keywords gives them greater significance. A keyword placed in the main title of a page has more significance that one that is near the bottom of the page. There are tools that you can use for researching keywords, such as Google’s keyword planner tool. L
- Linkbait: Linkbait is a blog post or article purposely intended to attract links back to it.
- Link love: Link love means linking out to a web page because you like it. Generally, link love is given by someone who appreciates the web page, and it is not asked for. M
- Meme: A meme (pronounced “meem” as in cream) is a concept or idea that gets spread quickly across the internet. Wikipedia defines a meme as:
…an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet.
- Meta tags: Meta tags are HTML elements that provide information about a webpage. There are different types of meta tags. The most common include:
- Meta title: The meta title is the title of your page that gets shown in search engines and in the tabs in your web browser.
- Meta description: The meta description is the description of the web page and is the snippet that gets shown in search engines.
- Meta keywords: The meta keywords tag is used to tell what the page is about by using keywords. This was popular in the past but search engines stopped using it because it is easy to use to manipulate results.
- Microblogging: Microblogging is a form of blogging where the posts shorter than that of a regular blog. An example of a microblogging platform is Twitter, where the posts are limited to 140 characters each. N
- Newsletter: Online, a newsletter typically means an email newsletter that is sent out regularly. Users can subscribe to a newsletter and then receive updates.
- Niche: A niche is a narrow target market or a specific topic. Many bloggers focus on a specific niche such as vegan cooking, digital photography, or fashion for example.
- No follow / Do follow: No follow and do follow are attributes that are used to tell search engines whether or not to pass any ranking power through the link. No follow tells a search engine that the link should not pass any ranking, while do follow does. No follow is typically added to the comment section of blogs. O
- Open source: Open source refers to software that anyone is allowed to use, modify, and distribute free of charge. P
- PageRank: Search engines rank pages according to many factors and this rank is called PageRank. PageRank determines the ability of a page to show up higher in search engine results pages.
- Permalink: Permalink is a combination of the words “permanent” and “link.” Permalinks are the links that point to each individual post and page a website/blog has. If you look at the URL for this page, you will see its permalink: https://worldfree.tech/how-to-write-a-blog-post-the-ultimate-5-step-formula/. A permalink is often shortened to contain only keywords used for describing the page.
- Ping: Ping is actually an abbreviation of “Packet Internet Groper,” although ping is almost always used. When used in regards to blogging, ping refers to the system that alerts other blogs that they were linked to in a specific post.
- PHP: PHP is a recursive backronym that stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is a server side programming language used commonly on web pages.
- Plugin: A plugin is a add-on application or piece of software that adds additional functionally to another piece of software. For example, WordPress has many plugins that can add features to a blog such as social share buttons.
- Podcast: Originally stemming from the words iPod and broadcast, a podcast is a media (audio, video, etc) that is presented as a series or collection of episodes.
- PPC: PPC stands for “Pay Per Click” and refers to a form of online advertising where the advertiser pays each time their ad is clicked by a user. An example of this type of program is Google Adwords. Q
- Quora: Quora is a question-and-answer site where users can ask questions and get answers by other users. R
- RSS / RSS feed: RSS (Rich Site Summary, RDF Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication) is a web feed format used to deliver information from sites that get updated frequently such as blogs and newspapers. RSS feeds use XML as their format. RSS readers can take RSS feeds and display or arrange the contents of a website.
- robots.txt: The robots.txt file is used to set instructions for web crawlers (often from search engines) and other web robots for how they can access a website. A robots.txt file can tell search engines and robots which parts of a site should or should not be crawled. S
- Self-hosted blog: A self-hosted blog is a blog where the owner sets up hosting with a hosting company.
- SEM: SEM is an abbreviation of “Search Engine Marketing” and is a form of digital marketing/internet marketing. SEM aims to increase traffic to a website by increasing its position in search engine results pages (SERP). SEM encompasses both paid search (PPC) as well as search engine optimization (SEO).
- SEO: SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is the process of making a site better for search engines through a variety of methods and techniques. SEO is performed by webmasters with the goal of increasing their website search engine ranking. There are over 200 ranking factors used by search engines. MOZ, one of the leading online authorities on search engine optimization, says that:
SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.
- SERP: SERP is short for “Search engine results page” and refers to the page that is shown when you do a search on a search engine.
- Server: Server, when used in the context of blogging or websites, means a computer that hosts and serves a website to users on the internet. Servers are most often specially made for hosting websites, require maintenance, and are costly. This is why the majority of website and blog owners use a web host like Bluehost to host their website.
- Sitemap: A sitemap is a list of the pages of a website designed to make it easy for search engine web crawlers and users to navigate a site.
- Shortcode: A shortcode is a piece of code in WordPress that is used to perform a specific action or function. A shortcode is used to execute a longer piece of code without having to write the full code out. A shortcode is usually a word or two joined by an underscore within square brackets. For example, here is a list of some default WordPress shortcodes:
- Slug: A post slug is the URL-friendly version of a post title that gets used to create a permalink.
- Spam: Spam is unsolicited electronic messages sent out usually repeatedly, at a mass scale, and for advertising purposes. Some forms of spam include email spam, comment spam, and blog spam. Spam is often irrelevant to the context of a webpage and can be an indistinguishable jumble of characters and links. Spammers also often employ bots to send out mass messages across the web.
- Spider: When used in the context of websites and the internet, a spider (also web spider or web crawler) is an internet bot that sifts through the internet and finds web pages. T
- Tag: Tags are used to add words to posts that describe what the post is about. Tags make posts easier to find, categorize, and find related posts.
- Tagline: In WordPress, the site tagline is a short description of what the website is about.
- Text links: Text links often refer to links that are bought to advertise a website on another website.
- Trackbacks: Trackbacks are a WordPress-specific system for notifying a blog when someone links to it. If a blog has trackbacks enabled and someone links to one of their posts, a link back (called a trackback) to the post that linked to the blog will show up in the trackbacks section.
- Troll: A troll is a user who purposely posts rude, inflammatory, off-topic, or other messages intended to get a reaction from other people.
- Theme: In WordPress, themes let you change the design of your blog or website easily. There are thousands of themes available out there and many marketplaces where they can be acquired. Examples of these marketplaces include Themeforest and StudioPress. U
- URL: A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a webpage. V
- Viral: On the internet, viral means to get popular very quickly and has spread across the internet usually by means of social media shares and being featured on major media outlets.
- Vlog: A vlog is a type of blog in which the content is mainly video. W
- Webinar: A webinar is a type of seminar or presentation that is broadcasted over the internet. For example, some bloggers host webinars where others can sign up to and view.
- Weblog: Weblog is the word that is often shortened to just “blog.” A weblog is an informational type of website that contains articles called posts organized in reverse chronological order.
- Whois: The Whois database is the database of information on all registered domains online. Domain privacy, an option offered by most domain registrars and hosting companies, hides your personal information from this database. The whois records for a domain can be searched by visiting a website like Whois.net.
- Widget: A widget is an interface that provides certain information or performs a certain function for users of a webpage.
- WordPress: WordPress is the most popular CMS that allows users to create blogs and other types of websites. X
- XML: XML stands for Extensible Markup Language and is a programming language that is designed to be both machine-readable as well as easy for humans to read. XML is the language that RSS feeds use. Y
- Yoast: WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress.
There are many terms that have been created since the rise in blogging popularity.
Sometimes it can be hard to fully grasp all of the terms right from the start. With this cheat sheet, you can quickly reference any term you run into and don’t fully understand.
If you want to, you can simply bookmark this list so you can easily access it when needed.
Bloggers often use terms that are specific to blogging and they expect you to know. The truth is, these terms are not always common knowledge and not everybody knows what they mean.
By quickly looking through this list of essential blogging terms, you can make it easier to engage in the blogging community in the future. Hopefully, this cheat sheet will help give you the advantage when it comes to understanding blogging terms in the future.