New WP Glossary Site Translates WordPress Techspeak into Plain English

Anders Norén has launched a new website called WP Glossary that contains definitions for terms that people encounter when using WordPress. The resource was born out of a need to provide documentation for client projects.

“The last time I updated the glossary for a new client documentation, in the middle of May this year, it hit me that there must be a website for this,” Norén said. “A list of WordPress definitions written not for WordPress developers, but for those who manage WordPress websites either as part of their work or in their spare time.”

Norén said he found resources written for developers but nothing satisfactory for regular WordPress users. Inspired to fill this gap, he bought a domain name and built the site over the next couple weeks. WP Glossary contains definitions for nearly a hundred WordPress-specific and industry-related terms, with more than 25,000 total words.

image credit: Anders Norén

Norén, who has recently jumped into client work with a new agency, is better known for his popular minimalist themes on WordPress.org. His 17 themes have a cumulative rating of 4.97 out of 5 stars and more than 2.1 million downloads. He designed the WP Glossary site, wrote all the definitions, and credits Thord Hedengren for feedback on the design and editorial assistance.

Each glossary term includes a plain English definition and common use cases with a bit of WordPress history sprinkled in. The terms also link to related documentation and some also have related WordPress.tv links. The Default Themes term is the longest article on the site with 1,744 words. Each term has a “Send Corrections” link that visitors can use if they see a term that could be improved.

WP Glossary was enthusiastically received when Norén announced it on Twitter. Many commented that the site will be useful for meetups with members who are new to WordPress and need a quick way to look up some of the jargon they encounter.

Norén’s glossary project overlaps with a glossary the WordPress Marketing team published earlier this year. WP Glossary is more in-depth and contains less techspeak than the marketing team’s copy. It is also targeted at people who use WordPress as part of their job or as a hobby.

The sheer volume of terms on this site reveals how much insider language one encounters while managing a WordPress site. If you’re working in the WordPress world every day, it’s easy to forget how unfamiliar these terms are to new users. WP Glossary is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) so freelancers and agencies that want to duplicate, modify, and share the material have permission to do so with attribution.

9 Comments


  1. Thanks for the nice article, Sarah! The site is very much a work in progress, so any feedback and suggestions from the WP Tavern readers is much appreciated. :)

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    1. Great initiative, thanks for this!
      I would suggest you add a contact form for people wanting to suggest new words in there. It seems that slug is missing at this point.

      Also, if possible, it would nice to be able to return back at the position of the word you were looking at its definition when clicking on “show all”, instead of reaching the top of the page again. For instance, if you click on “widget” and want to get back to the list, you’ll end up at top of page, while “widget” was at bottom.

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      1. Thanks, I’m glad you like it! Yes, a word suggestion box is at the top of the feature list right now. Good catch on slug as well – that definitively needs to be in there.

        There is a solution in there for returning the visitor to the vertical scroll position he/she was at when viewing the list, but there seems to be a problem with the page transitions right now. Looking into it.

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      2. a word suggestion box is at the top of the feature list right now

        Where’s that? This is how the top looks like here.
        I only see the search box up there.

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      3. Sorry John, what I meant was that it’s at the top of the list of features I want to add to the site – it’s not on there yet. :)

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  2. Very helpful for noobs just starting out and senile old codgers like me who know stuff, but just can’t remember what everyone else calls it. :-)

    Great idea Anders and all credit to you for putting in the effort.

    But what I do find strange is that you chose to create it on a lightweight starter theme only, without using a Wiki plugin.

    I should have thought this was ideal Wiki subject matter.

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    1. Thanks, I’m glad you like it!

      Building it with an existing Wiki plugin probably would’ve been a lot faster, but doing it from scratch is a lot more fun. :)

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      1. Great work. This looks very nice.

        I’m looking for a similar functionality for a dictionary website + Glossary website.

        Any WP plugins/theme you know of?

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