For a beginner, the sheer number of blogging terms used can be slightly overwhelming. There are many terms used interchangeably too, and if you do not get yourself acquainted properly with these, they can become outright confusing. For instance, what is the difference between a website and a blog? Between an article and a blog post? Between a page and a post? A theme and a child theme? Getting indexed and getting ranked? Keywords and meta tags? Or between a logo and a favicon? These are the terms thrown at you almost interminably, and despite being confused with the contextual usage of some terms, you simply get along thinking you might become familiar with them as you gain more experience. Maybe you have a vague idea of what the terms actually mean (and most of the time you are right too with your assumptions), you sometimes wish you knew better. If you aspire to start a blog of your own, it’s necessary that you know these commonly used blogging terms to avoid using a term completely out of context with your post.
Below is a glossary of blogging terms and acronyms, which will help you understand them better.
Above-the-fold content – Above-the-fold content is the portion of a web page that is immediately visible in a browser window when the page gets loaded first.
Affiliate – An affiliate, also called a publisher is a website or a person who owns a website, mostly bloggers with content related to products or services owned by a merchant. An affiliate marketer gets a commission for referring sales to another business (the merchant) through the content on his blog. His work involves any online activity to drive traffic back to the merchant’s site and making a sale there.
Affiliate link – An affiliate link is a specific URL that contains the affiliate’s unique ID or username. These links are used to track or record the traffic and sales made at the merchant’s (advertiser) website.
Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is an internet-based business system where a merchant (like Amazon, eBay, etc.) pays commissions to online entities known as affiliates for driving sales to the merchant’s website. Affiliate marketing is purely a performance-based business where the affiliates get paid when their promotional efforts result in a sale and actual transaction.
Alt tag – Also referred to as alternative tag or “alt text” or “alt attribute”, an alt tag is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide text alternatives for search engines.
Anchor text – Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. They are used to anchor a URL to some text on a specific web page.
Article – Synonymous with a blog post, an article is a single post on a blog that is written in a neutral, detached voice. It’s a relatively long post written without much consideration of keywords.
Author – The one who writes blog posts on a website or blog.
Autoresponder – A third-party programme used by bloggers to send a series of interval-based emails to people automatically when they are added to a specific subscribers list. Autoresponder is used to send out welcome emails or follow-up emails about a specific topic.
Backlinks – Also called “inbound links” or “incoming links”, backlinks are links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain.
Banner – A banner is an advertisement graphic image on a page, with or without a link to the website of a merchant.
Bing Webmaster Tools – It is a free service as part of Microsoft’s Bing search engine that allows blog owners to add their websites to the Bing directory for crawling and indexing in Bing.
Blackhat SEO – These are wrongful or deceptive methods of gaming a search engine in order to gain favourable ranking in its search pages.
Blog – The shortened form of “web log”, a blog is a type of a website (or a part of it), in which content called posts are arranged in reverse chronological order (with latest posts appearing first). The blog is the most constantly changing part of a website. Visitors are usually allowed to leave comments on a blog.
Blogger – The person who owns a blog is called a blogger, and the act of writing for the blog is called blogging. This is also the name of the blogging platform owned by Google.
Blogroll – A list of blog posts that appear as a list of titles or snippets with titles that are either the blog owner’s favourites or all posts arranged in reverse chronological order. Websites mostly have either a static page or a blogroll on their homepage.
Bounce rate – It is the percentage of visitors to your website or blog who leaves after viewing only one page on it.
Category – A way of grouping blog posts into specific relevant topics for easier navigation for visitors.
Child theme – A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of another theme called the parent theme. Child themes are used when you want to customise or tweak an existing WordPress theme without losing the ability to upgrade that theme.
CMS – The shortened form of Content Management System, it is a software programme that allows you to add content to a website and manage its contents easily.
Comments – The thoughts or feedback on a post given by a reader.
Commission – The income earned by an affiliate for generating a sale or a lead for a merchant’s products or services.
Conversion rate – The percentage of visitors who convert visits or page views into some type of action – signing up for newsletters, purchasing a product or a service.
Cookie – A cookie is a small piece of data embedded in the web browsers to store information like login or registration information, user preferences, and shopping cart contents.
CPC (cost per click) – The amount you may earn when a visitor clicks on a particular ad placed within the content in your blog.
Crawling – It is the process by which Googlebot discovers new and update pages to be added to Google’s index.
Creative Commons – Creative Commons provide free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make simple and standardised way to give the public the permission to use or share your creative work (photos, music, etc.).
CSS – The shortened form of Cascading Style Sheet, the CSS is an HTML code used to style your web pages.
CTA (call-to-action) – CTA is an instruction to a visitor designed to provoke an immediate response through image or text that contain words such as “click here”, “find out more”, “call now”, etc.
CTR (click-through rate) – The number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.
CSV – The shortened form of Comma Separated Value. CSV file stores tabular data (numbers and texts) in plain text. Each field is separated by a comma or tab.
Dashboard – The admin area of your blog where all behind-the-scenes work is done like writing posts, editing, adding media, moderating comments, etc.
Deep linking – The act of adding hyperlinks on a web page that point to other indexed and popular pages in the same blog, thus encouraging visitors to stay on the same site.
Domain authority – Domain Authority (DA) is the search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how a website would rank in search engine result pages.
Domain name – A string of letters, numbers and/or hyphens separated by periods that we type in the address bar of a browser to visit a particular website.
Domain name registrar – A company authorised to provide domain registration service to other companies or individuals that would like to own a particular domain name.
E-book – A PDF document designed as a book that is either sold or distributed free by bloggers in return for money or as a tool to encourage people to subscribe to the blog’s newsletter or posts.
Embed – To insert an image or a content from another website within your own page.
E-mail list – A list of e-mail IDs of people who subscribe to a periodic mailing distribution of articles on a particular topic.
E-mail marketing – A direct marketing method which uses e-mails to communicate to the blog’s audience.
Favicon – The small visual element that appears in browser tabs before the URL that identifies the brand of a website. The shortened form of “favourite icon”, favicons are considered important for the branding of a business.
Featured image – Also known as a post thumbnail, the featured image is the representative image of a post or a page that reflects the content, the mood or the theme.
Fetch – According to Google, the “fetch as Google” tool enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site. You can use fetch-as-Google to see whether Googlebot can access a page on your site, how it renders the page, and whether any page resources (such as images or scripts) are blocked to Googlebot.
Free hosting – Hosting of a website by a hosting company at free of cost.
Gallery – The gallery is the area in the backend of a website that contains images and other media for uploading into pages and posts. It is also the section in a website that contains a collection of photographs relevant to the site.
Google+ – Google Plus or Google+ is the social media platform launched and owned by Google. Almost similar in functionality with other microblogging sites like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ operates under the same account name of a user’s Gmail.
Google AdSense – Google AdSense is a programme run by Google that allows publishers to insert automatic text, image or video advertisements that are targeted to site content and audience. It is a cost-per-click (CPC) programme.
Google Adwords – This is Google’s advertising programme in which advertisers bid on certain keywords so that their clickable ads appear in Google’s search results.
Google Analytics – This is a free web analytics tool created by Google.
Googlebot – Googlebot is Google’s web crawling bot (sometimes referred to as spider).
Google Webmaster Tools – Rechristened Google Search Console, Google Webmaster Tools is a free web service provided to all webmasters by Google. It allows the website owners to check indexing status and optimise visibility of their sites.
Gravatar – Gravatar is “Globally Recognised Avatar” and is the image that appears next to your comments.
Header – The top portion of your website or blog that contains your logo.
Hosting companies – These are the companies that provide the services of hosting your website on payment of a certain fee, usually paid annually.
Hyperlink – An image or a text on a page with a code that, when clicked, takes you to another page of your own website or to another site on the internet.
HTML – Abbreviated form of HyperText Markup Language, it is a language that uses tags to describe the content of a website’s page.
HTTP – Shortened form of HyperText Transfer Protocol, HTTP is the set of rules for transferring files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the internet.
HTTPS – Abbreviated form of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, and is the protocol over which data is transferred between your browser and the website that you are connected to. Here, ‘S’ in HTTPS means ‘secure’ and it means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.
iFrame – It is the way by which one HTML page is inserted within another HTML page.
Impression – It is the act of viewing of an item, whether it’s a page, post, media or an ad in a blog or website.
Inbound link – Same as the backlink, the inbound link is the link on a page of a website that points to your blog or website.
Indexed – Getting indexed is the addition of a content in Google’s search database so that Google bots can crawl these pages.
Internal link – A link that points to another page or content on the same website.
Keywords – Words that users type into the search bar to look for pages relevant to his interest. These are also the words that bloggers use in their content to attract traffic to their site.
Keyword stuffing – The act of using too many keywords in posts with an attempt to drive traffic through the search engines.
Keyword tool – An online tool that lets bloggers get ideas about the best keywords to use for a particular blog post based on the competitive strength of a keyword or keyphrase.
Keyword research – According to Wikipedia, keyword research is a practice by bloggers to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar content.
Landing page – The web page that serves as the entry point for a website or the particular section of a website.
Leaderboard – Leaderboard is a rectangular advertising space on a web page that measures 728×90 pixels size that can be seen at the top of its pages. It is the first ad seen on a page.
Logo – The visual element used for the branding of a website that usually appears in its header section.
Long tail keyword – A long tail keyword or keyphrase is made up of at least three to five words, more specific to a search topic.
Menu – It is a link in the site navigation area that is placed for easier navigation for visitors. A list of contents can come under a single menu.
Meta tags – Meta tags are behind-the-scenes snippets of text that describe a page’s content. They appear only in the page’s code and do not appear on the page itself.
Merchant – A person or a website selling goods and services.
Monetisation – The act of converting an online activity into revenue.
Navigation – The process of visiting different pages of websites by a user through a web browser is called navigation.
Newsletters – Newsletters are email communication tools used by bloggers to update their subscribers about the latest news, content or offers.
Niche – It is the targetable portion of a market. A blogger usually writes in a specific niche to target a specific group of audience.
Nofollow – It is an HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines not let their bots crawl pages with nofollow tagged on them.
Optimisation – The practice of attempting to increase the visibility of content through some efforts of the website owner.
Organic search results – Listing appearing in search engine results on specific search terms on the strength of the relevancy of the content and not due to paid advertisements or referrals.
Outbound link – Links on your page that point to contents in other websites or blogs.
PageRank – An algorithm used by Google to rank websites in their search engine results.
Page view – The loading of a single content of a website.
Permalink – Permalink or permanent link is a hyperlink leading to a given page or post.
Plugin – It is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress
Pop-ups – Pop-up or a pop-up window is a type of window that opens automatically without the user selecting “new window” from a programme’s file menu. These are mostly employed for advertisement purposes by a blogger.
Post – A post is an article within a blog on a specific topic. Posts are added frequently to a blog and are usually arranged in reverse chronological order.
PPC – PPC or pay-per-click is an advertising method in which the advertiser pays a blog owner every time their ad is clicked on the blog, irrespective of whether the click results in a sale or not.
Quora – An online forum of people connected through their interests. It is styled in a Q&A forum and lets you follow certain topics.
Referral – The act of referring people to a seller through the content on your blog is called referral. Also, the person who is being driven to a particular site through your blog is your referral.
Responsive theme – A theme functionality that adjusts its viewing area automatically on different device sizes is called a responsive theme.
Returning visitor – A visitor with existing Google Analytics cookies from a previous visit.
RSS – Shortened form of Rich Site Summary, it is a feed for delivering website and blog content via an RSS reader or aggregator.
Robots.txt – A file on your web server that lets the search engines crawl or ignore pages.
Search engine – It is a programme in a website that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used specially for finding particular sites on the world wide web.
SEO – Search engine optimisation (SEO), according to Wikipedia is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results.
SERP – A search engine results page (SERP) is the page displayed by a web search engine in a response to a search query.
Sidebar – An area in the website’s layout that is used to display content other than the posts or pages. It is the widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not part of the main content.
Sitemap – A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organisation of your site content. Google bots and other crawlers read this file to crawl your pages more effectively. It is like the site plan of a building.
Slug – The keywords that describe a post or a page and are used to form a URL.
Spam – Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the internet, typically to a large number of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.
SSL – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
Stock photos – Stock photos are professional photos that are mostly used on a royalty-free basis. Stock photos can also be licensed images.
Subscriber – A person who has chosen to stay updated on your latest blog posts or relevant news through emails.
Short tail keyword – Search terms with only one or two words.
Tag – Tags are basically keywords used by search engines to determine a page’s content.
Tag cloud – A collection of tags arranged in different sizes indicating the frequency of them appearing on the blog. They are mostly placed inside a widget.
Tagline – A short sentence or a phrase that describes your blog.
Text editor – A programme that lets you edit content in text format.
Template – A premade web page that can be customised easily by a blogger by inserting text and images.
Theme – A theme determines how your website would look. A theme has a range of elements such as fonts, layout, colour, widget area, header style, etc.
Thumbnail – A representative visual element of a content that helps in easier identification and relevance.
Traffic – The visitors to your website.
Trackback – A manual notification sent to another site to notify them of a post of it being linked.
Unique visitors – The visitors who visit your website during a certain period of time.
URL – The full address of a page that indicates an exact location on the World Wide Web. It includes characters, colons, and slashes. Shortened form of Uniform Resource Locator.
Visual editor – It is an editor where you see not only the content but also how it is styled (bold, italicised, etc.) and the other content that might visually enrich the content.
Webinar – A seminar conducted live over the internet.
Web server – A web server is a computer system that processes requests via HTTP, the basic network protocol used to distribute information on the World Wide Web.
White hat SEO – It refers to the optimisation strategies, techniques, and tactics that focus on a human audience and not on search engines and completely adheres to the search engine rules and policies.
Whois – According to Namecheap, Whois is a service that provides basic information about a registered domain, such as domain owner contact information, domain availability status, and the company with which the domain is registered.
Widgets – A tool or a content that you can add to your blog’s sidebar area, such as recent comments, latest posts, banners, tag cloud, etc.
WordPress – It is a free content management system used to create blogs and websites that can be customised according to the owner’s preferences using themes and plugins.
XML Sitemap – A XML sitemap is the roadmap to all important pages of a website.
Even though I have tried to include all common terms in the above list, I’m sure there must have been some that had been left out. Please leave a comment below and state the common blogging terms that could be included here. I’ll be most happy to update the list.