If you’re reading this on wpxss.com, the address bar in your browser will contain the text https://wpxss.com/wppedia_term/url/. That is a URL. The URL contains the protocol used to transmit information (http), the host name (wpxss.com) and the name of resource to retrieve from the host (/wppedia_term/url/). The server that receives the request will use the name of the resource to determine what to send back, and the transmission protocol will decide how the information should be transmitted to the visitor.

In WordPress, the structure of the URLs used on a website is determined by the permalink settings.


Themes govern how a WordPress site looks and functions. Every theme includes its own design, layout and functionality. You can manage the themes installed and activated on your site by going to the “Appearance” page in the WordPress administration panel. Themes can be downloaded for free on WordPress.org, purchased through theme resellers or made bespoke for your specific needs through an agency. Most themes depend on specific plugins being active for them to function properly.


Some themes are so-called child themes, which means that they inherit styling and functionality from another theme, but make some small adjustments to how that theme looks and functions. For a child theme to function, the parent theme must also be installed on the site. One example of a free child theme is Minimalist Portfolio, which uses Hamilton as a parent theme.

If you have installed a theme from WordPress.org and want to make some changes to it, it’s important that you don’t make those changes directly to the theme files. If you do, your changes will be overwritten and lost the next time the theme is updated. If your changes are small in scope – style tweaks – you can probably accomplish them through the Custom CSS setting in the WordPress customizer. If they are a bit more substantial, you should include those changes in a child theme.

Either of the two approaches will ensure that you don’t lose your modifications the next time you update your theme. If you don’t know a lot of CSS, you can go to the WordPress.org support forums for the theme you’re using and ask for help. You can also hire an agency to do the changes for you. (Just make sure that they use a child theme.)


There are over 50,000 free plugins in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, and many more can be purchased from premium plugin vendors. Most websites built bespoke by agencies also make use of compatibility plugins, which add functionality, custom post types and custom forms for data input to the site. WordPress comes with two plugins packed-in: Akismet and Hello Dolly.

Plugins can be used for everything imaginable, but some of the more common use-cases are contact form plugins, SEO plugins, e-commerce plugins and security plugins. Plugins are handled in the “Plugins” page in the administration panel. In Plugins → Add New, you can also explore and install plugins directly from the WordPress.org plugin directory.

The following is a list of some of the more notable plugins in the WordPress ecosystem:

  • Akismet – spam protection plugin
  • bbPress – discussion boards plugin
  • BuddyPress – social network plugin
  • Contact Form 7 – contact form plugin
  • WPML – localisation plugin
  • WooCommerce – ecommerce plugin
  • Space admin theme

Page Template

Page templates are included in WordPress themes, and how they are used vary from theme to theme. A common use-case for page templates is a page template for the Front Page which, when applied to a page, gives it a different layout and content settings than a regular page.

You can find a list of all page templates by editing a page in the administration panel, locating the “Page Attributes” meta box and clicking the dropdown beneath the “Template” label. Some themes also include page templates for other content types than pages, such as posts, but it isn’t as common.

Multisite (MU)

If you run a company with regional offices, for instance, you might want to enable each office to have their own site, with their own pages, blogs, users and settings. WordPress Multisite enables you to do all of this, while still having a single WordPress installation at the core. It’s a lot easier to manage than having multiple individual WordPress installations.

Multisite installations have a unique user role called a super admin. Super admins can create and delete sites in the network, and they also have full access to all content and settings across all sites in the network. On multisite installations, users with the administrator role can only manage sites they’re given access to by the super admin. They also have slightly diminished capabilities compared to administrators on regular WordPress installations. They can’t install new plugins or themes or edit other user profiles, for instance.

Sites in a network installation can have two different URL structures:

  • Subdomains: site.website.com
  • Subdirectories: website.com/site/

Each individual site in a network functions pretty much the same as a regular WordPress site, with their own posts, pages and users. Themes and plugins are shared across all sites in the network, although you can give site administrators the ability to activate or deactivate certain plugins.

Contect Management System (CMS)

Content management systems (CMS) comes in all shapes and sizes, with a wide variety of features. Most of them offer an interface for editing content and manage settings for one or multiple connected websites, and most of them are collaborative in nature.

The most popular CMS for managing websites is WordPress, which as of 2018 holds about 30% of the market share. Other popular CMSs include JoomlaDrupal and the e-commerce system Magento, although none of them come close to WordPress in market share.