Tag Archives: noob

Web terminology for new clients

This post is part of the Blogging Noob 101 series

In general, the material on this page is geared towards the newbie, or the noob. There’s nothing wrong with being a noob; every person must begin from where he or she now stands. There’s no shame in being a noob — unless, of course, you allow there to be shame, in which case you are inviting it!

Most of the links below are to related Wikipedia pages.

Web terminology for noobs

Alias, email alias, forwarder
An alternative to a fully-functioning email address; simply forwards everything to a given email address

Back end
The protected part of a web site or blog accessible only to the credentialed, a select few (see also front end)

A type of web site; content is arranged by date, with the most recent entries appearing first

Blog post
A dated entry in a blog; the main content within a blog; a blog post is to a blog what a web page is to a web site

Login credentials; a username and password

Domain registrar
The organization you use to purchase and manage your domain names (e.g., GoDaddy.com)

Email address
A fully functioning email account has quite a few variables; contrast with alias

Front end
The unprotected part of a web site or blog which is accessible to anyone (see also back end)

The preferred free webmail service; eliminates virtually all spam; everyone should have an account

The best collection of free online services; everyone should have an account (e.g., a Gmail account can serve as access to dozens of other excellent free Google services)

Name server, nameserver
A crucial setting for a hosted domain name; tells the world where to look when someone types in your URL (e.g., www.KerryStiles.com)

Search engine optimization

Social media
A fancy name for socially oriented web services/sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and hundreds of others

URL, URI (Uniform Resource Locator/Identifier)
Basically, an internet/web address (e.g., http://en.example.org/); technically, a URL and a URI are different; for all practical purposes, they are often used interchangeably [URL-Wikipedia]

Web hosting
The renting of digital storage space on the Internet which effectively becomes your own "cloud drive"

Web hosting company (aka web host, host)
The organization used to rent storage space for your sites, blogs, wikis, and other web content; although GoDaddy is now a web host in addition to its main mission as domain registrar, we prefer to use a different web hosting company for our projects

Web page
The main content on a web site; essentially, a web page is one page of many on a given web site (some of the most popular web pages include About, Contact, Products/Services, etc.)

Web site
A collection of web pages; content is arranged by topic (About, Contact, Products/Services, etc.)

Resources: Web terminology for noobs

URI vs. URL: What’s the difference? Damn Handy
Uniform resource locator – Wikipedia
Uniform resource identifier – Wikipedia
Uniform resource name – Wikipedia

Logging in as WordPress admin; WordPress back-end

This post is part of the Blogging Noob 101 series

Learning where to go to login

It will soon become second nature for you to login to your WordPress site — even without using a “Log in” link to take you to the official WordPress login page; however, you definitely need to be familiar with the term “URL” (aka “URI”).

URL/URI: Web address

logo: WordPressIn case you did not already know this, the address line on your browser is the line near the top of your web browser which displays the address of the web page you are on. These internet addresses are also known as URLs or URIs, so whenever you see URL or URI it just means “web address” or “link”[1].

All one needs to do in order to login to his or her WordPress site is to append the URL with “/wp-admin”.

For example, let’s say your hosted domain is www.stiles.com. As a second assumption, let’s say your WordPress installation is not in the root directory, but rather, in a directory or folder called blog. (So far, we have www.stiles.com/blog .)

If stiles.com/blog already appears in the address line of your browser, then – if you want to login – simply type in /wp-admin ; this will force the browser to move from its current page to the wp-admin directory. (FYI, wp-admin is the name of the folder or directory in which the admin screens are located.) Even though you still have not designated the exact login page, WordPress knows that only administrators or other power users are allowed to see what’s in the wp-admin directory, so – as the lingo goes — the user is “challenged” with a login screen.

The other main way for a WordPress user to go to a login screen is to click on a link that’s already been set up to take the user to the WordPress login screen (or general admin area). As it so happens, many WordPress themes include this link by default. If you see a section of WordPress links called "META," then you’re likely to see a "Log in" link right under it. (If the user is already logged in, then the first link under META will be "Site Admin" instead of "Log in".)

[1] URL, URI

In computing, a uniform resource locator (URL) is a specific character string that constitutes a reference to an Internet resource. A URL is technically a type of uniform resource identifier (URI) but in many technical documents and verbal discussions URL is often used as a synonym for URI.

Resources: Logging in as WordPress admin

Preventing form spam with Akismet

This post is part of the Blogging Noob 101 series

logo - AkismetNew bloggers and webmasters will soon discover a brand new category of spam (unwanted messages), heretofore outside of your ken: form spam. Form spam (aka comment spam) is simply spam that originates within HTML forms (e.g., comment forms, contact forms, etc. on websites and blogs) instead of the more familiar email variety of spam.

As we are using WordPress, Akismet – a spam filtering service — is one of the free plugins with which you’ll become somewhat familiar. Akismet is one of the better form spam prevention tools I’m aware of. (Actually, I’ve never required anything more than Akismet in the prevention of spam in my blogs — so far, at least.)

In order to configure Akismet for use on your new WordPress site, simply login as WordPress administrator and go to Plugins – Installed plugins. Akismet will be listed at or near the top, since it starts with an A.

New users must obtain an API key for Akismet. The more technology one uses, the more frequently one will be exposed to “API.” You need not know any technical information about API keys – just know that an API key is like a password that allows you to use a particular set of code. (In this case, the programming code comprises a WordPress plugin.)

When you request an API key and you receive it – the API key is either displayed on the screen for you to copy, or emailed to you – be sure you document your API key for future reference, as you WILL need it again. Copy and paste the API key in a safe place, just as you would any other crucial digital information (passwords, links, email addresses, etc.).

Like so much other code, Akismet is free for non-commercial use but carries a small charge for use on commercial sites. Generally speaking, if a site conducts business, then it is a commercial site; however, a general-use blog or site that happens to include a bit of commercial information may or may not officially be a commercial site. Use your own judgment as to whether your use of Akismet constitutes commercial use.

Resources: Blogging noob 101 – Form spam

How to create a free site at WordPress.com

This post is part of the Blogging Noob 101 series

Here is something I wrote about how to create a free WordPress site at WordPress.com.

Is WordPress Right for You? [ BestWeb Nashville ]

The most important paragraph from the page referenced above:

To experiment with a WordPress website from scratch (without paying a dime), visit the free signup page at WordPress.com. You’ll be given a free set of keys to your own new WordPress site.

Basically, all you do is sign up and think of a name for the new site. The only requirement to sign up is that you have a working email address. Whatever name you come up with (in this example we will call it SITENAME), the URL of your new site or blog will be:


However, before too long, you will want to open your own web hosting account to avoid being bound by the strict limitations of free sites at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. A good web hosting account costs around $10 a month, give or take, depending on the web host and the capabilities you want.

Frankly, Bluehost is the best web hosting company I have ever used (and I have used many different web hosts)!


You are not allowed to do very much with free sites at WordPress.com or Blogger.com; for example, no WordPress plugins are allowed at WordPress.com.

Once you have opened your own web hosting account, you can install WordPress at the click of a button and upload/install as many plugins as you want. (Plugins are just extensions for WordPress that give WordPress capabilities above and beyond the default WP installation.)

Get a web hosting account at Bluehost

WordPress is open source software, meaning that it is free to use. To learn about WordPress, be sure to reference the main WordPress site, which is WordPress.org.

WordPress.com is not the main WordPress site; it is just a place to create sites and have them hosted for free or for a monthly fee if you want more capabilities. What you really want to do is to install WordPress on your own web host.

If you find you have a hard time figuring out the WordPress basics (e.g., creating your own posts and pages, installing themes, installing plugins, etc.), you will be able to find plenty of WordPress tutorials via Google, and plenty of WordPress how-to videos and tutorials on YouTube.

HINT: Be sure to search for WordPress 2011 or the current version of WordPress to avoid being led to old videos that show how to use an old version of WordPress. That would probably do nothing but confuse you.