Glossary

This page provides definitions for terms related to headless WordPress.

Application Programming Interface: A method for one application or piece of software to communicate with another.

Atlas is the complete headless WordPress platform. Atlas includes dynamic Node.js and headless WordPress in one package with your choice of modern front-end framework.

Atlas Content Modeler is an open-source WordPress plugin from WP Engine that simplifies the process of creating content models for your headless WordPress site. With a single tool, you can create a new content model, define the custom fields and taxonomies for it, develop relationships between the model and other posts or users, and have all of that data automatically available to you via the WordPress REST API or WPGraphQL.

Code that runs server-side (on the web server), as opposed to client-side (in the site visitor's web browser).

The period during which programming code is converted to the compiled assets (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and other files) that will ultimately be served to end users. Buildtime is also commonly referred to as "build time", "compiletime", or "compile time".

A web application that is used to manage content. WordPress is the most popular CMS, powering over 40% of the web.

A style sheet language used to describe the presentation of a webpage. You can learn more on this MDN Web Docs page: CSS: Cascading Style Sheets.

Decoupling describes the separation of different concerns. In headless WordPress architectures, this most commonly means separating the frontend from the backend. This is in contrast to traditional WordPress architectures where the frontend and backend are tightly coupled and exist in a single, unified codebase.

Faust.js is an open-source JavaScript framework for headless WordPress. Faust.js consists of a WordPress plugin, a set of npm packages, and guides to get you started building headless WordPress sites.

Code that runs client-side (in the site visitor's web browser), as opposed to server-side (on the web server).

Gatsby is an open-source JavaScript development framework built on top of Node.js and React for building web applications.

GQty is a proxy-based GraphQL client.

An open-source data query and manipulation language. In headless WordPress architectures, GraphQL is often used to power the API layer that the frontend and backend use to communicate with one another.

The markup language used for defining the structure of web pages. You can learn more on this MDN Web Docs page: HTML: HyperText Markup Language.

A content management system where the backend content repository (the "body") is decoupled from the frontend presentation layer (the "head").

A website architecture where the WordPress backend is decoupled from a frontend application. The WordPress backend and the frontend app typically communicate with one another via the WordPress REST API or WPGraphQL.

Jamstack (or "JAMstack") refers to a modern web architecture using JavaScript, APIs, and HTML. From JamStack.org: β€œIt’s a new way of building websites and apps that delivers better performance, higher security, lower cost of scaling, and a better developer experience.”

JavaScript, often abbreviated "JS", is a programming language that is one of the core technologies of the web, alongside HTML and CSS. It can be used to make web pages interactive for website visitors in various ways. With the advent of Node.js, it is also possible to run JavaScript on the server-side, in addition to client-side (in the web browser).

A syntax extension to JavaScript that makes it easier to write code that ultimately gets compiled to HTML. JSX is most commonly used in React applications. You can learn more by reading this React docs page: Introducing JSX.

An open-source JavaScript development framework built on top of Node.js and React for building web applications.

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript runtime environment, typically used to execute JavaScript code on a web server.

npm is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language maintained by npm, Inc. Despite the fact that "npm" stands for "Node Package Manager", it is commonly used as a package manager for both client-side (JavaScript executed in a web browser) and server-side (Node.js apps) JavaScript projects.

An open-source JavaScript development framework built on top of Node.js and Vue for building web applications.

Polylang is a WordPress plugin that enables multilingual capabilities translating posts, pages, media, categories, post tags, custom post types and taxonomies, RSS feeds; RTL scripts are supported.

A request for information. In the context of web applications, a "query" often refers to the practice of fetching data from a database, or fetching data from an API via an HTTP request.

React is an open-source JavaScript development framework for building web applications.

The period during which a computer program is executing.

The organization or structure of a database or API.

Svelte is an open-source JavaScript compiler. Svelte shifts the work traditionally done in the browser into a compile step that happens when you build your app.

An open-source JavaScript development framework built on top of Node.js and Svelte for building web applications.

Vue is an open-source frontend framework for building user interfaces and single-page applications.

WordPress is an open-source content management system. WordPress powers more than 40% of the top 1 million websites by traffic.

WPGraphQL is an open-source WordPress plugin that provides an extendable GraphQL schema and API for any WordPress site.