If you’re a techie, the meaning of various words, or terms, employed by WordPress will probably be quite evident to you.

If however you are, like me, not a techie and especially if you are fairly new to WordPress, you may well have experienced some bafflement with terms such as “The Loop”, “.htaccess” and “Codex”.

This can be very frustrating, especially if you find yourself trying to set something up or fix a problem in WordPress and you discover you need to know the meaning of some special term before you can resolve the matter.

The post WordPress Lingo on weblog tools collection is a good entry point to understanding some of these terms.

It’s not by any means comprehensive (not that it pretends to be), but as well as providing a basic explanation of selected terms it does point the way to finding out what you really need to know. For example, you can find out a certain amount about what WordPress calls “The Loop”, but if you want to follow an instruction, as I have had to do, to place some code “inside The Loop”, you won’t get an immediate answer from the post on WordPress Lingo.

But just now when I checked, I found that if I followed a link from that post to the WordPress Codex (another term that is explained), I arrived at a fairly lengthy and reasonably technical explanation of The Loop. It did not tell me, or at least not clearly, how to find the magic space of “within The Loop”. Having been on that path before, I did not actually take long to find the paragraph I needed, which read:

For a beginners look at The Loop, see The Loop in Action.

That’s me, a beginner (in many respects, still, after all this time with WordPress).

Then in that page I found what I was looking for, a section headed Begin The Loop, which opened with:

Found at the top of the default index.php template file is the starting code for The Loop.

<?php if (have_posts()) : ?><br />
<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post();

and further down, under Ending The Loop, I read:

The following ends The Loop. After this, the various post-related template tags will not work as expected (or if they do, they will use the last post from The Loop). This means, that if you need to use a template tag that works within The Loop, you need to put it in before this point.

<?php endwhile; ?>

Thanks folks, that’s what I wanted.

As I say, the post on the weblog tools collection site is good, but you need to accept that it’s an entry point, not the whole story.

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