Glossary of Terms

Acronyms Defined

CMS: Content Management System: This is the underlying system used to manage the adding, editing, deleting, publishing and organising of the content of a website from a central interface.

CSS: Cascading Style Sheets: This is code that allows us to create the 'look and feel' of a website as per the design specifications. We can change the colour, size or position of any type of content including fonts and images.

ZOPE: Z Object Publishing Environment (ZOPE) is a website builder and server that uses the idea that it is serving, or 'publishing' objects, rather than merely providing content that will be added to a Web page.


Breadcrumbs are the trail of folders you have traveled through to get to the page you are currently viewing.


Categories allow you to tag items with relevant keywords that can then be used to link items that are related but located in different areas of your site.


Functionality refers to a standard feature available on all Plone websites. EG: Breadcrumbs, Categories, Extranet/Intranet, Portlets, Site map, Search, Date/Time critical display, Website Statistics etc etc


Intranet is a computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to share information or computer services privately among employees within an organisation.

Extranet is a computer network that allows controlled access from the outside, for specific business or educational purposes, of an organisation's Intranet.


Items is the generic description given to the available content types, EG: Page, Folder, Collection, Form, Image. Plone Items are just like the physical items they have been named after, e.g. just like a Folder sitting on your desk, Folders 'hold' items inside them. 


Plone is a free open-source CMS built on the ZOPE application server. Plone is an "Enterprise CMS" and is most commonly used for Intranets. Many high-profile public sector companies and government websites have also been built with Plone.


Portlets is the term used for an area on the left and right, top and bottom of the main content area where extra information can be positioned without encroaching into the main body content area. They also allow something to be displayed on multiple pages without having to add it to each individual page by means of 'inheriting' the portlets from the folder they are contained in.


A responsive theme is a website look that changes to accommodate the size of the screen it is being displayed upon. It will potentially shrink or rearrange elements of your website so that it is just as coherent and usable on a mobile device as it is on a larger PC screen.

Search, Advanced

The normal search function at the top of the site will build a list of 'likely' objectives as you type. The more letters added, the shorter the list becomes.

If the item you are looking for does not appear on the list, the Advanced Search function will enable you to search the site for a specific item 'type' EG if you are looking for a particular news item - you can look up all news items etc.


The Theme is the Websites 'look'. Theming includes the positioning of elements, how they are displayed, the colours, font types etc. A website's theme is entirely independent of the content and can be changed without needing to start everything from scratch.


Plone Workflow policies allow a site administrator to create a formalized system for controlling publication and content management as a step-by-step flow involving different users in set roles.

Workflow is an advanced subject. It involves creation of a more regimented control of content creation, review, and publication. If you have a user account on a typical, small Plone site you will probably not encounter custom workflow policies as there isn't a need for this more sophisticated control. However the potential is there for using this functionality.