Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

How to Add a Glossary or Dictionary Section in Your WordPress Site

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Do you want to add a glossary or dictionary section to your WordPress site?

If a customer is unsure about a specialist term or abbreviation, then a glossary can give them the necessary information. In this way, you can help visitors better understand industry topics and present yourself as an expert in your field.

In this article, we will show you how to add a glossary or dictionary to your WordPress site.

Adding a glossary in WordPress

What Is a Glossary or Dictionary?

A glossary or dictionary lists specialist terms in alphabetical order and then provides a definition.

Like a physical dictionary, an online glossary can help visitors find the meaning of any term, phrase, or abbreviation they are unsure about, such as our WPBeginner WordPress Glossary.

WordPress glossary

This can help potential customers understand your blog posts, guides, tutorials, and other resources. This often keeps them on your site for longer, which can increase pageviews and reduce the bounce rate in WordPress.

By presenting yourself as an accessible and helpful industry expert, you can also encourage visitors to keep coming back. If you sell online products or services, then this trust and respect can even help you get more sales.

With that said, let’s take a look at how to easily add a glossary or dictionary section to your WordPress site.

Video Tutorial

Subscribe to WPBeginner

If you don’t want to watch the video tutorial, then you can continue reading the text version.

Adding a Glossary or Dictionary on Your WordPress Site

The easiest way to add a glossary or dictionary to your WordPress website is by using the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin. This plugin lets you organize all your specialist terms and abbreviations into a list and then show each definition in a tooltip.

An example of a WordPress glossary

The first thing you need to do is to install and activate CM Tooltip Glossary. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you will be asked to register the plugin by typing in your email address.

If you don’t want to join the CM Tooltip Glossary email list, then simply click on ‘Skip’. You can still use all the plugin’s features.

The CM Tooltip Glossary WordPress plugin

After that, click on the ‘General Settings’ tab.

Here, you can add the glossary to any page by opening the ‘Glossary Index Page ID’ dropdown and choosing a page from the list.

Configuring the WordPress glossary

If you prefer, then you can create a new page for your glossary by checking the box next to ‘Generate page for Glossary Index’.

Then, find the ‘Glossary Terms Permalink’ field and type in the URL slug that you want to use for the new page. Your glossary is an important page, so it’s a good idea to use a descriptive slug.

Creating a custom permalink for a glossary term

If you don’t add a URL, then the plugin will simply use /glossary.

By default, CM Tooltip Glossary highlights glossary terms when they appear on your pages, posts, and in the glossary itself.

If you want to change these settings, then scroll to the ‘Term Highlighting’ section.

You can now delete any of the options in ‘Highlight terms on given post types’. You can also type in any other areas where you want to highlight glossary terms, such as any custom post types you may be using.

Highlighting glossary terms in your WordPress dictionary

After that, you can choose whether to highlight a glossary term every time it appears on a page or only the first time.

If it’s a common word, we recommend only highlighting it when it first appears to avoid distracting your readers.

However, if the word or definition is complicated, then visitors may appreciate being able to access the glossary every time that word appears on your site.

To make this change, check or uncheck the box next to ‘Highlight first term occurrence only’.

Highlight the first glossary term occurrence

You may also want to only highlight glossary terms on single posts and pages. By enabling this option, CM Tooltip Glossary will ignore your custom homepage, author pages, and other taxonomy-related pages.

When you are happy with how the glossary is set up, just scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on ‘Save Changes.’

After that, you can click on the ‘Glossary Index Page’ tab and configure the glossary display settings. For example, you can use a tile layout for the glossary page and change the width of the tiles.

Most of these settings are straightforward. However, if you need more information about an option, then simply hover your mouse over its ‘?’ icon to see what this specific option does.

Index page settings

Next, you can check the link settings for your glossary by selecting the ‘Glossary Term’ tab.

Here, you can customize how the glossary links look by changing the link color, adding an underline, and creating hover states.

Styling the WordPress glossary or dictionary

You also have the option to ‘Open glossary term page in a new window/tab’. This may be a good alternative to the default WordPress tooltip if you want to show lots of information about each glossary term.

Adding a New Glossary Term

When you are happy with how the glossary is set up, you are ready to start adding terms and definitions by going to CM Tooltip Glossary » Add New.

Adding terms to a WordPress glossary

Adding a new glossary term is similar to writing a great blog post. Simply type in a title, which will appear in the list on your glossary page.

Then, type a definition into the main WordPress block editor. This text will appear in the tooltip or in a new tab, depending on whether you selected ‘Open glossary term page in a new window/tab’ in the plugin’s settings.

How to add terms to a WordPress dictionary or glossary

When you are ready, simply click on the ‘Publish’ button.

You can add as many glossary terms as you want, and the plugin will arrange them in alphabetical order automatically. After adding a few terms, you can visit your WordPress blog or website to see the glossary page in action.

Note: You will find the glossary page at the ‘Glossary Terms Permalink’ URL, as defined in the plugin’s settings.

A glossary, created using a free WordPress plugin

After creating a glossary, you will want to help visitors find it. This may mean adding it to your website’s navigation menu or the WordPress footer.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add a glossary or dictionary on your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a custom page in WordPress or our expert pick of the best popular post plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

21 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Sibusisiwe says

    Thank you for your article, this is just a heads-up that the CM Tooltip plugin has this message: This plugin has been closed as of July 10, 2024, and is not available for download. This closure is temporary, pending a full review.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Thank you for letting us know, that message can be brought up when am issue is found with the plugin and can be a temporary error waiting for feedback from the plugin’s author for it to be resolved. We’ll keep an eye on this and if it is not resolved then we will look for a replacement plugin :)


  3. kzain says

    I’ve been wanting to create a dedicated section for defining technical terms on my website, and this post came at the perfect time. The idea of using tooltips with the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin (without directly naming it) sounds great, it keeps the page layout clean while still providing easy access to definitions.

  4. Jiří Vaněk says

    I have a dictionary built in elementor and as topics keep getting added to it it gets a bit unwieldy and big and loading. I’m looking for a lightweight plugin to replace the current solution with something faster and less demanding on performance. Thanks for the demo of this plugin, I will definitely include it as an option and will be happy to try it out.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to check with the plugin’s support with what you’re wanting to do as that has a bit of a niche use case.


  5. Gigi says

    Hi, thanks for your post, is very useful. I have a question, I want to have different dictionaries, is that possible? Thank you lots

  6. Jenna says

    I want to create a glossary on my site, but was going to use anchors and accordions. Is it beneficial for SEO or UX to have the entries on separate pages, rather than keeping it all on one page? Thanks in advance.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Depending on how much content you have it may be easier for your visitors to navigate the multiple pages but set up well there shouldn’t be much of a difference.


  7. Godwin says

    Hi, after creating the glossary using CM tooltip, can anyone give me an idea how I can convert my site to an offline app? Pls help me out

  8. Damith says

    I have no idea why big brand like wpbeginner promote plugins like CM Tooltip Glossary which is already delete from WordPress officially directory. This isn’t good.

  9. Jonathan Polley says

    Just so you know, the plugin you recommend in this article is closed and no longer available for download.

    Rendering this article useless (not your fault) are there other glossary plugins with the same functionality?

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.