When working with themes or public-facing views for a website, WordPress components can generally be thought of in three distinct areas:
- Templates are used for rendering the view (that is, the markup and the styles) of data.
- Partials are reusable fragments of templates.
- Helper Functions are used to help process, format, and generally work with data.
As far as templates and partials are concerned, these are relatively common with themes or working with anything on the front-end, but we don’t see it as much as we do when talking about the context of the Dashboard.
But when it comes to working with the back-end, all of these things are still applicable. Sometimes you’ll see them in isolation – like with helper functions – other times, all three things can work together such as in the case of meta boxes.
That is, you have a function for defining the meta box, a function for rendering the meta box (which can include a template), and then the template may have multiple parts – or partials – such as the contents for various tabs.