A category refers to a major topic that an article or post is assigned to. It allows all your related posts to be grouped together. Categorizing your posts will help you and your users to navigate your site easily, especially if it’s done right.
Each category could be assigned to a parent category forming a hierarchy. To illustrate how you can form your structure, let’s use music as a blog topic. If you are blogging about music, one of your parent categories could be Jazz, and your subcategories under Jazz could be punk jazz, soul, blues, and all other genres.
Creating Categories in WordPress
- Log in to your Dashboard
- Click on Posts.
- Select Categories.
- Enter a name of a category.
- Enter a “slug” which will be the URL of your named category. It should be in lowercase. Letters, numbers and hyphens are permitted with no spaces in between. Example: domain/category/subcategory = bluplanet.com/jazz/blues
- If the category you are creating is a parent category, choose None. If it’s a subcategory, choose one of the parent categories you previously created.
- Write a description if you wish to as some themes may display the description of each category.
- Click on Add New Category.
Every time you write a post, you will find the categories you created on the right panel of your screen. Just select one of them to list your post under a particular category.
The most common problem that bloggers face when they organize their blog content is confusing tags with categories. Both of them functions the same to group your related posts. However, tags don’t have hierarchy and may not be used to form part of the navigational structure. Unlike categories, tags exist on their own and have no relationship to any other tags.
To understand their difference, Lorelle VanFossen, a WordPress expert and veteran, differentiate the two by comparing a blog to a book.
Categories are like chapters in your book that describe the articles within its content. Each unit may have different chapters which are related to a general topic.
Tags are like index. When you have a book in front of you, and you want to look for a very specific word, you open up the index where you can find list of words with pages that mention the word you are looking for.
In WordPress, there’s no limit to the number of tags that you want to use, while you might want to limit your categories to produce a well –themed blog.
Creating Tags in WordPress
- Log in to your dashboard.
- Click on Posts
- Select Post Tags
- Enter a name of your tag
- Enter a “slug” which is the URL of your tag.
- Describe your tag.
- Click on Add New Tag
Some bloggers display their tags on the front end of their blog using Tag Cloud widget, although it’s not necessary.
Categories and tags should be created during your initial set up. When you have all categories laid on your blog, it will be easier for you think or to select the topics that you will be writing. Remember, search engines favor a well – themed blog.