WordPress 101: Categories VS Tags

WordPress-Glossary-CategoriesCategories

You can create categories for your posts.  For example, you might want to sort posts as “Recent Updates” and “In the Press”.  Posts that are time-sensitive updates would be tagged as “Recent”; posts regarding amention of your content in the media would go under “In The Press.  These categories can appear in any menu on your site, and can be displayed as independent lists. Each new post should be assigned to a category. Uncategorized posts will only be displayed when users go to your blog. You can add as many categories as you like, but it is recommended that you keep categories broad, so that you don’t have categories with only one or two posts.

Posts can have as many categories as you like.  Categories are typically used to group posts into lists displayed on a page concerning a specific topis (e.g. yourdomain.com/in-the-press).

Tags

Treat this option as you would a “keyword”. You can add as many (or as few) tags as you like. Website users will find posts on your page when they search for a tag, or when reading a post, they can click a specific tag to see more posts with the same tag.

WordPress Tags| Morrison Street Web Development
For example, you might create a post about making a webpage for your cat photos: you would tag this with “WordPress” and “Cat Photos.”.  Another post might be about a funny thing your cat did: you could tag this “Cat Photos”, and “Funny”.

Tags are similar to categories, but they are generally used to describe your post in more detail, whereas categories are used to bucket similar posts into a group or list.

How Categories and Tags Work to Sort Posts

Tags and Categories are used to help you reader find content that is interesting to them. They are both optional; you can use only tags or only categories. If you have a simple blog that you only update quarterly, then you might not want any sorting other than date, in which case you can use neither. On-the-other-hand, if you post frequently, then it is advised that you use at least one of these methods.

When a user visits your site, you can offer a menu item of all your posts (e.g. “News” or “My Blog”). A link would take the user to your posts page (e.g. “yourdomain.com/news” or “yourdomain.com/my-blog”, rsp). Most wordPress blogging themes are set up this way, and the majority displays the posts page as the main index page (i.e. yourdomain.com/). Categories allows you to break your posts into groups of relevant information. For example, if you blog about food, you might want a “Recipe” category and a “Restaurant Review” category. You can create menu links to “recipes” that would take the user to “yourfoodblog.com/recipes” where they would see a list of your posts about recipes (but not all of your other posts).

Tags are very similar, but instead of being broad groups of posts, they act as key words. Using the food blog example above, you can author a post in the “Restaurant Reviews” category about a taco stand that would be tagged “tacos”, “Late Night Eats”, “Some Neighborhood”. Another post in the “Recipes” category might be a recipe for tacos inspired by your visits; this is tagged “Tacos”, “Dinner”, “Lunch”, and “Mexican”.

When a user visits your site, they can click on the “My Blog” page and see both the review and the recipe plus all you other recent posts. The can click on “Recipes” and see the taco recipe, along with other recipe posts. While reading the taco recipe, the will see the tags displayed (location depends on your theme) and they can click “tacos” to see a list of posts that would include both the recipe and the taco stand review.

Sort Your Posts with Categories

When creating or editing your post, you can choose categories in the categories palate (right of the editor). You can check on multiple categories, or click Add Category to create new ones. Post will automatically be added to the list of for each category.

Sort Your Posts with Tags

Below the categories palate you will see a space to type in and add tags. You can enter as many as you like. If you have already created a tag, be sure to click on the correct spelling from the auto-fill area so you don’t accidentally create multiple tags (i.e. “WordPress” vs “Word Press”).

Read More About Posts

  • Create/Edit a Post
  • Using Quick Edit to change Categories and Tags on Multiple Posts
  • Creating a menu for categories
 

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