WordPress – Categories & Tags

Video Tutorial

Script & Screenshots

In this video I’m going to go through Categories & Tags.

Categories and tags are used on posts for blogging.  If you don’t plan to blog and only have pages such as a Home, About, Contact, etc. for your website, then you won’t need to use these.

Their sole purpose is to help sort your blog content to improve the usability of your site for your visitors.   They will make it easier to find the posts with the topic they are interested in.

Categories and tags are different so it’s important you know how to use them.

Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts. Think of these as the main topics of your site. They are there to help identify what your blog is really about. It is to assist your visitors in finding the content they are interested in quickly.   They are hierarchical, so you can have sub-categories.

You must have at least one per post.  If you don’t select one, it will automatically use the Uncategorized category.  That category will not help your users find any blog post on your website, so I’d suggest creating at least one category and un select uncategorized.  It’s very easy to create one.

To add a new Category, click on the Add New Category link.

This will then display a box where you can type in the name of your new category.  Type in the name that you want.

Then click on the Add New Category button.

It will add the new category to the top of the list and leave it selected.

If you’d like to set it as a sub category, select the parent category from the dropdown menu.  Otherwise just click the Add New Category button.

Select your desired parent category.  Keep in mind if you have to have at least one created before you can choose a parent category.

Click on the Add New Category button.

If you have a lot of categories, you can use the most used tab to find them quicker.

Here it will show your most used categories at the top.  Since mine are all new and haven’t been used on a post, none of them are showing up here.  Once you start using them, they will start showing up here with the most used at the top.

If you decide you want to remove a category, click in the box to un select it.  You can do this from the Most or All Categories tabs.  I’d recommend un checking the Uncategorized category.

There is no specific optimal number for the best number of categories that you should use on each post.  It will vary based on the complexity of your site.  However, for the sake of structure and usability, it is best that you utilize sub-categories and tags.  There are no SEO benefits to adding multiple categories to a post. If you think it helps your visitors, then you should add more than one.  It is all about making your visitors experience better.

Tags are similar to categories, but they are usually used to describe your post in more detail.  They are also optional unlike the Categories.  They are the micro-data that you can use to micro-categorize your content.  Unlike the categories, Tags are not hierarchical and have no relationship to any other tag.  They are the smaller factors that can connect the posts together.  So these are just smaller things that are mentioned in the posts, but they aren’t the main topic.  There is no limit to how many you can add per post, but I don’t recommend adding too many.  I’d recommend up to 10 tags per post.  They will make your content more accessible.

To add a tag, click in the box and type in the name.  Then click the Add button.

When adding Tags, you have to type them in each time.  If you’ve used a tag before, WordPress will usually display it once you’ve starting typing part of the name.  Then you can select it without having to type the whole name.

Tags are case sensitive so if you add one as lower case and one with capital letters it will display for both so it’s best to stay consistent.

You can add multiple tags at one time by adding a comma in between the words and then clicking the Add button.

If you’d like to delete a tag from a post, all you need to do is click on the ‘X’ next to the Tag name and then it will be removed.

If you’d like to edit a Category or a tag, on the left menu underneath Posts, you’ll see Categories and Tags.

To edit a category, click on the category sub menu.

Here you’ll see all the categories that you’ve added so far in posts that are published.  You can see the number of posts that are used for each category in the far right column.  Posts that have not been published will not be included in the count.

To edit, click on the category you want to edit.

Here you can change the spelling, capitalization or whatever you need in the Name field.

The “slug” is the URL-friendly version of the name. It is usually all lowercase and contains only letters, numbers, and hyphens.  WordPress will automatically create the Slug for you when you create the Category.

You can also change the Parent category here.

Once you’re done, click on the Update button at the bottom to save the changes.  This will then change it on all the posts it’s connected to.

Click on the link to go back to the main Categories page.

Sometimes it is easier if you plan out your categories and tags before you start blogging.  This could help you organize them better.  For example, if you have a personal blog where you write about cooking. Your categories can be something like: Appetizers, Main Dish, Desserts, and Soup & Salads. Now when you write a post about an appetizer, you will add it in the appetizers category.  For the tags, you can add things like pepperoni, cheese, meatballs, etc.

I’m going to add a new Category, Main Dish.  All you need to do to add a new one here is type in the name

Then click on the Add New Category button.

To edit the Tags, click on the Tags menu on the left menu.

Tags are the same as Categories when it comes to adding and editing.  To add, type in the name in the Name field and then click the Add New Tag button.  Or click on the tag on the right that you’d like to edit and edit the same way as the categories.

WordPress does not have any limits on the number of tags you can use on a post. You can add hundreds of tags if you like. However, the purpose of the tags is to relate your posts together.

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