Categories & Tags in WordPress

by Drew Conroy

Posted on December 8, 2018

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Note: This post is from our video tutorial on Categories & Tags in WordPress.

Categories & Tags are used to keep your content organized.  Categories allow you to organize your posts into one or more topics or groups of related articles.  Making it easy for your Users to find the content they are looking for. Categories are used for the main topics on your website. Try to look at them as like a storage bin.

Let’s say you are building a website about drums

You have things like drum sticks, skins/drum heads, a sizzle cymbal, tuning keys, ride cymbal, splash cymbal, cymbal stands, throne, crash cymbals, foot pedals, snare drum stand, drum rug, bass drum, toms, floor toms, snare, acrylic drum shield, and hi-hats.

You would have one category and call it “Drum Set” and put the ride cymbal, splash cymbal, crash cymbals, bass drum, sizzle cymbal, toms, china cymbals, floor toms, snare and hi-hats under it.

Then a sub category called “Accessories” and you could have drumsticks, skins/drum heads, tuning keys, cymbal stands, throne, foot pedals, acrylic drum shield, snare drum stand, drum rug.

We have several different cymbals. The different types are: ride, splash, hi-hat, crash, sizzle and china. For these we would use tags instead of creating another subcategory. The reason for not creating a subcategory is because it would only have one thing in it, because it’s so niche.

If we really wanted too, we could create another subcategory for cymbals and then list all the different cymbals as tags.  That’s really not necessary but it is all about how you want to organize everything.

From the Categories panel you can add, edit or delete Categories. I already went in here and created some Categories. To create a Category enter in a name. You will see the slug field below it. A slug is the web address for the Category. You can leave it blank and WordPress will enter one in for you.  If you decide you want to add one yourself, it should only contain letters, numbers, hyphens and all in lowercase. You can also add a Category Description.  Then click the Add New Category button to add your Category.

You can even add sub categories. Just enter the name, the slug if you are  going to name it yourself. Then, in the parent directory drop-down select a category to use as the parent directory.  Click the Add New Category button. Keep in mind when you add new posts and assign them to a Subcategory they will automatically be added to its Parent Category.

To manage categories, just hover your cursor over the Category and you can edit, quick edit, delete or view it.  When clicking on “edit” it will take you to the settings page where you can edit the name, slug, parent and description.  Click the update button once you are through making your changes.

The “quick edit” will allow you to edit the name and slug without going directly to the settings page. When you are done click the “Update Category” button.

When you click the delete link, it will trigger a popup asking you if you are sure you want to permanently delete this Category. Click OK to follow through, otherwise you can cancel it.

When you click the “view” link, it will take you to the category archive page

This page will list all articles filed under this category. When viewing a category you can edit it by clicking the “Edit Category” on the quick access toolbar at the top of the page.

If we go back into Categories, you will see the Bulk Action menu, it allows you to do a mass delete. Just check off the Categories you would like to delete. Select “delete” from the bulk action drop down menu and click Apply.  

If you have a long list and need to find a category. A quick way is by using the “Search Feature” at the top right.

To add a new Category. Make sure you have the “All Categories” tab selected then click on the text link “Add New Category”

Then enter in a name. IF this is going to be a subcategory make sure you select a Parent from the Parent Category drop down menu. Then click the “Add New Category” button.

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To add new Tags, go down to the Tags Panel and start adding Tags you would like to add to your Post.  If you are entering more than one Tag at a time make, sure you separate each word with a comma. Click the Add button to add them. Your post will now be Tagged with the keywords you have entered.

Just like with Categories, clicking on a Tag will take a user to an archive page showing all posts filed under that particular tag.  The quick access bar can be used to make a quick edit of that tag if it is needed.

You can also edit tags by hovering your cursor over Post in the left hand side menu and then click on tags in the flyout.  At the top of the tag sub-panel is the Tag Cloud which will show all the tags you are using and the most popular ones will be in a larger font.

Make sure to check out our WordPress Beginner Tutorials Series on our YouTube Channel.

Have a Great Day!

Drew & the WebStop.netCrew