Post Categories and Tags

In the following video we explain the difference between categories and tags, and how to add them to WordPress blog posts.

Categories

Categories are one of the predefined  taxonomies in WordPress. It is used to sort and group content into different sections. A website with multiple topics can be divided into sections through categories.

Example: A news website can have categories for articles filed under News, Opinion, Weather, Sports, etc.

If no category is assigned to a post it will then automatically be filed into the Default category. In a new WordPress installation, the Default category is Uncategorized. The website administrator can change default category from Settings -> Writing screen. A WordPress post can be filed under multiple categories and can have both categories and tags.

How to Add Categories

You can create a category in WordPress while writing a post. There is a categories meta box on the post editor screen with a list of existing categories. You can file your post in existing categories by checking the box next to the category name. You can also create one by clicking on the  + Add New Category link.

Adding a category from post edit screen in WordPress

You can also add a category directly from the Posts -> Categories screen. Provide a name, and if you want you can add a Slug, which is a URL friendly name in lowercase and can only have letters, numbers, and hyphens. If you are creating a child category then choose a parent category. Provide a description for your category and click on Add New Category button. Only the category name is required to create a new category and you can skip slug, parent, and description fields as they are optional.

Adding new category from Categories page in WordPress

How to Edit Categories

Categories can be edited from  Posts » Categories screen. Move your mouse to the category you want to edit and then click on Edit link. This will open editor where you can change name, slug, add or remove a parent category, edit or add description.

Editing categories in WordPress

You can also delete categories from this screen. Deleting categories does not delete posts filed under it. Instead, if a post is not filed into any other categories, then WordPress will automatically file the post under the default or uncategorized category. It is also important to know that you cannot delete a default category. To delete a default you first need to assign the default status to some other category.

Tags

Tags are also a predefined taxonomy in WordPress. Users can add tags to their WordPress posts along with categories. However, while a category may cover a broad range of topics, tags are smaller in scope and focus to specific topics. Think of them as keywords used for topics discussed in a post.

If a category is not assigned to a post it will automatically be filed into the default category. This is not the case with tags. All tags need to be manually added in by the user, therefore, tags are optional to add, or leave them out of a post. There is no limit as to how many tags can be added.

Example: A post filed in the Book Review category can optionally have tags like FictionMysteryStephen King, etc.

Adding tags to a WordPress post

When a visitor clicks on a tag they are taken to an Archive Page where all posts with the same tag are listed. Tags can also be displayed in one of the sidebars using a widget, or in the post content using the special FloTheme block. For more information check Recommended Blocks for Post Layout article.

Taxonomies provide an easy way to sort content into topics. This helps website administrators and content publishers to organize their content. This also helps visitors in find topics they are interested in.