The 12th in the series of…
20 Secret Blogging Tips in 20 Days
That’s a dozen posts of WordPress Wonderfulness.
Check out the bottom of this post to see the rest.
Categories and Tags
One of the things you need to think about on your blog is creating what I call a Category Plan. This is a thought out plan of exactly how and why you are going to use Categories. It’s important.
I’m in the middle of building a new WordPress website for a regular blogger. They didn’t have a WordPress site, they had been using a Blogger site and wanted to own their content. Instead of starting fresh, I imported all their posts from Blogspot (including the images and even the comments!).
What Blogger calls “Labels”, WordPress calls “Categories”. Here’s the same post in Blogger
and in WordPress
You can see how they are similar. Click on either one and they’ll take you to a “archive page” with all the other posts that might have labeled with that category. <== see what I did there? 😉
The problem is that WordPress also uses “Tags”. Tags operate the same way. They are called taxonomies and taxonomies simply help sort and refine the content of your site.
What’s the difference between a Category and a Tag?
While fundamentally they are the same, a Category (Categories) are meant to be a general way to define content.
Contrast that to Tags, which are meant to describe the little details of a post.
Does that make sense? Admittedly I keep the tags to a minimum and the Categories well defined. Because I do that you can go to the menu bar and in the drop down under READ you’ll find the ability to read all the posts on things like WordPress, or Facebook Profiles, or Facebook Pages. Those three are my biggest category topics, and the reason I put them in the menu bar like that is because most people don’t know how to sort by Category.
I maintain 16 Categories on this site. I include the Category in the Permalink for SEO as well.
As for the Tags, I don’t use them quite often enough. Maybe I should. Want to see Tags in action? Here’s all my posts “Tagged” with the keyword of “google“. It creates an archive page.
My recommendation is to keep Categories well defined and focused. When it comes to Tags – feel free to go wild!
That new website I’m building?
By importing all their posts, the “Labels” translate to Categories. It’s not their fault, they only had a single option and so they used it as best they could.
My next step is going to narrow down some of the categories and merge them into a few, well defined ones.
Moving forward, they’ll aso be able to Tag their posts like they used to do with Labels. It’s just a small change for them but in the end it’ll make the site much more user friendly.
Login to your site and look at how you are using Categories and Tags. What basic Categories can you narrow your content down to? Do you effectively use tags?
BONUS: Whatever you do, don’t use the default Category of “uncategorized”. Nothing says n00b like a bunch of uncategorized posts. OOOOOOH! Look what I just found on my site! https://areweconnected.com/uncategorized/ I’m such a n00b!
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He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.