When you first start using WordPress, finding your way around can be pretty confusing. The chances are that you have a heap of questions, and one of the most common relates to the difference between categories and tags.
So, in this guide, we’ll help you understand how these two ways of categorizing your content can really help you structure your content effectively and allow visitors to your site quickly find what they’re looking for.
When it comes to categorizing your content, you have two main options: categories and tags. Both of these methods can be helpful in organizing your content, but they work in different ways. Here’s a quick overview of WordPress categories vs tags:
Categories are used to group similar pieces of content. For example, if you have a blog about travel, you might have categories for different destinations, like “Africa,” “Asia,” and “Europe.” This makes it easy for readers to find all the posts about a particular topic in one place.
Tags are used to describe the contents of a post. For example, if you wrote a blog post about your recent trip to Italy, you might tag it with “travel,” “Italy,” and “vacation.” This makes it easy for readers to find all the posts about a particular topic in one place.
Top Tips For Categories And Tags
- Use categories to group together similar pieces of content.
- Use tags to describe the contents of a post.
- Use both categories and tags to make it easy for readers to find what they’re looking for.
- Keep your category names short, descriptive, and easy to remember.
- Don’t use too many categories or tags – a few well-chosen ones are better than a long list of options.
- Use consistent spelling and capitalization for your categories and tags. This will make them easier to find and use.
- Make sure your category and tag names are relevant to the content they describe. This will help you keep your content organized and improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Categories vs. Tags — Which Is Better?
So, you might now be wondering, is one better than the other? Well, the simple answer is no! Both have their place within your blog.
That said, while you always have to use categories, you don’t always have to use tags. But, without them, it can be difficult for visitors to your site to find their way around.
Tags can also help search engines crawl your website more easily and understand what it’s about. That results in an improved user experience, which can help your overall SEO strategy.
What About Taxonomies?
If you’re a little confused by all of this, don’t worry — you’re not alone. The terms ‘categories’, ‘tags,’ and even ‘taxonomies’ can be confusing, and it doesn’t help that they’re often used interchangeably.
Let’s clear things up a little. In WordPress, the term taxonomy refers to how content is categorized. This can include categories, tags, post formats, etc. So, when we talk about using categories and tags on our WordPress site, we are actually talking about using taxonomies.
Categories and tags are the two most common types of taxonomies, but there are other less common options, too. These include:
- Post Formats: Used to indicate the format of a post, such as ‘image,’ ‘video,’ or ‘quote.’
- Links: Used to categorize links. This was once a default taxonomy but is no longer used in WordPress.
- Custom Taxonomies: Can be created by themes and plugins to categorize content further. For example, you might see a portfolio section on a WordPress site with different items grouped together by project type, client name, etc. These groupings would likely be created using custom taxonomies.
Designing The Taxonomy For Your WordPress Site
This is an essential part of the development process, as it will determine how content is organized and displayed. If you’re unsure what would work best for your site, take some time to think about the different ways your content could be categorized. You might also want to consider consulting with a WordPress developer to get some expert advice.
While it is possible to change the site’s taxonomy at a later point, it could create a lot of work and negatively impact your SEO rankings. So, we recommend taking the time to get it right from the outset!
Don’t Forget The User Experience
While you might design what you think is a great structure for your site, if it’s not easy for someone else to use, it will not be effective. So, when planning your categories and tags (or any other taxonomies), always think about the user experience.
Make it easy for them to find their way around, encouraging them to stay on your site and not head off to your competitor!
Categories and tags are two of WordPress’s most commonly used taxonomies, and understanding how they work is essential for any site owner or developer. Remember to take the time to plan your site time invested now will save you lots of stress and hassle if you need to change it all later on!