managing categories and tags


word cloud

When I’m training a new WordPress user on the basics of editing a post/page, I inevitably get the question “What’s the difference between and category and a tag?”

Categories are usually more broad and general descriptions of your post, while a tag allows you to hone in on the details.

So, in a post on my art site, I might write about a new piece I’m working on. The category would be “works in progress” and the tags might be “painting” or “flowers” or “winter doldrums” or “blue.”

Other examples:

  • On our family blog, a post where I talk about what a great weekend we had could be categorized as “daily life” and the tags could be “weekends,” “zoo” and “bowling”.
  • In the graphic for this article, the largest word, “social,” could be the category, while all of the other words can be tags.
  • On this particular article, the category is “blogging” and the tags are “categories” and “tags”.

It’s best to have a narrower amount of categories than tags, but your mileage may vary, depending upon your site’s goals and focus. Do you need to have categories and tags? Categories, yes, because they help with SEO, but tags are optional.

(SEO? What’s SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization, and we’ll talk about that in next month’s post.)


Be nice. Be real. Be happy.