Taxonomies

Tags & Categories

Tags and categories are both WordPress taxonomies that can be applied to posts (but not pages), to help you organize your site’s content by topic. If you compare your WordPress site to a book, categories are like the table of contents, and tags are like the index.

Categories typically describe the site’s main organizational divisions, and tags provide a way to follow concepts or keywords that span across multiple topics. You can use either categories or tags on your site, or both in conjunction.

  • Sample site taxonomy: My Recipes
    If your site were a collection of cooking recipes, your categories might include meats, vegetables, breads and soups. You could create another set of categories that described your content along another axis- appetizers, main courses, desserts. A single post can belong to multiple categories - so you post "French Onion Soup" could belong to both the soup category and the appetizer category.

    The tags for this site might include specific ingredients (e.g. kale or milk) or dietary restrictions (e.g. vegan or gluten-free). While these concepts are important, they might not make sense as the primary organization principles for your site.


  • Feature comparison: categories vs. tags
    Often, deciding if something should be a category or tag is a blurry line, and it might come down to what extra features come along with the taxonomy.

    Category Tag
    Can be viewed as a group with other posts in the taxonomy Y Y
    Can easily be included in custom menus Y N
    Can be displayed as a sidebar widget Y Y
    Can be hierarchical (have parent/child relationships) Y N
    Can define what's included in an RSS feed Y N
    Can be sorted by date or title Y N

Last modified on May 20, 2015