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Manage WordPress Categories

Categories in WordPress are used to group website content into general sections. While Categories describe the main sections of a website, tags are like keywords in posts.

The more content you create containing most of the important tags that fully describe the category, the more search engines and visitors will accept your site as an trustful source of information about that category.

The connection between Categories > Tags > Posts is obvious and therefore of exclusive importance for the success of your site.

That is why WordPress provides an excellent ways to include categories and tags into single posts and also to create menus that help visitors to navigate within content without being confused.

In this article we'll show you how to manage WordPress categories.

Default Category

Each post in WordPress is submitted under one or more categories. This supports navigation and allows posts to be sorted with others with similar content.

If no category is specified for a post then the post is automatically filed into the default category. In a new WordPress installation, the default category is ‘Uncategorized' but it can be edited in Posts > Categories screen or replaced from Settings > Writing screen (if there is at least one newly created category).

Note: The default category cannot be deleted.

Add New Category

In creating Categories, recognize that each Category Name must be unique. Thus, even if two Categories have two different Parents, they must still have different names.

New category can added in two ways – in Posts > Categories screen and in Edit (Add New) Post screen.

Add New Category in Categories screen

wordpress categories

Name The Category Name must be unique. Even if two categories have two different parents, they must still have different names.

Slug The Category slug must be unique. The slug is the URL-friendly version of the name. It is usually all lowercase and contains only letters, numbers, and hyphens. The name and the slug do not have to be the exact same word. Category White can have a slug black.

Parent Category Use this drop-down if you want to make this Category a Sub-Category; you will select the Sub-Category's Parent here. Sub-Categories show up on your blog's page just like Categories, except they are nested under their Parent Categories. When someone clicks the Parent Category link, all posts in Parent Category and all its Sub-Categories will be displayed. Clicking the Sub-Category link only displays those post in that Sub-Category.

Description Category Descriptions are optional.

Click Add New Category button and the new category will appear within the table.

Add New Category in Categories panel

Click Posts > Add New to enter Add New Post screen. You can also click on Post > All Posts and click Edit link for some of the existing articles. Using any method will give you access to Categories panel in the right sidebar.

Enter the name of the new category (News) and click Add New Category button:

wordpress categories

The new category is properly displayed in the panel:

wordpress categories

Click Update or Publish button to save the changes.

How to create Sub-Categories?

You can create new sub-category in both mentioned above places – Category screen and Category panel. In both places we must select the Parent Category from the drop-down menu.

Let's create new Sub-Category Video to Parent Category News in Category panel:

wordpress categories

Check News category, select it in the parent-category drop-down, enter Video and click Add New Category button.

The New sub-category is properly nested in the categories panel:

wordpress categories

and also in the categories table:

wordpress categories

You can edit categories and sub-categories by changing names and slugs, even you can convert sub-category into category by selecting Edit and from Parent Category drop-down select None:

wordpress categories

wordpress categories

Video is now category:

wordpress categories

WordPress puts no limit in number of categories and sub-categories you can use – it is your decision. It is considered a good practice to use one category (sub-category) per post and several tags thus avoiding duplicated content. Also your visitors might not be happy if they are finding the same article under various categories and tags.

Category links can be displayed in your sidebar if you activate Category widget from Appearance > Widgets. When someone clicks on one of these Category links, an archive page with all the posts belonging to that Category will be displayed.

How to Convert Categories to Tags

Categories and tags are both pre-defined taxonomies in WordPress. Sometimes you may want to change your categories into tags or tags into categories. To do that, go to Tools > Import and click on Categories and Tags Converter.

wordpress categories

A pop-up window will open asking you to install the importer, click on the Install Now button.

Once the importer is installed click on Activate Plugin & Run Importer.

wordpress categories

Click one of the buttons at the top – we are going to use Tags to Categories:

wordpress categories

Choose the tag and click on Convert Tags to Categories button:

wordpress categories

The new category Orange is properly listed in categories table:

wordpress categories


We hope this article will help you understand and manage WordPress categories quickly and confidently.

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