Categories and Tags are how you organize your WordPress posts. The difference is simple. At first there were only categories, but this was not enough for people who:
- Have a ton of posts
- Love organization
They were unable to best categorize each post in the several but limited amount of categories WordPress lets you have. Thus tags were invented. Tags are words that describe each post. You can have a billion of them, and they do not require any parent-child organizational framework like categories do. This might not be making sense to you, so let’s put it into play.
Learn How to Use WordPress Categories
Let’s say you run a catering company. You have an amazing WordPress website and a blog that you post to fairly often. Since you’re working with food, your posts tend to be about different dishes and recipes.
Now, let’s say you remember that you posted a black bean enchilada recipe last summer. Since then, you’ve had about a hundred posts, so it’s tucked away in the archives. If there were no categories/tags, you would have to go through pages and pages of archived blogs to find that post. But since you’re clever, and you know you are, you can access that enchilada in a pinch by selecting Mexican Food from your category menu.
That category will have all of your Mexican food recipes and dishes, and will thus rule out everything else when you search your blog. If you only had one Mexican food post, then it would be a pretty weak category and you might consider putting it into another broader category like Around the World Recipes. Likewise, if you have a TON of Mexican food recipes, then one category wouldn’t be enough of a classification. That’s where tags come in.
Learn How to Use WordPress Tags
Tags are more specific organizational devices. They are often found at the bottom of a post. They are located apart from the main content of your post, so you have a lot of freedom here. And since you can have have as many as you want, you can basically go nuts.
Now if the original post was in the Mexican Food category, then the tags black beans, enchiladas and vegetarian would be helpful. But you don’t have to stop there. You can get creative with your tags. They can be as long or short as you want. There is nothing but freedom when it comes to tags. Therefore black bean enchiladas can totally utilize: don’t even miss the meat, recipes from my grandmother, super yum, where’s the margarita?, and a five year old can make this. See what I mean?
All posts need to have a category (the default is the Uncategorized category), but not every post needs to have tags. Tags just make it easier to find specific things. We think they are awesome because if someone wants to go through your blog, they can have ease of access to all kinds of content. And don’t you want to make it easy for your audience to get to know you? Of course you do.
Although if you’re not planning on having a plethora of posts, stick with a few categories and call it a day. WordPress works with you!
Now that you got to learn how to use WordPress categories and tags, you can find out more about adding a post here.