What Is A Category?
WordPress Categories enable you to group similar Blog Posts into the same Category.
This this has been made possible, so that if you display a list of categories in a sidebar widget on your WordPress blog or website and then click on one of the categories listed, then All Posts in the Category selected will be displayed on your site.
Different WordPress themes will be setup to display these “same category” posts either as full post or post excerpts.
In cases where there are too many posts to be displayed at one time then some sort of pagination will usually be seen.
In the example below the WordPress Widgets category has been clicked on from the list shown and the relevant post excerpts displayed:
There are 2 blog posts for the WordPress Widgets category as displayed above.
Note that Categories can only be applied to Posts – Pages do not have categories!
Only Add One Category Per Post!
Making the effort to add a category to each of your blog posts is extremely useful as it makes it a lot easier for the search engines, such as Google, to explore your site and understand what it is all about. This will lead to quicker indexing and better positioning of your blog posts in the search engine results pages.
In effect by applying a single category to each post you are helping to organize your site into a silo type structure, which the search engines prefer, but for this to have the most effect you should only Add 1 Category to a Post! Also don’t go crazy with the overall number of categories as their effect will become less pronounced.
It always makes sense to think about your category structure before you start adding blog posts to your site. This is because a category can have a parent category which means that the categories themselves can be grouped in to higher level categories in a “family tree” like structure.
How To Add and Change WordPress Categories
Adding, changing and managing categories in Worpress is really easy!
To add new categories or to view the categories that already exist for your site just login to WordPress admin.
Then look under the POSTS option dropdown menu in the DASHBOARD where you will see the CATEGORIES option link.
Just click on it to bring up the categories page:
This page allows you to Add a New Category or to Edit the existing Categories.
To add a new category just enter the details into the fields shown, but you don’t have to worry about the “category slug” as this will be generated for you. Then click the ADD CATEGORY button to create your new category.
To edit a category just more you cursor over the Category Name in the list on the right and and this string of text will appear below the name:
EDIT | QUICK EDIT | DELETE
Click on EDIT to change the category details. This will display the window below so you can change what you want:
If you want to see all the posts for a particular category just click on the number in the POSTS column above and they will all be listed as shown below. In this example the “New WordPress 2.7” category was selected and the 4 posts in the category are listed:
You can also do a Quick Edit or Delete the Category using the QUICK EDIT and DELETE options respectively…
How To Add And Change A Category In A Post
When you write a post you will need to add a category to that post, and this of course this is easy to do in WordPress. You can select one from the existing list of categories already created or even add a new one if the category you need does not already exist.
In the bottom right hand corner of the you should see the box with CATEGORIES as it’s title.
You can select the category you wish to apply to your post (remember to only add 1 category, even though WordPress lets you add more!) by click the checkbox next to the desired category name.
In addition if you wish to add a new category just click on the link that says + Add New Category and the following extra fields will appear as shown at the bottom of the box displayed here:
Enter the name of the New Category and select a parent category from the drop-down list if appropriate and then just click on the ADD button to create your new category.
The new category will then appear in the list of Categories and you must make sure that the checkbox is checked for it to be applied to your post.
Change A Post Category With Quick Edit
Note that you can also change the category applied to a post by doing a quick edit on a post. You will not be able to add a new category using this method though:
So that’s it – WordPress Categories really are easy to setup and manage!