Categorizing Your Content

Content categorization is one of the most important aspects of creating content. Properly categorized content makes it easier for visitors to read your web site. It also makes it easier for visitors to navigate your web site for additional content on the same topics.

Correctly categorizing content also allows you to aggregate that content in different places in your theme template files. For example, you could create an "Events" category that shows only posts in your Events News sidebar widget assigned to that category.

Categories versus Tags

Categories and tags are very similar, and thus the question "What's the difference?" is a very common one. Categories are a way of organizing your posts, whereas tags are a way of describing your posts.

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For example, a post titled "WordCamp New Jersey Recap'' might be filed under the Conference category, but tagged with keywords like WordPress, WordCamp, New Jersey, and NJ.

Another major difference between tags and categories is that categories are hierarchical. This means categories can have sub-categories, and sub-sub categories, whereas tags cannot.

Post Categories

Post categories are just that, a simple way to categorize your content. Each post you create can be assigned to multiple categories. To add your post to a category, select the appropriate category from the Categories meta box, as shown in Figure 2-5.

You can also view the Most Used categories by selecting that tab. To add a new category click the + Add New Category link below the Categories meta box.

Categories are managed under the Posts O Categories SubPanel. From here you can create, edit, and delete all post categories on your web site. You can also search all categories and view all posts assigned to each category. To delete or edit a category, hover over the category you want to work with. Multiple options will appear, including Edit, Quick Edit, and Delete. Clicking the Delete link deletes that category from WordPress. When deleting a category, posts filed under that category are not deleted, but instead are reassigned to the default Uncategorized category. A future release of WordPress will have the ability to choose which category to assign the orphaned posts to.

WordPress also provides a Category to Tag Converter and a Tag to Category Converter. These tools can be used to do exactly that, convert categories to tags and vice versa. Just click the Category to Tag Converter link, select which categories you would like to convert, and click Convert Categories to Tags. Keep in mind that if you convert a category with child categories, the children become top-level orphans.

Tagging Posts

Tags are keywords that describe your post. Think of tags as Post-it notes attached to each post, describing that post. Tags are generally limited to two words per tag, but are typically a single keyword. They differ from categories in that tags are descriptive keywords that describe your individual post. For example, a post titled "Best Cheeseburger Ever'' might contain the tags ketchup, mustard, cheese, and burger, but you wouldn't have a Ketchup category unless you planned on writing more on ketchup. Tags are also used by many tag-related sites including Technorati, Delicious, and Flickr.

To add tags to your post simply enter keywords separated by a comma in the Post Tags meta box, as shown in Figure 2-6.

As you type in your tags, WordPress automatically suggests tags based on your existing tags loaded into WordPress. You can also view the most used tags by clicking the Choose from the Most Used Tags in Post Tags link.

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FIGURE 2-5: Category select meta box

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FIGURE 2-6: Tag meta box

Tags are managed under the Posts O Post Tags SubPanel. From here you can create, edit, and delete all post tags on your web site. You can also search all tags and view all posts assigned to each tag.

Categorizing Links

WordPress also features the ability to categorize links. Categorizing links is a great way to display different groups of links across your web site. Link categories are managed under the Links O Link Categories SubPanel. By default WordPress comes with one link category called Blogroll. You can change this category name to anything you would like, but the default category will always remain.

When you add a new link the link categories are listed in the Categories meta box, as shown in Figure 2-7.

From here you can select which category the new link will be added to. You can also view the most used link categories, and create new link categories by clicking the + Add New Category link.

Deleting a category does not delete the links in that category, but instead assigns all links to the default category.

FIGURE 2-7: Category select meta box for new links

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