Editing Moving or Deleting Categories

On the right side of the Categories screen you see a list of all your categories in alphabetical order. If you have a lot of categories, remember that under Screen Options at the top, you can change how many are displayed at one time. If you have subcategories, they're displayed with a dash beside them and in alphabetical order underneath their parent category. If you have sub-subcategories, each level is represented with an additional dash.

If you're doing customization work on your WordPress theme, you'll sometimes want the ID number of a category. It's not displayed in the listing, unfortunately, but you'll find it by mousing over the title of the category and looking in the status bar of your browser. You'll see something like this: http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin/ categories.php?action=edit&cat_ID=5.

That number at the end is the ID, which never changes, no matter how often you change the category name. You can find the ID for posts and pages the same way.

Like other listings, you can see an options menu appear below the title of a category by mousing over its row: Edit, Quick Edit, and Delete.

The Quick Edit feature allows you to change the name and the slug right there in the list. If you click Edit or the title of the category, you're taken to a new screen, as shown in Figure 20-2.

Figure 20-2

This is where you can change not only the name and the slug, but the description and, most importantly, the parent. I like to think of changing the parent as a kind of moving process, whether it's to a new sub-category of a parent, or to a new parent, or to the top-level categories. This means that the posts under the category you're moving will now appear in a different place on your website.

For example, if I made Sunstar Packages a subcategory of TravelWhiz Packages, they would now show up under the packages link on the TravelWhiz page. However, because the name and the category ID number remain the same, the link on the Sunstar page would still work as well. Notice that I could have bulk edited the Sunstar Package posts to be assigned to the TravelWhiz Packages category, but because Sunstar is now part of TravelWhiz, I don't want to have to remember to put future Sunstar entries under both categories.

Posts can be in two subcategories of the same parent, but if you display a list of all posts in the parent category, those posts will not show up twice.

The final option for managing categories is to delete them. Don't worry about the posts, however. You're only deleting the category and not the posts that belong to it. However, in the case of posts that only belong to that category, WordPress automatically assigns them to the default category. Your best bet before deleting a category is to find all posts in that category. For those that don't appear in any other category, assign them to something appropriate, and then delete the category.

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