What is a Category? How to Use Categories in WordPress

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### Understanding WordPress Categories

In WordPress, ‘Category’ is a built-in taxonomy that serves as a means to organize and classify your blog content into various segments. For instance, a site dedicated to news might categorize its content under labels such as News, Opinion, Weather, and Sports.

Utilizing categories enhances the user experience by providing clarity on the site’s content and simplifying navigation.

What is Category

Upon a fresh WordPress setup, the system automatically assigns “Uncategorized” as the default category. Any post not assigned to a specific category falls under this default. Changing the default category is a task reserved for a WordPress administrator, who can do so via the Settings » Writing panel.

Setting Default Category

### Assigning Posts to Categories

While crafting a blog post, you can associate it with a category by marking the checkbox adjacent to the desired category name.

how to add a post to a wordpress category

Should there be a need to introduce a new category during post editing, simply click on the Add New Category option beneath your current category list.

Alternatively, you can create a category directly from the Posts » Categories menu. Here, you can input a new category name and craft a slug, which should be URL-friendly and can include lowercase letters, numbers, or hyphens. If left blank, WordPress will generate a slug based on the category name. Slugs are instrumental in forming links to category pages that showcase all posts within that category.

Category on Sidebar

### Crafting Subcategories in WordPress

Categories in WordPress are designed to be hierarchical, allowing for the creation of subcategories or child categories. These are perfect for more specific topics under a general theme. For example, under a main category like News, you might find child categories such as Local, National, and International.

To establish a child category, navigate to the Posts » Categories section and choose a main category from the dropdown as the parent. Then, input the name for your new subcategory. Adding a description and slug is optional but can be beneficial for organization and SEO.

After filling in the details, click the “Add New Category“ button to bring your child category into existence.

Creating Child Category

### Modifying Categories for Better Management

Editing existing categories is a straightforward process from the Posts » Categories interface. Simply hover over the category you wish to modify and select the “Edit” option. This action opens an editor where you can adjust the category’s name, slug, or description, as well as manage parent and child relationships.

Edit Category

Categories can also be deleted from the same menu. It’s important to note that removing a category does not erase the posts within it. Instead, WordPress will reassign those posts to the default category.

Only an administrator has the authority to manage these category settings, ensuring that the structure of the site’s content remains organized and accessible.

### Streamlining WordPress Categories for Enhanced Navigation

#### Simplifying Your Site’s Structure with Categories

To enhance the navigability of your website for visitors, consider organizing your content into easily accessible categories. A practical approach to achieving this is by incorporating a list of categories within the sidebar of your website.

#### Implementing Category Widgets for User-Friendly Access

Widgets dedicated to categories can be a powerful tool for showcasing your site’s organization. By navigating to **Appearance » Widgets**, you can effortlessly add a category widget to your sidebar. This widget will display all categories that contain posts, providing a clear overview for your audience.

The widget offers customization options, such as presenting your categories in a dropdown menu or a straightforward list, and even allows you to display post counts per category. If you enable the **Show hierarchy** feature, it will visually distinguish child categories from their parents, typically through indentation, though the exact style will depend on your chosen theme.

#### Enhancing Menus with Category Links

Another effective method to make categories more accessible is by including them in your website’s navigation menu. This can be done by going to **Appearance » Menus**, where you can select the desired categories and add them to your menu with ease. For instance, at WP Think, we’ve incorporated our categories into our main menu to streamline user experience.

### Understanding the Distinction: Categories vs. Tags

Categories and tags serve as fundamental taxonomies within WordPress, each with a distinct purpose. Categories are akin to a book’s table of contents, outlining the main themes of your website’s content. Tags, conversely, are similar to an index, pinpointing specific details within your posts.

A key difference is the mandatory nature of categories for posts, defaulting to “uncategorized” if none are selected, whereas tags are optional. Categories facilitate a quicker and more intuitive search for content by visitors, and they can be organized hierarchically. Tags do not have this hierarchical structure.

For a comprehensive explanation of the optimal use of categories and tags, including their differences, refer to our detailed article on the subject.

#### Transitioning Between Categories and Tags

There may come a time when you need to convert your categories to tags or vice versa. This can be accomplished by visiting **Tools » Import** and selecting the “Categories and Tags Converter.” Follow the prompts to install and activate the plugin, then choose the items you wish to convert and click the Convert button.

### Conclusion: Mastering WordPress Categories

We trust this guide has provided you with valuable insights into WordPress categories and their functionality. For further information and to deepen your understanding, explore the additional resources provided below.

#### Further Exploration

– [How to Add Navigation Menu in WordPress (Beginner’s Guide)](https://www.WP Think.com/beginners-guide/how-to-add-navigation-menu-in-wordpress-beginners-guide/)
– [Categories vs Tags SEO Best Practices: Which One is Better?](https://www.WP Think.com/beginners-guide/categories-vs-tags-seo-best-practices-which-one-is-better/)
– [How to Rename the Uncategorized Category in WordPress](https://www.WP Think.com/beginners-guide/rename-the-uncategorized-category/)

By implementing these strategies, you can significantly improve the structure and user-friendliness of your WordPress site, ensuring that visitors can find the content they’re interested in with greater ease.