Categories vs Tags — 25 Comments

    • Posts are meant to have categories. They make it easier for people to navigate around your website. If you don’t want to use categories then you can just use pages for all your articles.

  1. Thanks for making it clear to me Marion. Your article is very well explained and I am going through your other tutorials as your website seems to be a goldmine of information. I have read your bio, I am really impressed.

    I look forward to reading more of your articles as they come out.

    Best wishes,

    John ツ

  2. Hello Marion. I have a couple questions after reading your article…

    On my WP Dashboard, in the Category menu, my “uncategorized” category does not have delete as an option. What I have been doing is just unchecking it when I write a post and selecting the appropriate categories. Is there a reason I should actually change the uncategorized to something and use it? Or is it Ok to just ignore it?

    Another question I have is about tags. Is it bad to use related keywords that describe your article, but may not actually appear in your article?


    • Hi Jamie,

      WordPress needs you to have a default category. Once you’ve chosen a default category that suits your website make sure you’ve removed “Uncategorized” from every post and you’ll be able to delete it. The simplest way to ensure that none of your posts are “Uncategorized” is to change the name to something else.

      Yes, you can use related keywords that describe your article even though you don’t use those exact words in your writing. Using tags helps to tell the search engines what your post is about. This article, People are Looking for Answers Not Questions explains more on that subject.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      • Thank you for your help! I just fixed my “uncategorized” category. Now I am off to read your People are Looking For Answers article. Can’t wait to see what insights you have on that topic.

  3. Thanks Marion for the great information. Categories are part of a website that sometimes gets overlooked or not used correctly, particularly with those new to WordPress. The correct use of categories is extremely important in providing a good user experience.

    Those who read your post will have great advantage over those don’t get to read it. You have so clearly explained the process.

    Also you have taught me how to change the name of a category. I didn’t think it was possible to do that. So now I can happily change ‘Uncategorized’ to an appropriate name. Thank you.

  4. Marion,
    This post comes right on time for me. I have been trying to sort out categories for a while. It seems easy when using some themes, but others seem not so easy.

    Does what you have said apply to all WordPress themes?


    • Hi Judy,
      Categories are part of the WordPress core so it should not make any difference which theme you are using for your website. How many categories you need will depend on your niche.

  5. Another great resource, Marion. Thank you! Categories, Tags, keywords, hashtags, all these concepts have always been very confusing for me and I used them, let’s say, “intuitively”. One of your sentences here hit home for me now: “So tags help people find your article on the internet and categories help people who are already on your website find other articles they may find interesting.” THings are now cleareer for me and I can use these concepts by knowing what I am doing. Thanks to you!

    • I’m glad that helped to clarify things for you Heidi. It took me quite a while to figure out what hashtags are and when to use them. It’s all quite a learning experience.

      • Absolutely, Marion! Sometimes quite frustrating and overwhelming, but after every learning step also very inspiring and empowering!

  6. Great post Marion!
    A very clear explanation of the roles “categories” and “tags” play on your WordPress site and how they help to get your content noticed online.

    Good advice about setting them up correctly too.

  7. Being a relative newcomer to WordPress I have read-up a lot. This is the best, plain English, explanation I have come across on these topics. I only wish I had come across this post and web site before now.

  8. This was a great article Marion. I learned so much from reading. I have had these questions about Categories and Tags for quite sometime, and have been unable to get a definitive answer, until now. Thank you so much!!
    I’m very new at this, but in my opinion this is a perfect article. I see nowhere that you need to change anything. keep it as is. This will be a great tutorial for those navigating their way around any website. Thank you for the invitation…Tammi

    • We all start at the very beginning Tammi. As you get more experience you’ll become more confident in what you’re doing.

  9. Hi,
    I found your article very helpful and it has answered me a couple of questions I already had.

    Recently I wanted to eliminate a category by creating a new and better-suited one but to change my posts into the new category I was a bit uneasy to delete the old category because I might lose all my posts.

    But of course, this isn’t true.

    Thanks, again, for making it clear to me. 🙂

  10. Hi Marion,

    Thanks for the great post. I knew what categories are, and I think I knew what tags are. Actually, now I know what tags are for. Unfortunately, I never used tags! I didn’t know that tag can help the user to find my article. One question, if I put tags now on posts that are published months and years ago, would it benefit or hurt my site?
    Also, if I put a post under two categories, is it ok for big G?

    • Absolutely, Nenad. It’s worth spending the time to add tags to your old posts, it will give them a new lease of life. While you’re doing that you could have a look to see if the post needs updating or improving. If you do update remember to change the published date so people will know it’s fresh content. I usually have more than one category for each post, it just depends on the subject and it makes the post easier to find for your website visitors.

  11. This is a great imformative post. I had no idea how to change the ‘uncategorized’ and you have clearly shown the process. Thank you so much. I had already worked out the Tags but categories was a challenge.
    Selling online is a complicated subject I find and thanks to Wealthy Affiliate their teaching program is second to none!

  12. I like this information on categories and tags. Actually you broke it down very well. I think many time bloggers have entirely too many categories when actually they already have a category that fits that particular blog post.

    Thanks for sharing about how to remove the default category that comes with wordpress. That is a gem that a lot of people need to know how to do.

    I like your illustration of tags as well. You are correct that tags actually help people to find your articles so it is important to be creative with your tags.

    Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

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