Tags and Categories

Tags have become a big part of WordPress. Back in the day we had categories and that’s it. A user could search the site for keywords, but categorizing a post couldn’t be accomplished without a ton of categories. Recently I added a bunch of categories, reassigned my posts into them and ended up with a lot of categories with only a few posts in them. I had been resisting the movement towards tagging and wanted to hold onto my categories. In WP 2.5 tags have been integrated into the core and it is clear there is a role for tagging.

The main issue I was having with categories is that I was using them to say what a post is about. For example, if I had a post about our wedding, it went in the Wedding category. But once our wedding was over I had like 10 posts sitting in a category that would never be added to. With tags I can place those posts into “Life Stuff” and tag it with wedding. The category becomes a general bucket and the tags describe exactly what the post is about.

I’ve made some theme changes and added a list of tags on each post. I went back through all my posts, recategorized them into my core categories and added tags. Now I have 8 categories and over 100 tags which will be much easier to manage and will keep me from trying to stuff my posts into overly specific categories.

2 Replies to “Tags and Categories”

  1. Upgraded to 2.5. Man, I could spend a whole day going back and making everything in the misc folder meaningful. When I’ve got spare time. I like the categories you’ve got on the side. I might have to steal some of them.

  2. There’s a pretty sweet plugin to help with tagging, Simple Tags. Has a mass edit mode that you can go through and add tags to a bunch of posts at once. This plugin might be helpful for reassigning post categories, Batch Category Editor.

    It took me a while to decide on my categories, but I’m happy with them now. Books, Music, and Movies all got rolled into Entertainment Stuff. Personal finance and housing posts go into Money Stuff. Anything regarding technology goes into Geek Stuff. Posts about what’s going on and family go into Life Stuff. The others are pretty self explanatory. I added “Stuff” to all the categories to help differentiate them from tags.

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