Let’s talk about categories, specifically WordPress categories. Categories allow you to structure your blog and organise posts into topics.
BENEFITS OF USING CATEGORIES
Taking some time to organise your posts into categories has a number of benefits including:-
- Improving user experience – When a visitor enjoys one of your posts, they may want to read other posts on the topic. This is easy to do if your posts are sorted into categories. As it gives visitors a way to filter through your posts without having to go through the blog index pages.
- Keeps visitors around longer – Following on from the improved user experience point, categories can help keep people on your site longer. Having posts organised into categories increases the chances of them sticking around to read more.
- You’re more organised – Adding posts to categories helps you structure and manage your blog more effectively. Let’s say you have 300 blog posts – it would be difficult keeping track of what posts you’ve written. And finding a certain post would be frustrating if you had to scroll through pages and pages to locate it. But if your posts are in categories, you can simply click the category name to find a particular post.
PLAN YOUR CATEGORIES
One of your first tasks when setting up your blog should be to plan the categories you want to use. Many bloggers and small business owners underutilise the category features within WordPress and in some cases don’t use them at all. Which means they are losing out on the benefits I talked about above.
By default, WordPress has an ‘Uncategorized’ category, if you don’t select a category for your post it is automatically placed under ‘Uncategorized’. Not very descriptive or helpful, is it?
My advice is to always edit the name of the uncategorized category to something more in fitting with your blog. Or you could even change it to ‘News’ or ‘General’ – just make it something other than Uncategorized.
Now it’s time to show you how to add new categories to your blog…
ACCESSING THE CATEGORIES
From your WordPress dashboard, click on ‘Posts’ from the left-hand menu. Then click the ‘Categories’ option that’s shown on the expanded menu. You’ll now be on the ‘Categories’ section.
The category page is divided into two sections – the ‘Add New Category’ on the left side and the list of categories on the right.
ADD A NEW CATEGORY
To add a new category, you need to enter the following information:
- Name – This is the name that appears on your website. Make it something short and descriptive.
- Slug – This makes up the end part of the URL for the category. For example, www.wildflowersandpixels.co.uk/category/wordpress, the slug for the category is ‘WordPress’.
- Parent – You can set up your categories with a hierarchy of main and sub options. Say you have a category for Travel, your subcategories could be the countries.
- Description – The description allows you to enter a brief intro about the category explaining what posts you can find in it. Some themes will display the description on the website under the category title.
After entering your category details and saving, the category will appear on the right-hand side.
If you would like to edit the category, hover over the name and the options for ‘edit’, ‘quick edit’, ‘delete’ and ‘view’ will be shown.
ADD A NEW CATEGORY WHEN EDITING A POST
The second way to add a new category is from the post page. When you are adding or editing a post, there is a ‘Categories’ box on the right side of the page. From there you can either select an existing category by ticking the box beside the name or you can click the ‘+Add New Category’, which will give you the ability to add a new one.
EDITING MULTIPLE POSTS
If you’ve added a new category or you are reorganising your categories, it’s going to be annoying having to go through every post on your website updating the category.
Thankfully, there is a handy ‘Bulk Edit’ feature in WordPress that lets you add multiple posts to categories without having to fo through each one individually.
To do this, go to ‘All Posts’ of your WordPress dashboard. From the list of posts, tick the box beside each post that you want to edit, select ‘Edit’ from the dropdown and then ‘Apply’. You’ll now see the ‘Bulk Edit’ options appear. Under ‘Categories’, tick the category you would like the posts to appear under then click the blue ‘Update’ button.
Your selected posts will now be saved within the new category.How To Add WordPress Categories To Your Blog & Why You Should Keep Your Posts Organised