How to use WordPress categories and tags

Blogging Corner

An unmodified version of WordPress comes with just two basic taxonomies. In order to organise and group your posts, you can use categories and tags. Before you mix them and give yourself a hard time reorganising hundreds of posts in the future, take a few minutes to learn the differences.


Consider categories as the main way of organising the content on your WordPress site. When starting a blog, you should be able to segregate content into a few groups. When you get to the part of writing new articles, each new post that you create should fit into just one category. Technically, you can assign numerous categories to each post. But if you get to the point where most of your new posts need two or more categories, consider that as a warning – you haven’t structured your blog well.

Categories are hierarchical. When creating or editing one, you can make it a subcategory by selecting its parent. By creating subcategories where needed, you’re making your blog more attractive both to users and search engines.


Unlike categories, tags should describe your posts in more details. Tags are usually the terms consisted of one or two words that are closely related to the topic you’re writing about. It is entirely okay to use multiple tags for one post, as long as it is relevant to your article, of course. Tags are not hierarchical, so there are no such things as child and parent tags. Each term stands on its own. And similarly to categories, each phrase gets its own unique archive page that groups all the posts tagged with the same term.

Similarly to creating categories, navigate to Posts -> Tags where you will be able to add new tags. You can edit tag’s name, slug, and description. When editing a tag, just like with categories, you can edit, quick edit, delete or view tag’s archive page where you will find all posts tagged with it.

Convert tags to categories and vice versa

If you already have a list of categories and tags on your site that you want to change, you don’t have to delete them and start over. WordPress allows you to convert tags to categories, and vice versa just by clicking a button.

Categories & tags – basic tools in any webmaster’s toolbox

Although WordPress categories and tags are quite similar, there are important differences between these two default taxonomies. Before you start grouping content into tags and categories, make sure that you understand which one to use. We hope that our simple examples helped you with that. Even if you make a mistake, don’t worry, for WordPress gives you a chance to convert tags to categories and vice-versa.