Last week we talked in pretty good detail about the differences between WordPress categories vs. tags. Know that you know the difference between the two taxonomies, we’ll talk about how to add, change, or delete a category in WordPress.
What is a category?
First a quick, 2-seconds long review. A category in WordPress is a taxonomy, or a way to group content on your blog allowing users to browse your content by topics instead of chronologically.
How do you create a category in WordPress?
There are two ways to add a new category in WordPress. In the post editor or in the Categories page in the Admin Dashboard.
To add a new category in WordPress in the post editor, scroll down until you see the “Categories” box on the right sidebar. At the bottom of the box you’ll see a text field, enter the name of the category, select a Parent Category is appropriate (more on this below) and then click “Add Category”.
To add a new category in WordPress, outside the post editor go to Posts > Categories. On the left hand half of the screen you’ll see some text fields, here’s where the magic happens.
In the Category Name field add the name of your new category. This is the only required field, at this point you could simply scroll down and click the Add Category button and be done.
However, if you wish you can edit these fields instead of leaving WordPress to choose or leaving them blank.
When a category is created, WordPress automatically created an index of page where readers can browse all posts filed under a certain category. The category slug is the text that WordPress will add to create the URL for that category index or page, like such –
Or for a real life example from my blog – all my blogging tips are filed under the “Blogging Tips” category which can be found at 259west.com/category/blogging
In this case “blogging” is the category slug.
The Category Description
The next field you’ll see is the Category Description field. If used correctly and displayed by your theme, the description can add a nice little boost on SEO for your blog.
What to do in this field should be pretty self-evident – add a description of what your category is all about. I recommend you include some keywords but remember humans will be reading this so make it human friendly!
This little drop down is used when you’re adding a sub-category. This is how to tell WordPress “this category is a sub-group of this bigger, main category so WordPress knows how to place the category in its hierarchy.
For example, if you have a travel blog with the main category “Europe” and want to add a sub-category “Germany”, when adding the new “Germany” category, here’s where you’d select “Europe” as the parent category.
How do you change a category in WordPress?
As your blog evolves you might find yourself in need to change some categories and their details. Maybe you want a search engine friendly category name or slug, or wish to add that category description.
Thankfully, WordPress makes it super easy to make these changes. To edit or change a category in WordPress go to Posts > Categories. The click hover over the category you wish to change and click the Edit link. Make the changes you wish to make, click Update at the bottom of the page.
Please note that changing a category’s slug will mean old links with the old slug will be broken. So be sure to set up redirections using tge Redirection plugin or similar.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Unhappy with your WordPress categories? Change them with a few clicks” quote=”Unhappy with your WordPress categories? Change them with a few clicks”]
How do you delete a WordPress category?
Deleting a category in WordPress is easy peasy! To delete a category go to Posts > Categories. The click hover over the category you wish to change and click the red Delete link.
Please note that you cannot delete WordPress’ “default” category. Because all posts must have a category, WordPress assigns a default category. Out of the box, this is the “Uncategorized” category, therefore you cannot delete it.
If you wish to delete the Uncategorized category in WordPress, you must first create or assign a different category as the default category. To do change the default category go to Settings > Writing.
Scroll down to where it says “Default Post Category” and select a new category from the drop down. Click “Save” and the bottom and you’re done. You can now delete the “Uncategorized” category from WordPress.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Creating, changing, or deleting categories in WordPress is easy, peasy with this step-by-step!” quote=”Creating, changing, or deleting categories in WordPress is easy, peasy with this step-by-step!”]