How to create WordPress categories

If you want to build your website with WordPress and have finished the actual installation, it goes to the structure of your website. WordPress offers you a lot of options for sorting your future posts. By using categories and tags. In this short tutorial, you will learn how to create WordPress categories and edit them.

Along with that, I’m packing you some useful tips from WordPress pros to save you a lot of time and problems later on.

What is a WordPress category?

A WordPress category is a way to group related posts together. When a new post is created, it can be assigned to one or more WordPress categories. This helps website visitors find content that interests them and makes it easier for them to navigate the site.

For thematic sorting of posts, WordPress offers two options: Categories and keywords (tags). As a rule of thumb, categories are used for parent topics and tags for refining the topic into subtopics.

Tutorial: How to create WordPress categories

1. Open the category settings

To create a new category in WordPress, go to Posts in the left menu and then to the Categories menu item. There you click on the button “Add new category”.

2. Enter category name and slug

Now enter the name of your new category. In the “Slug” field, you define the URL under which the newly created category will be found later. It is always recommended that the title form reflects the name of your category.

Important to note: Since the title form will later be the URL of your category, please refrain from using capitalization and connect multiple words with a hyphen. Example: this-is-my-category

3. Enter description

WordPress allows you to enter a description for your new category. Many WordPress themes will then display this description on your category page above your posts. So if you want to use a description, it should explain to your visitors which articles or topics it is about.

4. Add your new category

In the last step, you create the category by clicking on the blue Create new category button. Your category is now live and will be displayed in the post editor.

How to use your newly created category

Once you have created your new category, it will also appear in the sidebar of your WordPress editor. If you write a new article, you can assign it to the appropriate category.

If you forget this assignment, WordPress will always assign the new post to the default category. In most WordPress installations this is called “Uncategorized”.

When you go to a category page on your WordPress website, in most cases the CMS will display not only the name but also the word “Category:” in the title. Since this doesn’t look very nice, I recommend you read our tutorial on how to hide the category title.

How to edit WordPress categories

You can edit your WordPress categories at any time by going to Posts and then Categories. Just click on the Edit link next to the category you want to change and make the desired changes.

How to delete categories

With the exception of the default category “Uncategorized”, you can delete any category if you don’t need it anymore. In our tutorial Delete WordPress Categories, I explain to you exactly how this works.

How to create the right categories

Not all websites need categories. If you only have a few posts or your content is not organized by specific topics, you don’t need to create categories.

However, if you want to take advantage of WordPress categorization, here are some tips on how to choose the right categories:

  • Think about the topics you want to cover on your website.
  • Group related posts into categories.
  • Keep the names of your categories simple and easy to understand.
  • Avoid creating too many categories as this can be confusing for your visitors.
  • Use the default category if you don’t have anything specific in mind. WordPress automatically assigns new posts to the “Uncategorized” category.

What you need to know about the Hierarchy category

Categories can be hierarchical, meaning they can be nested within other categories. This can be useful if you want to divide your content into more specific topics.

For example, let’s say you have a website about cars. You could create the following categories:

  • Cars
    • Makes and models
    • Buying a car
    • Maintaining a car
      • Repairs and troubleshooting

In this example, the category “Cars” would be a supercategory, while the categories “Makes and models”, “Buying a car” and “Maintaining a car” would be subcategories of it. The category “Repairs and troubleshooting” would be a subcategory of the category “Maintain a car”.

You can also use the built-in WordPress taxonomy feature to create your own categories specific to your site. For more information, see the WordPress Codex: Categories page.

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