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Categories and Tags of WordPress


Categories and Tags

Understanding Categories and Tags in WordPress is an essential skill of any WordPress Developer.

We think it isn’t unreasonable to say that they sound very similar, right?

There was once a time in which WordPress only supported categories. However that quickly led to category lists being quite long. That’s why tags were introduced. Here’s a quick introduction to the differences between the two.


are meant for wide grouping of the posts you publish. You should think of these as general topics or perhaps a table of contents for your website. Categories help to identify for your user what your site is really about. They also help your user find what they’re probably looking for. I’ll give you an example…

If you own a E-Commerce clothing store, it might be a good idea to have categories such as:

  • Men’s,
  • Women’s,
  • Children’s,
  • Shirt’s,
  • Pant’s,
  • Seasonal.

The list goes on but you get the idea. You should also remember that your Categories are hierarchical in nature. This means that categories have parents and children categories. For example, a child category of “Men’s” might be “Men’s Shoes.” If you think of it this way then Categories aren’t really that much of a mystery anymore.


On the other hand are meant to describe the specific details of your post. They might sound the same or very similar to categories but they’re a little bit different. You should think of tags as attributes that you’d like WordPress to be aware of concerning this post or content. Going back to the E-Commerce store once again you should think of tags as elements which distinguish each product from the others in the same category. For example within men’s clothing you might tag certain articles of clothing as,

  • Wedding,
  • Work,
  • Exercise,
  • Summer,
  • Winter.

If you think about it these tags really don’t have a “child” or “parent” category which they might belong to. For example, what is “Wedding” a child of? Love perhaps…? Haha it doesn’t make sense in this case!

One last way to think of tags is as

One word Summaries of your post.

We hope that’s given you a better understanding of the difference between tags and posts. If you have any other questions then don’t hesitate to ask on our forums or comment below!


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