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Your Content Blog Categories: Why Are They Important?

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Add New Category ButtonFor those who are new to working online, it’s critical that your content blog categories are set up properly.  You want your website organized in such a way to make navigating it user-friendly and easy to find relevant information.

The content is the pages and posts on your site while categories are how the posts only are assigned or indexed by subject matter.  This will help organize related posts together and make it easier for visitors to find your content.

Make sense?  OK, let’s categorize those posts.

Of note: we will be reviewing how to categorize within the WordPress platform as that is the most popular and is free to use.

Default Category

Let’s start out by noting that your theme will come with a default category.  If you don’t delete or add other categories, or even forget to attach a post to a category, it will automatically be assigned to the default.

How many times have you seen this on a website: “Uncategorized”?  That means that it is in the default and will likely not get a lot of clicks because the name does not let you know what the subject matter is.  It is also the sign of someone new to the world of websites and hopefully will be fixed when they realize how important it is.

Adding a New Category

There are two ways that you can easily add categories to each of your posts in your Dashboard:

  • Via the Post tab on the left and then the Categories tab
  • Within each Post via the Categories tab on the right

Via the Post Tab

This is a great tool to organize your overall site framework by determining how the content will be organized.  I consider this akin to a Table of Contents that provides more detail than your menu tabs would do.

This is what you will see when you open up this tab:

 

Posts to Category Tab

 

You will note that I already have my categories set up and that is the list you are seeing in the right hand column.

As you can see, you are given a number of fields to fill in:

Category Name:

I would recommend keeping the name simple, ideally one or two words.  For instance, “Cars” (I will continue to use this as the example with the sub categories).

Slug:

This is merely the url-friendly version of the name.  You will be advised that this must be all lowercase and only contain letter, numbers, and hyphens.  If you need to fill this in yourself (some themes will do it for you) you will need to type: “cars-foreign” (or whatever your category or sub-category names are).

Parent:

This will be the name of the category; as noted above, ours will be “cars”.  This is really useful to then place sub-categories under; again, as noted above, I might have one for “cars, foreign”.  Or even just the name of different car makes and models.

This really becomes the hierarchy of your site so I would advise that you take some time to structure it in a way that is meaningful and that will make sense to your visitors.  In just a bit we will look at the live categories of this site so you can see how I’m using them.

Description:

This is your opportunity to describe what the category is for, which will help the search engines understand your site better.  It doesn’t need to be very long but should contain the name of your category and a simple explanation.

Add New Category

Don’t forget to click the ADD NEW CATEGORY button or everything will be lost!

And you’re set, you have your categories set up via your post tab.

 

Within Each Post

You can also assign each post to a category, either at the time of writing (recommended) or when you come back later.  This will ensure that everything is organized and easy to find.

Here’s an Example from this website:

Categories From Within Blog Post

 

I always recommend that you do this at the same time that you add your tags to your post.  WordPress has made that convenient by placing them both in the same area of your individual posts so that you can add each of them.

You can click pre-existing categories from the list which will then ensure that post goes where it is intended to go.  If you have sub-categories you select the appropriate box for those as well.  I have included a screenshot from another site so you can see how that looks and why it is important to set up your categories.

Sample Categories From Another Website

Each post would then fall under the appropriate sub-category, this is great if you are writing specific articles either under the main parent page or the “child” (sub-category) page.

You can also assign a new category from within the individual blog post which is very useful if you have begun a new stream of posts on your site.  You would simply click the “Add New Category” link and you will be able to fill in the blanks.

You can use the Parent Category drop down menu to again set up a sub-category (sometimes referred to as a “child category”) and click the “Add New Category” button.

Here are what the category drop down menu looks like on this site:

Categories from Baby Boomers Learn To Blog

 

If you would like further information here is the link to the WordPress tutorial on post categories.

http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories/

There is some further information if you want to create your first WordPress site: Create A Blog In WordPress: A Guide For Beginners

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Has This Been Useful?

I hope you see why categorizing your blogs is so important; not only for you to have a good structure to your site but…More Importantly…for your visitor to easily navigate your site.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will get back to you.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Comments

  1. Hello Rick,

    My creative writing site is new and your site information is awesome. I read your “category article” for I knew my site listed my blog posts as uncategorized, which I have now changed with my new categories.

    Since I’m new at Blogging I’ll be watching your site for suggestions to enhance my web/blog.

    Thank you,
    Michael

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