Running a WordPress site can be rewarding. But getting to grips with the basics can be challenging. The difference between categories and tags is one example.
Should the post have a tag and a category, or which is best, a tag or a category?
What if I have the same tags as categories to ensure that at least one is correct?
Do I even need a category if the post has a tag?
Who sees these categories and tags on WordPress anyway?
Categories Vs Tags
It's Categories Vs Tags. Here is an example of how you can use categories and tags in WordPress effectively and boost your Search Engine Optimisation, not to mention an easier-to-navigate menu system. You have a menu, right?
Say we are discussing widgets.
There are three main types of widgets: the Red widget, the Blue widget, and the Green widget.
These are your categories.
The main chunks are your categories.
You can have more than 3 categories, but don't add optional extras as categories. If a new black, limited edition widget becomes available, add that to your categories.
Each post can have only one Category.
A widget is either Red, Blue, or Green; it can't be more than one color.
These would be your tags if each widget can be half-full, half-empty, full-fat, and sugar-free options.
You can assign more than one tag to a post. A half-full, sugar-free, full-fat widget is an option. It can have many tags.
Tags are like the options for a product; each post can have many tags but only one Category.
If the colors in categories were confusing, try considering dresses. You may own a clothes shop specializing in dresses and want to blog about them. You could set up your WordPress tags and categories like this..
You sell 4 types of dress: evening wear, Summer wear, Winter wear, and dresses for Children.
These would be your four categories. It makes it easy for visitors to narrow down what they seek.
Tags would be colors and sizes of dresses available. Also, you can add further detailed tags about the neckline, fastenings, and the length available.
Each type of dress can come in many different colors and sizes with various fastenings and necklines. These would work well for tags as each dress in one Category can have many tags.
Remember the menu I mentioned earlier?
The categories make perfect menu items.
The categories across the top of the page, part of your main menu, make it easy for visitors to narrow down what they want. They know if it is for a child or evening wear (Category), maybe not what color or any detail, but the tags will help.
One Category, but many tags.
Don't duplicate tags into categories or categories into tags.