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Categories, Tags & Taxonomies

There are few things that can help a site with organization more than getting things categorized correctly. There are also few things that can be more confusing, over-used or more diluted than how these terms are defined on a site. Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly and ways to clean things up so that using categories actually work for your users and help them find what they are looking for.

We’ll also explore cool ways that you can use categories to display your posts in interesting ways – there’s way more than the list in the sidebar!

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Categories, Tags & Taxonomies

  1. 1. CATEGORIES, TAGS & TAXONOMIES Oh my! BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  2. 2. ABOUT BECKY  Theme Dev from Chicago  1st WordPress site in 2009  1st WordCamp – Chicago 2010  Speaker Chicago, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, NYC, Miami & Europe. Attendee at dozens of others.  Number of WordPress custom themes built – 50+  Mom – both kids out of college  Beckydavisdesign.com @beckyddesign BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  3. 3. WHY  Organizing a site is a HUGE pain point BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign This can be avoided!
  4. 4. PURPOSE  If categories are your table of contents  Tags are the Index BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  5. 5. PAGES AND POSTS Pages - for most of the regular “static” pages of the site, i.e. Home, Contact, About They generally do not have dates or comments or categories attached to them Posts – for the “blog” All posts show up in a list and work as a group Default is Latest First Usually has comments, but doesn’t have to Can be assigned Categories, Tags & custom Taxonomies BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  6. 6. CATEGORIES BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign  A group of terms that can be hierarchal  Parent term  Child term  Can be added to the menu or sidebar  Can be specifically queried on template pages  Create site.com/category/term URL  Should be pre-defined and broad ranging Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  7. 7. TAGS  A group of terms that are NOT hierarchal  Can be added to the menu or sidebar  Can be specifically queried on template pages  Create site.com/tag/term URL  More freeform and specific Eggs Breakfast Lunch Dinner BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  8. 8. CUSTOM TAXONOMIES  Follow all the same rules as Categories  Categories and Tags are built into core and are taxonomies  Custom written for site or theme  Powerful way to group and cross-categorize content  Be aware of reserved terms  https://codex.wordpress.org/Reserved_Terms BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  9. 9. BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign  Terms = the words you assign  2 ways to add Terms  In a post  In Categories or Tags
  10. 10. WHERE WE GET INTO TROUBLE  Similar terms  Couch, sofa, divan, davenport  Same terms at different levels  Not illegal, but confusing  Inconsistent terns  Chevrolet, chevy  Too MANY categories, keep it simple  Just typing it in without thinking  Think of your audience!  Inconsistent and similar terms dilute the group and are confusing BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  11. 11. SOLUTION: THINK AHEAD AND PLAN  Define terms as much as possible ahead of time  TRAIN and discuss with site editors  “If the word is in the title or in a category, don’t tag it with the same term”  Cleanup later is a lot harder than planning ahead BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  12. 12. DISPLAYING CATEGORIES Category widget BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign Display Category widget With a Query $query = new WP_Query( array( 'category_name' => 'breakfast' ) ); Post Title Post Title With Facets Useful when there are Lots of posts and categories/taxonomies Building custom templates to show a bunch of things
  13. 13. DISPLAYING TAGS Tag Cloud widget Many plugins in repository BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign With a Query <?php _e ('<p>Keywords:','vet'); echo " " . get_the_tag_list(' ',', ','</p>'); ?> Most themes include a placement for categories and tags in the theme
  14. 14. PRECAUTIONS  Staying on top of things as Posts and site grows  Using multiple languages? Stay away from typing it in.  Don’t forget the reserved terms when creating taxonomies BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign
  15. 15. REFERENCES  http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners- guide/categories-vs-tags-seo-best-practices-which- one-is-better/  https://www.wpsitecare.com/wordpress-categories- vs-tags/  https://make.wordpress.org/training/handbook/user- lessons/categories-vs-tags/  https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/basics/cate gories-tags-custom-taxonomies/ Thanks! BeckyDavisDesign.com @beckyddesign