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Create WordPress Categories & Tags

Image showing four tags or labels.

WordPress’ categories and tags allow you to organize your content in a way that lets users sort and filter content to focus on what they are interested in. WordPress designed categories to cover broader topics and tags to cover more narrow classifications within each category. For example, a site on cooking might have a category for “pizza” and then, within that category, tags to cover different styles of pizza — “Detroit,” “Chicago,” and so on. However, you don’t need to follow this structure — you can use categories and tags in whatever way suits you. Some sites only use tags or categories, while others use both. For many sites, using one or the other will be sufficient and easier for users to understand.

By default, only posts allow you to add categories and tags, while pages do not (see our 5 Helpful Tips for WordPress Beginners for more on the differences between posts and tags). If you want to use categories and tags on pages, you will need to install a plugin. This post explains how to do so.

Steps to Add Categories & Tags

Screenshot of how to add categories in WordPress.

The screenshot above illustrates how to add categories to a WordPress post. Below we provide a detailed description of the steps shown.

To add a category:

  • Navigate to the post you want to add the category to.
  • In the right-hand sidebar, make sure the “post” tab is selected at the top.
  • Scroll down to the “Categories” area and expand it if it’s not already expanded.
  • You can add existing categories by checking the box next to them.
  • To add a new category, click the “Add New Category” link, enter the category in the “New Category Name” field that appears, and click the “Add New Category” button. Note: If you want to add additional layers of organization to your content, you can add a parent category by selecting one from the dropdown. This posts provides more details on that, including the SEO benefits of doing so.

To add a new tag: 

  • Navigate to the post you want to add the category to.
  • In the right-hand sidebar, make sure the “post” tab is selected at the top. (You won’t need to worry about this if you’re using the Classic Editor.)
  • Scroll down to the “Tags” area and expand it if it’s not already expanded.
  • Start typing in the tag you want to add. If the tag already exists, select it when it auto populates. If you’re adding a new tag, hit return on your keyboard once you’ve typed out the new tag. Note: Make sure to use the tags you already have when possible. For example, you wouldn’t want a tag for “Chicago Pizza” and another for “Chicago-style Pizza.” This would defeat the purpose of your organization system by requiring users to select multiple tags to view all relevant posts.

Categories and tags are a great way to organize your content and make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. We recommend using them, especially if you have a significant number of posts. Your users will thank you. If you have any questions or would like additional information, feel free to reach out to us.

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