13 Weeks: 13 Quick Blogging Tips: Week 2 – How To Add, Delete, and Manage The Categories Of Your WordPress Blog

In my previous post of this new feature, I gave reasons why adding a search bar to your blog is important. You can read the post by clicking here. This week, I’m going to talk about blog categories.

13 Weeks: 13 Quick Blogging Tips

I read lots of wonderful blog posts and often want to find out if the blogger has written more posts on the same subject.

Here’s an example. I’ve just read a post you published about your Grandmother’s recipe for the world’s best chocolate chip cookies. I ask myself if you’ve published any other recipes and search for a recipe category. Unfortunately, you don’t have one or you don’t categorise any of your posts (so they all fall under ‘uncategorised‘). Yes, I can do a search (if you have a search bar on your blog), but I want to check out all your recipe posts. The only option is to now scroll through all your posts looking for recipes that may interest me. The clock is ticking and I’ve got lots more to do.

Categories are important to every blog, especially to a blog like mine which covers many subjects. However, even if you only blog about one subject, it’s still important to categorise all your posts. But how do you add a category to your blog, manage them, and how do you delete a category you no longer use?

Click on My Sites (situated in the top left of your blog).

In the left-hand menu of the dashboard of your blog, click on WP Admin.

Hover your mouse over Posts and click on Categories.

Screen shot of the dashboard of a WordPress blog

To add a new category, enter the name of the category in the Add New Category box.

Add New Category box

If your blog already has categories, you can if you wish, parent up the new category with an existing one.

List of my blog's categories

Add a description of what the category covers.

Click on Add New Category.

Your new category will now be added to your blog.

On the same page, you’ll see a list of the all the categories you’ve added to your blog along with the number of posts under each category. Here’s a snapshot of some of the categories on my blog.

List of some of categories on my WordPress blog

To delete a category, tick the box next to the category name and press delete. However, before doing this, ensure you either delete the posts from your blog under that category or change the category of each post to a new or existing category. If you don’t do this, then those posts will show under ‘uncategorised‘.

Deleting a category from your blog

Uncategorised‘ should never show as a category on any of your blog posts. Make sure all your blog posts have a category so that they are easy for visitors to find. You can also manage your categories by editing them from this page.

Finally, if you reblog another blogger’s post, ensure you go back to your dashboard to categorise the post (and add tags) after you’ve reblogged it. If you’re not sure what category to put the reblog under, then create a new category and call it ReBlogs. You can then categorise all reblogs under this category.

Remember – ‘Uncategorised‘ is a bad word in the blogging world, so categorise all of your posts.

To change the category of any uncategorised post, find the post, click edit, and change the category under Categories & Tags.

My thanks to Erika Kind, who gave me the idea for this post after asking me a question about categories.

If you have any questions regarding categories, please leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

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109 thoughts

  1. I agree with you, Hugh, that ‘Uncategorised’ is an ugly category to have. It is so vague, and you really don’t know what that means. As you said, we all have time on our hands and like you, if I want to find out more about a certain topic that interests me, I’d go look at a blog’s categories. It makes navigating the blog so much easier and the easier I can find what I want on the blog, the more inclined I am to stay, actually read and like the content.

    For a long time I struggled to come up with categories for my blog. Then I settled on ten categories. Categories also motivate me to blog. If I feel I have not written for a category for a while, I’ll think of something to write for that category and so generate a blog post. So in a way, categories help to remind me of what I want to put out there on my blog in the first place. I’ve revised them a few times when I was re-thinking the direction of my blog and some of my posts have had fallen into the ‘Uncategorised’ category after that, as you pointed out. But now I have sorted all of that, all good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely inspirational comment about how having categories on your blog inspire you to write more about what those categories cover, Mabel. I never really thought about it that way, but you certainly make a very good point. And, having just 10 categories is better than having none, or having 100 and not using any of them. Glad you sorted out the categories on your blog. Any new visitors to your blog will certainly know where to go when looking for particular blog posts your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The categories not only remind me what I blog about, but whether or not I’m still passionate about certain topics. If not, maybe time to switch things up. Love the engagement on your blog and how you get your readers talking about a variety of subjects on your blog. Well done 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jumped over from Sally Cronin’s reblog – smorgasbordinvitation
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Wonderfully clear and thanks for the reminder to go see if I’ve left behind a post or several “uncategorized.” I cross-file many of my posts, btw, using more than one category per post – since readers might think of concepts in different “categories.” To use your cookie metaphor, “cookies” and “snacks” and maybe even “gluten free” or “sugar free.” (I am a brain-based mental health blogger so this is just an example – no recipes to be found on my site).

    Since I’ve been blogging long enough I now need categories for my categories 🙂 I have also added what I refer to as LinkLists (just what they sound like, and pages, not posts). I make them available from my site’s menubar at the top, with a Master Linklist to allow folks to locate and jump straight to articles on whatever they are struggling with or interested in learning more about. (i.e., Memory, Habits-Decisions-Attention, Organization & Task Completion, etc.).

    It saves more time than it takes to keep them updated, since I always add Related Content links at the end of my posts – shorter list of Relateds too, which are overwhelming for some of my readers, who also find the return of a long blog-roll of categorized posts daunting (despite my use of the “more” feature).

    Your blog is a GREAT resource to know about. Keeping up with the chronic WordPress “improvements” has become a bubble under plastic. Good to have a guide. THANKS! (FYI – your page-end “follow” button is obscured by your required cookie notification banner (and I never “close and accept”).
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Like

    1. Madelyn, thank you so much for your comments. It seems you are already doing a superb job with your categories. I often do the same and use more than one category per post when I know there is a strong crossover.

      With regards the EU Cookie notification, it is now law that all European bloggers show the banner on their blog site. It was something brought to my attention by another blogger (I’ve added the link to the post below). The WordPress widget for it does not allow it to be displayed anywhere else on my blog. However, I’ve now changed the setting in the Widget so that the banner disappears after 30 seconds.

      https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/01/11/eu-cookie-law-banner-required/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I am aware of the law – another of those nuisance laws that changes nothing, passed so legislators don’t have to take an honest look at the real problem. I refuse to consent to be annoyed, tracked and marketed however, as long as I still have that choice (so I will never click to make them go away as long as it confers consent).

        I wasn’t aware that you could change the setting to disappear after 30 seconds, however (American here). I wonder if your other European readers are aware of that either – and why they might want to do so.

        Re: the widget itself: WordPress rarely thinks cause and effect, in my experience. Their coders must be young and speedy, and thinking-through requires a more experienced touch, despite the reality that coding speed slows down with age (brain-based — most likely a factor of short term memory buffer shrinkage, according to the neuroscientists).

        I understand that they might not want to do the work to allow the banner to float or move (where it would ALSO remain in the way, so maybe even more of a nuisance), but they could relocate that follow button to the top of the site. Who knows? If enough people bring it to their attention, maybe they will – eventually (especially if it bugs enough iPhone users 🙂 )

        lol – I just noticed that your link was from Christopher’s site – he is an amazing blogger!

        xx,
        mgh

        Like

      2. Anybody who installs the EU Cookie Banner widget will see the choices there are for how to make the banner disappear. WordPress have made it very clear and easy, and Chris’s tutorial is also very easy to follow.

        Enjoy Chris’s site. I recently made him one of my 39 blogs to follow in 2017.

        https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2017/01/05/39-weeks-39-blogs-everyone-should-follow-in-2017-week-1-chris-the-story-reading-apes-blog-storyreadingape/

        Liked by 1 person

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