WordPress Categories – Creating Some Structure

I went ahead and created some WordPress categories for the site. WordPress provides flexibility in the realm of creating categories and tags. At the end of the day there are about three reasons to create categories:

  • Content Organization – For yourself and visitors
  • Simpler Links/Permalink Structure – Easier navigation via an easier (to-a-human) link structure
  • Helping google help you – SEO

To get started – I recommend a creating a simple category structure with no parents. Add tags as you are will/are ready. It seems that the consensus is that you should always have a category when it comes to a post, but tags are optional in the realm of using WordPress Categories for search engine optimization.

If you want some background on WordPress Categories and Tags: WordPress Categories vs Tags

To add categories, or remove the uncategorized category:

  1. At the WordPress Dashboard, go to Posts > Categories
  2. On the Categories Page, hit add category.
  3. Enter in the requested information – try not to create names that are too long
  4. If you want to edit a category – specifically the uncategoried category, refer to the next section
WordPress Categories
Add a WordPress Category

Leveraging the Yoast SEO Tools:

Once you have created a new category, you will want to immediately update it and add in the SEO details. If you are using Yoast SEO, you can bring up a page like the one below by doing the following:

  1. On the Posts > Categories Page, hover over the new category and select the Edit option
  2. The Category Edit page will load, and there will be a Yoast SEO area to fill in
  3. Enter in the requested information
Yoast SEO WordPress Categories
Add in SEO Category Details

Categorizing Posts:

When you create a post it is simple to add a category, but I recommend only using one category when you first get started.

The reason is that there can be complications when using multiple categories (such as which category will get used for the permalink) and while there are solutions (plugins/etc) they will be a distraction to getting your site off the ground. Leverage tags for now if you want that kind of granularity at this point.

Creating better links:

You can create better links using your WordPress Categories by updating your WordPress permalink structure:

  1. On the WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks
  2. Choose Custom, and enter: /%category%/%postname%/
  3. Hit – Save Changes

Note: Your posts will now be referenced using a new link. You may want to make sure your sitemap updated properly. Possibly even work on notifying Google.

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