Manage WordPress Content with Categories and Tags

When you are expecting to have large numbers of posts you can make your content easier to find and organize by using Tags and Categories.

Note: Tags and categories can only be applied on Posts. To learn more about the different uses Posts and Pages have in WordPress, see WordPress Posts vs. Pages.

The Difference Between Tags and Categories

Tags and categories can work together or on their own.  Categories are often used as hierarchical and/or definitive categories. For example in a site about Animals, I might use “Mammals” and “Reptiles” as categories since we can generally be sure we will know what category an animal belongs in.   Tags are generally more open ended, and can be applied across categories.  For example the tag fierce could be added to both an animal in the Mammals category (e.g. “Tiger”) and the Reptiles category (e.g. “Cobra”).

Tags and Categories are meant to help users to quickly find the content they are looking for on your site and/or help them discover the type of content that you have. A good use of these tools is key to guide readers throughout the content of your site.

With that in mind, it’s good to not overuse them either, as too many can appear overwhelming.

Create Tags and Categories


Navigate to the Dashboard of your site.


In the “Dashboard”, on the left side toolbar, click Posts, then Categories or Tags. The Categories or Tags page will open.


To add categories, on the right side of the page, enter a name and select a Parent category when needed (e.g. Continent > North America). Click Add New Category. The new category will appear on the right summary list.

an image of the categories menu
Categories page

To add tags, on the right side of the page, enter a name. Click Add New Tag. The new tag will appear on the right summary list.

an image of the tags menu
Tags page

To edit or delete a category or tag, on the right side of the page hover over the category or tag row. The category or tag options will appear. Click Edit to change the name, slug, description, or parent category. Click Delete to erase the category or tag from your site.

an image showing the options that appear when hovering over a tag or category

Select Categories and Add Tags to your Posts


In the “Edit Post”, on the right side, you will find the “Categories” and “Tags” blocks.


To select a category, on the “Categories” block, click a category (or multiple categories) from the checkbox list. If you do not have any category, click on + Add New Category. Then, write the category name and, when applies, select the parent category from the drop-down below.


To add a tag, on the “Tags” block, start entering the tag you want to use. A drop-down will appear showing the options available to select. Finish typing or select your tag and then click Add. The tag will appear below.

Note: If you are entering a new tag, when you click Add, the new tag will be added to the tags list for future use. To edit any tag you have created, follow the Create Tags and Categories instructions above.

Create menus using Categories

You can create menus by using categories on them. To learn more about creating menus, see Edit Menus on WordPress.

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Last modified: October 13, 2017