Unleash the Power of Using Categories in your WordPress Web Site
Written by Becky BrusoIn this post we will explore how to add categories and the way they are used in WordPress. This article will detail how to add categories in WordPress and will have a visual image of the process in action. I have also included a short desktop video which demonstrates exactly how to add and use categories. It includes audio instructions as well. I wrote and recorded both methods to provide you with the ability to pick which method is best for you to see how categories work. Categories are one of the best features of WordPress as they allow you to organize your information for your own use and for that of your web site visitors.
A well-organized web site provides a positive experience for those visiting your web site by helping them to easily locate the information they have come to find. It can make the difference between someone staying on your site or clicking away in frustration.Let’s take a look at how to add and use categories.
Video Demonstration of Adding and Using WordPress Categories
Written Instructions on Adding and Using WordPress Categories
How to Add Categories in WordPressTo add a category, go to the WordPress Dashboard, click on Posts. Here you will see the dashboard menu selections expand to show categories. Click on Categories, simply type the name of your category in the box and save your changes by clicking on add new category. I don’t fill in the description here unless it is one which is intended for web visitors to see as well. I choose not to add a description and document it outside of WordPress since some themes show the category description on the front end of your web site. This may not be desirable for you to show this description to the world, unless you have created your category descriptions with your web site visitor’s needs in mind. I also do not add a specific name as a slug, unless I have defined a need to do so. One will automatically be assigned by WordPress anyway.
How to Assign a Category to a PostAssigning a category to a post is a snap. In your post editing screen, you will typically see the categories panel on the right hand side of the screen. Sometimes this is either folded up or not visible due to screen options in effect. In the event your categories panel is folded up, simply click on the downward facing triangle next to categories and it will expand to show you the most common categories in use on your web site. If the category panel is not visible, go to the upper right hand corner of your screen and look for the words “screen options“. Click on this to expose more features for your editing panel. If your categories aren’t visible in your editing panel, they are most likely unchecked under screen options. Simply check the box next to categories under the screen options choices, and your categories will now be available in your post editing panel.
How to Set a Specific Category to Auto Assign in WordPressSuppose you always are writing about a specific topic and want to set it up so that WordPress will automatically use that category in your posts. There is a way you can set it and forget it by using the WordPress default category settings. In this case, you set up a default category so that your posts are automatically assigned to your preferred category when you begin to write.
Default is computer speak for something that automatically happens without any need for you to take action.To set your default categories, go to Settings, Writings on your WordPress Dashboard. Locate the default category drop down box, then select your default category. A visual of this screen is shown below. Be sure to save your changes before exiting this screen.