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Tutorial: An Introduction to WordPress Categories – Organize Your Content

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Blogs that are just starting out typically consist of a few posts. Because they don’t have much content, it is not difficult to look for a post. If a user needs to view something, they can just navigate and look for what they need to view. The opposite is true, however, for a site that has a lot of content. In particular, it can be difficult to navigate or look for similar and related content. WordPress, thankfully, offers a solution. WordPress allows content to be organized by labels. These labels are called “categories”. By labelling a post, users can navigate the site easier and view similar content conveniently. Need to view all content related to “programming”, or “software testing”? It’d be easy. With categories. Need an introduction? You’re in the right place. In this article we will be learning.

Adding New Categories

To add a category, you nave to edit or create a post. Once in the block editor, you have to click on the “Category” tab. When the tab opens, choose “Add New Category”

Click "Add New Category"

They then need to fill in the necessary details.

Fill in the fields.

Categories can also be created through the admin dashboard. You just have to click on “Posts” then click on the link for the “Categories” page. Once in this page, you can add new categories, and you can even delete them.

Create categories through the admin dashboard.

Adding Child Categories

If categories refer to topics, then child categories refer to subtopics. For instance, a “Programming Language” category can be a parent category having children categories “Java”, “C++”. “C#”. To add a child category. Categories are conceptualized in a hierarchical manner.

To add a child category, navigate to the “Categories” page. Fill in the necessary details. Then choose a parent category in the dropdown selection menu. Save the category after.

Choose a parent category.

Editing Categories

Categories can also be edited. To do this, navigate to the “Categories” page from the admin dashboard. Once there, hover over the category which will be edited, then click “Edit”. This will redirect to a page where the category can be edited

Editing categories in the admin dashboard.

Deleting Categories

Deleting categories is also possible. Navigate to the “Categories” page, then hover over the category that needs to be deleted, then click “Delete”.

delete a category

Changing the Default Category

WordPress, by default, categorizes content with unassigned categories, unsurprisingly, as “Uncategorized.” To change this, navigate to the “Writing” page from the admin dashboard.

"Writing" später

Once there, change the default post category by choosing the category you will be setting to default in the dropdown menu. Save your changes after by clicking on the “Save changes” button. In our example, we will be choosing the “ParentCategory” category.

Writing Settings

Now, publish a new post or page without choosing a category. It will assign the post or page to a default category. In our example below, we didn’t assign the post to any category before we published it.

Publish a post without choosing a category.

This is also reflected in the Posts page

Post Page

Displaying Categories

To display the categories, we can either use a widget or we can displaythem in the navigation menu.

Displaying Categories in a Widget Area

From the admin dashboard, navigate to the “Widgets” page. Once there search for the “Categories” widget. We will then drag and drop the widget to a widget area. For our example, we will drag the widget to the sidebar.

Widgets page

We will give it a name, then choose to display the number of posts per category. If there are no posts in a category, the category will not be displayed on the widget area.

choose "Show pots counts"

Here is the widget on display:

Widget in the frontend.

Displaying Categories in a Navigation Menu

We can also display categories in a Navigation Menu. To do that, navigate to the “Menus” page from the admin dashboard. Once there, create a Menu if one hasn’t been created yet.

Create a menu.

After doing that, we just add the Categories as menu items, assign a display location, then save the menu.

add categories as menu items

Here are the categories in the menu:

Categories in the frontend.

Categories and Tags

Categories and tags are means which are used to organize posts. However, they differ a lot. Categories are classified by concepts. Tags, on the other hand, are classified by keywords. Categories are used for grouping posts by topic while tags are used for grouping based on post details. Another difference is that categories are mandatory but tags are not. Lastly, categories can hierarchical while tags cannot.


We’ve come to the end of this tutorial. We’ve learned how to create, edit, and delete categories. We’ve also learned how to display these categories. Lastly, we’ve learned the difference between categories and tags.

We hope you learned a lot!


Kristin Eitel

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