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Posts » Organize Posts with Categories

Categories provide a helpful way to group related blog posts together. You might want to create categories for different topics you cover in your blog. For example, if you have articles that cover a specific genre of music, you might want to keep those grouped together in a category.

Categories not only help keep posts organized, but you can also use categories to display posts in several places across your site, making it easier for your visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly. For example:

  • On your menu for visitors to view posts of a specific category.
  • On particular pages that use blocks that filter posts by category, like the Query Loop or Blog Posts blocks.
  • In the available sidebars or widget areas of your theme.

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Add Categories

  1. Go to your dashboard.
  2. Click on PostsCategories.
  3. Click Add New Category.
  4. Give the new category a name and a description.
  5. Click Add to save the new category.

By default, the category will be added as a “Top level Category.” To create subcategories, toggle the switch, and choose the top-level category you want this category associated with.

For example, a food blog might have categories for Cakes, Pies, and Ice Cream, all under a top-level Dessert category.

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Choose a Default Category

A default category is a category a post is assigned to by default when you create a new post. All posts must be given a category. By default, the category is Uncategorized.

  1. Go to Posts → Categories in your dashboard.
  2. Click the ellipsis (three dots) to the right of the category you want to assign as the default.
  3. Select Set as default from the drop-down menu.
The category list with an arrow pointing to the three dots to the right of a category name, the menu opened, and Set as default highlighted.
Changing the default Category.

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While it is not possible to delete the “Uncategorized” Category, you can rename it to whatever you want by clicking the Edit option in the drop-down menu next to the category name.

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Categorize your Posts

  1. In your dashboard, click on Posts.
  2. Click on the post you want to assign to a category.
  3. Under Post Settings on the right, expand the Category option.
  4. Click the checkbox next to the category you want the post to be assigned to
  5. Click Update or Publish to apply the changes to that post.

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If you don’t see the Settings sidebar, click the settings icon at the top of your page.

The Categories section from the post editor will display existing categories to check off, or you can use the search field just above the list. It has an Add New Category button at the bottom.

You can select multiple categories for a single post to show in. However, you should not add more than five to 15 categories and tags to a post.

You can remove a post from a category by unchecking the box next to the category name.

New Category from Within A Post

It is possible to quickly add a new category through the post’s Post Settings by clicking on Add New Category.

You will be able to give the category a name and select a parent category.

If you want to add a description to the category, go back to your dashboard and navigate to Posts → Categories to edit the new category.

Add New Category is a button at the bottom of the category list in the post editor. Once clicked, it shows text fields for the New Category Name and the Parent Category if applicable.

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Customize Category Pages

A category page is a page that displays all of the posts assigned to a specific category. By default, there is an Archives page created for each category. The archives page will have a URL, or site address, of something like https://yourgroovysite.com/category/categoryname/.

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If your site is using a theme that takes advantage of the Site Editor, you can customize the Archives page’s template. Otherwise, it is styled by the theme you have selected.

You can also create a custom category page using any WordPress block that allows you to filter by category. These blocks include:

The default Archives page and any page that uses the blocks mentioned above will automatically update with every new post you publish with that category.

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In Your Menu

You can link directly to the Category Archives page from your site’s menu. When your visitors click on the link, they’ll navigate to the archives for the category you linked to. For step-by-step instructions, check out the following guide.

If you’ve created a custom category page, you can link to it in your site’s menu like any other page on your site.

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If you have added a category to your site’s menu but do not see any posts on the category page, or a message that says the content can’t be found, this means no posts have been assigned to that category. Once you publish posts with the category they will automatically show on the category page.

In Your Pages

Using text, images, or buttons, you can link to your category pages (both archive and custom pages) throughout your site. The following guide will walk you through adding links to pages and posts on your site.

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Edit or Delete Categories

To edit or delete a category, go to Posts → Categories. Then, click the ellipses (three dots) on the right of any category to find the following options:

  • Edit: Change the name, parent category, and category description.
  • Delete: Delete the category. This removes the category from your site but does not delete any posts which had that category.
  • Set as default: Assign as the default category.

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Use Categories to Get Discovered

People can add specific tags and topics in their WordPress.com Reader for topics they’re interested in following. Then, when your post uses a category they’ve added to their topics, they’ll see your post in their Reader. Therefore, assigning tags and categories to your post increases the chance that other WordPress.com users will see your content.

However, you don’t want irrelevant content on the topics listings or search, and neither do we. That’s why we limit the number of tags and categories used on a public topic listing. Five to 15 tags/categories is a good number to add to each of your posts. The more categories you use, the less likely your post will be selected for inclusion in the topics listings. Learn more about Topics here.

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Bulk Delete Categories

You can also edit your categories in bulk by going to Posts Categories.

These instructions are referring to the WP Admin interface. To view this interface, click the View tab in the upper right corner and select Classic view.

To bulk delete any categories, check all categories you want to be deleted, and in the Bulk Actions drop-down above the list, select “Delete,” then click the “Apply” button.

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Find the Category ID

You may need to provide the Category ID for access restrictions on specific membership plugins or to implement custom CSS on a particular category page.

You can find the category ID for a category by going to Posts Categories.

These instructions are referring to the WP Admin interface. To view this interface, click the View tab in the upper right corner and select Classic view.

Scroll over the category that you need a category ID number for, and click the Edit link that appears under the category. You will be taken to the Edit Categories page.

Then, the Category ID for that category is visible in the page URL after tag-ID at the top of your browser screen:

In the URL, the numbers after "&tag_ID=" are highlighted to show the Category ID.

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Frequently Asked Questions

My Category Page says Nothing Found!

If you have added a Category Page to your menu, and you see a not found, or nothing found, page when you view it, there are no posts assigned to that category.

Once you add a post to that category, it will automatically show on your Category Page.

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