Confused by wordpress’ category and tags? You’re not the only one.

It turned out that enough people found this blog by searching “wordpress tags vs category” for me to add this post, in hope to remedy the inadequate rant before.

Category

  • used to describe multiple blog entries that share a common attribute (theme, style, genre, or topic)
  • People generally use at most 2 or 3 categories to describe their posts.
    • For example, I blog in both English and Chinese, so they are the two biggest distinctions for my entrie.
    • Within each language category, I have several sub-categories (diary, fiction, announcement, etc). I expect I will write many more entries that would go under “diary”, for instance.

Tag

  • any keyword that can be used to describe a post.
  • It’s not uncommon to see people using a dozen tags to describe a post.
    • For example, I may not necessarily write another entry that talks about “confused”, so this is a tag, not a category.

A good test that I use:

What does this post talk about? These are its tags.

What other posts have you written or you might write that are similar to this post? They can be grouped into the same categories.

More technically, categories can be heretical, so it’s easier to organize and present your blog in a logical manner. Tags are random, scattered, and is used to capture what’s going on in a blog entry or the entire blog at a particular instance.

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