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Adding, Deleting, and Changing a WordPress Category

WordPress Tips and TechniquesTime to add a new category to WordPress? Have enough content within a specific topic and want to add it to your category lists? Changing your mind about a category name and wish to change it? Want to delete an entire category worth of posts because you don’t want to cover that topic anymore?

Adding and changing categories is easy with WordPress. This is your guide to all the things you need to know about adding and deleting categories in WordPress, as well as moving posts around within categories.

Add a New Category to WordPress

Example of how to add post category to WordPress from within the Post Panel.To add a category to and , there are two methods. The first one is done on-the-fly through the Post Panel:

  1. In the sidebar menu of the Post Panel, look for Categories. If you do not see it, click Screen Options at the upper right corner of the screen and check off “Categories.”
  2. At the bottom of the Category panel box, click +Add New Category.
  3. Enter the name of the category in the form.
  4. If appropriate, select the Parent Category for this Category.
  5. Click Add New Category.

WordPress will automatically select the category and use it when you publish this post as WordPress assumes you’ve added the category for this post.

Add a Category Description in WordPress

To add a description to the category, go to Posts > Categories and edit the category to add the category description. The category description will appear in the title attribute of the Category link in navigation (required by US Federal Law for accessibility for commercial and government sites) and on category pageviews for WordPress Themes that use it.

Example of Category Panel and how to add a new category to WordPress with the category description.You may also add a category through the Category panel.

To add a category to WordPress and WordPress.com through the Categories Panel:

  1. On the WordPress Administration Panels, go to Posts > Categories.
  2. On the left side of the panel is Add New Category.
  3. Fill in the category name in the form.
  4. If appropriate, select a Parent category from the drop down menu.
  5. Enter a description for the category in the form.
  6. Click Add New Category.

The new category will now appear in the Category list on the Post Panel.

Note that self-hosted versions of WordPress allow the user to set the Slug, the permalink name for the category, when adding new categories. WordPress.com users cannot change the category slug.

Things You Need to Know About Categories

Here are a few things you need to know about categories in WordPress.

  • A category will not appear in your category navigation unless there is a published post in it.
  • Category names should be keyword specific not made-up or fun names. They are important navigation links so call them what they represent.
  • Category names are generally one to four words.
  • Posts can be in multiple categories.
  • Categories can have subcategories.
  • Out of the box, “Uncategorized” is your default category. You can change this in the Settings > Writing panel.
  • By default, the WordPress permalink structure for categories include the word “category” in the permalink such as http://example.com/category/blogging/.
  • By default, the WordPress permalink structure for subcategories is http://example.com/category/blogging/blogging-tips/, featuring the parent category slug name first, followed by the subcategory slug.
  • Category descriptions will appear on WordPress Themes using the category description template tag in the category template file of the Theme.
  • Categories have their own feeds. The link to the feed is in the structure of http://example.com/category/blogging/feed/ by default.
  • Pages do not have categories, only posts.
  • If you use the Import > Convert Tags to Categories feature, WordPress will automatically generate trackback comments for all changed posts. Not sure why, but you can easily delete these from the Comment panels as they are duplicate trackbacks.

What You Need to Know on Adding, Removing, and Changing Categories

There are a few issues and complications that may come with adding a new category to your WordPress site that you will need to know.

Moving Posts Into the New Category

When you create a new category, the odds are high that you will want to add posts you’ve published in the past to the new category.

You can use the Bulk Edit feature of WordPress to add the category to the posts, or you can manually go through all the posts and add them to the new category.

If you wish to remove the post from a category, you cannot use the Bulk Edit feature. The Bulk Edit only adds, not subtracts, post options. You must do this manually on WordPress.com. Self-hosted WordPress users may use Bulk Move WordPress Plugin.

Setting the Default Category in WordPress

Example of how to set the default post category in WordPress Settings.By default, WordPress sets “Uncategorized” as the default category for your site. Having posts uncategorized is not a good idea and doesn’t send a positive message about you or your site.

The default category can not be deleted and some of the changes you may wish to make may be restricted. If you need to make changes, you need to set another category as the default.

To change the default category on WordPress and self-hosted versions of WordPress:

  1. Create a new category to be your new default, if you have not done so already.
  2. Go to Settings > Writing.
  3. Go to Default Post Category.
  4. From the drop down menu, select the category you wish to be the new default.
  5. Click Save Changes.

New posts published without selecting a category will be set in this new default category.

Now, you need to deal with the posts in “Uncategorized.”

If you delete the “Uncategorized” category, posts within the deleted category should move automatically into the new default category, however newer versions of WordPress leave the post uncategorized.

To prevent searching for uncategorized posts and manually adding them to the new default category, here are the steps to move posts to the new default category and delete the “Uncategorized” category.

  1. On the Posts (All Posts) panel, filter the posts to show only the posts in the “Uncategorized” category.
  2. Using the Bulk Edit feature of WordPress, select all the posts in the Uncategorized category, choose Bulk Edit (Apply), and add the new default category to all the selected posts. If you have more than one page of posts in that category, you may have to repeat this for each page of posts in the Post Panel until all are in Uncategorized and the new default category.
  3. Go to Posts > Categories.
  4. Hover over the “Uncategorized” category and select Delete. Accept any warnings.
  5. All posts formerly in the Uncategorized category will have that category removed, leaving them in the new default category.

If you delete the Uncategorized category before moving them into the new category, go through your post list and select all posts without a category and use the Bulk Edit feature to add them to the right category.

If you are using the self-hosted version of WordPress, there are several WordPress Plugins to make it easier to move posts between categories. See the section in this article on moving posts between categories.

How to Rename a Category

“Dancing in the Night” was a great category for your posts on risk-taking. After several years of blogging, you learned that people and search engines don’t respond well to cute category titles. You need to change it to “Expanding Your Comfort Zone.”

To rename a category, you can create a new category and move posts into it, or change the category name.

In the self-hosted version of WordPress:

  1. Go to Posts > Categories.
  2. Find the category name you wish to change and click Edit.
  3. Change the category name.
  4. Change the category Slug, the permalink “nice” name for the category.
  5. Add or change the category description.
  6. Click Update.

On WordPress.com, the method is basically the same except you cannot change the post slug. It will change automatically when you change the category name.

Due to the canonical nature of WordPress, changing the order or name of the category should not result in a page-not-found error. WordPress should automatically redirect the visitor to the right page as it preserves the same category ID number.

Deleting a Category

If you find a category isn’t working for you, but you wish to keep the posts within that content, you can delete the category.

To delete a category, go to Posts > Categories and select Delete – but stop. Maybe you should consider this step first. What happens when you delete a category in WordPress?

WordPress and WordPress.com will automatically move the posts in to the default category as set in the Settings > Writing panel.

If you do not with to have the posts moved into the default category, you have some options.

The Bulk Edit feature will not remove posts from categories, only add. WordPress and WordPress.com users can edit posts individually to add them to the category of their choice and remove them from category they will later delete.

Self-hosted WordPress users can use the Bulk Move WordPress Plugin.

Once the posts have been moved into the appropriate category, go to the Posts > Categories panel and find the category you wish to delete. Click Delete.

Remember this is final. You may add the category later, but it will feature the number -2 in the category name unless you modify the WordPress database. To change this, see the instructions on changing the category permalink with a number.

Removing an Entire Category of Posts

You’ve been blogging for a while and realize that all your blog posts about mortgages and credit ratings were of value when you were getting your home refinanced, but you haven’t touched the subject in three years. The posts are flooded constantly by spam comment bots focused on the keyword usage, so you want to just delete all of them.

You can delete a category, and the posts will automatically be added to the default category. Posts are not removed. What do you do if you want them gone?

On WordPress.com and the self-hosted version of WordPress, you may use the Bulk Edit feature to delete all the posts in a specific category.

  1. Go to the Posts management panel.
  2. Filter the posts by the specific category of posts you wish to delete and apply the filter.
  3. Triple check that these are the posts you wish to delete.
  4. Check the posts you wish to delete or use the “Select All” feature by clicking the check box next to “Title.”
  5. On the Bulk Edit drop down, select Move to Trash.
  6. Click Apply to move all the selected posts to the Trash.

Remember the Trash in WordPress will temporarily hold the deleted items, giving you a chance to change your mind.

If the posts you wish to delete are not all in the same category that you wish to remove, go through the posts individually and manually move them to the Trash using the option from the Post Management panel or on the post’s Edit panel.

On self-hosted WordPress sites, you can also use the Bulk Delete WordPress Plugin to help you get rid of not only the whole category, but all posts in that category. You can delete content in a variety of ways with this Plugin, including removing Pages and all post revisions.

Using the built-in Trash feature, you have a chance to change your mind. Using the Bulk Delete WordPress Plugin is a final option with no second chance.

Converting Tags to Categories and Categories to Tags

The Convert Categories and Tags to Categories and Tags panel in WordPress.Not all categories are meant to be categories. Sometimes they need to be tags. Sometimes tags need to grow up and become categories. WordPress makes it easy for self-hosted and WordPress.com users to convert between the two.

To begin the conversion process of tags to categories or categories to tags:

  1. Go to Tools > Import.
  2. Select Categories and Tags Converter.
  3. Choose Categories to Tags or Tags to Categories.
  4. Find the category or tag you wish to convert and click the check mark next to it. If the list is long, use CTRL+F to do a page search for the name of the tag or category.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the panel and click Convert Tags to Categories or Convert Categories to Tags.

A notification may appear explaining you will receive email notification of the conversion when complete. It usually takes a few seconds to appear in your Category or Tag list.

Note that tags with an asterisk are also categories, and categories with an asterisk are also tags. When converting tags to categories, posts associated with that tag will be automatically moved to that category. When converting categories to tags, the same thing happens. Posts in that category will feature that tag, but lose the category.

Finding a Number in Your Category Permalink

If you create a new category and find -2 in the link name such as http://example.com/category/blogging-tips-2, it means you are duplicating the name in the WordPress database.

Example of WordPress adding a number 2 to the permalink category.

I know you didn’t. I know that this is the first time you’ve used this name in your categories, but you used it first in your tags.

WordPress tags and categories used to be stored in separate tables in the WordPress MySQL database. With the changes in how content is categorized and cataloged in WordPress, categories and tags are now in the same database table. By default, MySQL will not allow you to use the same names in a single table so it adds a dash two to the name.

You don’t want your category permalinks to feature a dash two, right? How do you fix this?

The easiest method for fixing the number in your category permalink works for both WordPress.com and self-hosted versions of WordPress:

  1. Go to Tools > Import > Convert Tags to Categories.
  2. Follow the instructions above to convert tags to categories.
  3. Go to Posts > Categories and update the converted category to the proper capitalization and add a category description.
  4. You will find that the category already has posts. They were automatically added to the category upon conversion. If you do not wish them to be in that category, edit them manually to uncheck that category.
  5. Go to the Posts management panel and use the Bulk Edit feature of WordPress to add the category to the posts you wish to be in that category in addition to the ones that were automatically converted.
  6. Go to Posts > Categories and delete the dash two category.

Self-hosted WordPress users may also use the Bulk Move WordPress Plugin to move posts into the new category.

The dash two permalink issue on categories (and tags) may also be fixed directly within the WordPress database with the search and replace option.

I Cannot Change or Edit a Category

If you cannot make changes to a category, it is likely it is set as the default category. It usually appears without a checkbox next to it in the Category panel list.

See the instructions on changing the default category in WordPress.

That’s a Lot on WordPress Categories

That’s really a lot on adding, deleting, changing, and messing around with categories in WordPress. Yet it is only the tip of the ice berg of what can be done with WordPress categories.

Please remember that categories are your primary navigation and gateway to content on your site. Use them wisely. Use names that tell the visitor in an instant that they are in the right place. Use names that guide the user to the help and information they want and need. Let categories speak well for you.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

53 Comments

  1. Posted September 14, 2012 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    Wow…so helpful! Thank you for laying this out so clearly, Lorelle!

  2. Posted September 14, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Excellent post Lorelle.

    I have about 48 categories and am thinking about either consolidating them or converting categories to tags.

    Can i get your advice on this please.

    • Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      @Brad:

      Excellent question. I recommend you combine duplicates. Best Plugins is the same as Plugins. Make that category count and call it WordPress Plugins since you don’t write about other plugins. It’s specific to readers and helpful for some SEO loving as it is now a keyword.

      Blog Content, How to Blog, Blog, and Blog Design are blogging topics, so make Blogging a parent category. If you wish to break it down into content and design, add them as subcategories. If I was there to learn more about blogging, I wouldn’t know exactly where to start, or would be clicking on these different categories in an attempt to find the information I wanted. Don’t make me work for the information.

      Templates, Thesis, Woo Theme, Themes, Theme, PHP Code, Blog Design, Design, HTML Codes, JavaScript, Customize Website, all of these deal with WordPress Themes or Web Design. Again, as a newbie to WordPress, where would I start?

      By going through the list and condensing all the related categories into parent categories, you give people a clear direction to go. People like maps and linear paths. They want to know what to do next. Help them and make it easier for them to step forward.

      As I go through the list, these are the ones that stand out:

      Blogging
      Business on the Web (or Online business or ecommerce or something similar)
      Interactivity
      Reviews
      Site Optimization (if you have enough, otherwise put this under WordPress Themes or business, or the infamous SEO)
      WordPress Plugins
      WordPress Themes
      WordPress Tips (domain, installation, media, Widgets, WordPress Editor, all of it)

      There are now many people blogging about WordPress. Check out their categories and see how they are grouping content together.

      As I’ve written many times, most recently in What You Most Need to Know About WordPress, there is a lot of confusion over categories and tags. Many people treat categories like tags, organizing content like an index page in a book rather than a table of contents. Keep categories your table of contents and your tags your index words and people will have a much more enjoyable, and informative, experience navigating your site’s content.

      Thanks!

    • Posted September 15, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

      Based on my own experience deleting categories and moving posts to other categories, this content is not accurate:

      WordPress should automatically redirect the visitor to the right page as it preserves the same category ID number.

      It preserves the same post I.D Not category I.D

      Correct Lorelle?

    • Posted September 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      WordPress preserves the post ID and the category ID. In the article, I explained that if you rename a category, even to changing its slug, WordPress will redirect the user to the same category pageview (or web page) as the category ID does not change. In other words, if you change the Cat Dancing category to Cat Walks, and change the category slug, all posts within that category will still be in that category and the link to the category will not change, and incoming links to that category will not change, as the category ID is preserved.

      Maybe I’m not understanding what you are saying. Help me make that sentence make more sense, please.

      Thanks.

    • Posted September 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      I see that WordPress uses a tag&cat I.D so that must be it but i’m not sure WP uses this.

      Maybe it just uses the post I.D which always stays the same even when you reassign a post to another category.

    • Posted September 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Tags and categories are stored in the same table. That might be where the confusion lies. This is also how you can end up with category-name-2. If there already exists a tag named blah, when you add category blah, the blah slug becomes blah-2, because they are both stored in the same table.

      Tags and categories used to be in separate tables but with Custom Post Types, they were combined into a single taxonomy table to allow for the cross population of content in a variety of forms and formats.

      Post ID stays the same no matter what category the post is in. There is no relationship between the two other than posts are assigned to categories. If you change the category the post is in, only the category data associated with the post changes. The post ID is not changed.

      Confusing, huh? :D

  3. Posted September 14, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle
    What a great resource on WordPress categories.
    I realised that they are important for SEO, but you’ve pointed out so much more….

    A great categories 101 post.

    BTW – your next post has to be about… tags.
    I never use tags, but I know that I should do.

    • Posted September 14, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      I’ve fixed your comment info. Thanks for letting me know.

      I’ve written so much about both categories and tags…see What You Most Need to Know About WordPress for a summary of that information, and links to other posts I’ve written on the subject.

      And of course I will have more category and tag information coming soon. It’s a never-ending topic around here. :D

      Thanks!

  4. Gary
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this amazing information. I can not even begin to imagine how long it took to put that together. Do you normally put a category description to try to draw in the users? Or do you leave it blank so that it will list the latest information in there? I have heard positives things about doing it both ways, so I thought I would ask your opinion?

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      The point of categories is to create a table of contents for your site. Obviously, a useful table of contents is one that has words that describe not only the content within but informs the visitor that “this is where the information you need is.” If that is what you call “draw in the users,” then yes. Categories have their place in SEO, but if you focus on helping the users, you help yourself in the bigger picture.

      I have no idea what leaving the category blank so it lists the latest information. Makes no sense. If you could be more specific with that you mean by that, I could address that point better.

      Thanks.

    • bro
      Posted February 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      really.. it was nice solution…

  5. Posted September 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Convert tag to category? Didn’t know!
    Started a new cat for #MOOC but found that its slug was mooc-1 … so example.com/heap/category/mooc/ didn’t work. I copped out and went for MOOCs, so I got example.com/heap/category/moocs/

    I guessed that was a name-space collision with a tag. Didn’t know I could have just converted!

    you’re a wiz :-)
    –@bentrem

    • Posted September 21, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      It was a collision. :D It happens more than you can image, so glad to help.

  6. Posted September 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle

    Result after changing categories

    Duplicate meta descriptions 471

    Duplicate title tags 487

    • Posted September 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Huh. And how many categories? :D

      Are you saying that the WordPress Plugin you use for SEO to create custom title tags and meta descriptions didn’t respond well to the changing of categories? Not sure I understand where all those duplicates come from as that has nothing to do with the native core functions of WordPress.

    • Posted September 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      I deleted about 38 and using Yoasts plugin

    • Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Check with Yoast about the issues with the Plugin as he needs to know to resolve any issues, but congrats! Wow, a lighter, leaner, and meaner site. How does THAT feel?

    • Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Feels good. Thanks for your help.

      Google has taken my search traffic. Not sure why. Not even ranking for WP Sites.

      I guess thats for another post.

  7. Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I have a problem that i can’t figure out. I was doing a search on categories and I came across this post so you seem to be expert in the topic. For some reason my categories only show the top 7 posts. For some of my categories I have over 200 posts but they don’t show. I’m sure there is a problem in my settings but I can’t find it. Can you help me out here? Thank you

    David

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Hello,

      I finally found the problem. It was under my ‘settings’ tab. I had the scroll infinitely option clicked. It was set for 7 and for some reason it was not giving the option to get more posts. I unselected that and now the site gives 20 posts with the option to get more. Maybe now my visitors can read more

      I’m happy again…….uhhh….thanks for all your help /sarc ;)

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Glad you found the infinite scroll option. I’ve covered that elsewhere, but still glad you figured it out. It’s a nice feature but do be aware that it can also cause a lot of problems for those on measured or slow bandwidth connections. It preloads content in the background, thus consuming bandwidth without the user being aware, other than it can slow down their connection if they are on a sensitive connection.

  8. bro
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I want to know that to create a new theme, do we require to edit function.php file?

  9. Marko
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I have two questions and I will be grateful if you give me the answers. I apologize, If I missed this explanation in your post.

    I have already published a few articles and I want to move them from the old category under a new category.

    1. Should I use 301 redirect for the old links?

    2. How these changes affect the ranking in Google

    Thanks,
    Marko

    • Posted February 26, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Honestly, Google will catch up, so don’t worry about any ranking. Google took their Pagerank offline because people were worshiping it like some religious figure. Don’t worry about that.

      If the category gets a lot of traffic, then a redirect in the .htaccess file (or with a WordPress Plugin) wouldn’t hurt, but if the posts get traffic and have many incoming links, they will not be affected by the change in category. Only if you have links to that specific category within your content or as incoming links. The URL for the posts stay the same.

      Thanks.

    • Marko
      Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink

      Let me see if I understand correctly.

      If my permalinks have included the category name, I assume it is must to do 301 redirect. Am I right?
      Is that all I have to do for the posts that I will move under a new category, or I also have to manually change all the old links within my content that point to these posts?

      Thanks

    • Posted February 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      The link to the posts does not change because you change categories, unless you have set up your pretty permalinks with the category name in the post URL. If you have put them in the pretty permalink, a redirect is a good thing to do, though the canonical feature of WordPress may take care of the redirect automatically. It doesn’t hurt to add the redirect manually.

      There are WordPress Plugins that may help you with the redirects and moving posts within categories, so check those out, or do it manually as you described.

  10. Posted April 14, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    What am I doing wrong?

    I accidentally put two posts in the wrong category. So, I went to “All Posts” and, using “Quick Edit” I unchecked the box of the incorrect category and checked the box of the correct category, and then clicked “Update” for each post. Now, the posts show up under both categories. What did I do wrong?

    • Posted April 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      As mentioned in the article, you may add but you cannot subtract using the bulk edit feature of WordPress. You must change them post by post. I know it is confusing, but that’s the way it works currently.

  11. Olympic Painting
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle – Thanks for the info. I have a question about changing/deleting a category on WordPress. If I were to following your instructions and change one of my blog post categories, would my customers still be able to view blog posts using the old URL with the old post category in it? I usually email new blog article links out to my painting customers each month, so I wouldn’t want to change the permalink structure of those old posts. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Posted April 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      If you have peramlinks set up to display the category on every post, an nontraditional approach in structuring your post pretty permalinks, it should still work. Test it. If the old links do not work, then add redirects in the .htaccess files.

      WordPress uses canonical linking in the system, so some changes will hold, some will not. Experiment and see which works for your system.

      I’d also make it a practice in keeping with professional etiquette standards to never use your company name or keywords in the “name” of a comment as that is typically a sign of comment spam. I almost marked your comment as spam because of this. Glad I was paying close attention. :D

  12. Posted April 23, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    This is a very helpful site, thank you! I was wondering, however, if you could tell me why when I try to update the summary of a category, it doesn’t.

    • Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      If your WordPress Theme features category descriptions, add the description in the Posts > Category panel. If it isn’t updating when you make the change or add the category description and save it, and you’ve refreshed the pageview of the category, contact WordPress.com support. There is an issue with category name changes and capitalization when the same category name is a tag, but I haven’t heard of any issues with changing and editing category descriptions. The Support forum for WordPress.com will be able to help you if this is a technical issue. Thanks!

  13. Angela M
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I have 50 bloggers (teachers) on one domain. My ‘categories’ are primarily teacher names. They are doing quite well, actually. Unfortunately, some teachers are forgetting to ‘check off’ their name in the category so their post gets emailed to the parents in their class. Does anybody know if there is a way to automatically check off a category to match the user who is signed in?

    I’ve completely lost you haven’t I?

  14. Posted April 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it hasn’t. Okay, so I will contact WordPress support.
    I suppose there’s an anomaly then..
    Thank you for the feedback!
    :D

  15. Posted July 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    1) I changed my default category to ‘Culture’, Save changes, and expected all posts from ‘Uncategorised’ to move automatically. They didn’t move.

    1) Does it take time for the change to take effect?
    2) Could it be because all these posts are RE-BLOGGING posts from other site? Normally the Re-blogged posts go straight to the default setting ‘Uncategorised’.

    I later moved the posts manually. I deleted my Uncategorised category afterwards. Thank you for the tip. Now my Category looks pretty neat.

    2) I just added a description to my Blog Exercises Tag successfully. What a surprise! Your method was to add a description to a Category, as I had grouped my posts into a TAG, I used the same principle to add a description on TAG, and the outcome seems to be the same. Perhaps my theme happens to support this feature. I’m happy.

    • Posted July 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      To set your default category in WordPress, remember you have to manually change all posts to whatever category you wish them to go into. If you set the default category and deleted the old one, they should have gone into the new one but they might not. Use the Bulk Edit feature to put them in the right category. Changes are immediate.

      Ah, you figured that out. Good.

      You now may add descriptions to tags. That’s fairly new in WordPress. Some WordPress Themes feature descriptions on tag pageviews, some do not.

      Good job!

    • Posted July 22, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

      1) Ah — now I understood. The eyesore of Uncategorised is gone. I’m pleased.

      2) On your website, posts within categories when viewed in a series appear as excerpts. As individual posts chronologically, they appear as normal posts with paragraphs with -+more function.

      Is the excerpt feature better? Did you manually set it that way with a good reason? Excerpts lost paragraphs and can be difficult to comprehend if those paragraphs serve a purpose.

      All my posts appear as normal with +more.

  16. Posted July 22, 2013 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Lorelle,

    I’ve gone back to your instructions to see why I hadn’t understood you yesterday correctly.

    I focused on: Posts currently in the Uncategorized category will be automatically moved to the new default category.” “Automatically’ didn’t happen though. You didn’t mention ‘manually’ changing posts’ category as a necessary step.

    The below is from your text:

    “To change the default category on WordPress and self-hosted versions of WordPress:

    Go to Settings > Writing.
    Go to Default Post Category.
    From the drop down menu, select the category you wish to be the new default.
    Click Save Changes.

    Posts currently in the Uncategorized category will be automatically moved to the new default category.”

    • Posted July 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for digging into this deeper. I’ll make this clearer. The sequence is to make the new default directory, then delete “uncategorized.” Those posts used to be automatically transferred to the new default but I recently found out they stay category-less. Thanks.

  17. Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Useful information for managing categories in wordpress, I did not know some things like feed of the categories, thanks for the information.

  18. Posted November 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I have a problem, and WordPress.com Support doesn’t seem understand what I’m trying to say. I’d written contents for a couple of Pages (deliberately), when I was told about Category Pages. I deleted the two Pages; posted their contents individually on the blog, taking care to add to each the category I wanted to appear in my custom menu; added them to the menu and things seemed OK. Until I found that when clicking on either of the two new Category Pages, while the reader is taken to the correct articles, each has a header in enormous grey font that says
    CATEGORY ARCHIVES:
    before adding the actual header. Have you come across this before?

    • Posted November 22, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Yes. This is normal.

      By adding the categories to the menu, when clicked the user goes to the category pageview, a generated page that features all the posts within that category. Each WordPress Theme customizes the title of the category pageview differently. It looks like the Theme you have chosen does that. If you don’t like it, change Themes or get the CSS extra paid feature and change the styles in the Theme.

      A problem with many designers designing for WordPress and not familiar with all of its intricacies is that they don’t style for things like pageview titles on categories, archives, tags, etc. Go to a tag pageview and you will see the same thing and it will say “Tag Archives” or something like that. Go to an archive pageview and it will say “Archives for X date(s).” This is the default behavior of WordPress.

      And the reason why the WordPress.com volunteers didn’t understand what you were saying. It is not an error. It is supposed to be there. If the Theme designer didn’t design for it, I wonder what else they didn’t design for. Just saying. :D

      Sorry your experience with the forums was not good. They are incredible people and know what they are doing, giving so much of their time freely to help others, but sometimes they miss. Glad to help.

    • Posted November 22, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Thank-you very much: I’ve recently found out exactly that – meaning that everything you say is 100% correct. And I don’t want to mislead you about my Forum experience – I don’t know what I’d do without all those amazingly helpful people! – it was just that, unusually, I was sitting on an ice-floe for many hours without sight of land. But once it hove into view, all was well.
      I’m very happy, all the same, to’ve found this site! – more stuff for me to peruse before asking moronic questions. :-)

    • Posted November 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been on that ice-floe with you. I totally understand. I tell my students (and clients) there is no such thing as a stupid question, just a stupid person who doesn’t ask the stupid question. LOL!

  19. Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thank you! That was very helpful!

  20. Yee Yee Myint
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    I want to add Recipe like as event, so where can i add, please

    • Posted November 26, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I’m sorry, I don’t understand your question. You want to add Recipe as a category. Simply add it in the Posts > Category panel or on the post in the Category box. If you could be more clear with what you want to do, I might be able to help you. There is also great help in the WordPress support forums. Thanks.

  21. WanderingCarol
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    This post is the most comprehensive I’ve found on changing categories. I revamped my blog, deleting a number of categories and tags. Now they are showing up as Not Found Errors. I’ve redirected more than 100, but I’m worried that too many Redirections plus my 252 Not Found Errors are hurting my rankings. I’ve gone from a pagerank 4 to a pagerank 3, and this is the only change. I feel like my blog is now a mess and I don’t know how to clean it up. Any ideas? Thanks so much for you help.

    • Posted March 13, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      What are showing up as redirect errors? Posts? Category link? Fix the links and Google will figure it out on the next cycle. Try not living for THE Google, too. :D Things will straighten out.

      If you are using category or tag links in articles and navigation, fix those links. If your site is self hosted, a simple search and replace will resolve those issues in the Database or with a WordPress Plugin for search and replace.

      A lot of redirects is messy, but without knowing why those are being generated and generated by what – spam bots, human beings – this is the best answer I have for you.

  22. Mike Rigz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Very helpful and extremely detailed. I have a huge task ahead of me, but glad I read this article first.
    #Cheers


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