Last night I was posting an illustration on my online portfolio blog and found I had a hard time coming up with some tags for it. I suppose it might be hard to think about tags at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, but I thought to myself it might be a good idea to find out a little more about categories and tags later today.
After doing some research, I learned that categories and tags are used to find a place to put your posts in WordPress. For example, if you wrote an article about computers and added the “Technology” category to your post, it would be grouped with all the other articles that were posted with the same category. Categories are general, broad terms used to group posts, while tags add more specific descriptions of your posts. If you would like to know more about the difference between categories and tags, please see this article called “Categories vs. Tags” in the Support Section of WordPress. (Note: If you are new to WordPress, this article includes links to other articles that show you how to add categories and tags to your posts in the dashboard).
Here are some of the things that I learned from looking at this article and the information linked to it:
1. If you’re having trouble figuring out what category to add to your post, it may help you to look at the topics listings in your WordPress Reader. If you add one or more of these topics listings as categories to your post, you will be able to see your post under those topic listings in most cases.
2. Tags are optional, so the article does not provide much information about how to tag posts effectively.
3. One surprising fact I learned from the “Missing Posts” section linked to this article is that there is a limit to how many categories and tags you should include in your post. The magic number is 15 categories and tags total. If you add more than 15 categories and tags to your post, your work will not appear in the WordPress topic pages.
4. In addition to adding too many categories and tags to your posts, there are some other circumstances that can cause your posts not to appear in the WordPress topic pages.
I did not expect that there was so much information to know about categories and tags. I am glad to find out that I do not really have to worry about tags for my WordPress posts. Perhaps they are important for search engine optimization on the Internet, but I am not too concerned about the ranking of my blogs on search engines.