A Helpful Guide to WordPress Post Categories

August 5, 2019

Typically WordPress posts are used for blog posts, but they don’t have to be. Posts can be used for a multitude of content on your website, you just have to get creative. Every WordPress post must be placed in category, so knowing your way around those post categories can be helpful in making your site the best it can be.

What are post categories used for? Why are they helpful?

Post categories are used to populate specific posts on pages; for example, the blog page on our site merely displays every post in the “blog” category. I could just as easily add another category of post to this page, move the blog categorized posts to a different page, or create other pages that are populated with categorized posts.

WordPress automatically files posts under “uncategorized” so you must go in and alter it, if you so desire. You can change where WordPress automatically puts your posts by going to settings > writing > default post category.

You can also file posts under multiple categories. When you have multiple categories selected, one must serve as the primary category. The subcategories are called “child categories.” They function much like parent pages and child pages, in that the child category is a subtopic under a broader topic. For example, if we wanted to add a child category of “helpful guides” to the primary category of blog, since the “helpful guides” blog series is more specific kind of post than just “blog.”

Posts and post categories are not just for blogs though! They are versatile tools in any WordPress site. We recently created a travel site, and we had to showcase each trip the company offered. So we made a post for each trip, and gave them categories based on geographic location, with the continent being the primary category, and the country being the child category. This way, every trip is organized carefully and logically. Plus, this made it easy to create an organized landing page for all of the trips.

How to Add Categories to Posts

Categorizing posts in WordPress is fairly simple, you just have to know where to look, and what to look out for.

  1. When you’re writing a post, the right-hand column has a lot of helpful tools, including a “categories” section.
  2. In the “categories” section you are able to place your post into an existing category by checking one of these boxes.

How to Create a New Category

  1. When you’re writing a new post, navigate to the right-hand column, to the “categories” section.
  2. Simply click “+ add  new category,” and type the name you wish, and select a parent category for the new category. If you do not wish for your new category to have a parent category of its own, simply click “parent category” in the dropdown menu, this tells WordPress that your new category is a parent category of its own.
  3. When you’re complete, simply click the gray box “add new category,” to save your changes. Your new post is now part of this new category.

How to Edit Categories

Want to change the category of your post, even though its already published? Fret not! It’s an easy fix.

  1. Simply select the “posts” option on the left menu of your dashboard.
  2. Hover your cursor over the post in question.
  3. Then, select “quick edit.” The quick edit menu is helpful for many changes you might want to make. From this window you can switch a post back to draft, change the slug, alter the title, and much more.
  4. To change the category, simply check another box in categories section. Easy as pie!