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  1. #1
    Member andyparks16's Avatar
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    Whats the difference between tags and categories in Wordpress
    In wordpress you have the option of adding a category and tag widget to your sidebar.

    I am just curious as to what the differences are between these, are tags related to key words within a category?

    Any help is much appreciated

  2. #2
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyparks16

    I am just curious as to what the differences are between these, are tags related to key words within a category?
    No need to reinvent the wheel. Here you go.

    http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2005/09...and-which-one/

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcarson
    No need to reinvent the wheel. Here you go.

    http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2005/09...and-which-one/
    You're probably right about no need to reinvent the wheel -- but now that I wadded through the post you linked to above I am more confused about tags than I was before reading it.

    Maybe that's just me.
    Generate more fake news.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Basically I use categories to organize my site and I use tags for search engines and technorati sites to find me.

    Take Abestweb for example, if it was a blog, you can say that "Inner Circle", "SAS", "CJ" could be the categories.

    If I wrote a post on parasites I could tag it "parasite", "fraud", "affiliate", etc. and the post can be in either categories/section of ABestweb like in the InnerCircle, SAS, etc. It just helps the search engines and the tag sites find the posts and help them sort out the different posts/links on their sites. Categories help actual visitors that come to visit your site to find things easier.

    Hope it doesn't confuse you more...

  5. #5
    Member andyparks16's Avatar
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    No it doesnt it makes it perfectly clear - tags could be seen as subcategories that help the search engines...

  6. #6
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    I'm in the process of migrating my blog into WordPress (from Joomla), and still struggling with how to use categories and tags.

    Any single article (blog post) can be assigned to only one category, but can be assigned many "tags." Your category structure can be "hierarchical," while tags have no hierarchy.

    Category = your blog's structure or hierarchy

    Tags = keywords or concepts (no hierarchy)

    Another way of looking at it: the Category reflects the primary subject or topic of the article (post), while Tags represent additional subjects or topics.

    Try looking at a bunch of blogs that include both Categories and Tags in their site navigation -- then look at how each article is "tagged" (usually the "tags" are listed below the article text).

  7. #7
    Full Member JCSupSvc's Avatar
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    Actually, a blog post can be in more than one category.

    I prefer to think of it this way -
    Categories are top level subjects that your blog deals with.
    Tags are post specific subjects.

    As an example: If you have a blog about printers, your categories might be LASER PRINTERS and INK JET PRINTERS.
    If you do a post on a Brother HL-5140 laser printer, it goes in the Laser Printer Category and is tagged "Brother HL-5140"

    At least that's the way I do it.

    John

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
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    Depending on who you talk to about SEO, many will recommend only linking a post to one category because of "duplicate content" issues and how your permalinks (urls) in wordpress are setup to function. Depending on how someone navigates your site, one article assigned to 5 categories could technically have 5 urls making google unhappy with you .

    I changed my permalink structure to leave out the category to avoid this -- and people are all over the board on the pros and cons of permalink setup too (just to confuse the issue further LOL). tags are great because you can have as many of them as you want for each post if you really wanted to and they won't penalize you for "duplicate content".

  9. #9
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Maybe that's just me.
    Nah, it didn't make much sense to me either but I couldn't really think of anything else that might make sense?

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager keystrokes's Avatar
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    Here's the explanation I always use:

    Categories are the equivalent to the Table of Contents at the front of a book

    Tags are like the entries in the Index at the back of the book

    Does that help? Tags are definitely a good thing in Wordpress, too!

  11. #11
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    Oops, I was mistaken - you can choose multiple categories for a single article.

    I like the analogy of the Table of Contents versus the Index, although it isn't quite perfect -- both because a single article can appear in multiple categories, and because WP displays the top-level categories in alphabetical order (a TOC would display them in sequence as they appear in the book). You choose Categories (TOC entries) that encompass a hierarchical series of related materials; you would use tags to allow people to identify a non-sequential series of related materials.

    I think the key difference is that Categories are "hierarchical" and Tags are "non-hierarchical."

    In general, you will have many fewer categories than Tags, and the Categories will be displayed in a fixed sequence and structure (alphabetical at each level), while the Tags are displayed in the WP "Cloud" format (with frequently-used tags shown in larger type, but otherwise just all blended together).

    I expect there is probably a way to configure WordPress (or use a plug-in) to display categories and/or tags in some sequence other than alphabetically.

    It really helps to choose a specific context to use as an example -- in fact, if you identify a specific context (topic for your blog) then folks can probably provide more helpful examples.

  12. #12
    Manager - Affiliate Marketing Patrick Vesperman's Avatar
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    I usually learn by seeing examples, so here is how I use each:

    Tags- describe the little ideas, items or topics in each post. I usually have multiple tags per post.

    Categories- describe the main idea. Each post has one category.

    For instance, my blog is about food. A posting on a hamburger at a restaurant for dinner might have the tags: "hamburger", "[name of the restaurant]", and "friends". The category is "dinner". I categorize my posts according to breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

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