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When planning a site layout and architecture, it’s essential to organize posts and pages in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. WordPress helps you do this with categories and tags. I use categories as major buckets for my posts. Then I tag each post with more specific terms to pull them together, improve search engine optimization and better filter them later.
Every new WordPress site has a default post category called Uncategorized—not exactly helpful for users. You can make a new category by going to Category under the Posts section. Categories are totally editable at any time.
The name of the category will be the display title of the category. The slug appears in the URL of posts in the category, like so: http://mydomain.com/category-slug. You can even create a hierarchy for your categories by selecting a Parent category in the dropdown menu. I changed my default “Uncategorized” category to “Articles” and created two new categories called Tutorials and Interviews.
Now that I have my categories in place as buckets for my articles, I can use tags (keywords) to help with organization and relationships between posts. I might write a post about responsive web design and put it in the Articles category. Then later I might interview Ethan Marcotte (the man who coined the term responsive web design) and categorize that post under Interviews. I can assign tags to both posts and help show that they’re related. In this case I would assign the tag responsive. Now when a visitor is reading my post, WordPress can display content associated with this post, and when readers click the “responsive” tag, they’ll be brought to an archive page with a list of all the posts that have been assigned that tag.
You should limit the number of categories you use. In thinking about how you want to organize your content, plan out the use of your categories in advance. When you’re creating content, add tags to show relationships between posts and describe the content. You can assign many tags to a post, so for my example above, I might use responsive, responsive web design, web design and adaptive web design (a synonym for responsive web design).
Tomorrow: Writing your first post
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