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How to Add & Edit Categories in WordPress

Categories are key to organizing your WordPress blog posts. They can help you get a better ranking on Google and other leading search engines, boost your page views, and offer a great experience to your potential web visitors.

With the proper use of tags and categories, you can help both the search engine crawlers and your site’s readers browse and navigate different pages of your site quickly and easily. Tags and categories not only underpin the entire structure of the site but also enhance usability and accessibility, which is a key aspect of a successful blog.

Let’s get to it.

What are WordPress categories?

Categories in WordPress help you organize all the related posts under a particular topic. This encourages web users to explore more of your posts.

Depending on your theme and widgets, you can display categories on:

  • Your menu to organize blog posts
  • Specific posts  using the Blog Posts block
  • Available widget areas and sidebars

Take a look at the example below. The Namecheap blog uses several categories to group related content to help users quickly find the precise content they want. Instead of bunching all the blog content together, there are categories for each genre from  “Domains”, and “News” to “WordPress”, and so on.

Categories are not to be confused with tags. Tags are a different type of taxonomy completely. They do not display the same and don’t work the same within WordPress. Categories indicate the genre of a post, whereas a tag goes much deeper, indicating the individual things that the posts talks about.

woman adding balls to a box suggesting categories

Add and edit WordPress categories

You know the drill, to fire up WordPress, login into your WordPress admin. Open the Post tab. You’ll notice one column holds your current Categories. The default WordPress category is ‘Uncategorized’, as you can see in the example below. 

To assign a category to an uncategorized page, select a post to launch the post editor.   

Posts page
  • On the far right, under document settings, expand the category option.
  • Click the box next to the category (or categories) the post to be assigned to
  • Publish your changes to see them go live.

It’s also possible to assign categories swiftly from your Post overview. Simply hover over the post and select Quick Edit to update it’s category.

Add a New Category within a Post

It’s possible to add a new category from the Document settings screen; just click the option to Add New Category. Fill in the category name and select a parent category. In this example, I’ve named mine ‘Tutorials’.

choose category

Add a parent category

To add a more thorough description of your new category, head to Manage » Settings, Writing » Categories. You’ve also got the option to nest a category below a top-level category. 

Disable the Top Level Category option to reveal your Parent Categories to insert under your new category under the top-level category. For example, my categories include WordPress and Tutorial, we can make “Tutorials” the parent category for “WordPress.”

The effect? Your post belongs to a category and subcategory appearing in both the code and tutorial archive. 

Assign categories to a post

Now the new category is available as an option, you can select multiple categories for a single post to show in. 

To remove a post from a category, uncheck the box, as I have for Uncategorized since this label doesn’t describe my post.

How to edit a category in WordPress

You can change the name, slug, or parent category of a category, as well as the description. To make changes to the categories we’ve just made, head to Posts » Categories. Select a category to edit by clicking on it, then change the information on the edit screen:

how to edit a category

Delete a category in WordPress

Just like earlier, get to the categories section first, delete a category, and hover over it until the Delete link option appears and clicks it. To delete in bulk, select multiple categories using the checkboxes, and apply the Bulk action like this:

Deleting a category

Remember that if you delete a category that’s the parent of another, its child categories are moved up a level.

Assign a default category

All posts are assigned the Uncategorized category by default. You can change your default category from Settings » Writing

Writing settings - how to assign a default category

Pro TIp: While it’s not possible to delete the Uncategorized category in WordPress, you can rename it. Just right click select edit, and enter any name you want.

How to display categories in a menu

Once you’ve assigned all your pages to categories and published your changes, you can add a category page to your website’s navigation menu. To do that go to Appearance » Menus and follow these instructions: 

  1. Make sure you’re looking at the correct menu (select a Menu to edit in the top left-hand corner)
  2. Under ‘Add Menu Items’ select Categories
  3. Check the box next to the category you want to add
  4. Select Add to Menu and move into the desired place (it’s a drag and drop)
  5. Hit Save Menu and don’t forget to Publish to save the changes

That’s all there is to it. You’re a pro now. Time to organize your blog and add, remove, and edit categories in WordPress.

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Isobel Weston avatar

Isobel Weston

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