Using WordPress Tags

Along with categories, tags are a key tool for organizing content on your WordPress website. While categories are general, tags are specific. You use tags to augment categories and provide additional context to your readers.

This screencast will show you how to use and manage tags in WordPress. WordPress Categories are covered in another video.

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15 thoughts on “Using WordPress Tags”

  1. Great videos, very helpful for dummies like me who are going insane trying to learn CSS, HTML, tags, blah, blah, blah.

    Thanks for such an organized, measured, and succinct presentation.

  2. When I add or change a tag, the category automatically changes as well. Same thing happens when I add or change a category, the tag is automatically changed. How do I prevent this from happening?

    1. @martin, that shouldn’t be happening. Are you sure the changes are happening in WordPress and not just on your theme. In other words, when you change a tag, do you see the category change in the post editor? Or is it just on the front end of your website when reading a post? If the later, then this is a theme related issue. If the former, then I suggest taking a look at your active plugins. It’s possible one of those is modifying your categories and tags.

  3. I noticed that in the Post > Tags area when you hovered over a tag that there is a ‘view’. If I click on this ‘view’, can I hide the tag?
    I am not a fan of having the Tag Cloud show on the website although you do say that it also helps with SEO. Thanks
    Love these videos

    1. Hi Janet,
      Every tag automatically gets an archive page that lists all of the posts assigned to that tag. The View link takes you to that archive page. There’s really no way to hide individual tags. I agree that tag clouds are pretty much a nuisance these days. Most themes display tags somewhere on the post page. That’s actually more user friendly as it give your reader an opportunity to discover posts related to the one they just read. The tag cloud you’re thinking of is available as a sidebar widget. In other words, it’s optional and there’s no requirement that you use it.

  4. @Kirk Biglione – So what you are saying is that if you do not install the widget on purpose, it is not an automatic install. Huh! That means that people do this on purpose. Interesting. 🙂

  5. 2 questions after viewing this video, another excellent one for learning more:
    1. can you create pages without categories and should you?
    2.are the “most used” tags in the tag cloud ones most used by the author or by the world?

    Pretty basic, I know, but …

  6. Hi Linda,

    1. Every post has to be in at least one category. If you don’t assign a post to a category WordPress automatically assigns it to the default category. You can control what the default category is on the Writing Settings page in the WP Admin. Pages, on the other hand, can’t be assigned to categories (at least not without installing a special plugin). You use categories to organize posts, you use a menu to organize pages.

    2. Most Used on your own site would refer to the tags you’ve assigned to your own posts. Using the Tag Widget you’ll see those listed in a larger font size.

  7. Hi Kirk,

    This is such a great course. Thank you so much! Two questions for you 🙂

    I’m working with a friend/client to relaunch his website/business. His current blog has over 30 categories which I want to condense down to 5-7. The blog has over 80 tags, 30 of which overlap with the categories. And the client is changing the focus of his business. The current categories and plans will need to change some to reflect this, as well as serving SEO better.

    I know I can change categories to tags but…that won’t really solve the problem.

    The client has only 74 posts. I’m thinking that once we develop a better category and tag plan we just make these changes manually. Does this seem like the best plan to you?

    Second question. His current permalink structure is:
    /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/

    Which I am changing to:
    /%category%/%postname%/

    Just confirming, I should change the permalink structure first and then use the Yoast redirect tool?
    http://yoast.com/change-wordpress-permalink-structure/

    Thanks Again!

    Kim Northrop
    info@kimnorthrop.com

  8. Kirk,
    When you talk about tag font sizes being based on how often it is used, what does ‘used’ mean? Is this the number of times a viewer has selected/searched for the word? The count of how many times the word is used in the post? Just curious.

    Thanks.

    1. Betsy,

      In this case “most used” means the number of times the tag has been attached to a post. That’s something you need to do as the post author.

  9. Hi Kim,

    Glad you’re enjoying the course.

    To your questions:

    1. You’ve definitely got too many categories, so I think you’re on the right track. If you don’t mind manually editing the categories and tags, then that approach will work. 74 posts isn’t too bad, so manual editing shouldn’t be too time consuming and you’ll likely learn a little more about your taxonomy in the process.

    2. Yes, change the permalinks first then use the Yoast plugin to redirect.

    I also recommend the Redirection plugin for one-off redirects: http://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/
    Redirect can log your 404 errors which and streamline the process of setting up redirects for anything that’s generating a file not found error.

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