What is the Difference Between Categories and Tags?



What really is the difference between a Tag and a Category?

These two words can be very confusing if you have just started writing a blog, and you find out you need to Categorize your blog and Tag it… I know for myself this was a struggle every blog post. It can seem like the two might mean the same thing???? When I first started I never knew I was supposed to categorize my blog post… you can also get carried away with adding too many categories or tags, sometimes you think every word is important… More tags does not equate to more readers. At wordpress.com they have some simple rules to follow.….before you press publish you have a couple more steps to deal with. And that is categorizing your blog and yes putting tags to it as well.

Understanding Why

Your blog needs to be categorized for WordPress so they can add it to their listings. This allows your blog to appear on their “Global tag listings” which means if you use tags and categories you will increase your chances of being found on their global listing search engine. Tags are really like categories but they describe your blog in more detail.

An example

Let’s say you write a blog about your dining experience at
“The Rim Rock Café”

Tags: white wine, oysters, fine dining, Rolf Gunther, espresso

Categories: Whistler, Restaurants

Using tags is important for your reader to find you more easily, but not mandatory. There is no limit to the number of tags you can use, but as a general rule no more than ten. In fact on WordPress more than ten tags or categories together might be why you are not being found in their Global tag listings. You can also split categories and tags having a combination of the two… 2 categories means you can have 8 tags or 4 categories could mean 6 tags.

Tags and categories are not case-sensitive – example:
WHISTLER – Restaurant would be the same as whistler – restaurant

  • Every blog requires at least one category

When blogging first started many moons ago, only categories was available, tags were not used, they were introduced when the developers decided to allow the writers (you and me) the opportunity to describe our blog in more detail, making the category list less crowded or long.

There are editing options on your dashboard that take you straight into categories, once there you can simply add more categories or delete ones you no longer need, you start by naming your category, you can then choose to have a parent category as well as a full description of that category.

I found many videos through Google on this subject if you are still feeling a little confused.



  1. 1

    Let’s not forget that most WordPress themes are going to use the Categories for site navigation. The navigation menu choices will come from Categories.

  2. […] will write more about how to blog – in the meantime please read this important blog about Tags and Categories… if you’re going to spend the time to blog…at least help yourself get […]

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