WordPress allows authors to organize their content using two different methods – Categories and Tags. What’s the difference and which should you use? Here is a quick comparison.
- use of categories is required – each post must use at least one
- broad grouping of post topics (dessert, baking)
- act as a table of contents – essentially shows what the blog is about, guiding users toward what they are looking for
- a category can be a phrase if applicable
- can be nested (parent/child categories – if a post is placed in a child category, it will show up in the parent category as well)
- generally low in number; fixed amount that stands the test of time
- use of tags is optional
- describe post in more detail (chocolate, brownies, walnuts)
- act as an index
- each tag is generally one or two words
- do not nest; each tag stands alone
- generally higher in number
- can populate a tag cloud
- can add more value as the number of posts grows
Both can be used to generate a feed.
Takeaway: Categories are more general and hierarchical, while tags are more specific and targeted.