Adding Categories and Tags

Preview

Explanation

Using categories and tags is SO IMPORTANT.  However, it is usually NEGLECTED by adults and students.   By using categories and tags you can bring organization and structure to your website. This won’t seem that important in the beginning when you don’t have much content, but will be a big deal latter when you have a ton of content and it is all over the place.

Your typical school library uses a category and tag system already and has been doing so for years.   You know what I mean right?  When you walk into a library it is divided into sections such as biographies, science fiction, non-fiction, etc. In addition, your kind librarian lists all the tags (they call them keywords) that describe any given book in the library. Now when you go to the search catalog on the computer, it easy to find a book!

Categories and tags let you do the same thing for your website content.

Frustration Alert

In the beginning it can be very difficult to figure out what categories you should use.  Tags are rather easy, but categories are more problematic. Don’t worry too much though. You can always change the categories later, so feel free to experiment. With students I ask them to create categories by subject area: math, science, Mandarin, etc.  They then can pull up all their work from a specific class by clicking on the category that matches the subject.  Get it?   So cool.

AssignmentAssignment

  • Watch the video in the resource section
  • If you have not done so already, login to your WordPress account
  • Create a new post, or edit one of your existing posts.
  • Create a category that is appropriate for your post and categorize it
  • Create a tag, actually a bunch of tags, that is appropriate for your post.  Don’t worry, you can never have too many tags.  Only too many categories. ;-)
  • In the comments section below, leave a brief response to this question:  “Do you see categories and tags as important?  If so, why?  If not, why not?” You may need to register to leave a comment.
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  • Open a Word or Pages document.
    • Write a short reflection about how you will use categories and tags.  You might want to discuss:
    • How students could use categories and tags
    • How you will use categories and tags
    • What you still feel you need to learn about categories and tags
    • Your summer vacation (optional)

 ResourcesResources

View course Flipboard magazine.

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heritageIf you registered for this course via the THI website, please submit your assignments via the THI portal here.  Questions?  Email Michael right away.

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59 Comments

  1. Tags and categories are important because they help to organize your information in a heirarchal way that makes sense. Additionally, they help readers find what they need more quickly because items are cross referenced through the catagories and tags (key terms). I agree that too many categories can become confusing, but in some avenues it makes sense (like the example of the sports site). When I went back to look at the 3rd version of my site after rearranging, this became more important. I actually ended up deleting a few categories later that I thought for sure I would need when I started.

    • Categories are great to have, but can be tough to understand. The do so help keep websites organized though. As we deal with the incredible deluge of data coming our way, learning a skill to help organize it all is even more important. Tags are awesome too as you can’t have too many of them.

  2. Consistent use of categories and tags is a great example of when a little work up front is going to save you in the long run. As a site’s content grows and expands, the ability for both users and the site administrator to search on keywords (via tags) becomes increasing important. Organizing a website from the beginning (with categories, sub categories, and tags) is time well spent.

  3. I think that both categories and tags are both very important. As a reader of many blogs, I find it to be helpful to navigate a blog with the help of both categories and tags. It is especially helpful when you are just beginning to read a blog and you want to understand the history of the blog and previous posts. Overall, the organization is helpful to both the reader and the author.

    • I love categories and tags for sure ! I really like it, now, because I figured out effective ways to link directly to a category from within the website. For example, on this page you see a “Blog” menu a the top. That is actually a link to a category for “blog” and if anybody from the team posts something to the blog, you see it up there. So cool.

  4. At first glance, I can see how some would think categories and tags (especially tags) could be a little over doing it. But, as you build your website over time and the content builds, how else could you organize all the information. Not only are tags and categories important because of what it provides as an organizational tool and ease of navigating, but it also helps the creator of the website/page focus on a certain topic or theme. Sometimes as you create a tag or a category you realize that maybe you were a bit off topic and you need to streamline the information a bit to really fall under a particular category. Tags and categories organize you as well as organize the site.

    • I know when I first started building websites I HATED the idea of tagging and categorizing everything. “Just let me build!” was my mantra. However, as you point out, over time it is so vital. I just like that we model this for our students too and they then categorize the web as the go. Oh, I totally got the category names wrong at first. Not sure how to fix that though. At least for me, I have to learn by doing to figure out what makes a good category name.

      • I think of categories and tagging the same as naming files and folders :-). It is a must and a disaster in the end if one does not have a good system in place from the beginning.

  5. I just took some time to add categories and tags to my posts. This is important because it creates a level of organization for my website and allows users of my site to find what they are looking. Also, it helps users find additional content related to what they are looking for! As I build pages for each unit of study I can add meaningful tags simply by entering each vocabulary term in the unit as a tag. I can see the reasoning behind the statement that you can’t have too many tags, but be judicious in adding categories.

  6. Categories and tags are extremely useful when you have more than 10 posts and plan to keep going. It allows readers to quickly find related posts and you can even use a category to a menu. This is really helpful when students create portfolios. A post with all the writers categories could open to a page for easy viewing.

  7. At first I skipped the categories and tags part of my posts, but then, as I started to add more, I realized that the site is going to become more and more full of information that I want people to be able to find. the only way for people to find that informations is with categories and tags. They are easy to use and I like the way if makes the site feel organized. I know I will be adding a lesson to my first week of school so that I can demonstrate my site to my students and teach them how to search for information using tags and categories.

    • I think it is so great that you are modeling how to use tags and categories with your students. I am so glad that I now use them, but sure wish I did years ago when I first started!

  8. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    Categories and tags are crucial to keeping a site organized, as it makes navigation much more efficient – none of the scrolling through every single page to find “the” post you need. Also, say I wanted to learn more about the topic I’ve just read, by clicking on a tag or category, I would gain access to related posts. Just as someone mentioned, all it takes is a small amount of effort at the beginning to save you from a world of hurt at the end.

    • Yes, for me it is a lifetime savings of organization. Being able to categorize and the create menus based on those categories is helpful! It took me a couple years before I started using them too. 😉 I guess I can say “back in the day” the use of categories on WordPress was not as easy as it is now.

  9. Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?

    Categories and tags help organize posts. It also helps the reader do a quick search if they are looking for specific information. For my personal blog, using categories/ tags helped drive people to my blog as it would show up in search engines. I don’t use tags as often on my class website because I have my content divided into pages and rarely use posts.

  10. I’m sure that the categories and tags can be used and would be effective. The ridiculous craze that is hashtags on social media would suggest that people do check them out. I think that after the website is created, it would be important to go back and create categories to better organize. I think continual adaptions of this would better enhance the effectiveness of these.

  11. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    I would respond that categories and tags are most definitely useful. I am a person that likes things to be organized. It drives me crazy, for example, when people do not file and categorize their email. Having a system to organize my email has helped me many times when I have needed to find an old email that I had received. I also use the “search” button on my email to find emails within folders at times. I imagine that categories and tags will work the same way for me and others that will use my web-page in the future.

    • I wonder if people are naturally coded to search for systems of organization or not. I know that I had HUGE struggles with it earlier in life, but now am a little obsessive about having my online world organized. Maybe we should all write a book about it!

  12. I do believe that for my purposes of a counseling website for students and parents, I see the categories and tags will help them to navigate my site. I will be able to easily find things as well and stay organized. I think since a majority of people use tagging to find things or link to different things, it will be an easy feature to utilize.

  13. I didn’t realize we actually had to create our own tags and categories or that people have been doing this all along when they created websites that I’ve used (I guess I assumed they came from the “magic” of the internet)! It is obviously an important task to keep things organized and easily searchable. I hope that this is something that I will get in the habit of doing as I grow and maintain my website.

  14. I’ve found using categories and tags to be much less confusing than I’d thought they would be…I didn’t really understand them before this class and like Cecelia thought they were automatically generated. I think categories will be a great way for my students to navigate the content of my site. I look forward to learning how to make a few of the most common categories into links in the navigation area at the top of the page. Tags will probably come in more handy as the content of the site grows…I like the idea of students being able to easily find tag related information throughout the site.

  15. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    In our modern society people want quick and easy access to information, they don’t want to spend their time scrolling through endless posts. If people can’t find the information they want easily, they’ll leave and go somewhere else. Categories and tags allow people who visit your site to easily browse or find the information they desire.

  16. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?” I think I am starting to understand the categories piece–as more content is added I think that it will be helpful when people are searching. The tags I feel are important in helping general searches identify that you have related content on your site. It can help build viewership and elevate your presence on searches. (as is my understanding 🙂

    • I think that categories and tags are indeed important. And I think they have added importance for a classroom website. They really help organize a website, and make information easier to find, and find again. Students in classrooms are greatly benefited by being able to efficiently and effectively look up material from class based specifically on their needs. For instance, a student studying for a unit test can search the tags and categories specifically for that test in order to more efficiently. Tags and categories add to ease and user-friendliness of a website.

  17. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?” Categories are good for me, I need to have organization. Categories, I have just discovered, are
    a wonderful way to keep me organized.
    Tags are interesting, I believe they are valuable to help search engines. I will use them, I just need to be more aware that they are available.

  18. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    I do see categories and tags as important. In order to search through huge amounts of information, we need some way to narrow down our search to only the information we are looking for. As websites continue to add more content it is really useful to go back to categories or tags when you are trying to find a link, picture, or post from a blog written months or even years ago.

  19. I see categories and tags as very important once you have multiple posts that have information that may need to be found at a later date. They provide a quick and easy way to organize the content so information can be grouped. Searches are made easy. I like the way that as your website/blog builds content, you can still modify the organizational structure of the categories and tags. Often you can’t quite see the direction of content for future posts.

  20. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    The use of categories and tags will be very important as I add more content. The school year is long and as I add more items, posts and information it will be so much easier for families to find the information they are looking for. I can see many uses for the tags, such as upcoming field trip info, spelling words (when those little 8 year olds lose the paper copy 🙂 and future events.

  21. Categorizing content for a website is an important task to stay on top of in my opinion. If a website is not organized or easily navigated I tend to use it less often and sometimes not at all. The school year contains lots of assignments and lots of different topics especially for teachers that are teaching multiple preps. My goal in creating a website is that it is a helpful resource to students. If I make sure to add tags to assignments and posts it will make it much easier for students to use, which in turn should make my life much easier. Students could use categories and tags to navigate the site quicker and find exactly what they are looking for or help them find what they are looking for if you tagged something to a specific date. I will try to remember to tag all of the things that I post so that they are searchable quicker. I feel that using these effectively up front and taking the time to tag content will make things lots easier in the long run.

  22. Categories and tags are extremely important for most websites, especially a public education classroom website. From assignments—formative and summative—to daily lessons to units to a standards-based curriculum on the whole, a single core content area can have many components. Often, these parts are divided up by day, week, month, quarter, semester or term, and year. Now add to this other classes a teacher may teach, and a website can get convoluted quickly. The use of categories and tags would be an essential consideration for any classroom website. A caveat: one should probably be mindful of using too many categories, pages and cross-referencing, creating a web of confusion when navigating.

  23. – “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    Categories and tags are important for organizing a complex website – they are a quick way to find the types of information and particular information wanted/needed. They can also be a way to organize resources that a user might not have known existed. It can streamline a site to just include what you need when organized correctly.

  24. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    I see categories and tags as being important organizational tools. It allows users to quickly access all related information without having to manually sift through irrelevant content.

  25. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    I see categories and tags as super important. In this day and age, information retrieval is a very necessary part of life. Using categories and tags allows information retrieval to take place relatively easily. I see the use of these on my site to be essential for parents and students to find the information that they need. By using categories I can link content to specific pages and make information as redundant as possible. Tags support this. (Yes, I know we used to try to avoid this, now our students need this!) There is just too much information out there -and even on my website -and the easier we can make it accessible the better.

  26. Categories and tags are very important! It makes finding things so much easier on a website. I get really frustrated if I can’t find things on a site. I will go to sites that are the easiest to navigate and have their information categorized.

  27. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    Categories are important for me, as an author, than even for my readers. It allows me the ability to quickly find past posts I have made and then being able to be able to link to it or refer to it for information. Tags are important as well though they are used for a slightly different purpose … as well as the same purpose I guess, that is to just find the info in a more generic way – look for the word, not necessarily the topic.

  28. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    This is my third WordPress blog. The first two were created quickly and I kind of “got it.” But this new one I’m realizing the greater potential and understanding of categories and tags. Yes, tags and categories are important because they are the “navigation” tools for a great many blogs entries. This is the key of these tools, zeroing in on content and topics that I want to read about and learn more about without having to scroll through every blog.

  29. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    Yes, I see both categories and tags as important. I think that you used the perfect example when you referenced libraries. I think that anyone that has spent lots of time doing online research could also relate to the importance of categories and tags. Their use makes the search for specific information so much more convenient. My website is pretty basic right now, but I can visualize them being helpful for visitors in the future.

  30. Categories and tags are great ways to organize your site. In the beginning it isn’t obvious to why they are useful but as my site gets more content, using categories and tags will help me find post quickly. It is also great for my students to be able to click on a tag if they are looking for something specific. The more I add to my site, the more important having the information organized will be.

  31. I’ve seen categories and tags on various websites, but never paid that much attention to them or knew their importance. Now after watching your videos I clearly see the importance, especially as the years progress and the amount of content grows. I’m already thinking of tags that I should add to my posts to further organize my site.

  32. Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?

    Tags can be very useful on a site, especially of the blog variety. It’s could almost be like a local google search when selecting a tag to collect all related content on the site. The categories help at an even higher level, such that perhaps a teacher could have math and technology categories to separate different classes.

  33. I think that the categories and tags are very important. Often, when I am working with students, I try to get them to understand that organization in the beginning of a project can save them a lot of headache and time. In film, I make them set up a system of folders before then can even begin. Even though I don’t know much about WordPress, I can see that this is a system to push from the beginning so that they are used to it and comfortable. The more organization the better!!!

  34. Categories and tags are important. Organization saves time and helps you locate what you are looking for in a timely manner (now if I would only apply this information to my daily life). I think Michael hit on a key point when he said it might not seem like such a big deal when you only have a couple posts…but flash forward a couple years and hundred posts and without categories and tags, it will be a jumbled mess.

  35. Categories and tags are balm to my soul. As a librarian I love for everything to be organized, referenced and cross referenced. I love being able to sort out the different book discussions by title or book group. It was very helpful to learn that it’s okay to have lots of tags, but a good idea to be sparing with categories.

  36. Tags and categories are important to help visitors navigate through my site. Without them my site would look like the “junk” drawer everyone has in their kitchen but refuses to admit they have.

  37. Tags an categories are important because it helps students (and adults) access information more easily due to being well organized. It also helps students learn valuable organizational and search skills when it comes to online topics.

  38. I think categories and tags are hugely important! They will keep my website organized and it will make things much easier to find for students. I created categories for each of my classes and I will be tagging different concepts for each lesson in each post. It will be nice to be able to post something and categorize it and then have it show up in the right place without extra work for me. This will allow students to search for items easily and navigate their way through the website with ease.

  39. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    I would consider categories and tags very important for the organization of a website. We all want to visit websites that are easy to navigate and search, and categories and tags make that possible. It’s hard enough getting my students to do their work, I need to make sure that a confusing, hard to use website is not another excuse for them to not complete their assignments.

  40. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?” You may need to register to leave a comment.”

    Yes they are important. Anything to make it easier to navigate through the website is critical. However, I also found that the built-in search widget in the theme that I chose, is very intuitive and seems to find articles, data, pages and information by simply typing in key words.

  41. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?” – I do see these as important because it makes it easier for the user to access information on your site. Anything that creates a more user friendly environment is a good thing – otherwise, people get frustrated and are less likely to use your site again.

  42. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    Personally I love organization and the time it saves later. Ideally I would have every part of my life completely organized if possible, then move on to help my mom and my friends! ha ha! So, yes, I see the importance of tags and categories. I am also on Pinterest a lot, and the Internet in general, and it is so nice when you go to someone’s site and the link takes you where you expect, or, if you don’t get there through the link, if you can search their site and find it, which probably means they have some good tags.

  43. Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?

    For the future of my webpage I am pleased to get advice like getting started on categories and tags early. I was really confused about what this would do for my site but once again it was because I failed to see the bigger picture. Creating Tags and Categories makes a lot of sense when my site is big enough to be confusing. This epiphany may not seem like groundbreaking news for active web users, but for me it’s nice to know that this little bit of work now will save a lot of time later. I plan to categorize everything I do here as a part of my page management routine. I wouldn’t have paid any attention to this without this lesson and my site would have suffered.

  44. “Do you see categories and tags as important? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    After experimenting with creating categories and tags, I can see how crucial they are to site organization. Creating various categories and tags will definitely benefit me as I continue to grow and create my website. This is especially true since I envision having individual pages for each of my five (possibly six) classes. The more organize my website can be the better. I think having categories and tags will better help students navigate through my website.

  45. Before this lesson I had no idea how categories and tags worked. I got a little confused at first, but once I caught on I see this step as really important to make my site easy for my viewers.

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