How to Create, Modify, and Delete Categories In WordPress

An important part of effective blogging is organizing your content in a way that will make sense to your readers and let Google know what you’re writing about. This can be accomplished in many ways, but the foundation of it is your post categories.

It’s best to stay focused with 3 to 5 categories at most. This will keep you on topic, let your readers know what they can consistently expect from you, and help you to avoid watering down your SEO efforts.

How to create, edit, and modify WordPress categories

Planning Your Post Categories

Your categories should be broad, allowing for a wide range related of topics within them, but concentrated on the core of what you do. For example, if your blog is about how to breed and train show dogs, a good category might be Grooming. Grooming covers many topics that you can blog about, such as how to bath your dog and what products to use, whether dogs should wear clothes or not, how to keep a dog’s nails at the proper length, etc. On the other hand, a post category of Nail Trimming is extremely limiting.

Your category names should also be highly relevant to what you do, letting your readers and Google know exactly what type of content they should expect.

In this example, an effective 3 post category strategy could be Grooming, Breeding, and Showing. Any topic you want to cover should fit within those 3 post categories and your readers can instantly jump to the section that is most interesting to them.

Additionally, since your post categories are specific and relevant, they will help you build SEO strength by staying on topic, enhancing your content with every post.

Before you go any further, take the time to develop your categories. Once you have a list of 3 to 5 categories come up with several ideas for blog posts you want to write, then make sure they all fit within those categories. If you find that some of your blog post ideas just don’t seem to fit, you may need to rethink your category strategy.

Initial Post Categories Setup

Now that you have your category strategy, it’s almost time to create your new post categories, but first we need to do a little cleanup.

To get started, you can access the categories by going to Posts → Categories.

Create WordPress category - Step 1 - click categories

Edit the Uncategorized Category

Every new WordPress installation comes with a default post category named Uncategorized..

Rename the "Uncategorized" post category

As you can see, there is no delete option for Uncategorized, so before you start creating more categories, edit Uncategorized by clicking Edit or the category name.

On the next screen, change the name to one of your strategic category names, change the slug, and add a brief description (20 – 35 words) that succinctly tells your readers the type of content they will find there. 

edit uncategorized category in WordPress

The description may or may not be visible to your readers, depending on your theme, but write it like you plan for your visitors to see it. Even if it isn’t prominently displayed in your current theme, that could change if you update to a different theme in the future. Additionally, this is another opportunity to plug in some quality content that helps Google know what your site is about.

The slug will be used in the URL of your posts and categories pages. It should be all lowercase with dashes instead of spaces. Usually it is the same as your category name. 

Leave the Parent option set to None.

Click the Update button when you are finished

Add a New WordPress Category

Click on the Back to Categories link, or navigate back to the categories screen through Posts → Categories.

Back on the categories page, you have everything you need to add your remaining categories.

add new WordPress category

Type in the name, slug, and description, following the same process you used to edit the Uncategorized category.

Blog Post Publishing Strategy

Now that you have a strategic blog post strategy, you can plan your posts around them. You may want to schedule a different topic for a specific day of the week, for example:

Monday = publish a Grooming post
Wednesday = publish a Breeding post
Friday = publish a Showing post 

This will keep your categories balanced and let your readers know what to expect from you throughout the week.

When publishing a new post, make sure to select the appropriate category from the right-hand side bar:

*Updated* Gutenberg Categories View:

Classic Editor Categories View:

Now get out there and write your first blog post!

Taylor Bare   —]———   The Jedi Father 

The Jedi Father