An easy way to help the reader look through your various pages, posts and articles, even easier than categories and category pages, is by using WordPress tags. Tags are part of what is called taxonomy – that’s a big fancy word that means how you classify all different parts of your content. So categories are also part of taxonomy. The main difference between category and tag is you must add a post to a category (otherwise it will become ‘uncategorized’), but you don’t need to add tags.
Let’s say you already have about ten different categories on your blog. You might have one called cooking and another called vacations. Perhaps in both you discuss pomegranates. You don’t really want to start a whole category called pomegranates. Easy way to solve your problem – in both, add a tag called pomegranate!
Think about what you discuss and what is important to your readers. You can go through past posts and add tags now. It might help you organize your thoughts as well for future posts.
How do you add tags to your post?
While you are in Edit mode for a post, there is a box on the right called Tags. (If for some reason it is not there, it could be it was turned off in Screen Options, which is at the top of the Edit page). Here’s how it looks:
If you want to enter several at once, you can separate the tags with commas, and they will be added without the commas. WordPress will also sometimes prompt you with past tags used in a dropdown when you are adding new tags. To eliminate a tag from a post, click the little x in the circle.
Why use tags?
What is the advantage to your reader? Click on this examples on this blog: tag link for images. What do you see? I talked recently about images, but I didn’t want to create a whole new category. So I created a tag.
Don’t overdo it – you don’t need to tag everything. Think of what would be advantageous to your reader.
How can you present your tags?
Like with category pages, you can have a file in your theme called tag.php and customize it in a similar way to the category pages. If you don’t have tag.php, don’t worry. WordPress will look at your archive.php and use that format.
Another cool thing you can do with clouds is create a Tag cloud. How do you do this? If you look in the back end of your WordPress, you will see a column on the left. One item is Appearance. From Appearance, pick Widgets. In the widget list, there should be one called Tag Cloud. Drag this widget to your sidebar, and it should appear on the side of your blog.
WordPress.com users: it looks like you can do both tags and tag clouds with WordPress.com. For those on Blogger, there seems to be something similar called labels.
On this site I added a tag cloud on the right column (if you are reading this on an iPad or a phone, you may need to scroll all the way down toward the bottom). I am not sure if I will leave it there for long, but at least while this post is fresh and new.
What are you using on your site?
Tag, you are It (as in the game of Tag) – your turn to respond. Do you use tags? Why or why not? Ever try a tag cloud? Have you ever clicked on one – do you find them useful?