Tags and Categories

As my blog is a record of how I will learn and grow over the next few months before reapplying to Automattic, my posts are going to have a few themes. I plan on including…

  • Documentation of my initial application experience.
  • Explanation of skills and knowledge I acquire while blogging.
  • Technical memos recording my activity on the WordPress.com forum and things learned from observing other volunteers and staff.

And so this post is about the first new thing I learned using WordPress this time around: Tags and Categories.

Tags and Categories

At first glance, Tags and Categories seemed very similar. They are included in the same menu in the WordPress editor, too.

tags_and_categories

I had a feeling these were important to creating a great blog, and reading WordPress.com’s Getting Featured on Discover confirmed my suspicion. So what exactly are these and what are the best practices when choosing a label for them?

Well, as it turns out, WordPress.com actually has a support page explaining the differences of Tags and Categories! I was pleasantly surprised 🙂 It is complete with a “Frequently Asked Questions” for people like me! Seeing they are so much better at describing the difference, I might leave the rest to them and move to explain what I have done with the two in my blog.

Categories

Categories are a broad explanation of what my posts are about. As mentioned above, I plan on posting on a few subjects in this blog. So, here are a few category names I have come up with.

  • Blogging
  • Technical
  • WP Application
  • Customer Support
  • Musing

As I can place multiple categories on one post, I have labeled this one with “Blogging” and “Technical”. I will go back and categorize my other posts after I’m done here, too. I want to keep this bog nice and tidy!

Tags

Tags are more specific than categories and it seems these determine what sort of traffic I get at my site. (See Tagging Tips.) According to WordPress.com, I ought to have a good balance of both broad tags and specific tags to grab the attention of both a wide and a relevant audience.

So, let me see… I guess this post could be tagged broad tags, such as “blogging” and “WordPress techniques”. Specific tags would be “Tags VS Categories” and “how to blog”…? Maybe? Well, I don’t know. I think I will give those a try, but maybe I need to look around and see what others are using to tag their sites. WordPress.com also says

Try different tags, keep an eye on your stats to see how popular they are, and you’ll figure out what works best for your site.

So, I guess this is a trial-and-error type feature. I will give it a go and see how it turns out!

 

So, there you have it! I am now one step closer to becoming a professional blogger and helping others, too. ;-D Thanks for reading.