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What’s the difference between categories and tags?
Both categories and tags are used to sort and organize your blog posts. When your readers want to see more posts on a particular subject, categories and tags make it easy for them to find the posts they are interested in.
Categories are the overall topics that your posts cover, such as Fitness, Running, Food or Health. Each post must be assigned to at least one category, or they will be assigned to the Uncategorized group, which is less helpful to your readers who want to read about certain topics.
Tags are more specific, and describe the content of your post with a little more detail than categories do. Think of them as the keywords of your posts.
The easiest way to distinguish between categories and tags is to think of your blog as a cookbook. The categories are the chapters of your cookbook, the things that show up in the table of contents – Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Entrees. The tags, on the other hand, are the smaller subjects within the chapters. They are the types of topics you might find in the index of the book, such as Chicken, Eggs or Zucchini.
Categories can be sorted into a hierarchy for further organization, if you’d like. For example, I have a “Recipes” parent category, with “Beverage Recipes,” “Breakfast Recipes,” “Entree Recipes” and other categories falling underneath it. Tags, however, are not hierarchical.
Let’s try a few examples:
I wrote a new Savvy Weekly Menu a few weeks ago. The category was “Weekly Menu,” and the tags were “Chicken,” “Millet,” and “Whole Grains.”
Kelly recently wrote a recap of her Color Run. The post was filed under the “Race Recaps” category, then given the more specific tags of “5k,” “madison,” “running,” and “The Color Run.”
Elizabeth wrote about her Maine vacation. Her categories for the post were “Photographs” and “Places and Spaces.” She tagged the post with “Boothbay Harbor,” “Maine,” “New England,” and “Summer.”