Categories vs. Tags – What’s the Difference?

better-your-blogWhether you are new to WordPress or a seasoned veteran, you may be looking for the best way to organize your blog. We are all looking for ways to be a little more organized, right? Today, I’m going to explain the difference between categories and tags in WordPress, the two main ways of adding structure to your blog so readers will be able to easily find specific content.

Categories

Think of categories like the Table of Contents or chapters of your blog. They are the broad topics you want to write about. Generally speaking, if you are going to write about a topic more than once on your blog, you should probably group them with a category. For example, if you are a food blogger, you may have categories like appetizers, main dishes, desserts, etc.  Likewise, if you are a fashion blogger, category examples may be wardrobe, accessories, hair, make-up, etc. WordPress also allows sub-categories to further organize posts, but these aren’t obligatory.

There are two ways to add categories to your WordPress blog.

From the WordPress Dashboard:

  • Navigate to Posts –> Categories
  • Enter the Category Name and Slug into the form. A slug is how the category will appear in the web url and should always be lowercase and contain only hyphens to separate words.

 
category1

  • If the new category is a sub-category, you can choose the parent from the Parent drop down menu. It’s always a good idea to create the parents (or main categories) first and then the sub-categories so the parents will show in the drop down and sub-categories can be properly placed in their hierarchy.
  • Push the blue “Add New Category” button at the bottom of the form and you will see your new category appear in the list to the right.

 
category2
From the Post Editor:

  • If you created the categories via the Dashboard, you will see a list of your categories to the right of your post editor. You can simply check the box beside the desired category to categorize a post. Once you click the “Publish” button (or update if it’s a post in progress), the category will be added to that post.
  • If you wish to add a new category in the post editor, you can do so. Under the category list, click the “Add a New Category” link.
  • Underneath the link, you can now enter the name of the category and select the parent category if the category has one.

 
category3

  • Again, once you click “Publish” or “Update”, the new category will be added to the list in the sidebar.

 
Categories are often useful as links in your navigation bar as well. Since categories are your main topics of your blog, you may want to make it really easy for readers to access that information. You can find out how to add categories to your navigation bar HERE .
 

Tags

While categories are broad, tags are very specific. If categories serve as the Table of Contents, tags are like the index or keywords of your site. In the food blogger example above, you may decide to create a tag for specific meat types – chicken, beef, pork, etc. If someone Googled “chicken main dishes” and navigated to your blog, having the category of main dish and a tag of chicken may bring the reader to several of your recipes. You can see how both categories and tags work together to create a nice organized structure.

Like categories, there are two ways to add tags to your WordPress blog and the process is very similar.

From the WordPress Dashboard:

  • Fill in the Tag Name and Slug and then click the blue “Add New Tag” button at the bottom.  The tag will show in the list to the right.

 
tag1

From the Post Editor:

  • Fill in the Tag name and click the “Add” button.  If you’d like to tag a post with an existing tag, you can see a list to choose from by clicking the “Choose from the most used tags” link.

 
tag2

How much is too much?

This is a very good question. At first thought, you may think that lots of categories and tags would be useful to readers because they could navigate to a specific post in many different ways. This isn’t always true. Over categorizing and tagging may lead to confusion and a lack of a clean organizational structure. Most SEO (Search Engine Optimization) masterminds – the people who study the way people search for content on the web and reach specific sites – recommend that bloggers categorize their posts with two or less categories and only tag the post with the most useful tags. If you can’t think of a tag, chances are, you might not need one!
 

One last suggestion:

Linking content to other content in your blog is a good idea and may lead readers to get interested in several topics, increasing their chances of remaining on your blog and/or returning in the future. For example, I could be reading about a make-up technique in a fashion blog when I see “check out other make-up tips and tricks here.”  The make-up link would take me to the page of all the posts under the make-up category.   Continuing in the post, I may read “see my favorite lipsticks” which could link me to a tag page of all the posts about lipsticks. See how that works? Not only do categories and tags serve as an organizational tool, but they also give you the opportunity to group posts and link to more content on your blog.
 

I hope this gives you all a better understanding of the difference between WordPress categories and tags.  Now go forth and organize!

 

Featured Design | A Touch of Grace

atouchofgracemoodboard2We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Tiffany of A Touch of Grace on her custom blog design. Tiffany’s blog started as a way for her to share with others her love of baking but has since blossomed into a platform for her share her love of health & fitness, amazing DIY projects, and much more. Tiffany felt it was time to make the leap from Blogger to WordPress and asked us to help her with the transfer in addition to creating a new design for her. Erika S. was assigned to Tiffany’s project and worked closely with Tiffany to create a sophisticated, minimalistic design. Here’s a look at the finished product:

computer

Erika’s take on the project:

I was really excited when I got my first glimpse of Tiffany’s blog inspiration Pinterest board. I loved the deep blues and gold’s that sprinkled her board. As I started her design process, things sort of just fell into place. I was loving the blush, indigo, and mint mixed with gold pops. That color combination was giving off such an elegant yet fun feel, which I immediately fell in love with. Adding elements to her mood board proved to be painless with the help of her Pinterest board. For her social media buttons, I wanted to do something different. I knew I wanted them to be gold, but I didn’t want them to be in a circle for some reason. Luckily, diamonds popped into my head. I’m so happy they did because I think the social media buttons are my favorite part of her entire design! I love how her site turned out simple, but not boring. There are so many tiny elements to her design that really make her personality shine, while still keeping the focus on her blog content.

Tiffany’s testimonial:

I was so nervous going into redesigning and transferring my blog to WordPress. I agonized over it for months. Once I finally pulled the trigger, I was so happy I chose Designer Blogs. Erika S. was so quick in reaching out to me to get the process started. She responded promptly and was so great to work with. And the transfer was seamless. All that worry for nothing. I couldn’t be happier with how my new design looks.

Be sure to check out A Touch of Grace for yummy recipes, workout ideas, amazing DIY projects, and more!

December Desktop Background

october-desktop-backgroundHappy holidays friends! Do you have your Christmas tree up yet? We got ours up last weekend and it has brought such a special feeling into our home. I love the Christmas spirit and hope we can all remember the real reason for this special season. Enjoy our December desktop background!

Enjoy!

For personal use only.

 

 

Color Love | Yellow & Pinks

browns-&-graysImage source: Brilliant

I love the brilliant yellow & pinks on these woven barn boards. This bold color palette with its range of pinks and just a hint of yellow creates a striking color combination and can add just enough interest to any blog design. If you like this palette, you may be drawn to our new Frankie $15 blog template below:

GINGER-SCREENSHOT

Featured Design | A Little Tiff

TiffMoodBoardWe were elated to have the opportunity to work with Tiffany of A Little Tiff on her custom blog design. Tiffany is new to blogging but wanted to start off her blogging journey on the right foot with a professional blog design. Tiffany specifically requested to work with our amazingly talented designer Kristin, who had such a fun time bringing Tiffany’s vision to life.

computer

Kristin’s take on the project:

Working with Tiffany was a total blast. I love a client that isn’t afraid of some color! Tiffany’s one busy lady, filming a show for the travel channel all over the world, but she lives with her beautiful family in Ireland at the moment. Dreamy, right? After we had our initial consult, I knew this project was right up my alley. She had a love for personally significant touches & classy typography, and a need for clean organization: three of my most favorite things! We started with her logo. The 4-leaf clover was her idea – a subtle nod to her Ireland home. Then, we created her signature with the bright pink and green and things took off. Color, color and more color! (With an appropriate amount of white space to really let the content shine, of course.) One of my favorite features of this design is the sidebar menu that features the sections of her blog. Each section has a coordinating icon that displays before the title of each post in the category. It’s visual order at a glance and looks adorable to boot! I love that you can quickly scroll down the page and know what each post is about just based on those cute colored icons. I am so grateful for the chance I had to create this design alongside Tiffany. Seriously, go check her out!

Custom designed sidebar buttons:

sidebar-buttons

Full home page design:

screenshot

Be sure to check out A Little Tiff’s live site HERE.

Printable | Thanksgiving Food Labels

thanksgiving-food-labels3I love the intoxicating aroma’s that fill the air on Thanksgiving day. What would you say is your favorite Thanksgiving aroma? Turkey roasting in the oven? Homemade apple pie? The smell of cinnamon and cloves? For me, it definitely has to be the smell (& taste) of the melt-in-your mouth buttery dinner rolls. Mmmm… My stomach is expanding just thinking about it. With Thanksgiving fast approaching we thought we’d bring some charming Thanksgiving food labels your way that can be used to label the foods at your mouth-watering Thanksgiving feast.

thanksgiving-food-labels2We tried to cover as many traditional Thanksgiving dishes as possible, but we also left a few blank labels that you can use to fill in any we may have missed. These work best when printed on 8.5×11″ white card stock. We used a 1 3/8″ circle punch to quickly cut ours out, but they can also be hand cut as well.

thanksgivinglabelsDesigned & photographed by Lindsey.


download

 Other popular Thanksgiving printables:
Thanksgiving Menu Printables | In All Things Give Thanks Printable

Featured Design | Fifth & Bloor

fifthandbloor-mood-boardWe were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mehreen of Fifth & Bloor on her custom blog design. Mehreen came to us wanting and clean, editorial, high fashion look which can often be very difficult to achieve with a Blogger blog (which she was/is on), but our designer Erika S. worked her magic and came up with this amazing design. It’s hard to believe it’s a Blogger blog, right?

computer

Erika’s take on the project:

Mehreen came to me with a clear idea of how she wanted her blog to look. She wanted her site to look more like a website, and less like a typical Blogger blog. This meant adding a slider and optimizing her design for mobile devices. At first, the task seemed like it could get a little complicated, but as I started designing and coding, it was so fun to see everything start coming together. I really enjoyed working with Mehreen and loved having her bring her unique ideas to the table. Her design is one of my favorite ones yet!

Mehreen’s testimonial:

I am so happy with the way my blog turned out!  And Erica S. was a pleasure to work with! Very helpful and always responded in a timely manner! I’m glad I found Designer Blogs to help with my new blog.  :)

Check out Fifth & Bloor HERE.

Announcement | Beautiful New Babies

We are always busy around here creating beautiful blog designs, but did you know several of our designers have also been busy creating & adopting beautiful babies? We have several new DB babies around here that we are so excited to introduce to you today:

MEET BABY BINGHAM

bingham

MEET BABY CARLEE

CARLEE

MEET BABY FINN

FINN

MEET BABY TENLEY

TENLEYcongrats

Tutorial | How to Link a Menu Bar Link to a Label or Category

For our tutorial today we are going to explain how to link a menu link in your navigation bar to a specific label (Blogger) or category (WordPress) on your blog. We have posted several tutorials in the past about how to set up pages/a navigation menu on your blog (see Adding Pages to your Blog & Adding a navigation menu to Genesis Theme) but in them we do not cover how to go about linking the menu links to labels/categories rather than to pages.

Linking your menu links to labels/categories is helpful if you want to showcase all of the posts for a specific label/category when that link is clicked on from the menu bar. For example, you might have a link in your menu bar for “Parties” that when clicked on, you want to show a list of all of the posts you’ve added the “parties” label/category to. This tutorial will explain how to achieve that in both WordPress and Blogger.

In WordPress

Step 1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and scroll down to “Appearance”. From there, click on the “Menus” link.

step1menu

Step 2. Scroll down to “Categories” and click the arrow to expand. Put a check mark next to all the categories you’d like to add to your navigation (note: categories must be in place prior to this step), and then click on “add to menu”.

step2categories

Step 3. This step is optional, but if you’d like to change the name of your category just in the navigation, you can do this by changing the text under “Navigation Label”.

step3name

Step 4. Last, just pick where you want your menu to show up (primary or secondary navigation) and click “Save Menu” and you’ll have categories linked in your navigation menu bar.

step4save

In Blogger

First you need to make sure you have your labels in place. View this tutorial for instructions on how to add labels. Once you have your labels in place, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Temporarily add the labels gadget to your sidebar by going to “Layout” > “Add a Gadget” and finding the “Labels” gadget.

1

Step 2. View your blog and find the new “Labels” section at the top of your sidebar. Click on the label you want to appear in your menu bar. This will create a direct link for that label in the address bar. Then copy the url in the address bar.

2

Step 3.  Go back to your dashboard and go to “Layout” > “Pages” > “Edit.”  Note: if you don’t already have the pages gadget added, follow this tutorial to add it. Then return to this step.

3

Step 4. Click “+Add external link.”  Title the new link and then paste in the url that you just copied for that label. Then click “Save Link.”

4Step 5. Click and drag your new link to reposition where it falls on the menu bar. Then click “Save.”

5Do this for each menu link you want linked to a label. Then you can go back to “Layout” > “Labels” > “Edit” and remove the labels gadget from your sidebar if you don’t wish to keep it there.

Removing “Showing post with label…show all posts”

You may notice a “Showing posts with labels…show all posts” box when you click on the new link as shown below.

6

It’s kind of an eye sore, so to remove it, follow these steps:

Step 1. Go to “Dashboard” > “Template > “Edit HTML.”

7

Step 2. Click anywhere inside the template code box and then open a search box by typing CTRL + F. The search box will appear in the top right corner of the code box. Copy and paste in this code:

<b:includable id=’status-message’>

11

After you’ve found that code in the html, click the arrow next to it to expand the rest of the code.

8

Step 3. Remove this portion of the code:

<b:includable id=’status-message’>
      <b:if cond=’data:navMessage’>
      <div class=’status-msg-wrap’>
        <div class=’status-msg-body’>
          <data:navMessage/>
        </div>
        <div class=’status-msg-border’>
          <div class=’status-msg-bg’>
            <div class=’status-msg-hidden’><data:navMessage/></div>
          </div>
        </div>
      </div>
      <div style=’clear: both;’/>
      </b:if>
    </b:includable>

9

Step 4. Replace it with this one:

<b:includable id=’status-message’>
<b:if cond=’data:navMessage’>
<div>
</div>
<div style=’clear: both;’/>
</b:if>
</b:includable>

10

Save the template and the box will be removed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section and we will answer them as soon as possible.

November Desktop Background

october-desktop-backgroundFall is such a glorious season. With changing leaves, apple pie, fall sweaters, cozy fires, family gatherings and food galore, what’s not to love? November is also a great opportunity to reflect on and give thanks for our many blessings. We hope our November desktop background will help remind you to do that daily.

Enjoy!

For personal use only.