What’s the Difference Between WordPress Categories and Tags?


If you use WordPress, you’ll likely be at least vaguely familiar with categories and tags. But not many of us understand how and when to use them… or which one to use.

You really should understand what they are and when to use them. Not only do categories and tags help the reader find posts about related topics, but they also help with SEO.

We’ll try to clear up some common misconceptions about these two organizational tools.

Organizing a Website

If you manage a website, post articles to a website, or even write blog posts for a client’s site, you should have at least a working knowledge of categories and tags. And yes, this includes your own small copywriting website.

Why? What does it matter?

Well, categories and tags fall under the broad banner of something obscurely named “taxonomies.” The word taxonomy simply means an ordered classification. This suggests categories and tags provide some form of structure.

You use categories and tags to classify (organize) the content on websites. They help with the structure of the site. They help you more easily group common topics together.

In contrast, imagine a website which wasn’t set out in a logical fashion. How would your readers find anything? And how would the search engines understand how your posts were related when they crawled your site?

That’s why categories and tags matter.

  1. They provide a better user experience for the reader.
  2. They help search engines better understand what your site is about and how different web pages are related.

So, what’s the difference between a category and a tag?

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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.


  • Thank you for this article. It gave me a better understanding of website content organization. You gave some great hands-on suggestions on how to fix it.

  • Hi Lynette,

    Thanks, it’s good to know this article was helpful. Good luck with organising your website content.

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