How WordPress Posts, Pages, Categories, & Tags Work

Your WordPress website has a number of automated features, and this document discusses some of that automation. Some of the things said here have been achieved through experimentation and having made websites using HTML. WordPress does not seem to want to try and explain how the automation works, so some of the things said here are guesses–for example search engine results for your WordPress website will also show you what facts the search engines are taking note in their summaries about your articles.

WordPress Pages

A page in WordPress is static and it’s content might change (as you do re-edits) but the link to it does not change. An example of a page:

WordPress Posts Edits

A post in WordPress is always associated with a date, which is included in the URL.

One of the greatest fears of editing your blog posts, are that once you hit the save button, your blog page (post) will get a new date and thus a new URL–based on the new date of the edit. Since other articles may link to the blog page, they may still point to the older unedited version.

Editing your WordPress post does not change the date; and thus the URL also remains the same.

Here is a example document that had it’s URL (link) name changed: “Editing and changing the URL name of an article [article]:

Editing and changing the URL name of an article [article]:” also shows us that old links will remain valid. However it’s unknown how long this redirection to the correct URL for the article will go on.

WordPress Posts, Tags and Categories

Each post must have at least one category, but need not have a tag. Tags and categories will appear in a global list: This list incidentally does not only contain your blogs, but all the blogs that use that tag or category.

If your blogs allows you to show your tags (tag cloud) and categories, then you can click on them and they will take you to all your articles that use that particular tag or category.

So tags and categories are helpful in searching though your own work; and this means you might have to think about categories and tags in terms of helping people find your stuff, and on a level of helping you find and organize your own work–this becomes important when you start to have a very large number of articles.

For the new user, the difference between a category and tag is hard to understand. The best explanations so far found are:

  1. Categories are like a reference to a book, part or even a chapter. Tags are like the book marks you use to identify individual sections, pages and paragraphs of a book.
  2. Categories are broad coverage of topics.  Tags describe a topic in more specific terms.
  3. If you are finding that you have too many categories then convert some of them into tags.

Search engines may use your tags and categories to help users find your articles. To a search engine, there probably is not any difference between tags and categories, both might be used equally by search engines when they index your WordPress website. However if search engines check out your WordPress site, they may see if the tag names and category names are relevant to the article they belong to.


Shortened link to article: How WordPress Lists Posts, Pages, Categories, & Tags work [article]:

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