WordPress

How Do You Use Tags in WordPress?

This article explains how to use tags in WordPress to identify content within your site.

Tags are helpful to identify your article’s subject. Each content you produce may include certain tags, which can be a word or a set. Through tags, you can define the subject of your article, and they are helpful for users find specific content based on specific words. In other words, tags are basically keywords to identify your content.

This tutorial includes images describing each step, making it easy for all users to apply them.

Creating tags in WordPress

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and select the Posts option from the left menu to begin creating tags. Then press Tags.

To add a new tag, you need to fill the blank fields Name, Slug, and Description. Where Name is the tag itself, Slug is the URL segment, and Description is an optional field where you can include a description.

Another way to implement tags within your content is from the right edition menu in your post or page, as shown in the screenshot below.

In the Tags option, you can type the proper tags or keywords for your article, press ENTER after typing each tag to include it. Then press the Update button to apply changes, including the tags.

It is worth it to remind you not to abuse tags because your site’s internal search engine will show all articles containing the same tag. Therefore if you want users to find the proper content, you need to classify your content correctly; you can create proper categories under Posts>Categories. This is useful to group your content by subjects.

Also, it is important to remember to use tags that aren’t mandatory since they are only useful for your internal site search engine. If you use them, normally, it is recommended to use between 1 and 4 tags per post, no more.

To edit or remove tags, just open again the tags option (Posts>Tags) and move your mouse cursor over the tag you want to edit or remove and press the desired option (Edit, Quick Edit, or Delete) as shown in the following image.

That’s how you can create and edit tags using two simple different methods

Once created, to see your tags on your site, open it (Not the dashboard) and go to the posts page or to the specific post to which you added tags.

In my case, a basic site (Twenty Twenty) seems like the image above where the Graphic designer is the tag.

In this case, I located the blog categories in the top menu; if you press it, a submenu will show up with your post categories. You can see how tags will show up in your site in the red box.

If your site has an internal search engine, as shown in the previous and above image (The magnifier on the top right corner). You can type the keyword or tag for the associated posts to be shown.

Note: This will show both articles containing the tag and articles in which the keyword is part of the content, even if it’s not a tag.

Difference between tags and categories in WordPress

The first difference between tags and categories is categories are mandatory, while tags are optional. If you don’t define a category, your post will be assigned the uncategorized category, while if you don’t define tags, your post won’t contain them.

The second difference, but no less significant, is categories are used to group posts while tags are used to identify posts individually. For example, you may create categories Linux and Windows in a tech website. The Windows category will show all articles about Windows, while the Linux category will show all articles related to Linux. Additionally, you can include a tag for a specific subject associated with both operating systems (Eg. “How to ping another device”), which is independent of categories.

Another important difference is that hierarchy may structure categories; you can define a parent category and derive categories. While tags don’t have a hierarchical structure, they are simple keywords. Of course, creating a hierarchical structure for categories is not mandatory.

While you can find all articles belonging to a specific category by browsing your website, you can find all articles containing keywords by using your site search engine; these articles identified by a tag won’t be reachable from a link unless you create a tags cloud for users to click keywords.

Using tags and categories will not directly impact your SEO performance, but improving the way your users can access the information they are looking for will do. This is an indirect impact, and for this to happen, you need to organize categories and assign tags correctly classified, without abusing.

Conclusion

This brief tutorial shows that using tags in WordPress is pretty easy. Any WordPress-level user can do it; in some cases, it is a must that can benefit visitors.

Use tags to specify the information on specific subjects. You also can create a tags cloud using your tags; it is very useful in blog sites since they can be presented as last news. It is important to remember that the proper way to group articles is through categories, while tags are better to identify them by searching your site.

Thank you for reading this article; keep following us for more WordPress tips and tutorials.

About the author

David Adams

David Adams is a System Admin and writer that is focused on open source technologies, security software, and computer systems.