This website runs on WordPress, which means that I can add descriptive tags to posts, and I can also organize my posts into categories.

Categories can be hierarchical, whereas tags cannot be.

One problem that many WordPress users have is that they overuse tags. I have seen posts on blogs that have close to one hundred tags. At some point, just searching through the list of tags attached to a post becomes a time sink.

At the same time, there’s no point in adding a post to more than one or two categories, because everything just gets muddled together. For example, I might write a post about some aspect of WordPress which touches on HTML, CSS, PHP, and accessing your site from the shell. That’s five different categories that post could go into. Talk about muddying the waters!

So here’s my philosophy, carefully worked out after years of using (and making mistakes with) WordPress:

I will try to limit a post to a single category. That category will be whatever the main point of the post is. If I mention some other technology that is not the main point, I will add it as a tag.

For example, if I write a post that is mostly about WordPress, but it makes mention of HTML or PHP, I will add the post to the category “WordPress >> Using WordPress” but I will tag it with “HTML” and “PHP”. If, however, I am writing a post which is mostly about PHP, but I mention that WordPress handles it one way, while MediaWiki handles it another, I will add that post to the category “Code >> PHP”, and add the tags “WordPress” and “MediaWiki”.

Feel free to comment.

Published on: 17 August 2014

Lasted edited on: 17 August 2014

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