With the release of WordPress 2.3, tags are now a standard part of all WordPress bogs. However, many new bloggers don’t know the difference between tags and categories so I thought I’d elaborate.
Categories are the different areas of your blog. They are the sections that you want to break your blog into. Categories will continue to gain more and more posts over time as you post on them often. Think of them like the main services or main product categories on a website.
If you have a site all about sports, your categories may be: Football, Baseball, Golf, Basketball and Hockey.
Tags are words or phrases that are specific to individual posts. They are items that will give the post additional exposure. Tags differ from categories as they are words or phrases that are less often used.
Example tags for the sports site, on a golf post about the Tiger Woods video game, may be: Tiger Woods, EA Sports, Playstation 3, PGA Tour, XBOX, Wii, Video Game.
Tags and categories are very similar in nature, however categories are meant to be the high level, overarching areas of your blog. Each category will contain many posts on one topic. Tags are assigned on a per-post basis and are words or phrases specific to that post and that may only be once in the entire blog.
Whether you use tags or categories, you can’t really go wrong. Both are organizational features and both will gain additional exposure in search engines. What’s important is that you are using them to organize your posts and increase the usability of your blog.