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Category hell !!!

  1. I don't know what to do here, I am being overgrown with categories. The list is massive. I don't want to get rid of the category widget because it helps people who want to read certain stories.

    Thing is I am not sure I am doing it right. I am doing categories on the basis of what people might search for. So for example, I have xbox360, xbox 360, videogames and video games. Note the spaces in between a couple. I do this because some people may search with a space or without. Or I might put PS3 and playstation 3. So I am ending up with 2 categories for some subjects instead of one.

    Can anyone please advise on how best to manage these? Its getting out of control :-/

  2. I used my category widget to make an index page. This does not automatically update but I like it. My list was way too long and visitors weren't using it from the sidebar. It seems more useful on my site as a separate page.

    Here are the instructions:
    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/11/how-do-i-make-a-site-index/

  3. Becs, ur not alone (though I have still not reached the 'hell' state ;-) ),
    Initially I thought of was maintaing the category list, but then the search engines seems to look out for these categories as tags, as u had pointed out. [Probably we need to have categories and tags seperate, or do we?]
    This is where a tag cloud would be a better representation then as long running contiguous (category) list. There are several other thread discussing the same. Unfortunatly till not we do not have the 'Tag Cloud' Feature in WordPress.

  4. Actually thats a good point, maybe people are not using it.
    I shall look into doing a categories page, thankyou for the link.

  5. HI Rsathya, I was thinking something like having parent categories on the main list only, and if I click gaming as a main category it would take me to a page which lists all my gaming posts. That could be useful - perhaps that is what you mean by tag cloud?

    I know whats going to happen, my category list is going to end up being longer than my list of posts. lol
    Its not quite hell yet but its getting there. I just spent a good 20 mins or so trying to add parents to categories as I thought it would help but really it has not.

  6. When I said tag cloud , I was refering to something like what u see here
    I probably would prefer to have it in a seperate page as suggested by eclecticgeek. Having a long category list or a Tag cloud is of personal preference (and again currently there is no support for the same at wordpress).
    Hope it gets better for u.

  7. @rsathya:
    Tag cloud would be good. Less space and you can easily see which categories have the most posts.

    @becs:
    I would direct visitors to the category widget but still kept getting the comment "How do I find posts about topic X on your site?". I think people are finding information better with the index page because I now get fewer of these types of comments and my page views have increased.

  8. If you have a lot of categories then a tag cloud takes up nearly as much sidebar space as a list does. Moreover a tag cloud does not state the number of items in any given category the way a list does and it looks "messy". I find that index pages are particularly useful when looking for information.
    I'm working up to doing a complete renovation, simplification and index page of my categories. My idea is to reflect a limited number of primary categories arranged alphabetically in the sidebar with a link to an index page. I'm thinking the index page will have a hierarchical category and subcategory structure. But at this point I'm just kicking the idea around so please feel free to share your thoughts on this approach.

  9. @timethief:
    I have a text widget with link in the sidebar that directs visitors to the index page to find categories. I really like your idea of limited categories in the sidebar with link to extensive index page. I definitely love my index page because I now feel free to create as many categories as necessary to organize content.

  10. What about the possibility of having the text widget show parent categories with a + sign next to them so people can decide whether to see the subcategories or not?

    So like I could show Video Gaming as a parent, and then if I click the + I could see xbox, xbox 360, ps3, wii and so on. That sort of interface would make things less cluttered.

  11. @ eclecticgeek
    Thanks for your suggestions. I like your set-up.

    @becs
    I don't know anything about the technical aspects but I think you have made an interesting suggestion.

  12. What about the possibility of having the text widget show parent categories with a + sign next to them so people can decide whether to see the subcategories or not?

    Technically possible, but I don't think it will happen because it would require re-writing all of the themes.

  13. I wouldn't expect someone to have to rewrite all the themes. But it would be possible to have it built into a particular theme if a themer adds it?
    Say for example individually, the Cutline theme could support if the designer decided to?

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