Confused About Tags vs Categories, Again

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    I should be done with this. The answer I got to the question Can I use the same word for both categories and tags was clear. I can’t. I think it was clear. Was it actually, ‘You can but it ‘might’ lead to problems’?

    So I changed my ‘Romance’ category to ‘Romantic’ and tag posts that are in the category with ‘romance’ and anything else appropriate (and acceptable on WP dot com). I just now noticed that I’ve got a ‘Coffee’ category and I used the tag ‘coffee’ on all of my posts about coffee that I placed in the Coffee category. If it’s been a problem, I don’t see it. Possibly I’ve lost traffic and don’t know it. Anyway, I thought “Better to be safe than sorry,” and changed my ‘Coffee’ category to ‘Beans’, since I’d rather keep ‘coffee’ for my tag. Then I noticed that not only did the name change for my category take, but it also took for the tag in my tag cloud, where ‘coffee’ is now ‘beans’.

    It’s WP’s (as in someone in the forums) advice to me that I was following. Why would WP (the programming) act, seemingly, counter to it’s own advice here? I won’t play with this until I get an idea how to proceed. I want to blog, not experiment with the program that allows me to.

    Thanks in advance.

    The blog I need help with is


    The correct answer to “can I use the same word for both categories and tags” is neither “you can’t” (literally) nor “you can but it ‘might’ lead to problems”; the correct answer is you can but you mustn’t because it will lead to problems. One of the problems is the one you just experienced: the tag and the category are the same piece of data actually, so editing the one affects the other too. If you have duplicate cats/tags, the solution isn’t editing the one or the other: delete them and re-create them as either tags or categories.


    So….tags and categories should NOT have the same name? I’m lost.



    Okay. I think I see a solution. You didn’t give me a lot to work with.

    For one thing, I’m happy to follow instructions and if deleting categories and tags is going to lead to a solution, No problem. I ‘did’ delete a category, as I explained. My action, directed to one thing, affected another.

    Do I delete both the tags and post categories and then re-do them? I already attempted that. What am I not doing that you say I should be doing? I don’t want to lose my posts. Would someone just say a little more about this? If I can start from scratch and use the original category labels I had just making sure to not use the same labels for tags in the respective categories, I’d be fine with that, as long as I don’t lose my posts.

    I do appreciate the response. I just needed a little more help.


    @signaturealamode: If you search the forum you’ll find lots of replies explaining this.
    a) Categories are supposed to be the main subgroups of your posts, while tags (optional) are supposed to be other characteristic keywords related to the content of a particular post.
    b) For the global tag pages, categories and tags are exactly the same thing: tags.
    For these two reasons, there’s absolutely no point using the same word or phrase as both a tag and category, plus you’ll run into technical problems when you do that (plus the more tags and categories you add to a post the more they’ll tend to be ignored by search engines).

    @arrby: In your original post above, you said you “changed” two categories. Since the corresponding tags changed as well, that means you didn’t delete the categories (as you’re saying now), you edited them.

    So, what I suggested is: if you have category “something” and tag “something”, and you want to keep that as a tag only, you don’t go to Posts>Categories, click Edit or Quick Edit, and change the name of that category to “somethingelse”; you click Delete, then add “somethingelse” as a new category. Hope this is clear enough.

    What do you mean by losing posts? There’s no way you can lose posts by editing or deleting tags or categories. Suppose you have a post filed under a single category and tagged with a single tag. If you delete the tag, nothing happens to the post, because tags are optional. If you delete the category, the post will automatically be assigned to the category you’ve set as your default post category in Settings > Writing.



    Thanks. Later…



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