The Difference Between Categories, Tags and Archive Pages in WordPress


Categories, tags, and archive pages are essential elements in organising and managing content in WordPress. Categories group similar content into broad topics, creating a logical hierarchy for visitors to find relevant posts. Tags provide a more detailed classification, allowing for a granular organisation of content. Archive pages, on the other hand, present a collection of posts grouped by date or other criteria. Understanding the distinctions between these elements is vital for effective content organisation and navigation, enhancing the user experience of a website.

It’s not just the quality of your blog posts that will impact the overall success of your website. The site’s structure will, too. A key part of WordPress management is ensuring that the architecture of the website is in line with what Google and your visitors look for. 

With good site architecture, Google and humans will be able to easily locate key information. And in the long run, that can have a profoundly positive impact. On the other hand, a poorly organised website will make it difficult for Google and your visitors to find what they’re looking for. It’ll essentially just be a collection of random pages. 

It’s relatively straightforward to structure your website in a beneficial way, yet the fact remains that many website builders make fundamental errors that compromise the success of their website. For instance, they’ll create a WordPress category page within the main architecture of the site, rather than having them exist within the blog page.

If you’re looking to structure your site correctly, take the following tips onboard. 

Key Components to a Successful Blog

Your blog isn’t just another aspect of your website. It’s a key component of your success, one that can help to drive conversions, establish your expertise, and boost your authority. As such, it should play a prominent role within your website’s architecture. The positioning of your blog page will have a significant impact on the ranking of your website and the overall user experience.

By placing it close to front and centre, you’ll ensure that your blog — and your blog posts — have the best chance of bringing benefits to your website, such as enhanced link equity and high Google ranking. 

Create Unique Blog Posts

Individual blog posts will perform better if they’re placed within the blog directory. And, unless you’re posting multiple times a day, it’s generally best to remove the /day/ part from your URL structure, since it has little bearing on the user experience or SEO. Plus, it just makes the URL more complex than it needs to be. You can easily change this in the WordPress settings by going to Settings > Permalinks.

Choosing Distinct Categories and Tags

Categories and tags can help to improve the user experience by making it easier for them to find the type of blogs that they’re looking for. If you’re operating a relatively straightforward blog, then it’s best to index your categories or your tags. 

You can no-index your tag pages using the YOAST plugin. From there, spend some time building strong, regularly updated category pages from the major topics that your blog covers. WordPress get category can be useful because it can easily show visitors blogs related to the one they’ve just read. It’s generally best to keep the number of blog categories small, which can help to boost your site’s navigation.

Optimise Existing Content with Archive Pages

If you’re looking to further your blog, then consider building a custom category page or Archive Page within WordPress. WordPress Archive Pages are produced to organise a list of posts under a particular post type, category, or tag. This will help to push your site’s organisation forward. From there, you can target your pages with link-building activity that will get them to rank for a variety of keywords and phrases.

Talk to WordPress Experts in McGinn and Dolphin

Determining the difference between categories, tags and archive pages when creating your blog could be the difference between a well structured site architecture or one that can put users offer. At McGinn and Dolphin we have worked with many clients helping to setup their wordpress architecture in a friendly and uniform way, critically that Google likes to see.

In addition we have also helped clients update or change the permalink structure of their site (not for the faint hearted) meaning old categories have been updated and redirected to a new destination. We say not for the faint hearted, because if your blog posts stretches into the stratosphere then it can involve having to update or change many re-directs.

If you struggle with your blog or choosing a distinct category book a discovery call with McGinn and Dolphin today to see how we can help with your architecture of your site.

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Ali Dolphin is a UK-based marketing expert specialising in digital marketing. His expertise includes content writing, website design, and technology. Ali regularly provides insights and blogs on various aspects of digital marketing.

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