Estherespero_com Taxonomy

What is Category, Tag, Breadcrumb, Post Format and Taxonomy in WordPress?


If you check up in the dictionary, taxonomy is the science or technique of classification. Hence, in WordPress,  a taxonomy is a classification of the website contents. WordPress has 4 taxonomies built-in:

  1. Categories
  2. Tags
  3. Link Categories
  4. Post Formats


WordPress Categories enable us to group posts into broad topics. It acts as the table of contents for your website and can be added to the navigation menu to  help site visitors navigate your site and easily access to contents they are interested in. Hence, it is important to plan out your categories carefully as it will affect your Search Engine Results. In the diagram below, the menu item ‘SEO’ is a category. When a site visitor clicks on the  ‘SEO’ menu item, the site will display all the posts that has been categorised under ‘SEO’.

Esther Espero - Displaying Blog Posts under SEO Category
Displaying Blog Posts under SEO Category


Categories are hierarchical, so you can create sub-categories under a parent category. WordPress allows you to create up to 3 tier of sub-categories. If you use sub-categories, it is advisable to use Breadcrumbs to help your site visitors navigate your site easily.


What are breadcrumbs? In web design, a breadcrumb is a series of connected links that provide  you information on where you have navigated to on a website. An example of a breadcrumb is as follows:

Home>>SEM>>Adwords>>What is Adwords Editor

From the above breadcrumb indicated by its link structure, we know that the post ‘What is Adwords Editor’ reside in the WordPress sub-category ‘Adwords’ which in turn reside in the main category ‘SEM’. If your theme does not have built in breadcrumbs, here is a good tutorial on how you can configure it.


WordPress Tags describe the specific content of your blog. While it serve similar objective as Categories to enable site visitors to access to contents by topics, Tags do not act as an ordered list of Table of Contents. They are more like Indexes of a book, pointing you to blog posts of a specific subject. Tags are not added to navigation, are not hierarchical  and are meant to be created on the fly. For example, I have written an article about the difference between Draft Campaigns and Campaign Drafts. This article is grouped under the Main Category of SEM and the sub-category of ‘Adwords’ as shown in this screenshot:

Esther Espero - WordPress Categories and Tags
WordPress Categories and Tags


As for the Tags, I have created and assigned  ‘Adwords Editor’, ‘Campaign Drafts’ and ‘Draft Campaigns’ so when people search for any of these items, this article will be displayed.

Link Categories

The ‘link_category‘ taxonomy lets you categorize your links. They are handy for defining groups of links to be displayed in sidebars and the like. As of Version 3.5, the Links Manager are hidden for new installs and any existing WordPress installs that do not have any links. Since WordPress has hidden it , it must have little importance, I shall therefore not go into much detail for this item..  If you would like to restore the Links panel to your install you may download and install the Links Manager plugin but even that plugin has not been updated for more than 2 years.


Post Formats

On the right side of your WordPress Dashboard, you will see the following section :

For some WordPress themes, you will discover that when you select different post format, your post will be styled differently. Post Formats is a piece of meta information that can be used by a theme to customise its presentation of a post. Categories and Tags relate mainly to subject matter. Post Formats allow users to find blog content by kind.  For example, in this website, if I set different blog post with different post format, site visitors will be able to see at one glance the type of posts by the icon displayed on each post:

Esther Espero on Post Formats
Posts display for different Post Formats in this website.


To learn more about how to configure post formats you can watch this video or read this post. If however you are using the Elegant themes Divi, then there is a tutorial on how to configure the post format.

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