Categories vs. Tags in WordPress: The Differences

In WordPress, when you create blog posts you will find that you can choose categories for them as well as tags. Both of them are used to sort posts under certain groups so that the user can find the topic of their interest. But how are they different in terms of functionality? So today, we try to compare and differentiate between tags vs. categories in WordPress.

The Similarities:

Although they weren’t meant to be similar, categories and tags do have one thing in common—they are both used to group blog posts and blog posts only. They cannot be used in pages. They can overlap each other and you are free to assign a post a category or tag(s) or both of them; basically, however, you see fit.

But there are a few best practices for using categories and tags which we will see below:

Categories Vs. Tags

Categories Tags
Categories are meant to be used for grouping blog posts under a broad level of hierarchy or topics. Tags are more like keywords. They are the sub-topics that can come under a category.
The number of categories should be limited. You should not be creating one category for one post. They group many topics under one belt. You can use an unlimited number of tags to classify posts. Use them and create them to describe individual or multiple posts.
A blog post should have at least one category. If nothing is used then it will be grouped under the default or ‘uncategorized’ heading. Tags are completely optional.
By default, the archive URL for categories will be something like http://www.yoursite.com/category/create/ By default, the archive URL for tags will be something like http://www.yoursite.com/tag/create/
Categories are presented in the menu, header or sidebar area. A blog post also displays the category that it is in. Tags are displayed as comma separated values in blog posts. They are also displayed as a cloud so that users can find the popular ones or tags of their interest.
You can also use a category to affect the permalink of a WordPress post. Although it is technically possible to use tags in the permalink it is not in practice because they are not used for broad groupings.