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  1. #1
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    Question Tags versus Categories - confusion reigns

    I'm rebuilding my movie review website in Wordpress, ready for a relaunch. I've been out of the website game for a a couple of years, and of course a lot of things have changed.

    My main confusion lies in when to use categories in favour of tags, and vice versa.

    For example, I'll have two main categories: "Blog" and "Film Reviews". Now, I'm tempted to break my Film Reviews category down further, putting movie reviews into genre, one for each rating I give a movie (a total of 5 sub catergories from 1 star to 5 star).

    After that, I'm unsure. I'd like to have the Film Review posts searchable by actor, director, screenwriter, certificate etc. Would it be better to tag the posts in this instance? I would end up with a hell of a lot categories, if I had one for each actor and so on.

    I'm utterly confused by it all, and unsure which is the best route to take. I'd be grateful if anyone could share some insight.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist jonbey's Avatar
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    My approach, which I hope is the best one, is each post is assigned to one category, but can have as many tags as I fancy. This way, you can then use the category menus as a site navigation. Aim for no more than 10 categories (not sure if there is an ideal number). Sub categories work well on Wordpress too.

    One consideration is SEO. If you chose to have permalinks in the form category/subcategory/posttitle then you will get those keywords in each post, without having to repeat them in titles - keeps your titles cleaner.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot livetech's Avatar
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    I do partly agree with jonbey. I have a few categories and more tags, but two ways which I differ are:-

    a) I put posts sometimes in 2 or more categories, if and when need be. If people subscribe to one of my categories only, and a post talks about 2 things, I would put it in two. However, it depends how you set up your categories (if it's things like "Rants", "Tips", "News" etc. then it's fairly separate, and you can post them in one category only).

    b) I would have a limit on the amount of tags I have. If I go horrendously off topic, I won't tag (say if I write an SEO blog, and I talk about metaphorically how a football match is like getting your website to the top of google, then I will not tag it "football"). Then again, jonbey didn't explicitly say that, so we could be the same on this point!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot livetech's Avatar
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    To answer your question, I'd probably put split your "Film Reviews" category into genre, rather than review (how would readers know where to find a review of the film, if they don't know the score yet?), and tag them with actors, actresses, directors etc.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies. I think the main reason I wanted a category for each rating, is for what will be my film review archive page. I'd probably have a list of reviews with headings at the top, like so...

    Name of Film | Rating
    -------------------------
    The Spirit-------**

    And so on.

    In the sidebar, I'd offer various ways to display the reviews archive... Sort by Alphabet, Sort by Genre, and Sort by Rating. Someone might want to take a look at all reviews that have been given a 5 star rating, for example. And at the moment, having a proper subcategory for rating feels like the best way.

    Having said that, I guess there's nothing to stop me doing the above with tags. Looking briefly at the Wordpress codex, it seems possible.

    The "blog" archive page isn't really too much of an issue, as this'll be more of a standard archive page (which obviously won't have to include ratings). I just really want the film reviews to feel seperate, like proper articles, rather than a random blog post.

    So, hope this makes things clearer, and I hope I haven't misunderstood what you guys are trying to say. Like I say, it's been a while, a lot of things have changed, and it's a bit of a learning curve for me at the moment. I want to give my relaunch the best possible advantage right from the start.

  6. #6
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    I shifted my blog from blogger to wordpress and this confusion (Categories and Tags) was one of the reasons I decided to stick with blogger and delete the Wordpress blog.

    I found it better to concentrate on building content. I'm technically challenged and after having spent 5 months on blogger feel comfortable with this platform.

    Good News. My blog finally opened it's account on Google Page Rank with a PR of 3. I would like to thank Site Point for answering my queries.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Monkeyboy View Post
    In the sidebar, I'd offer various ways to display the reviews archive... Sort by Alphabet, Sort by Genre, and Sort by Rating. Someone might want to take a look at all reviews that have been given a 5 star rating, for example. And at the moment, having a proper subcategory for rating feels like the best way.
    Why not assign two categories to each review? One category is the genre, and the other category is it's star rating. That way each movie review shows up in both places... within the proper genre and within the proper star rating!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhangora View Post
    I shifted my blog from blogger to wordpress and this confusion (Categories and Tags) was one of the reasons I decided to stick with blogger and delete the Wordpress blog.
    That makes no sense! You don't even have to use categories and tags in Wordpress if you don't want to. Just stick with the defaults and you can forget all about it. The power of WordPress is that you have the CHOICE whereas Blogger doesn't give you that. So if your blog takes off and you want to get a custom design and really scale it up... good luck doing that at Blogger. Oh... and funny you're promoting Yaro's Blog Mastermind program which is nearly 100% tailored to WordPress... one of the lessons is even about why WordPress is best, and you use Blogger. But to each their own I guess. If Blogger works for you then so be it.

  8. #8
    JustAFanOfSlash mdamin76's Avatar
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    If you have blogs, some of social bookmarking can follow your blog, and also capture your tags. Tag is the easiest way to spread your blog's content.

  9. #9
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    My approach is very similar to jonbey's above: I use categories as general sorters, and tags as longtails. So if it's an electronics site (for example) there might be a category called review, but if you're looking for all info on a particular item, you'd find it in the tag cloud, and the tag would pull all reviews of that product, plus tech pages, hacks, price comparisons/coupons etc. that might be all over the site but which are related to that particular product.


    Frank

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot FrisArvz's Avatar
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    Gee... I got confused on that, too... Hmm.. It seem we had a similar situation. In my music blog, at first, I only categorized it as anime, music video, and MP3. Then, suddenly, the music video need to have a sub category (live performance). But compare to your blog, mine is quite simpler and much easier to categorized.


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