The Difference Between Categories and Tags, and the Importance of Both

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Writing TipsWhen creating content in our CMS, Categories and Tags are used to help classify and organize your content, across our entire Extension web portal ecosystem. But what is the difference between the two? 

Categories

Categories allow you to group similar pieces of content together, so they are more easily found by readers. We currently utilize 15 fixed Categories, which serve as our primary navigation on our County portal sites. When you check a Category box for a News post, it will show up on the corresponding category page on your county website, accessible from the left navigation. If you’re posting to a portal and check one or more Categories, you are essentially “licensing” your content to all counties under that Category, in addition to your county’s main page News and Updates section. Any posts checked as just “Uncategorized” will only show in your county’s News and Updates section.

Category module County left navigation menu image

Tags

Tags, on the other hand, are individual search terms that act as “keywords” for your content. The more tags you add, the easier it will be for someone searching for your post (or the information within your content) to find it. Unlike Categories, there are no fixed tags; you can apply as many single keywords or phrases as you’d like.

 Tag module image

Once you add a Tag to your News post and publish it, they will also show up in the More on: section in the right nav of the page as “clickable” search terms.

Tags on page

NOTE: It’s not necessary to use both the singular and plural versions of a keyword; the plural will suffice (i.e., strawberries over strawberry).

If you have any questions about Categories or Tags, or any other content issue, please get in touch! You can email me at jmware2@ncsu.edu.