How to Merge Similar Taxonomy Terms in WordPress

If you are running a WordPress site for a long time, it’s easy to end up with a lot of taxonomy terms. And many of your WordPress Categories or Tags with have overlapping or duplicate meanings.

For example, a website may have terms for “Blue”, “Aquamarine”, “Navy Blue”, and “Turquoise”. All of these words have very similar meanings.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to use the TaxoPress plugin to merge terms together and remove duplicate or similar entries. There are alternatives approach to merging, including the Synonyms feature in TaxoPress, which allows you to have multiple words associated with a single term.

This image below shows a website with four similar terms. Each terms is assigned to a variety of posts:

  • Blue: 6 posts.
  • Aquamarine: 3 posts
  • Navy Blue: 3 posts
  • Turquoise: 3 posts
WordPress site with similar terms

When you merge these posts together, you may assume that the merged term will be assigned to 15 posts (6 + 3 + 3 + 3). However, this won’t be correct if more than one of these terms is assigned to the same the post. In this next image, both “Aquamarine” and “Blue” are assigned to the same post.

One post with multiple terms

To merge your terms together, follow these steps:

  • Go to TaxoPress > Manage Terms.
  • Click the “Merge terms” tab.
  • Enter the terms you want to merge into the “Term(s) to merge” box.
  • Enter the new term into the “New term name” box.
  • Click the “Merge” button.
Merge terms in WordPress

You’ll now see a message telling you that 26 posts have been updated.

When you check on your terms, you’ll that they have been successfully merged. In this example, the newly merged term is now attached to 17 posts because some terms had been attached to multiple posts.

Merging term in WordPress

Do More with TaxoPress

If you don’t want to merge terms, you can also choose to move terms to a new taxonomy, or delete unused terms.

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