What are Tags in WordPress?

Here at TaxoPress, our plugins allow you to manage Tags, Categories and all your WordPress taxonomy terms.

If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, we’re here to help!

Tags are a great tool for WordPress users. They can help you organize your site content and improve your site’s search engine optimization. By organizing your posts with Tags, you can allow your visitors to find relevant content.

In this guide, I’ll show you how Tags help your WordPress site, how to create them, and how to enhance them with the TaxoPress plugins.

What is a WordPress Tag?

In WordPress, a Tag is a way to organize and group your posts based on topics. When you create or edit a post in WordPress, you can assign it to one or more Tags using the box in the right sidebar. By default, Tags are only available for posts, but you can add them to more post types.

Adding Tags to a WordPress post

On most WordPress themes, you will immediately be able to see the Tags on your posts. The location of the Tags will change depending on your theme. This screenshot below shows where Tags appear in the “Twenty Twenty-Three” theme.

Tags visible on the WordPress frontend

This next screenshot shows how Tags appear in the “Twenty Twenty-One” theme. In this example, the Tags are now on the right side of the post and the “Tagged” text is added before the terms. In another post, we explained how to all the ways you can display Tags on your site.

Tags on the frontend of WordPress

The difference between Tags and Categories

The main difference between Tags and Categories is that you can not create levels of Tags.

Unlike Categories, your Tags are not hierarchical and can not be organized into a parent-child relationship. 

Here’s an example: you could have a Category called “Fruit”, and under this Category you could have categories called “Apples”, “Bananas”, “Grapes”, and “Peaches”. Tags are not hierarchical and there’s no relationship between them. You can still add the same words as Tags, but by default they can not have relationships. You can modify this setting using the Taxonomies screen in TaxoPress. You can see this structural difference by looking at the two boxes for adding Categories and Tags, as in this screenshot below:

Adding Tags in the WordPress editor

There is another difference that I’ll share from personal experience. I normally see Categories used for broad topics or themes. For example, Categories may be used for high-level groups such as “Fruit” or “Apple”. In contrast, Tags may be used for more specific groups, such as specific types of apples like “Braeburn”, “Fuji”, and “Golden Delicious”.

This guide has more on the differences between Tags and Categories.

Why should you use WordPress Tags?

Here are some key reasons why I recommend using Tags for your content.

  • Tags enable your visitors to find content. If you organize your WordPress posts in Tags, this will allow users to quickly find what they are looking for. At the bottom of each post, users can see your Tags and click to read more on the topic they choose.
  • Tags help you organize and write posts. Tags will allow you to group similar posts together. This can save you time, as you don’t have to browse through every post to find topics you need to work on.
  • Tags can improve the SEO of your site. With the use of appropriate Tags, you will increase the visibility of your content on search engine results pages. This can help attract more organic traffic to your WordPress site.

How to add Tags

There are several ways to add Tags, but the best approach is to use the main “Tags” screen. This allows the most control over your new Tags.

In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to “Posts”, then “Tags”, as in this screenshot below.

Menu link to add a new Tag in WordPress

You will see the Tag screen with the “Add New Tag” area, as shown in the next image:

  • Name: Enter the Tag name you want to appear on your site.
  • Slug (optional): The “slug” is the URL-friendly version of the name. It is usually all lowercase and contains only letters, numbers, and hyphens. If you don’t enter a slug here, WordPress will automatically generate it from the Tag name.
  • Description: Add a description for your Tag. In most cases, this will not be visible on the front of your site. This tutorial has more on the Tag description.
Adding a new tag in WordPress

If you don’t want to add tags manually, you can use TaxoPress to generate automatic tags. It’s also possible to schedule future changes to the Tags on your post.

How many Tags per post?

There’s no “correct” answer to this question, but most experts recommend less than 10 Tags per post. If you add too many Tags, you’re likely to add several that are not very relevant. Here’s how to control the number of Tags per post.

If you have a busy site, here’s how to find only the most popular tags on your site.

WordPress Tag Archive Pages

Every Tag in WordPress has a dedicated archive page that displays a list of posts assigned to that Tag. By default, the archive pages will use these permalinks:

  • Tag Permalink: /tag/cameo/

You can change the URL of the Tag pages by going to “Settings” then “Permalinks”. Find out more about Tag permalinks. You can also remove “Tag” from your permalinks.

WordPress Tags and Navigation Menus

Tags can be used in WordPress navigation menus. Using the site editor in WordPress, you can add Tags as menu items. This can give your visitors easy access to content grouped by specific topics.

In this example screenshot below, I’m adding a menu link. I search for “Fuji” and the result is the archive page for the Tag called “Fuji”.

Tags and Navigation Menus in WordPress

Tag Blocks

WordPress provides two Tag blocks that you can use with the block editor.

There is the “Tag Cloud” block that can show an overview of your site’s Tags. In this screenshot below you can see the block inside a post. The version of this in TaxoPress is called “Terms Display“. There are several settings available for this block in the sidebar.

The Tag Cloud block in WordPress

The other available block is the “Tags” block. This shows all the Tags for the current post. The version of this in TaxoPress is called “Terms for Current Post“.

The Tags block in WordPress

Tag Management

It is possible to create, edit, and delete Tags in the WordPress dashboard. On a regular basis, I would recommend looking carefully over your Tags and removing terms that are rarely used. Here are some ways you can manage Tags on your site:

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