Understanding Taxonomy for WordPress

4 responses on “Understanding Taxonomy for WordPress

  1. Jody

    Very useful šŸ™‚ Thanks!


  2. Dustin


    I like the orange metaphor, but still don’t understand the purpose behind using taxonomy plugins when you have built-in categories and tags.

    Do the SERPS prefer taxonomy over filing under the other two methods? I know that from an SEO perspective, tags like meta keywords have absolutely no impact on the SERPS.

    I guess what I’m looking to get a grasp on is whether or not there are any additional benefits to using taxonomy over the features already in core.



  3. Michael Fields

    Thanks, I’m glad that the metaphor held up šŸ˜‰ As far as your question regarding SERPS. I really have no idea. When I think about search engines, I think “Now there’s a really handy way to get people to come to my site.” But once people click that link and officially become a visitor, I think to myself “Oh cool, people are here! What can I do to keep them around?”. And this is where I believe that creating custom taxonomies can be of some help.

    Categories and tags are a great way of organizing any website, but by definition, they are very broad concepts. A custom method of organization gives your website a voice… a bit of personal flair which can help your visitors find similar content without having to wade through twenty five different tags at the bottom of your article. These hypothetical tags (and I’ve seen them in the wild!) can in almost every case be organized into custom taxonomies which aide in giving further meaning to the terms they contain.

    Hope this is making sense. It might not be the solution for every wesite, but I’ve found many different uses for them a few really neat ones being:

    – Using a hierarchical taxonomy to dynamically interface with Google Maps API

    – Using terms of a custom taxonomy to “fake” a single post view with navigation only within that term.

    …but to answer your question:

    “I guess what Iā€™m looking to get a grasp on is whether or not there are any additional benefits to using taxonomy over the features already in core.”

    I think I said it best here: http://wordpress.mfields.org/taxonomy/ which will be the base for my presentation for this topic at WordCamp Portland this fall.

    Best Wishes,


  4. Lorelle Smith

    (tongue firmly in cheek here)
    Um, I think a “flower” tortilla takes it out of the realm of food groups entirely!


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July 9, 2010

What does an orange have to do with WordPress? Michael Fields uses the metaphor to explain how taxonomies work in WordPress and what that means for your site.

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