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Create a Magazine Style Blog Site with Thesis 2 – Part 4 – Organizing Content in WordPress

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Category Archive Pages are the Focus of this Case Study

If you have a page that you want to display all of your posts of a given category, that page is called a Category Archive page and we’re going to be spending essentially all of our time looking at styling and organizing Category Archive pages but that’s what that Category page is, it’s called a Category Archive page.

Inherent Organization in WordPress

WordPress has post types and taxonomies. It also has some inherent organization inside of WordPress.


The inherent organization for pages is that pages are hierarchical and no other typical WordPress taxonomies apply. So there’s no date for pages, there’s no organization by author for pages, there’s no organization by category or tag for pages. The only thing that applies to pages is hierarchy. You have a parent page, child pages, and grandchild pages.


There is no taxonomy associated with pages which is what distinguishes them from posts. This is why the method of organizing them distinguishes content types because posts inherent organization is sequential. That is, you write a post and then there’s another post and then another post and then another post and they just keep on stacking on top of each other with the latest post on the top.

They are organized inherently sequentially and they are not hierarchical. That is, you cannot have a subpost of a post and a post can’t have a parent post. Posts don’t have parent-child relationships between them. In contrast to pages, all typical WordPress taxonomies apply to posts so all posts are organized by date, organized by author, organized by category or by tag.

So now, you start seeing what I’m talking about when I say that the content types are distinguished by how they are organized. Pages are hierarchical and have no other taxonomies, posts are not hierarchical and have all of the taxonomies.

Taxonomy Organization in WordPress

Taxonomies have their own sort of inherent organization.


The date taxonomy obviously is sequential. The post that was posted on this date, on this hour, on this minute and on this second falls after the post that was created a second later and the relationship between the two of them is that one came in a sequence after the other. They are organized sequential by publish date.


For author, there is no hierarchy and there’s nothing sequential about them but they are alphabetical. If I write a post and my daughter writes a post, she’s not a sub author of Rick Anderson, she’s her own author. There is no sub authors. All the authors are organized alphabetically. So if somebody has a last name that comes before Anderson, like Aimes, then they’re first in the hierarchy rather than Anderson because it’s alphabetically organized.


Categories are hierarchical. That means you can have a category and you can have subcategories and we’re going to be using the category taxonomy to organize the babyofcolor site.

We’ll have the Kids parent category and then we’ll have Kids Kouture as a subcategory and Health and Development as subcategories and so on and so forth. They are hierarchical and they’re not sequential. It doesn’t really matter when you created the category. Categories fall inside the hierarchy not by when they are created and not by their alphabetical listing. They are fundamentally hierarchical.


Post tags on the other hand are alphabetical. They also are not sequential so one post tag doesn’t come before another based on when it was created and they’re also not hierarchical. That is, one post tag cannot be a subtag of another post tag. Post tags are just organized alphabetically without any kind of hierarchy.

Custom Taxonomy

Finally, we have something called the custom taxonomy. We’re not really going to be talking about custom taxonomies here today because the categories and tags are going to work just fine for us for the time being but WordPress does give you the ability to create custom taxonomies.

Custom taxonomies can be either hierarchical or not. They’re alphabetical if they’re not hierarchical. Custom taxonomies are never sequential. Essentially custom taxonomies can be either be like categories or post tags, just one or the other.

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