Now that you understand WordPress as a content management system and the kinds of pages and organization it generates, it’s time to do our own organization. We are going to talk about how we are going to organize our content for a Professional Services website in WordPress and Thesis.
WordPress has inherent organization. As we just talked about, inherent organization is the organization that you get if you never create any categories or any tags or any custom taxonomies. It’s what is built in to WordPress whether or not use any other taxonomies.
The inherent organization for pages is hierarchical. So typically no taxonomies are ever apply to pages. You can’t look up all the pages that were published on a certain date or all the pages that were written by a certain author.
You can’t assign categories to pages or tags to pages. You can mess with that so you can but that defeats the purpose for pages which is to have a very strict hierarchical organization. It’s the only organization to have the parent-child relationship.
Parent-Child Relationship Examples
Let’s look at a couple of examples of that. Take a look at this URL. There’s WordPress 4.7 crash course. Seminars is a page and WordPress is a child page of that. Also under seminars as child pages are Genesis and Thesis 2.2 and Plugins. There are lots of child pages under seminars.
Under WordPress, there are other child pages besides WordPress 4.7 crash course. There’s also the WordPress 3.9 crash course, a page on how to use categories and tags. Those are all other children of the WordPress page.
You have this organization where seminars is at the top of the pinnacle and there are the big generalization of WordPress seminars. Come to seminars. Here’s the main page on which we have specialty seminars, Genesis, Thesis, WordPress eCommerce, WordPress, Plugins and Website makeovers. Those are all the types of seminars that fall under the seminar page which is the parent page.
Let’s go to WordPress seminars. This is just one child pages of the website building seminars. As we saw here all of these are about website building. Under WordPress seminars are many child pages.
The WordPress 4.7 crash course is a child of the WordPress page just as is Solve every website admin headache with WP Engine and so on. All the seminars listed on this page are children of the WordPress page which is a child of the Website Building Seminars page which is a child of our Course Catalog.
This is the parent child relationship in these pages. That represents the inherent organization in WordPress for pages.
Now let’s talk about posts. They are not hierarchical you cannot say that one post is a child of another post. The two most important organizational tools for posts on a small business website are categories and tags but we’ll go through each of them here.
Sequential Organization by Date
The only inherent organization in posts is sequential. That is, you write one and then you write another one and then you write another one and so on. That is the inherent organization for posts – they are sequential by date. They are not hierarchical in any way.
All typical WordPress taxonomies apply to them whereas with pages none of the taxonomies applied. Because of this they can be organized by date, by author, by category or by tag. Obviously, when it’s organized by date it sequential and it’s organized in the order of publish date.
Alphabetical Organization By Author
If it’s organized by author it’s alphabetical. It’s not sequential. There’s not a main author and then a sub author. It’s not hierarchical. The author whose name begins with A comes before the B author. That’s the way the author taxonomy is organized.
Categories are hierarchical. That means categories have subcategories and sub subcategories and sub sub sub sub categories if you want. You can have multiple parent child relationships in categories.
And they are not sequential so you can rearrange categories. You may have created the parent category this morning with the children categories having been created last year. You can just decide to rearrange them.
There’s no sequential relationship between them. There’s no alphabetic relationship between them. There is only the parent child relationship between them.
Alphabetical Organization in Post Tags
Post tags post tags are alphabetical just like authors. Post tags are just organized by letter. They’re not sequential. There’s not a first post and a second post and a third post tag. They’re not hierarchical. Post tags can’t have children or parents. Their only organizational element is that they’re alphabetical.
Examples of Categories in Action
Let’s take a look at examples of using categories with posts. This is a post here, this Thesis Footer Widgets Plugin and it is under two categories. First, it’s under the plugins category and then inside the plugins categories is the for thesis category. So this is the child category and this is the parent category and this is the page title of the post.
The same thing is going on here. Again this is the parent category, the child category and then in the post that’s attached to that category. These aren’t pages, these are posts and they have this page like hierarchical URL. That’s how you get the hierarchical URL with posts, by using categories in the URL structure.
Let’s just briefly talk about custom taxonomy. A custom taxonomy can either be hierarchical or not. If it’s not hierarchical then it’s alphabetical. Custom taxonomies are never date based so they’re never sequential. They can be either be like categories or post tags or they can have sometimes a combination of both.
Custom taxonomies are very flexible. But chances are, you’re not going to use them in a typical small business website. Categories and post tags are probably all you need.