Categories vs Tags – What’s The Difference?

Categories and tags are the taxonomies used by WordPress to group content. Categories and tags may look the same but their purposes are different. In this article we are going to understand what categories and tags are and the difference between the two.

What are Categories?

Categories are a type of WordPress taxonomy that are used for broad grouping of posts. Categories are hierarchical and structured.

What are Tags?

Tags are a type of WordPress taxonomy meant to group important details of the post. Tags are non-hierarchical and are meant to be used as indexes or keywords.

Differences between Categories and Tags

  • Categories are broad in nature whereas tags are meant to be more specific.
  • A WordPress website should ideally have a limited number of categories to keep the content organized but there is no such restriction for the creation of tags.
  • Category is hierarchical and has a structure whereas tags are non-hierarchical. You can create sub-categories whereas there is no option to create sub-tags.
  • Choosing at least one category per post is mandatory whereas there is no requirement to choose a tag.


Categories should be used on your website for broad grouping of posts whereas tags should be used for detailed indexation. It is important to use categories carefully as creating too many categories can make the site structure confusing. There are no limits or restrictions on how you add tags to your posts.

In general a 8-10 categories structure is recommended whereas there are no limits on the number of tags you create. Using the categories incorrectly can make the site difficult to navigate very soon. That’s why it is important to take a few minutes and plan the site structure before adding categories to your website.

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