A Blogger’s Dilemma: Categories vs Tags

    When I first moved to WordPress a year ago from Blogger, I came because of three main reasons:

  1. Categories. I really don't know why Blogger still does not have something like this.
  2. Static Pages. As your blog goes, it's good to have a static page or two where you can link to your best posts.
  3. Greater customization and the free FTP space that my previous host was giving me.

There's really nothing to be said about the last two, but of late I've been having some issues with categories. When I first started using WordPress, I thought that it would be a great way to organize my posts. But let's face it, how many bloggers actually use categories to organize their posts as such? And how many blog readers actually use the category links in the sidebar to look through previous posts? I certainly don't. Now that's not to say that categories are useless. On the contrary, they are very useful because of a wonderful little thing called Technorati Tags. Technorati, as every blogger knows, is pretty much the Google of blog search. Using the proper tags in your post can help drive a lot of genuine traffic to your site. The good thing about WordPress is that the categories can be read as Technorati Tags. To have Technorati read a post as tagged, just place it in the right category. Simple.

    Now here's the catch. A category is permanent, and once you use a category, it adds to your category list and appears in your sidebar. It's not really so big a problem, but it can get irritating to keep track of all your categories. Sure you can organize them by using sub-categories, but whatever you do, you'll still end up having to search through a long category list. And the categories you rarely use will still hang around even you've only used it once two months ago. 

    There is a workaround, keep a HTML file of all the tags you want and manually copy/paste them into your blog post, but that's not really efficient is it? For now I think that I'll stick to categories and sub-categories. 

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Published by

Shrutarshi Basu

Programmer, writer and engineer, currently working out of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

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