During your experience with blogging over the last few days you may have noticed the terms ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ when working with your posts. These two features allow you to provide additional classification information about your posts and they content that they contain. Here’s a brief overview of how to use these features.
Categories allow you to group your posts based on their content. For example, on our blog we have categories for ‘Announcements’, ‘Blogging’ and ‘Web 2.0′. When I create a new post I can select the most relevant category from the listing on the right side of the screen. A post can be a member of multiple categories, and you can create new categories from this listing as well.
There is a ‘Categories’ widget that can be added to your blog via the Appearance -> Widgets menu. This widget will provide a listing of categories on the side of your blog. Clicking on a category name will display only posts associated with that particular category.
Tags work almost the same as categories, but instead of setting up all tags ahead of time you can simply create them as you go along. Think of them as a “looser” classification system. For example, if I have a post that talks about Google Docs I would probably file it under the ‘Web 2.0′ category. I would then use the tags feature to further define the post. I may use tags such as ‘Google Docs’, ‘Web-based spreadsheet’, ‘data collection’, and ‘collaborative document creation’.
There is also a ‘Tag Cloud’ widget in addition to the Categories widget discussed above. This widget will display a “cloud” of tags on the sidebar of your blog simliar to the tag cloud generated by wordle.