I have been pondering the “Tag vs. Category” question for days now. Is one ‘better’ than the other, when should I use a tag instead of a category? Are categories / tags better at certain things than other things?
My current thinking is:
- Categories should be created in advance and change little, they are the broad concepts/buckets that group our posts. Though WP supports nested categories without limit, in practice I’m thinking that there should be at most 2 levels. Categories are like the top-level navigation of the content.
- Tags are content specific, they are more granular than categories. Tags also provide benefits to tag search aggregation. Tags include the hidden rel=”tag” microformat in the HTML source which tells Technorati, et. al. that the author thinks this post should is related to this/these phrases.
Though one could come up with a consistent set of tags before writing any posts, a tag set will emerge naturally based on frequency of re-use.
So, the question shouldn’t be tags vs. categories—use both. Categories are the hierarchical, managed, taxonomies; tags are the Bazaar.