Reaction to VanFossen – Categories vs. Tags – DeMora

Categories or Tags? How do you Blog?

While reading Categories vs. Tags, by VanFossen, I began to think about my own blogs, and how I use either on them.

According to VanFossen, “Categories are your site’s table of contents. Tags are your site’s index words.” At first I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant. I always thought of tags as hashtags, which lead readers/followers to other posts about related topics. And categories, well honestly, I never knew it was a common word in the blogging world.

I’m honestly not much of a blogger. WordPress is a little new to me, and the only other blog site I use is Tumblr. It’s pretty similar to WordPress, but in my opinion, much easier to maneuver. Everything is pretty much laid out for you, and you decide on what you want to post.

While I don’t use tags or categories on WordPress, I use them quite often on Tumblr. I’m not “Tumblr Famous”, but I do have a decent following. My blog is both a personal blog, while also a Disney blog, so I have a lot of Disney Fans following me. Because there are so many aspects to Disney, I’ve decided to add tags to all my posts, to allow my followers and other Tumblr users to find what they’re looking for much easier.

tumblr 1

At the bottom of this edited Tumblr post, there are hashtags. These hashtags are the tags in which others may use to find similar posts about those hashtags.

Hashtags, are a great tool for blogs, for they allow people to interact with one another by finding posts about a similar topic, or how certain hashtags relate different things.

For my Tumblr, I also use categories. Because I have so many different tags I use, I wanted my followers to be able to find them much simpler. This had me create categories. My categories started out in a long list of all the main hashtags I used for my blog. But, as the tags expanded, I decided to shorten my list, thus creating broader categories.

tumblr 2

This list has different tags under them, after you click on a specific one. Example: “Favorite Disney Movies”. If anyone clicks on that link, it’ll jump to a page with links to all the posts tagged under my favorite Disney movies.


I find categories and tags very helpful, especially when blogging. They allow people to explore different ideas and thoughts, that maybe they never thought before. I think hashtags are used more often, and are more important to use. But, I do feel that categories and hashtags go hand in hand.

If you would like to check out my Tumblr blog, here is a link…
To Infinity & Beyond



1 Comment

  1. Thanks!

    There is a difference between hastags and tags in WordPress. It is important to recognize the difference.

    Hashtags are social media tags for tracking conversations not necessarily content.

    Tags were originally part of an attempt by Technorati to label similar and related content across the web from various websites. While that was a failure, tags were brought into WordPress to micro-categorize content, be the index words.

    Some web publishing platforms (CMS) use tags only. Others use categories only. Some emulate the work WordPress did and use both.

    The next major release of WordPress is to improve their taxonomy under the hood, making the relationship between content together easier and stronger, though the process is quite the challenge as it is making a relational database dance in the attempt.

    Both represent attempts at taxonomy, the classification of content on the web. Both work and fail about equally. LOL!

    All of this involves search engines and people’s attempt to help the user find content, specifically related content, on the web by linking it together through the use of words. Another term is keyword, words used to search. Tags, categories, and hashtags should be keywords rather than random, made up terms that have nothing to do with the content.

    I once had an argument with a blogger about their use of a tag based upon emotions not common sense or words associated with the article. She wanted a serendipitous experience for someone to just stumble on her site based on her silly, irrelevant tags. Sure, go ahead. Kinda silly, but it made me think about how this tagging things really works. It’s about being found.

    As social media (of which blogging is a part of – the start of social media actually) and web publishing evolves, categories, tags, and hashtags will shift and change as will the categorization and classification of content in general.

    Here is an in depth article I did years ago on tags and tagging in WordPress that might help you understand a little more about the differences.

    It is something I struggle often to help clients and students understand. I hope this helps you.


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