Taxonomies are used to sort content by different topics and make your WordPress website look organized and neat. Categories help to improve navigation and make it easier to find a necessary post by a certain topic and sub topic.
If you’ve created plenty of categories but haven’t created enough tags to allow your users sort your content by them, then you can utilize the quick way of converting categories into tags and tags into categories – the WordPress Categories to Tags Tool.
WordPress also allows to create custom taxonomies, and convert your existing categories or tags into those taxonomies you’ve created.
In this post we will speak on how to convert categories to tags, how to create custom taxonomies and then convert your categories or tags into these new taxonomies. So, let’s start!
So how can you reach the necessary tool to switch categories and tags? It’s easy!
In your admin panel go to Tools -> Import and you will see the list of tools available there. Find the Categories and Tags Converter and click the Install Now button.
After that you can click the Run Importer button to launch a tool.
Here you will see the list of your categories with their sub-categories. You can check all of them or select separate ones and click a Convert Categories to Tags button.
The notification there alerts that if you convert a certain category with its child categories, the children become top-level orphans. Now the categories are converted.
Besides the default categories and tags, you are able to add custom taxonomies to arrange your posts into organized groups. For our purpose we use MB Custom Taxonomy plugin.
So after it’s been installed and activated, go to Taxonomies -> Add New in your admin panel and create your taxonomy. Here you can choose its name in plural and singular forms, insert its slug, manage the label settings, assign it to definite post types, etc.
After the taxonomy is created, you will see it in the list.
If you’ve already created a few of custom taxonomies, you can easily convert categories into custom taxonomies on your WordPress website.
Why converting categories to custom taxonomies? Actually, this is required when your website grows, and the amount of topics you highlight also becomes greater. For instance, if you’ve got an Attorneys category with a lot of sub-categories, it would be a time-consuming task to edit every post to put it under a definite custom taxonomy.
Install and activate Taxonomy Switcher plugin and go to Tools -> Taxonomy Switcher. Here you can choose categories and switch them to a certain custom taxonomy you’ve chosen.
As we’ve already switched our categories to tags, now we choose tags in the first list, and then we select a custom taxonomy we’ve just created – in the second list. We are going to switch tags to custom taxonomies. So we’ve got one parent category and 3 child ones – the taxonomy has been switched for 4 terms.
If you want to convert specific categories, then just add their names next to ‘Comma separated list of term ids to switch’ field.
After your categories have been switched to custom taxonomies, the category archive page will show a “not found – 404 error” when clicked. This is because your category pages have already been indexed by search engines and are shown in the search results as they are. After the switching, they will still be shown there and users will click on them to reach a certain page, but this page doesn’t exist already.
To avoid the confusion of users, redirect them to the new custom taxonomy page for every category.
For this purpose we use Redirection plugin for WordPress. After installation and activation, go to Tools -> Redirection and start adding new redirection.
As we’ve already switched categories to tags we enter /tag/ in the Source URL field and enter our custom taxonomy slug /citizen/, in the Target URL field. You can enter the /category/ in the Source URL field instead.
Check the box next to Regex option, and click Add Redirect button. This redirect will now send all of your category archive traffic to your custom taxonomy. Your redirections will be shown in the Redirections list.
As you see working with categories, tags and taxonomies is an easy process as well as it is quite simple to convert categories to tags or to custom taxonomies. Stay tuned for more tuts!
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