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I've been reading the codex for WordPress closely and am confused about the vague definitions between what a Taxonomy is and what a Category is. For that matter, term is also a word that is used in the description of Taxonomies, but seems used in a manner that hints that it isn't solely limited to a Taxonomy.

Both are described as a way to classify and group together posts. I do understand that Taxonomies are a more general form of categories, but how exactly do they relate to each other?

Is there a subtle difference I'm just not picking up on?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Taxonomies, as previously described are a collective noun for the following

  • category

  • post_tag

  • post_format

  • link_category

  • custom taxonomy

The first four are built-in taxonomies, while custom taxonomies are taxonomies that are manually created by the user with register_taxonomy. Custom Taxonomies can be hierarchical (like the build-in taxonomy category) or not (like post tags)

The categories and tags that you create in the back end under the 'Posts' screen are in actual fact terms of the taxonomies category and post_tag

You cannot create extra terms in post_format. post_format have the build in terms like post_format_video, post_format_gallery etc. See the codex for all post formats included

enter image description here

EDIT

I have updated the Taxonomies page in the codex to include my diagram and the missing post_format taxonomy

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+1. Just a bit of pedantry: even built-in taxonomies are created via register_taxonomy. 2 times. :) –  G. M. Aug 18 at 7:08
    
Jip, but they aren't manually created by the user. See your point though, I actually should have added that specific detail in my answer. :-) Many thanks –  Pieter Goosen Aug 18 at 7:12
    
To be honest I added the comments to not miss the opportunity to tease WordPress about that stupid double registration of post types and taxonomies :D –  G. M. Aug 18 at 7:32
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Would be better if when you click the image @goose, it increases in size. –  Brad Dalton Aug 18 at 7:35
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@G.M. hahaha, see the joke in all of this. It's like eating the same piece of meat twice –  Pieter Goosen Aug 18 at 7:45

Category, Tag, Link Category and Post Formats are built in taxonomies.

From Codex

Basically, a taxonomy is a way to group things together.

The names for the different groupings in a taxonomy are called terms. Using groupings of animals as an example, we might call one group "birds", and another group "fish". "Fish" and "birds" are terms in our taxonomy. As an example from WordPress, a category or tag (see next section) is a term.

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There are four built in taxonomies, not three. The codex page is out of date. I have updated it accordingly. :-) –  Pieter Goosen Aug 18 at 14:53
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@PieterGoosen Great. It's easier to understand with your pic. I have also updated my answer. –  sakibmoon Aug 18 at 15:55

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