I'm having a really weird issue where certain tags and categories seem to be linked:

"Linux" in Tags:

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"Linux" in Categories:

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If I try to lowercase the Linux tag (I prefer tags to be in lowercase and categories to be properly capitalized), then the Linux category gets capitalized too. Are they linked in the underlying database or something? I've made sure that my URLs for categories and tags are different, and they are.

Is this normal? Can I make the Linux tag lowercase and the Linux category have the first letter capitalized?

2 Answers 2


This is indeed strange behaviour. The slug is a unique key in the table that stores taxonomy terms, if you make sure to explicitly set the slug to something different when you create the term, they will not be linked. However, once you've created a tag and a category with the same slug, it appears they are forever connected, unless you delete one and recreate it with a new slug. I don't think this was always the case though, I distinctly recall WordPress appending -2 to the slug when attempting to create a term that is the same as a term in another taxonomy.


Yes, tags and categories are technically different but are theoretically the same. They're both used to categorize information, that's true. However, the difference lies in the way they're used. Categories are meant to sub-divide blog posts into main veins of thought. For example, "Internet Marketing", "SEO", and "Web Design". On a blog post that you're writing about Internet Marketing, you may mention Matt Cutts, and put his name in the tags section. Now, let's say that 2 months pass and you mention him again on an unrelated post in the SEO section. Now, a visitor may see your tag, called "matt-cutts", and click on that and find all of those posts that are mentioning Matt. So, yes, you're categorizing information in general, but they are majorly different (Categories and Tags I mean). Final thought. A best practice for SEO, is to limit your categories to a reasonable amount, while maximizing your semantic tags. Lots of tags will eventually pay off in search engine rankings.

  • Well that's kind of frustrating. I thought for sure they'd have them isolated in different tables to allow me to have categories and tags differentiated from one another. Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 17:32
  • I apologize for not looking more carefully at the problem. 1, no, they're not in different database tables (they're in the same one, but they're treated differently of course), but they do make up different pages. For example, example.com/category/linux, and example.com/tag/linux. They both work, and they're both different. Sorry for the earlier comment. I should have read it more thoroughly.
    – willbeeler
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 20:48
  • And yes, I believe in the URL, categories and tags are lower cased, and when they show up in tag clouds (or better put, inside of your html elements) they can be given a proper casing.
    – willbeeler
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 20:50

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