I am working on a problem to get the most recently used tags within the last 30 days.

My current thought process is not working, so I am trying to come up with an alternative method.

I came across get_term and get_terms, thinking they may be a way to an actual functioning solution to my problem.

However, searching for "What is the difference between terms and tags in WordPress" is too general and I cannot find an answer.

What is the difference between tags and terms? It what situations would get_term or get_terms be used?


2 Answers 2


Simple yet tough question, taxonomies are just groups of categories, while terms are just single categories within these groups.*

So, for example, if you create a new post and choose category for it - the category itself is a term, and opening YourWordpressURL/wp-admin/edit-tags.php?taxonomy=category you're going to see all the categories (taxonomy).

Terms and Tags are similar at first glance, they just work differently:



*this is possibly sometimes not true, as terms don't have to be categories, but I hate word "terms", it just confuses me, categories fits better

  • Wordpressor and @kaiser thanks for both of your answers. It really is a simple answer, but seemingly difficult to explain. After this answer, I went into the DB structure and looked through wp_terms, wp_term_relationships and wp_term_taxonomy of my familiar website. It makes sense now. Apr 23, 2012 at 23:57

In general everything is a »Taxonomy«:

  • category
  • term
  • link_category
  • terms...

But there's also the difference between "hierarchical" and non-hierarchical (a.k.a. flat) Taxonomies - I guess I don't have to explain that.

  • 1
    Ok, but, what exactly is a is a term? Apr 23, 2012 at 23:00
  • A taxonomy name, like category or such. It equals to (for ex.) a tag.
    – kaiser
    Apr 23, 2012 at 23:09
  • So, a term is everything that is a taxonomy? Apr 23, 2012 at 23:10
  • term is just a name for a specified taxonomy. Like category. WP uses this internally to say "it´s a flat/non-hierachical custom taxonomy type". The only official word is "Taxonomy". Nothing else.
    – kaiser
    Apr 23, 2012 at 23:11

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