I am using wp_list_categories to list my categories in my menu. When the menu is generated each category is listed as a <li>-element with "cat-item[number]" as class.

Is there a way to also or instead give the <li>s the category name as the class? Just like the posts have the category name as the class.

1 Answer 1


I would use get_categories() instead, so that you can have better control over the output of your list. And if I recall correctly, wp_list_categories calls get_categories anyway. You can use the same $args array in either function, and you should get the same categories as a result.

Then you can simply build your own unordered list like so:

// build category collection
$categories = get_categories($args);
$menu = '<ul>';

// iterate through your categories
foreach($categories as $category) {

    // you can also use $category->slug
    $menu .= '<li class="' . $category->name . '">' . $category->name . '</li>';


$menu .= '</ul>';
echo $menu;

Of course, you may build out as much markup to your <ul> and <li> tags as you wish (additional classes, anchors, etc).

You may even wish to mimic all the other classes that wp_list_categories adds (just so that you stay consistent). And if you use this in multiple places, it might even be good to create your own function.

For a complete reference of which properties are available in your $category object see the Codex.

Hope that helps!

  • Thank you! What if I would like to link to the categories and to use some of the wp_list_categories functions? Like hide_empty?
    – Cody
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 16:58
  • It's pretty easy. Just have a look at those two links in the answer. For example, on the get_the_category Codex page, they have a code sample for getting the link (using get_category_link($category->term_id )). And empty categories should be hidden by default (because the $args parameter for get_categories() has an element called hide_empty.
    – Jared Cobb
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 17:15
  • @ Jacob Cobb - thanks again - and sorry, I somehow missed the link!
    – Cody
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 20:43

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