Suppose I want to blog about three somewhat unrelated main topics: Money, Languages, and Information-Technology on the same blog. How should I organize things for the best user experience? How does would such a structure affect the default menu structure at the top

So far I found this: Category-manager and researching further. Apparently Category-Manager is a plug-in, I'm installing it now.

2 Answers 2


Hi @NealWalters:

This is obviously more of an opinion question rather than a technical one but here's my opinion.

My advice: use no more than 10 categories. Those <=10 categories when viewed together should define the essence of your blog. Don't use subcategories. Then use lots of tags to define the topics you are talking about for each post. So if for example you are writing a blog post in your "Money" category, you might tag it with "401k" or "stocks" and so on.

Viewed another way:

Force yourself to be very disciplined with categories and allow yourself to be very liberal with tags.

If you do it this way then your questions about your menu becomes easy; use a tag cloud on your main page for each category but filter the tag cloud to be specific to the category.

  • Thanks, I should have mentioned this site I saw today, which inspired my question: geniustypes.com. I currently have my Hebrew blog on a entirely different site, but trying determine how to package my main blog site. I vote as answer if no other ideas appear... Jan 24, 2011 at 5:26
  • I'm starting to see more-and-more your point. I was debating about creating a category called "Book Reviews", but then realized that maybe the book reviews should fall under the subject category instead. I'm thinking ahead of the menu bar I want to display under the banner. Jan 28, 2011 at 3:22
  • @NealWalters - Yes, the more you try to perfect the categorization the farther down the rabbit hole you take yourself. At least that's been my experience and for the most of my life I've been a obsessive-compulsive categorizer. Once I found tags I was able to let myself beat that obsession. Jan 28, 2011 at 6:55

I have to agree with MikeSchinkel on this being an opinion question so here is my opinion.

I would go in a different direction:

Yes Use under 10 directories and use tags all over but do use sub-categories.

The beauty of WordPress build-in categories is their way of organizing posts in hierarchy, and judging by geniustypes.com they use that same structure of about 3 main categories and there rest are subcategories.

To be honest I can't say witch way is more effective user wise but in your case the management of the categories will be a lot easier and no plugin is needed because WordPress category management that come's out-of-the-box is more then sufficient for your needs.

Now again this is my opinion that i have picked up in years of experience but I'm more then sure that MikeSchinkel has (probably) more experience then me and I respect and understand the way he is suggesting.

hope I helped.

  • @בניית אתרים - I can definitely respect your differing opinion. So you know where mine comes from; I spent 12 years from 1994 running a reseller of Visual Basic & .NET developer tools, first with a printed mail order catalog and then on the web. Much of my time every 4 months when we'd print the catalog was in categorizing products. The more I did it to more I realized that my categorizations were wrong simply because a hierarchy never accurately reflects more than one view unless you create multiple views then you have a mess of duplication. Basically categorization becomes a fool's errand. Jan 24, 2011 at 8:22
  • @בניית אתרים: What I've since come to greatly appreciate is the value of constraints; to force oneself to limit the number of categories and then to tag things liberally. By not using a hierarchy there is not need for duplication of terms and with queries it's easy to find all the tags for posts in a given category. I know you may feel otherwise but when I finally saw this approach it was like a huge weight was lifted as I realized I'd never have to agonize over hierarchical categorization again. And clearly Twitter has taught us that embracing constraints has value. FWIW. :) Jan 24, 2011 at 8:28
  • @MikeSchinkel you should have posted that with your answer, because now i get you even more :) and thanks for the explanation.
    – Bainternet
    Jan 24, 2011 at 8:56
  • @בניית אתרים - As they say here in the USA "Shoulda, coulda, woulda... but I never did." :) Hey, anyway, you are new here but very active. Great to have you participating. We need a lot more like you! Can you do me a favor? I'd love to learn more about you and your business as it relates to WordPress. Can you send me an email to connect? Jan 24, 2011 at 9:01
  • @MikeSchinkel just did.
    – Bainternet
    Jan 24, 2011 at 9:13

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