20 WordPress Plugins to Optimize Category and Tags

With the “Category” and “Tag” in WordPress, you can organize contents in relation to one another. These are straightforward features that users could comprehend immediately. But if you have been using WordPress for a while now, you know that there is always room for improvement.

If you want to do something with the Category and the Tag which is not the built-in utility, you would perhaps find it on the following list. Here are 20 plugins to improve WordPress Category and Tag.

Taxonomy Thumbnail

This is a plugin that adds the ability to attach a featured image for a category or tag, similar to the Post Thumbnail feature in posts and pages. The attached image can be output to the theme with a few lines of code. It is a plugin that I think WordPress theme developers should consider supporting in their themes.

Thumbnail image in the category

WP Limit Tags

If you are a fan of WordPress tags, chances are you use a gazillion tags mindlessly to organize your site content – as if doing so will help the content rank higher in search engines. This plugin lets you set a limit to the number of Tags which can be added, forcing you to be more efficient with your tags.

WP Limit Tag Setting and Options

Require Post Tag

You might want all of your published posts to carry at least one Tag, in which case, this plugin is one you want to get. It adds an extra layer into the Post editor that forces users to assign at least one Tag to the post, otherwise an error message pops up. This plugin can be used in conjunction with the preceding plugin to control post-tagging on your website.

WP Require Tags Popup

Remove Category URL

The WordPress category URL is pre-fixed with /category/ or as one that has been implied in the Permalink setting. It is a logical hierarchy that separates the category from the other types of WordPress Taxonomy, like Tags. This plugin will magically remove this prefix, in case you want your site to a look less WordPress-y.

Category URL: Before and after

Category Sticky Post

The sticky post is a feature in WordPress to retain a post position at the top – a situation known as stuck. The sticky post however only works and appears in the main query, on the front page of the blog. This plugin extends the functionality by allowing you to make the post also stuck in the category archive. A plugin for the Tag, called Tag Sticky Post, is also available.

Sticky Category and Tag Selection

Most Popular Tags

The plugin adds a new widget to show not only Tags but also other terms including the category and custom taxonomy. The widget is equipped with a handful of options that involves controlling which Taxonomy to show, the font size, inclusion and exclusion.

Most Popular Tags Widget Options

Single Category Permalink

If you had assigned two or more category hierarchies, the permalink URL of the post would end up quite long which consists of the parent category and the subsequent hierarchies. Keep the URL shorter with this plugin by using only the last category assigned.

The Before and After Category URL

Only One Category

If you want the authors of your multi-author site to pick only one category instead of multiple ones for their uploaded post, use this plugin to turn the category selection UI from the usual checkbox to a radio button – this limits authors to pick only one category.

Category Options with Radio Button

Category Color

The plugin adds a color picker in the category editor. Once the color is set, it can be output on the theme. Note that this plugin is not for regular users; it is for theme developers to add a more decorative style on the category archive of their themes .

Main Category as Subdomain

Have you ever thought of setting your category as a subdomain of your site? This plugin can do that for you. A great plugin for websites that cater to multiple and different topics. You can simply set a single WordPress installation, while make them appear different on the front-end by hosting the topics in a subdomain.

Subdomain setting

Category Pie

The plugin adds a Pie chart in the Category editor. It shows the percentage share of the categories used on your website. All-in-all, it is a very nice data visualization tool for those who are more inclined towards graphics.

The Pie Chart in Category Editor

Taxonomy Font Icons

The plugin adds a new option to select icons in the Category as well as the Tag editor. The icons are derived from a popular font icon library, FontAwesome. But you can also add custom fonts from other library through the Filter Hook (see the docs for more about this).

Category Icon in the row table

Taxonomy Switcher

A handy plugin that allows you to convert Taxonomies, Categories to Tags or vice versa. The plugin is also compatible with custom taxonomy which may come with some plugins. You might need this plugin when your website is overgrown with many categories and tags, or when you change your mind about what should be a Tag or a Category.

Switch between category and tag

Post Category Filter

The WordPress UI is flat and nice, but it also poses a UX flaw too. One example is when we are about to select one category from a list of a dozen categories – there is some scrolling involved to find the category we are looking for. This plugin adds a form on top of the selections, where you can just type in the category you want and the list is filtered down for you.

Filtering out WordPress category

Category Description Widget

This plugin displays the category description through a widget. Not every theme would show the category description, even if we have added one. Using this plugin, you don’t have to use a single line of code to display your category description.

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