When organizing your website content using categories, you will definitely come to a point where you would like to perform certain changes. From time to time, you may need to modify some category details to keep everything up-to-date. You may also need to completely remove some old categories that are no longer required.
In this tutorial, you will find detailed instructions on how to perform these simple tasks in your WordPress based blog and keep your category list well organized.
For a start, please log into your WordPress Admin Dashboard by accessing your domain followed by "/wp-admin", i.e., "yourdomain.com/wp-admin", where "yourdomain.com" stands for your own domain name.
Once logged, please navigate through the left-hand side menu bar to Posts > Categories.
Upon doing that, you will be redirected to the "Categories" section, where you will find a list of all your existing categories.
Within the table on the right containing all your categories, you will notice the default "Uncategorized" category. It is required and cannot be deleted. You will be able to rename it or set up another default category, but there should always be one category serving as a such. All posts you are adding that are not assigned to a specific category will be automatically assigned to the default category.
Like any other WordPress element, the categories can be edited in two ways.
First, please navigate through the list and locate the category you would like to edit. Once you find it, hover over it, and you will be presented with the edit options:
We are going to introduce both editing methods. Depending on the case, you can select the most suitable one.
The "Edit" option allows full flexibility while updating your categories. Upon clicking on the "Edit" link, you will be redirected to the category page. The interface is exactly the same as for creating categories. You should be already well familiar with it and know your way around.
As you can see, you can edit the category name, the slug, the parent category, and the description. In case you need, detailed explanation of what every single element defines, please refer to our How to create Categories and Subcategories in WordPress guide.
When you perform the desired changes, please make sure to click on the "Update" button to apply them.
The "Quick Edit" option, on the other hand, is a real time-saver, and you will find it way more effective in certain situations. Upon clicking on the "Quick Edit" link, you will be presented with two fields allowing you to modify the category name and the slug. Considering the fact you will remain on the same page, you will be able to edit what you need in an efficient and timely manner.
When ready, please click on the "Update Category" button to apply the changes.
Now you are familiar with both methods of editing your categories, and you have the freedom to select the most suitable one based on what exactly you would like to change.
While your website grows, you will get to a point when you need to remove some old and unneeded categories. To do so, you simply need to click on the "Delete" link when you hover over a specific category.
Upon doing that, an alert will pop-up, and it will inform you the category will be permanently deleted. To proceed further with the deletion, you have to confirm by clicking on the "OK" button.
With this done, the category will be successfully deleted.
In some cases, you might need to delete several categories at once. It will become really time-consuming if you have to remove them one by one.
Deleting categories in bulk is pretty much the same as manually deleting them. However, there are steps that differ.
By default, WordPress always lists only 20 items per page, whether they are posts, pages, categories, etc. With this in mind, you are limited to deleting up to 20 categories at once, which is not really practical in case you want to remove a lot more. Fortunately, you are able to modify that number and extend it up to 999 items. This is our first step.
At the top right corner of the "Categories" section, you are going to notice a "Screen Options" button. Upon clicking on it, it is going to be expanded.
Once this is done, you are going to be presented with several settings related to the appearance of this section. Please locate the "Number of items per page:" field under the "Pagination" category and enter the desired value into it.
When ready, please click on the "Apply" button to save your selection.
Now it is time to delete all unwanted categories. To do so, please tick the checkbox in front of "Name" positioned in the heading of the table.
This action will mark all categories currently displayed on the page. To avoid deletion of unintended categories, you simply need to uncheck the corresponding boxes.
When you are ready, please click on the "Bulk Actions" dropdown above the table and select the "Delete" option.
Afterward, please click on the "Apply" button positioned right next to the dropdown menu.
Once this is done, all selected categories will be permanently deleted.
Congratulations! Now you know how to fully manage your categories. You have learned how to browse the existing categories, ways to edit them, and how you can permanently delete them. As you can see, these tasks are extremely simple and straightforward in the WordPress platform.
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