When I am attending various networking events and people find out that I create websites using Wordpress, I start receiving all kinds of questions. And I think it's great. I remember back when I was teaching myself ABAP (a proprietary programming language used in the SAP ERP system) and I am so thankful that my friend, Bob Johnson, was on the same contract. He had the patience of Job when it came to all of my questions.
One of the questions that I get rather frequently is about the "uncategorized" category. Specifically, why does Wordpress force this to be the default category?
I don't want to get into how Wordpress actually stores, and then retrieves, the content with regards to the database. That goes far beyond the scope of this short post. Just take this as a Wordpress truism, every post must have at least one associated category. Or perhaps a better way to put it, a post is assigned to a category. If you don't select one, then the default category is selected for you.
Because the developers of Wordpress want to keep the product as flexible as possible, they came up with this "uncategorized" category as the default category. And it makes sense, don't you think? If you don't assign a post to a category when you create the post, then it should be uncategorized.
You probably already know that you can create just about any category that comes to mind. Think about this for a moment. You are in charge! You can create your own categories! Feel the power! (OK, too much caffeine this morning...)
Now that your head is swimming with the realization of just how powerful you are, let's get back to the uncategorized category.
Are you stuck with this glaring name for a category? I mean, sure, your friends already know that you don't pick up your dirty socks, but does Wordpress have to make it so obvious that you don't even select a category for all of your posts?
Of course not! Those Wordpress developers are far too cool to do that to you. While its true that you must have a default category, you can be pretty selective about what you call it.
I once knew a guy with the name of Stanley Clarence Carroll Morgan. His parents had this thing about honoring old family members who were no longer with us. But poor Stanley didn't care. Really, back in the 50's and 60's, what 10-year-old wants a name of Stanley? Clarence was no better. And if you called him Carroll, well, you needed to be fairly well versed in the art of self defense.
So when Stanley and I headed off to junior high school in the seventh grade, Stanley changed his name. He announced, to those of us who had known him for a while, that from that moment on he would be known as Mac. Yessir, Mac Morgan. And as far as I know, that is still his name today.
My point is - you don't have to be stuck with the name "uncategorized".
Though you must have a default category, you can name this category just about anything that you want.
For example, if your website is about homemade pies. Then you might want to name the default category "delicious-pies-by-amy".
My advice is to pick a name that fits in nicely with the theme of your website.
OK. I can tell. You're starting to feel that power again, aren't you?
How to change the default category name:
- Log in to the Wordpress dashboard
- On the left side of the screen, expand the section labeled "Posts" if not already expanded
- Click on the link entitled "Categories"
- On the Categories page, look on the right side of the screen and find the default category. This is the one that does NOT have the selection box.
- Hover the mouse over the category name and select "Edit"
- Change the Category Name and the Category Slug
- Click the button that says Update Category
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