One of WordPress’s many features is “Categories,” a method of tagging posts that can help organize and promote certain articles. The tool, like any other, has pros and cons. Though categories used to be popular in the past, they are less-so now.

Types of categories

There are two types of categories that the LexBlog Platform offers. Promotional categories focus on talking about the lawyer and the services they offer. These categorizes typically run across the top of the site.

Substantive categories organize articles based on their content, working similar to a table of contents within a blog. 

What are the benefits of categories?

Using categories is always a subjective choice. One thing to keep in mind if you start using them is to do so consistently with the same few choices.

When used properly, categories can:

  • Make navigating a blog easier
  • Show the scope of a blog, making them a possible marketing tool
  • Be a valuable organizational method for lawyers in a firm, so they can go back and find and share old content
  • Reveal the depth of knowledge in one particular corner of an entire blog’s focus
  • Be a good place to store resources
  • Help push content when a blog is indexed on Google, telling the site “Here are all my posts on _______.”

What are their downsides?

While categories are intended to help with organization, sometimes they end up doing the opposite.

Some of the negatives associated with categories are:

  • Too many categories can lead to a publication looking cluttered—don’t have more than eight
  • Their purpose to create organization might do the opposite and make a blog harder to navigate
  • They become less and less helpful when locating a particular article if there are too many posts under a category
  • A search bar can function even better to categories, helping readers locate a more narrowly focused idea
  • They don’t look very professional; a lot of leading, nonlegal bloggers do not use them

Big Takeaways

At the end of the day, using categories is not going to make or break a blog. It is unlikely they will drive more traffic or create additional business. Don’t stress too much about whether to use categories or not. If you think using them will help you stay organized, a minimal table of contests style set of categories may be the best options. Focus on your goals and ask yourself the question, will categories on your blog help you achieve them? Depending on your answer to that question, you can probably figure out if categories are worth it or not.