Part of Website Planning is Figuring out Categories and Names - Montana Webmaster

Part of Website Planning is Figuring out Categories and Names

Scenario 1: Links to Posts from Category Page Don’t Work

We ran into a weird WordPress situation where a Category page worked just fine, but clicking on the links to the pages didn’t work just fine.

Why Names Must be Unique in Web Development

We use all kinds of storage systems with names for each item. But, what if there are 6 kinds of pepper and the labels just say “pepper”

Computers store the names of all kinds of things on your website: names of images, names of pages/posts, names of variables, names of database tables and fields, etc. Computers also make note of the address of those names, so they can retrieve what ever is stored at that name’s address. It’s like a mini storage with units rented by people with different names.

If you have two files or folders or categories or whatever with the same name, you confuse the computer. It can’t complete the task you ask it to do. Back in the old days, the computer would just crash (temper tantrums computer style.) Now a days, the programmers know that they have to keep that from happening, so, they prevent the user from duplicating names that could conflict.

But, then there is the user. No matter how many traps you set to make sure that there are no errors, there is always that something you didn’t think of. And, last week, a new one popped up that I hadn’t seen before. A WordPress Testimonials category page works fine, but when you click on the titles, some of them go to URL not found … and others work just fine. And, it turns out that there are two Testimonials categories.

This problem is very weird because, per paragraph 1, the WordPress core software prevents there being two categories with the same name by adding a -2 to the “slug” if a user creates a second category with the same name. The actual name of the category is just a label. The real name that WordPress uses is the slug. So, there is a testimonials category and there is a testimonials-2 category.

I hadn’t seen this problem before, and I haven’t seen it since. So, they must have fixed that bug in WordPress.

Scenario 2: Moving a Vertical Navigation Bar to a Horizontal Navigation Bar

Back in the old days of the web, like 10 years ago, it was common for websites to have a column of links to everything on the website. Because it was vertical, it could go on forever, and there was no strong push to think it through. The truth is that the links after the first screen weren’t likely to be seen and therefore they weren’t used much.

One current popular layout is to have a navigation bar across the top of the page: easy to find and out of the way. The problem is that there isn’t an infinite amount of horizontal space. So, enter the rollover menu. But, now, there is more thinking to do. How can we design the top level so that viewers know which item to drop down?

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