When Technologies Collide: Category Collision - Montana Webmaster

When Technologies Collide: Category Collision

Some Benefits of Website Content Categories

  1. Categories help the viewer find the content they want more quickly.
  2. Categories help the viewer understand what the site has to offer.
  3. Categories can help put content and new terms into context for the viewer.
  4. Categories help the site owner analyze whether their website is balance in the topics that benefit their message.
  5. Categories help the site owner find outdated content.

But, like a grocery store deciding on which aisle to shelf the toothpicks, website categories can result in some interesting problems and miscommunications. For example, if the toothpicks are on the top shelf, I will need help to reach them!

Technologies Involved

  1. WordPress Categories
  2. WordPress Widgets
  3. Category Posts Widget Plugin
  4. Yoast SEO

The Problem to Solve

The seemingly simple task of working with and deciding on categories for your content is a series of puzzling decisions for most websites.  This post addresses one of those issues.  If a Post can be attached to many categories, and if being attached to a category triggers another function, which function of the many categories will be triggered?

The Example

The inside pages on this site have a right sidebar. Widgets can be added to that right sidebar. The Category Posts Widget Plugin picks up the most recent 5 posts in a Category, but which list of posts should show if the post is attached to many Categories?

Here is a screenshot from a post about Image Captions. In the right sidebar, it shows a list of 5 other articles in the UX – UI Posts category, which is what I want. But it also shows a list of 5 posts from Coding and Languages, 5 posts from WordPress and 5 posts from SEO & Social Media, which I don’t want.

The plugin is doing exactly what I told it to. It’s picking up links to posts in categories that I assigned to the post … but I assigned that post to many categories. So, it’s helpfully making the right sidebar longer than the article itself.



How to Set up the Post Lists
  1. Install the Category Posts Widget Plugin. As of this writing, the plugin is up to date.
  2. Go to Appearance -> Widgets in the WordPress Dashboard (1)
  3. Drag Category Posts (2) into a Sidebar as shown in (3).
  4. There are quite a few options to get through in the Widget.
  5. First, create a title for your widget. In the example, the title has been set to SEO & Social Media
  6. Set a Filter for your widget. The example has been set to 5 posts from the SEO & Social Media Category.


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