A taxonomy is a way of classifying data. Typically a taxonomy will have a set of characteristics that is unique to it. First of all let us explain what taxonomies are and why they are so much important.
What is a Taxonomy in WordPress?
To be obvious, if a taxonomy had the same characteristics as another data type, it wouldn’t be a different taxonomy! So that’s why we said taxonomy will have a set of characteristics that is unique to it.
By default, WordPress comes with 3 taxonomies, post tag, categories, link categories. Example of those characteristics follow:
- Post Tag: acts like a label, attached to a post.
- Category: acts like a “bucket” in which we put posts, are often hierarchical. Posts can live in multiple categories.
- Link Category: acts like a label, attached to a link.
This will be much easier if we take a entertainment website. In there we can create Movies, Songs, Books… categories. For Movies, then there will be custom taxonomies as Genre, Actors, Actresses, Directors. For Genre the terms will be Action, Romance, Drama, Horror… That means we are classifying our movies by “Genre.”
In a nutshell, we use custom taxonomies to make it easier to organize our content. While you could attach an appropriate tag or set of tags to a post you aren’t really separating things out as much as you could. By separating things out in a more granular way, and giving our selves a way to classify data, we have more opportunity to display content and create relationships in various and logical ways.
To begin with, we’re likely to have our highest order of organization as our categories. Let’s assume we have Web Tutorials, Computer Science Tutorials, Programming Tutorials, Math Tutorials… as our categories. If we think about the characteristics of Web Tutorials, then assume we have created custom taxonomies that relate to Web Tutorials: Languages, Content Management Systems, Tools and Frameworks.
Why this is Important?
Put everything in order always and always use Taxonomies.