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Comprehensive Guide: How to Change the Category Order in WordPress | 2021

We've shared our comprehensive guide on how to change the WordPress category order using the help of a plugin.
Comprehensive Guide_ How to Change the Category Order in WordPress _ 2021
We've shared our comprehensive guide on how to change the WordPress category order using the help of a plugin.

Comprehensive Guide: How to Change the Category Order in WordPress | 2021

Whether you are running a successful blog on WordPress or have created a lucrative online store that you run and manage, the ability to categorize your posts or products is of vital importance for better accessibility and user experience. Categories alongside tags comprise the main default WordPress taxonomies that are used to group and put together related content of your posts or products. The WordPress category order by default is set to be arranged alphabetically. 

Categories create easy navigation for your website and allow for better search opportunities so that users are better able to find the product or posts that are placed on a specific category. But at times you don’t want the default WordPress category order to be alphabetical, you want to configure the order of the posts or products that will be displayed on your website. That is why in this article we will be showing you how to reorder your WordPress categories using the help of a plugin, all with a simple drag and drop. 

Let’s say you are running a WordPress blog, and you need your Latest News category to be displayed at the top, not the Announcement category. Or if you are running an online store you will want to place the category of your most popular item at the top because they convert better. Regardless of the WordPress category order, you wish to place, it’s a really simple and easy process to custom order categories in WordPress.

What are WordPress categories?

WordPress categories are a way of grouping posts/products together on your website. Both categories and tags are the default WordPress taxonomies. You can use them to group or sort out content together into different sections. 

The default WordPress category is left as Uncategorized, if you don’t properly organize your content into their respective categories, they will all be grouped together under the Uncategorized category. Only an administrator can change the default category from the Settings > Writing. 

As mentioned, by default the list of the WordPress category order will be assigned alphabetically, and without a plugin or manually tweaking the code, you will not be able to order them as per your desire. Many websites owners use categories to group their content into relevant taxonomies that give value, and at most times you will need to custom order. And since the default order does not have any options or settings to change that. 

That is why in this article we will show you the easiest way to custom order your WordPress categories. Stick around for the tutorial.

How to Add, Edit, and Delete Categories in WordPress ?

We know the importance of categorizing your website, before you start physically adding and managing WordPress category orders ( which is quite easy), it is a best practice to take your time and organize your content either in your head or on a piece of paper. 

If you run a blog of numerous topics or an online store of multiple products, make sure you organize everything neatly for the user to make sense and get a basic idea of everything you cover on your website. 

Once you are clarified on all the categories and tags you wish to include in your website, you can go ahead and add them to your WordPress website. To do that simply head over to the WordPress dashboard > Posts > Categories, or if you wish to add categories for your products go to Products > Categories.

WordPress category order

On the left side, you have the option to add a new category and on the right, you will have all the categories you’ve created when you can easily edit or delete them. You can create a new category by filling in the required information. 

First set the name of the category, then choose a slug for the category ( this is the specified tag on the URL, for example, ). You can also choose for this category to be the parent category of one of the categories you’ve created. 

If you leave it at None it will create a new category. And lastly, you will need to add a description. Click on the Add New Category button and you’ll have created your first category. Once you are done the category will appear on the right side of the screen where all your categories will be stored. If you’d like to Edit a specific category, click on the Edit button.

Edit categories in WordPress 1

You will see the Edit Category page where you can change the name, slug, or description for the category. You can also quickly edit the category if you click on Quick Edit, this will leave you on the screen and you can change the name and the slug of the category. 

Change the name and slug of the categories in WordPress

And lastly, if you’d like to delete a category simply click on the Delete button here under the category name. This is all on how you manage your WordPress categories, now we must change the WordPress category order which is done using a plugin, but that’s for the next section to be discussed. 

How to Change the WordPress Category Order?

Up until now, you learned what are WordPress categories, how to add, edit and delete WordPress categories and now you will learn how to change the WordPress category order. 

For this article, we will be using the Category Order plugin, as we found it is one of the most popular plugins for the job, is well-rated, and very lightweight, meaning that it does not add to the loading time on our website. Let’s get started, first, you will need to install and activate the plugin from the WordPress repository, you can install it for free. 

Once you’ve activated the plugin, you should find it on the WordPress Dashboard area under Posts > Taxonomy Order.

WordPress category order WordPress taxonomies 1

Here you will find all the categories you’ve created in an alphabetical order, but you can easily change the WordPress category order. Simply click on one of the categories and drag it to the preferred place. That’s all. Simple as that. If you are using child categories then when moving the parent category, the child category will be moved as well.

You can arrange and change the WordPress categories order as per your desire and place each category wherever you see fit. Once you are completely done click on the Update button, and you’ll be done. Go back to your website and see the new order of your WordPress categories. 

If you haven’t added the categories on your website you can easily do that if you go to WP Dashboard > Apparence > Widgets. Search for the categories widget and drag it on the right side of the screen, for the categories to be added to your sidebar.

How to Change the WooCommerce Product Category Order?

The Category Order WordPress plugin helps you order all your WordPress categories and taxonomies all on a drag & drop interface as you’ve witnessed in the earlier section. What’s best about this plugin is that you can even order product categories if you are running an online store. The procedure is more or less the same. 

Since you’ve already installed and activated the plugin, head back to the WordPress Dashboard area and click on Products > Taxonomy Order.

reorder WordPress product categories

Here you can find all the product categories you’ve created. Here too you can use the drag & drop functionality to arrange and order your product categories. All the same rules apply to product categories as well. The product category and the child category will move together to the preferred destination. Click on Update for the changes to take place. 

If you wish to add the product categories on your website, click on Appearance >Widgets. On the left screen you will find the Category widget, simply drag it onto the left side of the page and click on Save Changes. Go back to your WooCommerce online store and see that the categories you’ve reordered have been added.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has been an immense help in teaching you how to change the WordPress category order and organize your categories as it fits your website needs. WordPress categories are an important part of your website’s content whether that be a blog or an online store, and the ability to customize their order will help you greatly configure your website to meet your goals. 

Check out our blog as we serve all the best and comprehensive guides on WordPress, how to troubleshoot popular errors, as well as a fine selection of design components that you can use on your website for free. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below or suggestions as to what kind of tutorials you want us to cover.

By Snowy Smith

Director of product design, Freehand

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