WordPress post layout

Understanding WordPress Category Pages and how they relate to the Chamber Dashboard Business Directory

What are WordPress Categories?

Whether you are using your blog posts to share local news, chamber news or highlight member activities, once you have more than a few blog posts on your site, you may want to start grouping similar types of posts together to make them more organized for your readers. WordPress gives you a built-in category system to help with this.

Each time you create a new blog post, a unique URL is created.

single post, no category

Once you have published your post, you can click on the URL to view your post.

unique url for WordPress category pages

WordPress post layout

Hint: The layout of the post is determined by the theme you are using.

To share your posts with your website visitors, you could link to each URL separately from your site’s menu.
add WordPress posts to menu

On the other hand, if you group your posts by category, you can share a whole set of posts, based on the topic (category) your reader is interested in. The more content your site has, the more important it becomes to stay organized so that your visitors can easily find what they are looking for on your site.

For example, if you were to add several posts to the category ‘Grand Openings’,

WordPress post category

WordPress will let you show all of the posts in your Grand Opening category on one page.

See live demo:  http://chamber-beautiful.chamberdashboard.com/category/grand-openings/

WordPress category page

Hint: Category pages also pick up their formatting from your theme.

Adding WordPress Category Pages to Your Menu

Because WordPress not only creates a unique URL for each post, but for each category as well, you can add the categories you have created to your site’s navigation.

Go to Appearance >> Menus, click on categories, select categories, then click on ‘Add to Menu’.  

Add WordPress category to site menu

Hint: Don’t forget to save your changes!  

Formatting WordPress Category Pages

Note that the /category/ page does not actually exist. You can’t edit the /category/ page directly from within WordPress.

However, you can format the /category/ page by creating your own template within your theme and then customizing the template.

To create a page template for a WordPress category, WPBeginner.com offers a great tutorial here: http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-themes/how-to-create-category-templates-in-wordpress/

Formatting Chamber Directory Category Pages

Each listing in your Chamber Dashboard Business Directory is a custom post type. Using Business Categories, you can group similar directory listings together making it much easier for visitors to navigate your site.

Rather than having to scroll thru every listing in your directory, visitors can simply click on a link to see only the listings in the category that they are interested in.

See Live Demo of Directory Search page layout:   http://chamber-beautiful.chamberdashboard.com/business-directory-summary/

Chamber Dashboard business directory category search page

Some themes do not offer much formatting for category pages, but you can create a page template specifically to adjust the display of your business category pages.

  • First, create a child theme so that you don’t edit your theme directly.
  • Next, create a file within your child theme called “taxonomy-business_category.php”.
  • Copy the contents of your theme’s “category.php” file into that new file (or if your theme doesn’t have a “category.php”, use “archive.php” or “index.php” instead).
  • Then you can customize as much as you want.

Another option is to use our Chamber Beautiful theme, which includes a lovely custom category page.

Where to Edit WordPress Categories

You can create as many categories as you need to organize your content. WordPress stores your categories for you and keeps a count of the number of posts in each one.

  • To view or update your post categories go to Posts >> Categories
  • To view or update your Business Directory categories go to Businesses >> Categories

Here you can add a new category, edit an existing category, or click on the category count to view all posts in that category.

WordPress category pages post count