Many people have the situation of starting a site, setting up categories, and then discovering down the road that one of their categories gets a lot more content than the others. When this happens, it can get difficult to navigate, and it can be hard for users to find just what they’re looking for.
The answer to this problem is pretty simple—just create subcategories (sometimes called “child” categories).
That’s fine for all the posts going forward, but what about the posts that already exist? Of course you could just move them all into the new subcategories one-by-one, but there’s an easier way to go about it: simply use “Bulk Actions.”
Let’s say you had a category called “Food,” and you decided it was getting too large, so you wanted to break it down into “Salads,” “Main Courses,” and “Desserts.”
Follow the steps below.
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1. Add Your New Subcategories
Add your new subcategories (salads, main courses, desserts). Remember to make these subcategories “children” of the “parent” category (in this case the category “Food”). Remember to click “Add New Category” at the bottom.
(Posts >> Categories)
2. Filter Your Posts by Category
Go to your “All Posts” screen to get a list of all your posts. (Posts >> All Posts)
Then filter your posts by using the drop-down menu for your categories.
3. Use Bulk Action
Choose the posts you would like to go into your first subcategory (in this case “Salads”) from your main category (in this case “Food”).
Then choose “Edit” in the “Bult Actions” dropdown menu.
Then click “Apply.”
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Then select your subcategory from the list (in this case “Salads”), and click “Update.”
You will now see that all your selected posts have been added to your new subcategory (in this case “Salads”). Rinse and repeat for any other subcategories you want to add.
You will also notice that the posts still reside in the original main/parent category (in this case “Food”). Keeping the post in the parent category is probably fine for most people; however, if you would like to have the posts in the subcategories only (and not the main categories), then you will need to change those posts one by one (there is currently no way to use “bulk actions” in order to move posts out of a category).
Final Notes on Creating Subcategories
If you’re just starting a site and you aren’t sure if you need subcategories or not, then no need to worry. As you can see, creating them later and moving your already existing posts into newly created subcategories is no big deal.
You also might want to hold off on subcategories until you are sure you need them. Having many categories with only one or two posts in them may make your site look somewhat dead, even if it isn’t.
*** Note: Of course you can use this same basic procedure to move posts to another main category. It doesn’t have to be a subcategory. Keep in mind, however, that your posts will still remain in the original category as well unless you deselect them from that category one-by-one.