If you have come to my article, it is because you are unable to remove Uncategorized from WordPress.
By default, WordPress includes a default category for its posts (articles). This default category, which is generally called “Uncategorized” (or “Uncategorized” in English), is used as a category in case the publisher has not chosen any category to associate with their article.
However, it’s always best to remove Uncategorized from WordPress or, at most, replace it with something more relevant to your site or blog. Although the “Uncategorized” category cannot be removed entirely, it can be somewhat “manipulated” with a few tricks:
- Rename the existing default category “Uncategorized”
- Creating a new default category
What is the “Uncategorized” category
Whenever a new WordPress installation is done, the core files of the CMS include, by default, some functionality. One such feature for post type of articles is a category with the name of “Uncategorized”.
Both categories and tags fall into the group of taxonomies, words, or terms used to structure or group concepts and content. In the case of a WordPress blog or website, taxonomies are used to better rank the posts published on the site.
While tags do not have a default taxonomy, categories have “uncategorized” by default.
By default, whenever a new blog post is posted, it will automatically be assigned to the “Uncategorized” category. For some, this setting might be annoying, but it actually serves a very specific purpose and serves in case a publisher forgets to rank their articles.
Why you should avoid using the “Uncategorized” taxonomy
Nowadays, content marketing is a vital element to include in a business or professional’s communication strategy, and blogging is one of the keys to success. Creating and publishing content is essentially the process of creating and sharing knowledge, information, and expertise with an audience eager to learn and interested in your topics.
Seeing articles classified with the taxonomy “Uncategorized” scattered here and there in the blog articles could have some repercussions :
- It could be confusing to your reader, who might doubt the content and authority of your website;
- It could indicate a poorly structured site. Without a logical order for your content, your site’s overall user experience may lose appeal to your site visitors;
- It could make your brand look negligent ;
- It may make it difficult for your reader to find similar or related content.
As for taxonomies, it’s pretty easy to delete a category or tag once they’re set up. However, this cannot be done with the default category set by WordPress. In fact, the default category cannot be removed completely. Instead, there are some workarounds to fix this problem.
How to remove Uncategorized from WordPress
If you are looking to remove Uncategorized from WordPress and use a category that is relevant to your content and useful to your readers, follow one of the two methods I am about to show you.
There are a few options to replace or remove Uncategorized from WordPress. You could for example:
- Rename the default category to a more relevant and appropriate term;
- Create a new default category
If you have already started creating and publishing content and want to rename the default category “Uncategorized” to something new, you may want to consider setting up redirects so as not to lose the potential traffic that could come from pages already indexed in the SERP of Google.
Rename the category “Uncategorized”
While it is not possible to permanently remove Uncategorized from WordPress, it is possible to rename it. If you’ve just created your website and haven’t started publishing articles, this is a great solution to implement before releasing your site.
To rename the default category, go to the WordPress backend dashboard and go to Articles> Categories. Here you will see the category “Uncategorized” (or “Uncategorized”). Hover over the category name and you will see some menu options appear below it. Click Edit.
This will take you to a new screen.
Here you can enter the new name of a default category relevant to your blog. If you still want to create a “fallback” category, I suggest you rename it to something like “News”, for example.
Make sure you also rename the “Slug” to make sure your URLs are generated correctly. When done, click Update.
As mentioned above, this is a great solution if your website is still under development. If your website is active and you have renamed the category “Uncategorized”, I recommend that you set up redirects to preserve URLs that may have been modified to avoid returning 404 errors.
To do this, you have two options
- Use a plugin like Redirection, which I use often and willingly in my projects;
- Manually set up 301 redirects. This requires adding code to the .htaccess file at the root of your site. Always remember to make a backup of your site before modifying the source code files!
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Create a new default category
Another option to solve the “Uncategorized” taxonomy problem is to create a new default category. To do this, go to Articles> Categories and enter the new name for the default category in the left column.
Try to enter a relevant category name, scroll down and click Add New Category. Once added, you will see the new category listed on the right side of the monitor.
Then, again from the dashboard, go to Settings> Writing and, in the main section “Writing settings”, under “Default category articles” select the new category created from the drop-down menu which will then become the default one.
When done, click Save. In the future, if you publish a post and forget to select the category, the new default category will be assigned.
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