WordPress by default allows you to create two types of content – posts and pages. Pages contain static content and are not part of any archives. However, each blog article is inserted in different archives like categories, tags and blog index. After installing WordPress, you will find a default category called “Uncategorized”. In this article, we will explain how to deal with this uncategorized and setup default post category for your blog.
Where Can I Find Categories?
Login to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Posts > Categories” menu. If you have not changed anything, you will find a category named as “Uncategorized”.
As you can see, the “Uncategorized” will be available there even you start creating new categories for your blog.
Why WordPress Has Uncategorized Category?
It is mandatory to assign at least one category for each blog post in WordPress. You have to assign a category to a blog post under “Document” panel of the Gutenberg post editor.
It is not possible to publish a post in WordPress without assigning a category to it. With this basis, WordPress offers a “Uncategorized” category, so that it will be assigned default if you have no categories created for your blog. When you hit “Publish” button without assigning a category, WordPress will NOT show any warning and assign the “Uncategorized” category to the post.
In fact, when you save the post as a draft, you can see the post is already assigned to the default “Uncategorized” category.
Why Should You Change Uncategorized Category?
Though the idea behind is good, the problem is that sometimes you may forget to assign a category. In this case, the post will be published online showing “Uncategorized”. In addition, WordPress will also create an archive index page for “Uncategorized” category.
This may look ugly when the post is sent to hundreds of users who subscribed to your blog. In addition, search engines also can’t understand the purpose of this so called uncategorized.
There are two ways to deal with this:
- Change the name of the uncategorized and continue to use it as a default category.
- Delete this uncategorized category and assign a proper one as a default.
The solution depends upon the situation whether your blog is a new or already having published content.
Change Uncategorized Category to Something Meaningful
If you have new WordPress site, then first thing you need to do is to create category structure for your site. As one category is mandatory, WordPress will not allow you to delete the single uncategorized option. What you can do is to change the name and slug of the uncategorized and continue to use it as your default category.
- Go to “Posts > Categories” section and click on the “Quick Edit” link showing under the “Uncategorized” category. Type your new name and slug.
- If required, you can also click on “Edit” to provide complete details.
- Save your changes.
You can create additional categories and start assigning different categories to your articles before publishing.
Delete Uncategorized in Published Website
Many bloggers do not change the “Uncategorized” and start publishing articles online. If you are in a situation to delete this category with already assigned blog posts, then follow the below instructions.
- Make sure to create new categories under “Posts > Categories > Add New”.
- Go to “Settings > Writing” section. Here, you will see the “Uncategorized” category is set as default post category.
- Click on the dropdown and select one of your category as a primary post category.
- Save your changes and go back to “Posts > Categories” section.
- Now, you can see a checkbox against “Uncategorized”. Select the box, click on the “Bulk Actions” dropdown and choose “Delete”. Click “Apply” button to delete the category.
- Alternatively, you can simply hover over “Uncategorized” and select “Delete” link to permanently delete the category.
Remember to setup 301 redirects for the uncategorized archive pages. You may also need redirect for each post URL under that category if you have permalink structure that includes category in the slug.
If you are new to WordPress, we strongly recommend reading the new website launching checklist. It will help you to avoid publishing under uncategorized and many other beginners mistake.