Change the Order of Categories in WordPress For Better SEO

WordPress defaults the category order to list by alphabetical. You might want to change this ordering, but the default installation does not allow for that. You will either need to adjust the code of the template, or install a plugin to custom sort your category order.

I usually try to change the code of websites without using a plugin, as too m any plugins will create bloat. Since site speed is a metric of SEO, it is better to use the minimal amount of plugins as possible. In this case, the best overall answer however is to use a plugin to do the job.

In the video below, I explore a few options of how to reorder the category list in a wordpress installation.

Changing the Code for WordPress Category Order

This is the more complicated option, and as WordPress themes vary, this may not work for everyone. The best result I have found is:  How to order WordPress categories on Stackoverflow.

Go ahead and check it out if you are comfortable with changing the code to your template manually.

You will need to adjust array parameters and do some fairly complicated coding changes to your template which may not work for everyone depending on your theme.

Using a Plugin to Change Category Order

Since time is always a factor, adjusting and testing code is not always an option. In this case I have found a simple plugin that does the job of letting you reorder the categories without much hassle.

There are a few plugins that will do the job, but at this point in time, this is the most updated and popular one:

Category Order and Taxonomy Terms Order

wordpress-category-ordering

In the video posted above I show you how it is used by using it on one of my test sites. Basically, after it is installed, you navigate to the  WordPress backend–> Post section –> Taxonomy Order. You will be able to drag and drop the listed categories in the order you desire.

In the video above, you will notice that there are many more categories listed than show up on the frontend of the site. This is because categories that are empty, or do not have any posts within them will not show.

Site Speed Test For: Category Order and Taxonomy Terms Order Plugin

As mentioned before, I do not like having to install an extra plugin if it is not necessary and prefer to make changes directly to the template code.

One of the criteria I use to evaluate a new plugin is to see how much it slows a site, as this is important for SEO purposes.

I tested this plugin with gtmetrix.com and found that it does not add any loading time to the site. You can see the results without the plugin…



category-order-plugin-test-without

And now with the plugin..category-order-plugin-test-with

As you can see there is minimal loading time added. In fact, I tested numerous times and the .10 second difference is due to server load time and not the category ordering plugin.

So overall, in the case of wanting to have more control of the Category Ordering in WordPress, I would recommend the Category Order and Taxonomy Terms Order plugin to do the job for you.

1 thought on “Change the Order of Categories in WordPress For Better SEO”

  1. Ellis Benus Web Designer

    Thank you for this article. You answered exactly what I was looking for and including the speed testing was a phenomenal bonus! I agree that custom coding is the best way to go, but man the convenience of plugins sure makes them appealing! 😀

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