Properly Deleting Categories in WordPress – Step-by-Step Guide

What is a Category in WordPress?

In WordPress, a category is a classification used to group and organize related posts. Categories help improve site navigation by making it easier for users to find content. They also assist in structuring the site’s content hierarchy, allowing for broader to narrower classifications. For example, a food blog might have categories like “Recipes,” “Restaurant Reviews,” and “Cooking Tips.”

Categories can be hierarchical, meaning you can have parent categories and subcategories. For instance, under the “Recipes” category, you might have subcategories like “Vegetarian,” “Desserts,” and “Quick Meals.”

category in wordpress

How Does a Category Work?

  1. Creating Categories: Categories can be created via the WordPress dashboard. Go to Posts > Categories, then fill in the name, slug (URL-friendly version of the name), and optional description. You can also assign a parent category if you are creating a subcategory.
  2. Assigning Categories to Posts: When writing or editing a post, you can assign one or more categories to it. This helps in organizing content and improves user experience as readers can easily find related posts.
  3. Displaying Categories: Categories can be displayed in various parts of your website, such as in the menu, sidebar widgets, or at the top or bottom of posts. This helps users navigate to different sections of your site quickly.
  4. SEO Benefits: Properly using categories can also enhance your site’s SEO. Search engines understand your site’s structure better, which can help improve your search engine rankings.

How do we associate posts with a category?

You can do that by navigating to your Posts, while there you can use “quick edit” that way you can easily add a post to a category:

associate post with category

Now that we know that, you might want to know?

How to Delete a Category in WordPress?

  1. Navigate to Categories: In your WordPress dashboard, go to Posts > Categories.
  2. Find the Category: Locate the category you want to delete.
  3. Delete the Category: Hover over the category name and click on the “Delete” link that appears. You will be asked to confirm your action.
delete category in wordpress

You can also bulk delete categories by selecting “Delete” from the “Bulk actions” dropdown menu. Choose the desired categories and click on “Apply”

What Happens to a Post if a Category is Deleted?

When you delete a category, any posts that were assigned to that category are not deleted. Instead, they are automatically reassigned to the default category, which is usually “Uncategorized.”

The default category can be changed to something more meaningful by going to Settings > Writing and selecting a different category from the “Default Post Category” dropdown. This ensures that posts are not left uncategorized if their original category is removed.


Categories in WordPress are essential for organizing content, enhancing navigation, and improving SEO. They can be easily created, assigned, and displayed on your site. Deleting a category will not delete the posts within it; they will simply be reassigned to a default category, maintaining the integrity of your content structure. Proper management of categories can greatly enhance the usability and searchability of your website.

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Vladimir Nenkovski
Vladimir Nenkovski

Vladimir is the lead of the WPX WooCommerce project. His long journey as a Technical Support Team Manager introduced him to all kinds of WordPress and WooCommerce services and their impact on your website. If there is a solution to a better performing website, he will find it.

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