Using Post Categories To Improve WordPress SEO, User Navigation & Content Layout

Learn how to improve SEO, user navigation, and the content layout of your website or blog using post categories …

Using Post Categories To Improve WordPress SEO, User Navigation & Content Layout

WordPress post categories help keep your website and your content organized, boost your search engine rankings, and make it easier for site visitors to find what they are looking for.

WordPress post categories can also be used to improve your content layout.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at ways to improve SEO, user navigation, and the content layout of your website or blog using post categories.

Info

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on WordPress post categories and how to set up and use categories in your posts, see the tutorial below:

Improve WordPress SEO, User Navigation & Content Layout With Post Categories

Categories are normally assigned to WordPress Posts, not Pages , so we’ll focus on posts in this tutorial (if you are unsure about the difference between posts and pages, see our tutorial on WordPress Posts Vs WordPress Pages).

Tip

If you need to add categories (and tags) to your WordPress pages, you can install a plugin like Post Tags and Categories For Pages.

Planning Your Categories

Even though WordPress is flexible enough to let you add new categories ‘on the fly,’ if you don’t plan your categories (and subcategories) properly, you will find it harder to keep your site organized and manageable as more content gets added to your site.

If you need help planning your website, your content, or your categories, see our website planning tutorials and our guide on keeping your website manageable and organized.

Improving WordPress SEO With Post Categories

The simplest and easiest way to improve WordPress SEO with post categories is to:

  1. Set up permalinks to include categories, and
  2. Install and configure an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO

Include Categories In Your Permalinks

Permalinks are a feature of WordPress that lets you set up search-engine friendly URLS (for more details, see our tutorial on how to set up and use WordPress permalinks).

When configuring your permalinks, all you need to do is make sure that post categories are included in the URLs …

Include categories in your permalinks

(Include categories in your permalinks)

This will automatically display search-engine friendly URLs with your categories (and subcategories) and post title keywords …

Search-engine friendly URLs with categories and subcategories included

(Search-engine friendly URLs with categories and subcategories included)

Use An SEO Plugin

Installing an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO will not only improve the SEO of your content, it also lets you optimize your post categories, category archive pages, etc. …

Optimize your post categories with an SEO plugin

(Optimize your post categories with an SEO plugin)

Adding category descriptions will display on some WordPress themes and can help to boost your content’s SEO …

Category descriptions can help boost your content's SEO

(Category descriptions can help boost your content’s SEO)

Once your permalinks and SEO plugin settings are configured for your post categories, WordPress will then automatically start delivering you the SEO benefits of search engine-friendly URLs and better content indexing.

Improving User Navigation With Post Categories

Post categories can be used to improve user navigation on your WordPress site in different pages and different sections of your site, on site maps, menus, sidebar widgets, archive pages, even different RSS feeds.

Here, for example, are some of the ways you can help users navigate your content using post categories …

Categories Widget

Adding a categories widget to your sidebar lets users find related content assigned to a category …

Add a categories widget to your sidebar

(Add a categories widget to your sidebar)

When users click on a category link on the categories widget, they are taken to a category archive page.

Category Archive Pages

Category archive pages group together all posts assigned to a category …

Category archive page

(Category archive page)

Breadcrumb Navigation Links

Breadcrumb navigation links display on some WordPress themes.  Displaying categories in breadcrumb navigation links not only helps to improve user navigation, but also SEO …

(Display categories in breadcrumb navigation links)

Clicking on the category section of the breadcrumb link will take users to the category archive page.

Info

If you use the Yoast SEO plugin and your WordPress theme does not support breadcrumb navigation links by default, you (or your website developer) will either need to edit your theme’s templates and add a snippet of code to display breadcrumbs, or choose a WordPress theme that supports features like breadcrumb navigation links (e.g. the Avada theme) …

Themes like Avada support breadcrumbs

(Themes like Avada support breadcrumbs)

Improving WordPress Content Layout With Post Categories

Post categories and subcategories can be used to help organize and improve the layout of your content.

For example, WPCompendium.org’s WordPress tutorials are organized into the main categories below:

If you click any of the above links, you will see pages displaying a list of tutorials for each category organized in a grid view layout …

List of posts grouped by category

(List of posts grouped by category)

Some sections, like our WordPress Plugin Tutorials, display a list of post sections grouped by subcategories …

List of post sections grouped by subcategory

(List of post sections grouped by subcategory)

Clicking on an item in the ‘WordPress Plugin Tutorials’ page will take you to a page displaying all the tutorials grouped under one of its subcategories, such as:

We use post categories and subcategories to organize, filter, and display content on WP Compendium’s tutorial sections using a premium plugin called Content Views Pro.

The plugin also has a free version, called Content Views.

Content Views

Content Views - Post Grid & List for WordPress

(Content Views – Post Grid & List for WordPress)

Content Views is a free WordPress plugin that lets you organize, filter, sort, and display your content using different views and layouts …

Use categories to display posts using different layouts

(Use categories to display posts using different layouts)

The plugin is very easy to use and lets you create unlimited custom views and layouts without touching code.

The free version of the plugin provides 3 basic layouts (Grid, Collapsible list, Scrollable list). The comprehensive premium version (Content Views Pro) provides the basic layouts and a whole lot more, including many advanced features  …

Display your content using different views and layouts with the Content Views Pro plugin

(Display your content using different views and layouts with the Content Views Pro plugin)

Although this tutorial focuses mostly on post categories, with Content Views Pro installed, you can create different views using posts, pages, and custom post types and filter these using a combination of different criteria including post categories, tags, publish date, post author, keywords, and custom fields.

You can also sort and organize your content using a wide range of methods, including post or page IDs, published date, modified date, drag & drop, post slug, comment count, menu order, custom fields, and even random sort (content displays in random order every time the page is refreshed) …

Create customized views to display content on your WordPress site

(Create customized views to display content on your WordPress site)

Views are created by selecting different options in the view-building form …

Create different content views by selecting options

(Create different content views by selecting options)

You can live preview your content as you build or edit your views …

Preview as you build

(Preview as you build)

After creating and saving your views, the plugin generates a shortcode which you can use to insert into your posts, pages, widgets, etc. …

Use shortcodes to insert views into your content

(Use shortcodes to insert views into your content)

The Content Views or Content Views PRO plugin gives you complete control over how your content is grouped and displayed to visitors. Views are 100% mobile responsive and the plugin is optimized to help improve SEO.

For more details about using the plugin, check out the video below, visit the FREE version plugin page here, or check out the Content Views Pro website for a full list of features, comprehensive demo site, plugin pricing and FAQ section, and more.

(Overview of WordPress Content Views)

We hope that you have found the above information useful. Feel free to check out the tutorials on the demo view below …

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How To Add Your Instagram Feed To WordPress

Learn how to add your instagram feed to your WordPress website or blog without touching code …

How To Add Your Instagram Feed To WordPress

Do you run a WordPress website or blog to promote your business, products, or services?

Do you have an Instagram account where you are uploading images related to your business, products, or services?

Would you like to display your Instagram images on your WordPress website or blog automatically?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add your instagram feed to your website or blog without touching code.

How To Add Your Instagram Feed To WordPress

If you run a WordPress site or blog related to travel, food, photography, fashion, design, or any topic that can benefit from the addition of visual elements like photos, images, or videos, then why not spice up your posts, pages, and blog sidebar with the latest images and videos from your Instagram account?

Adding content from Instagram to your WordPress site can help to increase user engagement, increase awareness of your brand or blog, add loads of visual appeal, and save you time doing the manual work of adding the same content to both your Instagram account and your website.

Add An Instagram Feed To WordPress Using A Plugin

There are many plugins available in WordPress that you can use to add an instagram feed to your website or blog.

For this tutorial, we’ll use the plugin below.

WD Instagram Feed

WD Instagram Feed

(WD Instagram Feed)

Plugin Description

WD Instagram Feed is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add Instagram feeds to display media you have uploaded to your account on your posts, pages, and sidebar area. Once set up, feeds sync automatically with your WordPress site to display your latest Instagram content uploads.

The plugin only takes a couple of minutes to set up and customize and provides settings and features that give you full control over how content from your Instagram feed display on your website.

Useful Tip

Before installing the plugin, make sure you are logged into your Instagram account.

Plugin Installation

To install the WD Instagram Feed plugin from your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New, enter “instagram” into the Keyword search field (if you need help see our tutorial on installing WordPress plugins), and click on the ‘Install Now’ button …

Install WD Instagram Feed plugin

(Install WD Instagram Feed plugin)

After installing the plugin, click ‘Activate’ …

Activate the plugin

(Activate the plugin)

Configuring The Plugin

After the plugin has been installed and activated, select Instagram Feed WD > Settings from your main WordPress admin menu …

Instagram Feed WD - Settings menu

(Instagram Feed WD – Settings menu)

The plugin will ask for permission to collect usage data. Choose ‘Allow & Continue’ or ‘Skip’ to proceed …

Plugin installation process - permission request to collect usage data

(Plugin installation process – permission request to collect usage data)

This brings you to the plugin ‘Overview’ screen, where you can view a tutorial video, access the plugin user guide, contact support, etc. When you are ready to begin using the plugin, click on the ‘Start Using’ button …

Click on 'Start Using' button

(Click on ‘Start Using’ button)

This will bring you to the ‘Instagram WD Settings’ screen. Make sure that you are already logged into your Instagram account and click on the ‘Sign in with Instagram’ button to connect your WordPress site with your Instagram account …

Click 'Sign in with Instagram' button

(Click ‘Sign in with Instagram’ button)

Authorize the connection …

Click 'Authorize' to connect

(Click ‘Authorize’ to connect)

The plugin will automatically add the access token required to connect your WordPress site with your Instagram account. Click ‘Save Changes’ to continue …

Your WordPress site and Instagram account are now connected!

(Your WordPress site and Instagram account are now connected!)

To view or edit your Instagram feed, select Instagram Feed WD > Feeds from your main WordPress admin menu …

Instagram Feed WD - Feeds menu

(Instagram Feed WD – Feeds menu)

This brings you to the ‘Feeds’ screen …

Instagram Feed WD - Feeds screen

(Instagram Feed WD – Feeds screen)

Hover over your feed title and click on ‘Edit’ to edit your feed …

Click on 'Edit'

(Click on ‘Edit’)

Here you can edit and customize your feed, including feed title, layout, media settings, etc.  …

Edit and customize your feed

(Edit and customize your feed)

You can also customie your feed theme, by selecting Instagram Feed WD > Themes from your main WordPress admin menu …

Instagram Feed WD - Themes menu

(Instagram Feed WD – Themes menu)

If you are using the free version of the plugin, you will need to upgrade to the premium version to be able to customize your feed theme …

Instagram Feed WD - Customize Feed Themes

(Instagram Feed WD – Customize Feed Themes)

Using The Plugin

After configuring the plugin, you can display content from your Instagram feed on your WordPress blog sidebar or insert it into any post or page you like.

Display Instagram Feed On Your WordPress Sidebar

To display your Instagram feed on the sidebar or footer of your WordPress site, go to your Widgets section and add the ‘Instagram WD Widget’ to your  widget bar.

Configure the widget options and click ‘Save’ to update your settings …

Instagram WD Widget

(Instagram WD Widget)

Your Instagram feed should now display content where you have added the widget as configured in your widget settings …

Instagram feed added to WordPress sidebar

(Instagram feed added to WordPress sidebar)

Display Instagram Feed On Your WordPress Posts Or Pages

To add your Instagram feed to a post or page, you can copy the shortcode from your ‘Feeds’ section to your clipboard and paste it into your content …

Copy Instagram feed shortcode to your clipboard

(Copy Instagram feed shortcode to your clipboard)

Or you can use the ‘Add Instagram Feed’ menu button (1) from your content editor to insert the shortcode into your content (2) …

Add Instagram Feed - Menu Button

(Add Instagram Feed – Menu Button)

After adding the shortcode, replublish your post or page …

Add Instagram Feed shortcode to your content

(Add Instagram Feed shortcode to your content)

Preview your post or page to view your feed content  …

Display content from your Instagram feed on your WordPress site

(Display content from your Instagram feed on your WordPress site)

Useful Tip

Fine-tune the plugin’s Instagram feed settings to get your content displaying exactly how you want it. If you need advanced customization optiond, consider upgrading to the premium version of the plugin.

To learn more about using this plugin, watch the video below or visit the plugin website here: WD Instagram Feed

(Instagram Feed WD Plugin for WordPress)

Congratulations! Now you know how to add your instagram feed to your WordPress website or blog.

How To Add Your Instagram Feed To WordPress

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How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

Learn how to add a custom gravatar to WordPress without touching code in this step-by-step tutorial …

How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPressAs we explain in this tutorial, WordPress uses a special kind of avatar called a Gravatar to display user profile photos.

To learn how to set up a Gravatar, see the step-by-step tutorial below:

How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

Take a look at WordPress sites and blogs where users frequently post comments or engage in online discussions and you will most likely see user profile images displayed next to their comments.

These are user avatars or Gravatars …

A Gravatar is a special kind of avatar used in WordPress

(A Gravatar is a special kind of avatar used in WordPress)

Your Gravatar is associated with your email address and follows you around the web, displaying your profile image whenever you post comments online or interact with other WordPress users.

If a user doesn’t have a gravatar, WordPress will display a default image, called  a ‘Mystery Person’ …

Mystery Person

(Mystery Person)

Since many users don’t have an image associated with their email address, your site can end up displaying lots of ‘Mystery Person’ images.

If you allow users to post comments on your site and you don’t want a ‘Mystery Person’ to display next to commenters without gravatars of their own, you can set up a custom default gravatar to display on your site. This can be any image you like, even a branded logo.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to add a custom default gravatar to WordPress without touching code.

Why Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress?

There are two reasons for adding a custom gravatar to WordPress:

  1. To change your own default user gravatar.
  2. To change the default gravatar of other users.

Why Change Your Own Default User Gravatar?

As explained in this tutorial, Gravatar is a free web service that allows users to create a profile and associate avatar images to their email addresses.

Once you set up your Gravatar, the image you have associated with your email address will display everywhere your email address is used. While it’s great to keep the same profile image consistent when interacting with other sites, you may not want to use your gravatar image on your site.

For example, you may want to use  your professional gravatar when posting comments on websites related to your work or industry …

Professional Gravatar

(Professional Gravatar)

But you may also have created a fun or special character avatar or a mascot image that you would like to associate with your profile when posting on your own site …

Fun Gravatar

(Fun Gravatar)

Why Change The Default Gravatar Of Other Users?

As explained earlier, the main reason for changing the default gravatar of other users on your site is to replace the ‘Mystery Man’ default image …

Mystery Man gravatar ... Boooo!

(Mystery Man gravatar … Boooo!)

But you may also have created a fun or special character avatar or a mascot image that you would like to associate with your profile when posting on your own site …

Custom user gravatar ... Yaaay!

(Custom user gravatar … Yaaay!)

Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress Using Plugins

The easiest way to add or change custom gravatars in WordPress without touching code is using plugins. There are a number of plugins you can use to customize WordPress using avatars.

For this tutorial, let’s look at how to change your default gravatar and set a different default gravatar for other users on your site using a couple of gravatar plugins.

Podamibe Custom User Gravatar

Podamibe Custom User Gravatar

(Podamibe Custom User Gravatar)

Podamibe Custom User Gravatar is a free WordPress plugin that allows users to upload their own gravatar in the media gallery and displays that image as a gravatar instead of looking for an avatar from gravatar.com based on their registered email.

To install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add Plugins and search for “gravatar” in the Keyword field.

Locate the plugin and click ‘Install Now’ …

Install the plugin

(Install the plugin)

After the plugin has installed, click on ‘Activate’ …

Activate the plugin

(Activate the plugin)

After installing and activating the plugin, go to your User Profile and scroll down to the Custom Gravatar section. Check ‘Use Custom Gravatar’ and click the ‘Select Picture’ button …

User Profile - Custom Gravatar

(User Profile – Custom Gravatar)

Upload and/or select an image from the WordPress Media Library to use as your custom gravatar, then click on ‘Update Profile’ to update your settings and set your image as your new default gravatar  …

Use Custom Gravatar

(Use Custom Gravatar)

Your new custom Gravatar image will display throughout your site, replacing the previous default gravatar …

(Your custom Gravatar image)

You can return to the default gravatar simply by disabling the Custom Gravatar feature in your User Profile or deactivating the plugin …

Back to 'Mystery Man'

(Back to ‘Mystery Man’)

To learn more about this plugin, go here: Podamibe Custom User Gravatar

WP User Avatar

WP User Avatar

(WP User Avatar)

WP User Avatar is a free WordPress plugin that lets you use any image or picture from your WordPress Media Library as a custom user avatar, including adding your own default avatar.

To install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins > Add Plugins and search for “gravatar” in the Keyword field.

Locate the plugin and click ‘Install Now’ …

Install the plugin

(Install the plugin)

After the plugin has installed, click on ‘Activate’ …

Activate the plugin

(Activate the plugin)

The plugin adds a new ‘Avatars’ menu to your main WordPress menu. Go to Avatars > Settings to add a new default avatar …

Avatars > Settings menu

(Avatars > Settings menu)

This brings you to the ‘WP User Avatar’ settings screen, which effectively mirrors the Avatar section of the WordPress Discussion settings area, allowing you to configure the plugin settings, select whether or not to display avatars, set the content rating, and change the default avatar for users without a custom avatar of their own …

WP User Avatar settings screen

(WP User Avatar settings screen)

Scroll down to the ‘Default Avatar’ section, select the WP User Avatar radio button and click on the ‘Choose Image’ button …

Default Avatar - WP User Avatar

(Default Avatar – WP User Avatar)

Upload and/or select an image from the WordPress Media Library to use as your custom gravatar and click ‘Save Changes’ to update your settings …

Set a new default WordPress avatar

(Set a new default WordPress avatar)

The new custom avatar image will replace the default avatar on your site …

Custom avatar image

(Custom avatar image)

The new custom avatar image will also replace the default image for all users on your site without a Gravatar of their own …

New default user gravatar

(New default user gravatar)

The plugin also adds a library of Avatars to your admin area …

Avatars - Library menu

(Avatars – Library menu)

This lets admin users view and manage all custom avatars uploaded by users on your site …

Avatars library

(Avatars library)

WP User Avatar – Additional Features

If you allow the plugin to add a menu button to your Visual Editor in the plugin ‘settings’ section, users can insert their custom gravatar into their content using the menu button or a shortcode …

Insert a custom gravatar into your content

(Insert a custom gravatar into your content)

Clicking on the menu button brings up a dialog box where users can edit and insert their custom avatar into their content …

Insert a custom avatar into your content

(Insert a custom avatar into your content)

This places a shortcode into the content …

Custom gravatar shortcode

(Custom gravatar shortcode)

The custom gravatar will display in the content in the specified location after the post or page has been published …

Custom Gravatar

(Custom Gravatar)

Clicking on the menu button also gives you the option of adding a standalone uploader to a front page or widget which is only visible to logged-in users …

Add a standalone uploader to a page or widget

(Add a standalone uploader to a page or widget)

This lets logged-in users directly upload their own custom avatar and update their profiles …

Logged-in users can upload their own custom Gravatar

(Logged-in users can upload their own custom Gravatar)

This feature can be useful if you plan to run a membership site or user forum

User profile avatar updated

(User profile avatar updated)

There is also a WP User Avatar PRO version of the plugin that adds more customizable features for adding, editing, managing, and storing custom avatars.

Watch the video below to see a demo of the Pro version of the plugin:

(WP User Avatar PRO)

Learn more about …

We hope you have found this tutorial on how to add a custom gravatar to WordPress useful.

How To Add A Custom Gravatar To WordPress

Angry eggs image: Pixabay

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