Hiding tags and categories in posts

Posted by Richard
About a month ago-ish, WordPress.com updated all themes at so that they displayed tags on the posts, although they did not actually announce it on the wordpress.com blog until today, July 31. Prior to the theme updates, there were several themes that did not display tags, and some that did not display tags nor categories on the posts. For some, this was the reason they chose a particular theme.

taggingAt WordPress.com, tags and categories that are displayed on the posts lead to the WordPress.com global tags pages when clicked, while tags and categories listed in the sidebar widgets lead to the local blog posts.

Many do not like the fact that the tag and category links on the blog post lead off of their blog, and it has resulted in some rather heated discussions in the WordPress.com forums. Others object simply for aesthetic reasons believing they simply detract from their blog. Others of course are happy about the change.

manpullinghairout1
manpullinghairout1

The ability to hide the tags and/or category display is theme dependent, and will require the WordPress.com paid CSS upgrade and at least some understanding of CSS and some editing experience is highly recommended since there is no official support for CSS upgrades at WordPress.com.

In addition, the name of the CSS selector which controls the display of the tags and/or categories will vary from theme to theme and you will have to do some investigation to figure out where it is. (As an example in Pressrow, the display and style of categories and tags are controlled by p.tagged, in Andreas09, it is .category, in ChaoticSoul it is .metadata, and in Mistylook it is #content .post-info.)

unhappycrowd
unhappycrowd

In some themes, it may be that all post metadata (title, author, date, categories and tags) are controlled together so there may not be anyway in some themes to turn off only the display of categories and/or tags (example: Contempt tags/categories are under .postmetadata, but that also includes the author so hiding the tags and categories also hides the post author, and in Digg3 it is .postinfo but that also controls the display of the author and post date). If you are using Firefox as a browser, there are a couple very useful add-ons that can help you quickly determine how your tags and/or categories are controlled in your CSS: Aardvark and Firebug.I have both installed in Firefox and use them quite often, but prefer Firebug since it has more capabilities.

Some final notes on the CSS upgrade

WordPress.com has provided a preview function that will let you try out the CSS changes you wish to make to see if they actually are going to do what you want them to do without having to pay for the CSS upgrade.

(1) First off, when testing things out, you will want to view the CSS stylesheet for your theme and copy it out and into a plain text editor for reference. You can view the CSS stylesheet in your browser by clicking on the “CSS stylesheet” link on the design > edit CSS page in the dashboard.

(2) Do not paste the entire CSS stylesheet into the CSS editing area. You will only want to include the additions and/or changes you are actually making.

(3) You will also want to have “add to existing style sheet” selected when you preview your changes. This way you do not have to reinvent the wheel so to speak. You’re changes and additions will be added to the bottom of the existing stylesheet which will override the like sections of the original stylesheet.

(4) To preview your changes after you have put them in the edit area, all you have to do is click the preview button at the bottom of the page.

The following is an example of what you would put into the CSS edit area to turn off the display of the categories and tags for the Andreas09 theme:

.category {
display: none;
}

Related posts found in this blog:
WordPress Blogging Tips: Categories and Tags
WordPress.com tagging tips: Don’t be a spam-dexer

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11 thoughts on “Hiding tags and categories in posts

  1. I digress a little here but I hope you don’t mind. :)

    What is the impact of choosing to fill out the tag fields BUT likewise choosing not to display them? Is the effect simply cosmetic, or do you somehow remove your blog’s ability to be searched/indexed better by the major search engines?

    Hi, I was browsing through the support files to try to find an answer

    1. @Gio
      I do not know the answer and suggest you pose your question to Matt Cutts of Google. I have heard that search engines will still list the posts under tags in the SERPs even if they are hidden from human viewers but I don’t know that to be a fact.

  2. John, I don’t know that there is any way to keep people from using inappropriate tags for posts. I see it all the time. One thing you might think about doing is in the grey bar at the top of your screen (when logged in) is to click on “blog info” and then the “report as spam” link and report people who are abusing tags/categories to WordPress. Using inappropriate tags/categories for a post is considered tag spamming, and I don’t think it is something WordPress wants. It isn’t in their (or those using WordPress.com) interest.

  3. Tags/Categories, some have figured out how to create their own tags/categories to dominate.

    I don’t mind competitors connected to my site, even those that post comment’s “come visit me @…”. What does matter, the most popular theme, post, blog centers around Arsenal football. Regardless of upgrades,changes or whatever. Guaranteed once a week Arsenal football will dominate, even in the summer off season? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan, but if I have to compete in same space….

  4. Judy the best bet is use the WP org software and your own host. It just needs a friendly and good value dev *cough* to set it up for you.

  5. wpvstp,
    When my primary blog was at WordPress.com, I actually had few visitors come to my blog from the tags pages – as far as I could tell in stats, and I seldom actually went into any of the tags/categories I used to see what was going on in the tags pages. It would be interesting to see stats showing how many come to blogs at wordpress.com off of the tags pages vs how may come to them via search engines and/or bookmarks or simply typing the URL into their browser.

  6. Judy,
    Although I don’t care one way or another typically about whether tags show or not on posts, I know that there are those out there that do not want them to show, and for a variety of reasons. I too would like to see a way for people to turn them off.

    For the record, there have been threads in the WordPress.com forum in the past where people wanted to use one of the themes that did not show tags and requested that WordPress.com change it so that they did show tags.

    I don’t know whether WordPress will ever make tag display on posts an opt in/opt out thing. I’m certainly no expert with CSS, but having done some research on several of the themes used at WordPress.com, some of them would take quite a bit of work to separate tags out from the other metadata so that tags could be turned off and it not affect other items.

    At any rate, what is a deal breaker for one is a deal maker for another. Each of us has to individually determine what is important to us and what is not.

  7. I don’t think this feature takes visitors away from you. Really. Yes, if you have nothing to offer your readers, but no, I’m confident that my readers know how to find the Back button on their browser. Besides, this goes both ways, I can make more traffic too. And lastly, making my tags and categories so unique so that only I show up on WordPress’ site can also void this feature.

  8. Hi Judy,
    Neither the author of this post nor myself work for wordpress. We have no say whatsoever with regard to the decisions the developers make. We do not in any way represent wordpress. We are simply bloggers like yourself.

    The posts found in this blog are aimed at helping wordpress bloggers cope with and adapt to changes. Some of those changes are not appreciated and feedback like that ought to be sent to wordpress staff where it may have some impact.

  9. I was, with joy, about to join the WordPress community, as I’m starting a blog to enhance my web site and my business.

    Now that I see that you have inserted tags into all the templates, I’m reconsidering. Yes, you offer a way to turn off those tags, *if* we have the technical expertise to do it through CSS. The whole beauty of WordPress, I though, was that it was user friendly for non-techies.

    I don’t want the clutter of tags on my pages, and I don’t want links which lead to my competitors’ web sites.

    I noted that at least you made it possible to turn of “Possibly Related Articles,” which I also don’t want. It would seem a better choice for people to opt in to that, not have to opt out.

    I’m very disappointed. I would be happy to pay a monthly fee to have WordPress functioning as I want it — without someone else making arbitrary decisions about what gets posted on my page. Otherwise, I’ll have to look elsewhere.

    WordPress was *not* “broke”! Why fix it?

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