As with the majority of WordPress-based blogs, most of the content on this website is organised into an expanding series of posts, supplemented by a small number of relatively static pages to explain how the site works. (You’re looking at one of these pages right now.) On this website, every post and every page (other than Search Results, of which the home page is a special example) contains a group of three search tools to help you find what you’re looking for. These search tools are located in the right-hand sidebar on ‘landscape’ screens, or at the bottom on ‘portrait’ screens. Here’s a brief explanation of what they do and how I’ve chosen to use the WordPress features known as ‘categories’ and ‘tags’.
This is the most straightforward of the three: enter a piece of text and the function will return every post and every page where that piece of text can be found.
The ability to categorise content is a feature of WordPress that applies to posts only. Unlike tags (see below), categories can be organised into one or more hierarchies. As you can see from the panel on the right (or below), I have created two hierarchies. While neither of these is compulsory, it is a WordPress rule that every post must be in a category.
The most common type of post on my site will be about a visit to some destination that is not undertaken as part of an extended trip. Such posts will fit into the geographical hierarchy, but not the ‘featured content’ one. A post about a particular destination, visited as part of a wider trip, will fit into both hierarchies. If all else fails, a post will be ‘Miscellaneous’.
With one exception, the geographical hierarchy operates at continent- and country-level only. Anything more local is handled by tags. The exception is the United Kingdom, which I have split into its constituent nations. The reason for this is simple: I live in the UK, and as such a lot of posts will inevitably be created about this country. In these circumstances, a further level of subdivision feels appropriate. Should enough relevant posts build up, I may consider extending a similar approach elsewhere.
The ‘tags’ feature also applies to posts only. Unlike categories (see above), tags cannot be formed into hierarchies. Having said that, I have used tags as a means of expanding on the higher-level continent/country classification set up as categories. Substantial cities are tagged explicitly, while other destinations tend to be tagged according to the wider local area. For example, Edinburgh is tagged in its own right, while destinations in the surrounding areas of West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian are tagged as ‘Lothians’. To take another example, destinations in the English county of Cumbria are tagged as ‘Cumbria’ and if appropriate, are also tagged as ‘Lake District’, since the latter is a widely recognised tourist area within the county.
At the time of writing this guide, I have begun to retrofit tags to existing relevant posts according to various types of visitor attraction, starting with ‘Museum / Gallery’. More of this will follow.
Finally, please note that the Tag Cloud created by WordPress is limited to the 45 most used tags. There are ways of getting around this numerical limit, which I may investigate in due course.