WordPress categories play a critical role in organizing and sorting out your website’s posts into sections properly. Categories help not only create an efficient and logical website, enhance visitor experiences but also increase your content rankings.
Although WordPress has already built some useful default features for categories, these utilities are not enough to meet the demands of site owners. You can definitely write some code to extend the category’s functionalities but WordPress plugins can help you go beyond the built-in features with ease.
You could easily create sticky posts, password protect a category, or even customize WooCommerce product category designs, and so on by using plugins.
With so many category plugins for WordPress out there, we decide to compare 9 best plugins. These plugins will be classified into 4 main groups based on their key features and common usages, including plugins for category content, plugins for WooCommerce category, plugins for category media, and other types of category plugins.
Plugins for Category Content
Recent Posts Widget Extended
According to Time magazine, about 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds actively paying attention to a web page. This means you have very few chances to keep them patiently staying on your site, viewing the content, and taking your desired actions.
That’s where related posts come into play to distract visitors from leaving your website. People might find something interesting from these posts and would stay to read them.
Recent Posts Widget Extended plugin is worth looking into in this case. It enables you to display a list of related articles to a post via a shortcode or widget. As a result, readers can click and enjoy reading for further information.
Showing related posts is not all of what this plugin can do. It allows you to display customized thumbnails and excerpts as well. You don’t want your posts to be listed randomly? Then you can arrange them by date or the number of comments.
Category Sticky Post
Sticky posts are posts featured at the top of your blog page or your category page, aim to highlight important content. They can be articles converting many subscribers or posts announcing a major product update.
WordPress displays your latest posts at the top of the blog page or category page by default. Once a new article is added, the previous posts move down. So how do you create a sticky post? Try Category Sticky Post plugin!
The plugin allows you to stick a post at the top of a category and style it lightly so that the post looks a bit different from the other posts of the category. You can make a sticky post right in the editing screen.
Password Protect WordPress Pro
Have you ever thought of shielding all posts of one or several categories to prevent unwanted users from reading the content? For instance, you might intend to hide all blogs except posts in the News category since there are important upcoming events in your company and your industry. Then, Password Protect WordPress Pro is the plugin for you.
Once a category is protected with the plugin, unauthorized users are not allowed to access the category page as well as any posts belonging to that category without entering the correct password. The protected content won’t show up on any search engine results either.
What’s more, you can also restrict access to the password protected category by user roles. In other words, only the right roles are able to enter passwords and view your content. If the protected category allows only editors to fill in the password form, for instance, contributors couldn’t unlock the content although they have the correct password.
Plugin for WooCommerce Categories
Product Categories Designs for WooCommerce
Similar to product pages and shopping carts, product categories are also an important element of a WooCommerce online store. Setting a well-designed category for users to navigate your products more easily contributes to the success of the store.
Product Categories Designs for WooCommerce plugin comes in handy in this case. It enables you to display WooCommerce product categories in grid and slider views. You can set the number of shown columns as well. With 100% mobile and tablet responsive, the plugins is loved by many WooCommerce online store owners who are targeting on mobile shopping customers.
What’s more, the plugin works pretty well with every WordPress theme so you don’t have to worry about plugin and theme conflicts. If you want to take full control over the category title, description, and category orders, etc., upgrade the plugin to the Pro version.
Plugins for WordPress Category Media
Category Featured Images
Every blog post needs a featured image to attract visitors to click on and read more. As important as a post’s title and content, the featured image is the first thing people will see before deciding to view your post.
What if you forget to assign a featured image to a post? Category Featured Images can give you a helping hand. The plugin allows you to set an image for each category on your blog. Posts under that category will be automatically assigned the featured image whenever you forget to add one.
There are some things you should notice when using this plugin. If your post belongs to more than one category with different featured images, it will get the featured image of the first category. In case a category doesn’t have a featured image but its parent category does, posts of that category will get the featured image of the parent category.
Media Library Categories
There are lots of images in your library. Content media files combining with icons and images of sales pages mess your media library up. It’s time to keep them more organized.
Media Library Categories plugin can help you deal with this long-lasting problem more easily. It allows you to sort and locate images in WordPress. Once the plugin is activated, you are able to add, edit, and remove categories in the media library under a category dropdown.
You can upgrade the plugin to the Pro version to be able to assign categories to media files while adding them into a post.
Other WordPress Category Plugins
Categories to Tags Converter
There might be times you reuse some tags in your content so often that they should be set as categories. Instead of creating a new category then copying all posts having that same tag, converting them to the new category sounds easier. Although you can absolutely do this manually, take advantage of free and automatic plugins to save your time.
Categories to Tags Converter plugin proves useful to convert WordPress tags to categories and vice versa. You can select individual categories and tags to convert with only a few simple clicks.
Despite the fact that this plugin isn’t updated frequently, it receives consistent active installations. Over 80,000 site owners are using the plugin to convert existing categories to tags and backward at the moment.
Post Tags and Categories for Pages
WordPress categories and tags are used for posts only, which means you are unable to add them to a page. The visitors might find it hard to look for and navigate your pages.
With Post Tags and Categories for Pages plugin, you can organize your WordPress pages better by assigning them categories and tags. This plugin allows you to put both pages and posts in the same category too.
No Category Base
WordPress categories contain a base of /category/ to all URLs by default. For example, if you have a category name Food, your URL will look something like this: https://yourdomain.com/category/food. This feature isn’t recommended in most cases since it makes the URLs longer and harder to remember.
Thanks to No Category Base plugin, you can get rid of it with ease. Upon installation, the plugin removes the category base from your permalinks automatically. You don’t need to take any further steps of setup or configuration. Redirecting URLs won’t be your concern anymore as No Category Base takes care of them all.
More than 100,000 people trust this plugin and the number is increasing rapidly. Wanna join the list?
Which Category Plugins Will You Install?
There are thousands of free plugins for categories available on WordPress repo. Each plugin proves useful to extend your WordPress category functionalities in a different way.
Remember that not all plugins are necessary for your categories so don’t try to install them at the same time. Instead, you should consider plugins based on your using purposes. It’s not urgent to get Product Categories Designs for WooCommerce plugin if you haven’t created an online store for your site, for example.
Please leave a comment in the box below if you have any questions on which plugin you intend to install for your WordPress categories.