WordPress Categories Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions

WordPress Categories Not Working: Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions

Are you experiencing issues with your WordPress categories? Fret not, as we’re here to help you troubleshoot and resolve this common problem.

WordPress categories are an essential feature for organizing and managing your website’s content effectively.

However, sometimes they may not function as expected, causing frustration and confusion.

In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons why your WordPress categories are not working and provide you with practical solutions to get them back on track.

WordPress Categories: Enabling and Organizing Pages

Before we dive into the troubleshooting process, let’s quickly review how to enable and use categories in WordPress pages.

There are two primary methods to enable categories on your WordPress pages: using the built-in functionality or utilizing a plugin. Let’s explore both options.

Method 1: Using the Built-in Functionality

  1. Navigate to the Pages menu in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Click on the Add New button to create a new page.
  3. In the Page Attributes section, select the Categories checkbox.
  4. Enter the names of the categories you wish to assign to your page.
  5. Finally, click on the Publish button to save your changes.

Method 2: Using a Plugin

Alternatively, you can use plugins to enable categories for your WordPress pages.

One popular plugin that can help you accomplish this is the Categories for Pages plugin. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Install and activate the Categories for Pages plugin.
  2. Go to the Settings menu and navigate to the Categories for Pages settings page.
  3. On the Categories for Pages settings page, select the categories you want to make available for your pages.
  4. Save your settings by clicking on the Save Changes button.

Once you have successfully enabled categories for your pages, you can assign categories to individual pages by accessing the Edit page for each page and entering the category names in the Categories field.

Tips for Utilizing Categories in WordPress Pages

Now that you have a grasp of how to enable categories, let’s explore some tips for utilizing them effectively:

  1. Organize Your Pages: Categories provide a fantastic way to organize your pages into logical groups. By grouping related content under specific categories, you make it easier for visitors to find the information they seek.
  2. Promote Your Pages: Leverage the power of categories to promote your pages on your website and social media platforms. Create a dedicated category archive page for each category and promote it on your website. Additionally, use category names as hashtags when sharing links to your pages on social media to boost their visibility.
  3. Track Page Views: Utilize Google Analytics to monitor the number of page views each category receives. This valuable information can help you identify the most popular categories and guide you in optimizing your pages accordingly.

WordPress Categories Not Working: Troubleshooting Guide

Now, let’s address the core issue at hand: when your WordPress categories fail to work as expected. We’ll outline a series of troubleshooting steps to help you diagnose and resolve the problem.

Step 1: Ensure You Have Created Categories

Before you can assign categories to your posts or pages, it’s crucial to create the categories themselves. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to the Posts menu and click on Categories.
  2. Click on the Add New button and provide a name for your category.

Step 2: Confirm Categories are Assigned to Posts

To ensure that your categories are assigned correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Posts menu and select All Posts.
  2. Click on the Edit button next to the post you wish to assign a category to.
  3. In the Category section, choose the relevant categories you want to assign to the post.

Step 3: Verify Permalink Settings

Sometimes, permalink settings can interfere with category functionality. To check and adjust your permalink settings, follow these instructions:

  1. Access the Settings menu and select Permalinks.
  2. Choose the Post Name option and click on the Save Changes button.

Step 4: Check for Theme or Plugin Conflicts

If you recently installed a new theme or plugin, it’s possible that conflicts between different elements are causing the issue. To troubleshoot this:

  1. Temporarily disable all your plugins.
  2. Check if the problem persists.
  3. If the issue is resolved, reactivate your plugins one by one to identify the conflicting plugin.

Step 5: Contact Your Web Host

If you’ve followed all the previous steps diligently and your categories still refuse to cooperate, it’s time to reach out to your web host for assistance. They may be able to identify any hosting-related issues causing the problem.

Additional Tips for Troubleshooting WordPress Categories

Apart from the core troubleshooting steps, here are a few extra tips to help you navigate and overcome category-related challenges:

  1. Utilize the Troubleshooting Tools: WordPress offers built-in troubleshooting tools to assist you in identifying and fixing site issues. To access these tools, go to the Tools menu and click on Troubleshooting.
  2. Explore the Debug Log: The debug log, a file containing error information, can be invaluable in troubleshooting category problems. To access the debug log:
    • Visit the Settings menu and select Writing.
    • Scroll down to the Debug section and check the box next to “Enable Debug Log.”
  3. Leverage the WordPress Community: Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from the vibrant and supportive WordPress community. You can find helpful individuals in the WordPress forums, support site, or even on social media platforms.

Where are Categories Stored in WordPress?

Curious about where WordPress stores its categories? The wp_terms table in the WordPress database holds this vital information. Let’s take a quick look at the relevant columns in this table:

  • term_id: This column stores the unique ID assigned to each term.
  • taxonomy: For categories, the taxonomy is set as “category.”
  • description: This column allows you to add a description for the term.
  • slug: The slug represents the URL-friendly version of the term name.
  • count: It keeps track of the number of posts assigned to a particular term.

The wp_terms table relates to the wp_term_relationships table, which stores the connections between terms and posts. The wp_term_relationships table contains the following columns:

  • term_taxonomy_id: This column stores the ID associated with the term-taxonomy relationship.
  • object_id: It holds the ID of the post related to the term.
  • term_taxonomy: For categories, the taxonomy is set as “category.”

You can manage and manipulate categories by using the wp-admin/edit.php page, where you can view and edit them. Additionally, the wp-admin/term.php page allows you to create new categories.


WordPress categories are a valuable tool for organizing and managing your website’s content. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can troubleshoot and resolve issues related to WordPress categories not working.

Remember to create and assign categories correctly, verify your permalink settings, and check for theme or plugin conflicts. Should the need arise, don’t hesitate to contact your web host for further assistance. By leveraging the troubleshooting tools, debug log, and support from the WordPress community, you’ll be well-equipped to overcome any challenges you encounter.


By Kevin

Meet Kevin, a seasoned WordPress developer and blogger with a passion for fixing website issues. With over 5 years of experience in web development, Kevin has a deep understanding of WordPress CMS and has helped numerous businesses build and optimize their online presence. Kevin's love for WordPress began when he created his first website using the platform. Since then, he has honed his skills in web development, specializing in WordPress. His expertise includes custom theme development, plugin customization, and website optimization. As a blogger, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and experience with others. When he's not coding or writing, Kevin enjoys hiking and exploring the great outdoors.

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