In WordPress, a taxonomy is a way of grouping content together based on shared characteristics. It is used to organize posts, pages, and custom post types into categories and tags that make it easier to find related content.

Types of Taxonomies

There are two main types of taxonomies in WordPress: built-in taxonomies and custom taxonomies.

Built-in Taxonomies

WordPress comes with two built-in taxonomies: categories and tags. Categories are hierarchical, meaning they can have subcategories, while tags are non-hierarchical and act more like keywords.

Custom Taxonomies

Custom taxonomies allow developers to create their own ways of grouping content. For example, a movie review site might have a custom taxonomy called “Genres” with terms like “Action,” “Comedy,” and “Drama.” This allows users to browse all reviews in a particular genre.

How Taxonomies Work

Each term within a taxonomy has its own page that displays all posts associated with it. For example, if you click on the “Action” term within the “Genres” taxonomy, you will see a page that lists all movie reviews categorized as “Action.”

Taxonomies can also be displayed in widgets or menus on your website. For example, you might have a widget that displays the most popular tags or a menu that allows users to filter posts by category.

Adding Custom Taxonomies

To add a custom taxonomy to your WordPress site, you can use the register_taxonomy() function in your theme or plugin. This function allows you to specify the name, labels, and options for your new taxonomy. You can also choose which post types your taxonomy should be associated with. Once you’ve registered your custom taxonomy, it will appear in the WordPress admin area and can be used to group content on your site. Keep in mind that adding custom taxonomies requires some knowledge of PHP and WordPress development, so it’s important to follow best practices and test thoroughly before deploying to a live site.

If you’re not comfortable with PHP and WordPress development, there are several plugins available that can help you add custom taxonomies to your site. One popular option is the Custom Post Type UI plugin, which allows you to easily create custom post types and taxonomies through a user-friendly interface. Another option is the Pods Framework, which provides a more advanced set of tools for creating custom content types and taxonomies. Both of these plugins are free and can be installed directly from the WordPress plugin repository.


Taxonomies are an important part of organizing content in WordPress. Whether you’re using built-in taxonomies like categories and tags or creating your own custom taxonomies, they help make it easier for users to find related content on your website.