August 15, 2011

Organizing Posts with Categories

Typepad's Categories feature is a useful way to organize your content by topic. While using Categories is strictly optional, we do encourage it as a way to provide your readers easy access to posts by subject.

Categories are managed from the Settings > Categories page for your blog. More information about this page is available here.

Default Categories

Typepad provides a number of default categories to get you started. These are:

  • Books
  • Current Affairs
  • Film
  • Food and Drink
  • Games
  • Music
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Television
  • Travel
  • Web/Tech
  • Weblogs

If these categories do not fit your needs, you can delete them at Settings > Categories.

Custom Categories

You can add up 300 categories to your own by going to Settings > Categories. Enter the name for the new category in the Add a new category field. You can also add new categories from the Compose page by clicking the Add a new category link below the list of available categories.

Note: The names Photos and Lists are not available to be used for custom categories as they are reserved for Photo Albums and TypeLists respectively. You can use similar names, like "Pictures" or "The Lists" instead.

Hierarchical Category Names

Typepad does not offer subcategories at this time but you can use hierarchical category names as a workaround.

Hierarchical categories are categories that belong under a main or parent category. For instance, you may have a main category called Animals which includes the children categories Cat, Dog, and Elephant.

If you would like to add hierarchical categories to your blog, you would do this by naming your categories in this manner:

  • Animals
  • Animals: Cat
  • Animals: Dog
  • Animals: Elephant

This will place your categories in your sidebar Category Listing in alphabetical order, with the parent category (in this case Animals) first.

Assigning Categories to a Post

You can assign each post to one category or up to 50 categories. All posts assigned to a category will be listed on the category archive page. For example, all posts assigned to the Books category would be listed on an acrhive page with a URL similar to

New Posts

Compose CategoriesFor new posts, you can assign a category on the Compose page. On the right side of the page, you will see a list of all your categories. Each category has a check box next to its name. Place checks next to the one or more categories you wish to assign to the post. When you save the post, it will be added to the selected categories.

Existing Posts

For existing posts, you can assign categories to multiple posts at a time from the Posts page. At Blogs > Posts, select the posts you want to edit then scroll down to the More Actions... menu. You can either Add Categories to the existing categories on the posts or Replace categories if you wish to remove the existing categories and have new categories instead. Select the desired action and click Go. In the pop-up window, you can select one or more categories to assign to the posts and click OK.

More information is available in the Managing Posts and Pages article.

Displaying Categories on Your Blog

You can display information about your categories in various ways on your blog.


You can display a list of your categories in the sidebar of your blog or a cloud, which shows the categories with the most posts in larger type.

At Blogs > Design > Content, choose either Category Archives (List) or Category Archives (Cloud) from the list of modules. Click the Add Module button, then you can drag and drop the module to the place you want it to appear in your sidebar.

Note: Only those categories with posts assigned to them will be displayed in the sidebar. Empty categories will not be displayed.

Using a Link TypeList

If you would like to use a heading other than Categories for the list or change the order of the links, you can create a custom list of links to your category index pages using a Link TypeList. This method will also allow you to list only some of the categories and not all of them.

To set the order of items in the Link TypeList, you can include some HTML in the Link Title field in order to force the order of the Links. An example of the Link Titles you can use:

<!--1-->The Introduction Category
<!--2-->Second Category
<!--3-->A Third Category

The HTML in the Title will not display on your blog. On the Settings page for the TypeList, you will need to set the Display Order menu to By Title, Ascending for the numbers in the HTML to be respected as the order of items.

Post footer

You can display each of the categories a post is assigned to in the post footer. Go to Blogs > Design > Content, and click the pencil icon by Post Footer to open a pop-up window with the post footer options. Make sure that Category is checked, then click Save.

Limiting the Blog's Main Page to Specific Categories

By default, the main content column of your blog will display all of your posts, regardless of category they are assigned, or if they are not assigned to any category.

You can also choose to display only posts from a specific category or categories on the main page of the blog. In this case, posts in the other categories will only be accessible via the Category Archives.

At Settings > Posts, scroll down to Limit Recent Posts. You can pick one category to display or select the Assign multiple categories option to choose a combination of categories. You can select up to 15 categories.


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