Changing Post’s Default “Uncategorized” Category

September 13, 2016

The Importance of Categories and Tags

Assigning categories and tags to your posts in WordPress is a convenient way to organize your posts. Categories and tags also provide your viewers with an easy way to view content they’re interested in.

If you’ve already started exploring categories, you know that it is quite easy to add new categories. You even assign parent and child categories to create a hierarchical structure of posts and keep your posts organized. As you build up your blog page, you’ll continuously add value to each and every post you publish and have the flexibility to sort and show the posts exactly how you want them.

The Default “Uncategorized” Category

By default, WordPress automatically categorizes a new post under the category labeled “Uncategorized.” Unfortunately, you cannot delete the default category like you can other categories that you create. Don’t worry, in this article, we’ll present you with two options to solve this issue.

Option 1: Create a new default category

Changing the default category in WordPress is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t have posts published under the uncategorized category.

Go to the Posts menu in your admin panel and click on Categories.

Under the Add New Category section, create a new category by assigning it a name. After you’ve settled on a new name, click the “Add New Category” button at the bottom of the page.

add new category

Next, click on the Settings option in your admin toolbar and select Writing. Here you can change the default post category from “uncategorized” to the new category you just created.

change-default-category

Now that you have assigned the default category, all posts will be filed under the new category in the case you forget to assign a specific category upon publishing your post. It’s important to note that previous posts that have been assigned the default category will still retain their “uncategorized” filing.

You can move older posts to the new default category by changing the post’s category in the post editor. Alternatively, since the uncategorized category is no longer set to default, you can delete the category entirely.

By deleting the “uncategorized” category, all posts filed under the uncategorized category will be assigned to the new default category.

Option 2: Renaming the “uncategorized” category

The second option is to change the name of the existing default category entitled “Uncategorized” to a more desirable name. This is fairly straightforward and consists of editing the name and the URL slug through the Categories page.

Navigate to the Categories page by clicking Posts > Categories from the left-side navigation bar.  Hover your mouse over the Uncategorized category and click Edit.

Edit Uncategorized

Here you can rename the default category and change the URL slug.

Rename uncategorized

Going forward, all of the unassigned posts will be filed under the renamed default category. However, since your website is live and indexed, search engines and visitors will see a 404 page error for the old URL. A simple workaround is to download the plugin entitled Simple 301 Redirects plugin.

Once installed and activated, click on Settings > 301 Redirects and request that the old URL slug is redirected to the new destination URL (the slug for the renamed default category).

Simple-301-redirect

For example, the URL for the old default category entitled “uncategorized” was likely:

http://yoursite.com/category/uncategorized

In the request field, type in: /category/uncategorized

In the destination field, type in the full URL for the destination. For example:

http://yoursite.com/category/wordpress-articles

Once you’ve completed the redirect request, click on the Save Changes button.

And that’s it! You’ve successfully created a redirect using the Simple 301 Redirects plugin.

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