Saturday, April 29, 2006

Blogger Categories: A Simple Method

Update: Please note that this is an old post written before Blogger Beta (now out of beta and referred to as New Blogger for want of a better name) was introduced. With New Blogger, Labels was introduced and labels is just the same as the Categories referred to by other blogging platform. Labels is an easier, automatic replacement of what had been described as Categories in this post. Refer to new labels for old classic Blogger template

What are categories. Basically it is a way of organizing your posts so that it can be easily found by categories or types. It may as well be called post directory or something.

Blogger is free and nice, but unfortunately has some shortcomings. One of them is the lack of a provision for doing categories. There exist many methods for doing categories and most of them involve tempering with the template. Here is one simple, straight forward method for doing categories for Blogger that doesn't require one to make any changes to the template except adding some hyperlinks to it. I got the idea for this method from the website "I want to be a millionaire".

First, you have to create an account for Even if you already have a account, it is advisable to create a new one specially for this purpose. If you are not familiar with, you can read more about it here: "Introduction to". You will then have to tag each INDIVIDUAL post page (permalink) in your blog with the name of category (single word) to which you want the post to belong to. If it is a two or three word category, use underscore or hyphen to link them into a single "word". The categories that I intend to use for this blogs, are for example, Introduction, Basic, General, Blogger specific, etc. You can tag the post with more than 1 tag if you wish. For example, a post that is both basic and specific to Blogger can be tagged with the tags basic and blogger-specific. (Note: To get to the individual post page, click on the link in the PREVIOUS POSTS or the ARCHIVES section or click on the permalink (represented by a time stamp) at the bottom of the post in the index page).

Now all you have to do is to add this to the sidebar section of your template:

<a href="">Tag 1</a><br />
<a href="">Tag 2</a><br />

replacing the tagpage URL with the actual URL of your tag pages. For example, the account I created for this blog is bloggertricks and I have created 2 tags - general and blogger-specific. So the URL for tagpage1 is and the url for tagpage2 is The codes I will add to the sidebar section of the template will be

<a href="">
GENERAL</a><br />
<a href="">

If you have more categories, just add more hyperlinks.

(If you don't want to type the tagpage url yourself, just log into your account, then at the top-right hand corner, click on the tag and you will be taken to the tagpage. Just copy the url from the address bar)

Once you have these in place, and as you add more posts, all you have to do now is to tag the posts with the appropriate category and it will be classified in place accordingly.



  1. Very nice!
    But remember you can do this with ANY SOCIAL BOOKMARK SERVICE. There are so many I understand it can be confusing, but there are for every needs, like some prefer having Tags AND Folders, so when they import they get the same structure as their local bookmarks.

    Also did look in to FreshTags?

  2. hey buddy,

    Thanks a lot, I did it..

    Checked tips on other blog. but I found urs better, thanks a lot buddy

  3. Hi,

    you're so blogger wise!!! Can you tell me if there's a way to put a .pdf file on my blog?

  4. Thank you for doing this tutorial. I followed the instruction and added the categories into my sidebar successfully with only one question. How do you add a dotted line for separating Categories, Previous Posts and etc? And also, how do you modify the spacing between each line in Categories?

  5. You will have to use an unordered list.
    [li][a href=""]Tag 1[/a][/li]
    [li][a href=""]Tag 2[/a][/li]
    (Note: HTML not allowed in comments. less than and greater than sign have been replaced by [ and ]

  6. I get the categories bit, but:

    "Once you have these in place, and as you add more posts, all you have to do now is to tag the posts with the appropriate category and it will be classified in place accordingly."

    How do I "tag the posts" - I can't figure this out...

  7. This is by far the easiest way to add an organized archived list to a blog! Thanks!!

  8. Hi Peter,
    Thanks for your tip re Categories.
    I'm trying to implement tem in my
    template - and I continuosly fail.

    his is what I've done, at the sidebar section, way under the links:
    The Hebrew qord for "category" appears yet the names of the categories do not show.
    I wanted to copy here from the Template but HTML is not allowed...
    Is there anything else I should have done?
    I'm working with Firefox and on a Mac.
    In thanks,

  9. Hey thanks,

    Was referred to this blog by a friend, and I found that this was the easiest way to categorize my archives! But manually doing 170 articles to categories is not an easy task at all! Any work arounds for that?

    Anyways, thanks a lot! I indexed my entire blog! Thanks to you!

  10. Hi Adi,

    Glad my post helped you categorised your blog, despite you having that many no. of posts. It must have been quite a lot of work. But I am afraid, there is no way around it. Well, if you migrate over to Blogger Beta, the new feature "label" will make it easy, but I am reading a lot of reports of problems, so I would proceed cautiously. In fact, I set up a new Google identity (gmail) to specially set up a Blogger Beta test blog, and you can see the result here: Testing Blogger Beta

  11. Hi Peter, your tips are interesting..:)

    I have a question though, regarding to the last comment you wrote..I've set up a new beta account for testing, but I dont find the feature "label"..where is exactly the feature? i personally found out that the category in is more well organized..and I like it..:)

  12. To see it, you will have to have posts that are labelled. The input box to label post is at the bottom of every post editor of the Blogger Beta.

  13. Thanks for the fast reply..Another question: How do I change the Label view to drop-down list like you did in There is no option for it (or I havent found it) in the template editor..Did you do it manually?

  14. That was a hack done following Ramani's method. I thought I did a post on that? Look around my blog. Maybe it is there somewhere. Anyway, just changed my template to a 3 column template and lost that drop-down menu for the label.

  15. Very cool, thanks for doing this.

    But the one thing I have not figured out is how to add the tags my posts! I've been on the computer all day, so perhaps my brain is bit dead and I'm missing something obvious...

  16. If you are on Blogger Beta, that will be very easy to do. There will be a small box at the bottom of the post editor where you will fill in the tags (which they call labels).

  17. Peter,
    Thanks for the great tips. I recently signed up with Blogger and I'm having all kinds of issues with my Labels (Categories) as many aren't showing up. I finally decided to abandon Bloggers Labels and use So far so good. However, I have about 10 tags so far but only my most prevelent one (Shopping) is showing up on my blog. Am I doing something wrong? Please check it out.


  18. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for leaving a comment in my post Categories: A simple method. I checked out your blog and the categrories I see there are as follows:

    * 2star(1)
    * 3star(1)
    * 4star(3)
    * 5star(2)
    * Cleaning(1)
    * Kitchenware(3)
    * Nursery(1)
    * Office(1)
    * Reviews(8)
    * Shopping(8)
    * Toys(1)

    What is missing?

    Peter a.k.a. enviroman
    Enviroman Says

  19. Hi Peter,
    I actually figured it out. For some reason my html code for was defaulting to 1 tag. I changed the code and it works fine now.


  20. I want to add a labels widget in customize blogger template but unable to do it successfully, could u help me out.

    Here is my site

  21. Hi Vineet,

    You have hidden your navbar, so I can't tell if yours is an old classic template or the New Blogger template. If you are using the old classic template, I am guessing you are because you are unable to add a Label List, then you will have to use work around like these:
    Categories: A simple method
    Categories: An easy method
    and a step-by-step summary of the above methods (requested by blog reader):
    Categories step-by-step.

    If yours is a New Blogger template, adding a Label List is as easy as clicking on a "Add a Page Element" link and selecting "Link List" to save to your blog.

    If yours is an old classic template, here is the instruction to upgrade to the New Blogger template: Migrating old classic template to the New Blogger template.

    Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
    "online book" in progress

  22. I have a problem and I think that you might help.
    I use old blogger and I don't know how to add an "older posts" at the bottom (not on the sidebar) of the page, that would lead to the next posts. and so on. You know... new posts - older posts -previous posts - next posts. Is this possible?

  23. Hi Hippie Killer,

    It is going to be hard manual work. See How to have "Previous" and "Next" (forgot about "Home" links at bottom of posts. Hard labor may be enough to kill a Hippie. Why not upgrade to New Blogger xml templates and save a Hippie's life?

    Peter Blog*Star
    Tips and Tricks for Blogger or "Son of Blogger Tips and Tricks"
    slotted for conversion to custom domain

  24. Thanks very much, but that is not what I wanted and also, I don't want new blogger.
    My settings are so that on every page are displayed 10 posts.
    So I want that, at the bottom of the page, afetr the last post, to have an older/newer posts link (perpetual) that would lead to the next ten.
    Is that possible, and if so, how?
    Thanks again.
    p.s. about the hippies, long story

  25. Dear Hippie Killer,

    Got to admit now I am a bit rusty about old classic template, but I think I remember enough to know you cannot have 10 posts in EVERY PAGE. See Main or homepage, archive pages, label pages and individual post pages (permalinks). For old classic template, add ***** (sorry can't remember for the moment). Note, in individual post page (permalink), there can only be 1 post and no more.

    Even forgetting all the above, I can think of no way of doing what you want.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Blogger FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions_
    (Blogger FAQ in progress. More will be added as I have the time)

  26. thanks for this! very very helpful! :)

  27. Thanks for post. I really need this trick. Now i will apply this technique and see the results.

  28. I hoped you read the update on this old post, that this was written before Blogger Beta (now New Blogger xml) and labels was introduced. Now you can use Blogger labels for doing categories. Refer to labels for old Blogger classic template

  29. Okay. Figured out where to paste it. I needed to create a new html gadget. I've created the tag but they are cut off. It only shows the last few letters of each tag title. Please help! Thanks.



  30. Are you using Blogger categories - simple method? Are you aware that Blogger has created labels? Can you explain your problem in greater details, with screen shots if possible.

  31. very nice !!! very useful for me
    thanks. u smile gr8 though rare lol

  32. i found it so educational & udeful blog post.

  33. very useful content.. i am looking forward for more valuable posts.. thank you admin


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